By Samy Badibanga, former Prime Minister of DRC.
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, February 9, 2018 – The political conundrum of the elections has blinded us all: the emergency in DR Congo is political as much as it is human and humanitarian. Of course, everything must be done so that the Congolese people can choose their leaders at the end of 2018. But, at the beginning of 2018, the top priority is to protect the lives of 13 million people threatened by the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Kasai, Kivu, Tanganyika and other provinces of the Congo. And this requires an International Donor Conference in order to raise the $1.68 billion for the United Nations humanitarian response plan for the Congo.
This crisis kills every passing second. It kills women, children, and men who have fled the violence, hidden in the forest or even further away, and have nothing left when they return. This disaster could soon claim between one and two million lives if humanitarian aid is not funded. These dizzying figures are a poor reflection of the reality of a child or a woman taking their last breath. Not killed by violence, but by famine or disease.
The Congo crisis has been neglected. Today, it is the largest humanitarian crisis on the planet, and it is also the least funded, despite being classified at the maximum level of humanitarian emergency by the United Nations. The conflict between the Pygmies and Bantu in Tanganyika alone has already displaced 500,000 people – as many as the Rohingya crisis in Burma. According to UNOCHA, as well as those in Tanganyika, there are 1.5 million displaced in Kasai and more than 950,000 in Kivu and other provinces, making a total of 4.35 million people. In Uganda, 238,000 Congolese have sought shelter to escape the violence in Kivu, and a thousand more arrive each week. 7,000 people have taken refuge in Burundi and 33,000 in Angola, to name but a few. In fact, the total population displacement in the Congo today comes to more than that in Syria, Iraq and Yemen combined. How many of these 4.35 million displaced people are joining the migration routes from the Horn of Africa to the Libyan slave camps?
Whilst the conflict born in Kasai in August 2016 has killed 5,000 people so far, two million more could die of hunger. These populations survived the conflict, and returned at the end of the violence only to be unable to find food, water, toilets, clothes, roofs or shelter, work or school or any public services, and finding in their place villages burned to the ground, health centres looted, roads destroyed, agricultural plantations ravaged and cholera?
This is the plea for help from the churches where people are taking refuge that we have been proclaiming since the beginning of November 2017 on behalf of the Hope coordination, led by Cardinal Mosengwo for the Catholic Church and the Rev. Bokundoa, President of the Protestant Church, to the United Nations, the European Union, France and the entire international community. It is on behalf of this wounded, violated, displaced and abandoned population that we are calling for the urgent organisation of an International Donor Conference.
On 17 November 2016, the International Conference for the Central African Republic raised $2.2 billion. According to the United Nations, the humanitarian funding needs in the DRC for 2018 amount to $1.68 billion. The Congo, whose population is close to 90 million, twenty times more than the CAR and its 4.59 million people, is in great need of the same level of global solidarity.
Without an International Donor Conference, the United Nations humanitarian response plan for 2018 will not be even half funded. At the end of January 2018, it was 2% financed, and the plight of the people of the Congo forgotten by a planet in crisis. Yet, strong humanitarian action can still save millions of lives and give hope for a new future for the Congolese. By adding emergency aid to action for the post-conflict rehabilitation of socio-economic infrastructure, it will be possible to envisage progress towards sustainable development goals in a country of nearly 100 million people, where any progress can have a major impact. This is where the International Donor Conference for the Congo, which we call upon the international community to organise as quickly as possible, should lead us.
The DRC crisis can no longer be neglected: goo.gl/QtAawq
The Commission Electorale Nationale Independante (CENI) of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) announced new timeline for Presidential Elections. This is because the President is still on his third term without an election, as the Constitution only provides him with two terms. President Joseph Kabila should have stepped down 19th December 2016. That has not happen, he is still lingering while enjoying the killings and chaos in Kasai-Oriental and the South-Kivu and North-Kivu provinces. Because he uses that tactic to extend his time and also postpone elections.
Since the CENI dropped a new timeline and calendar for up-coming elections. It proves they have put up plan that schemes of an election in December 2018, while announcing the winner between 9th January 2019 to 19th January 2019. While Presenting the new President between 12h January to 19th January 2019. Therefore, this move is buying Kabila even more time. Not like he has bought himself enough time to spend the whole of 2017 on the throne. This while their been trouble in Beni, Bukavu and Kasai. Not that this has slowed him down or even showed any sort of action that gives faith of any coming election.
He has registered himself for an up-coming election, but Kabila has now done that twice. So that gig is up and people shouldn’t believe it, even if United Nations Envoy for United States Nikki Haley believes it and eats out of his hand. That doesn’t believe others should do so. Because Glencore is earning their profits on the mineral resources of the country. Not that transparency is needed, as long as Kabila and his associates are paid-in-full. This knows the international businesses and mineral industry, they are accepting it and doesn’t care about the human carnage and instability they provide the Republic.
Clearly, Kabila and CENI are working together. As the timeline came, the CENI dropped a paper showing their troubles and needed funds, even as the International Aid came to pay for the General Election of 2016. An election that never happen, but still the funds given has been spoiled by a corrupt group of politicians in Kinshasa. Therefore, don’t expect that Kabila nor any of his loyal cronies wants things to change. They don’t, that is why we are still talking about elections as theory and not acted upon.
I won’t believe elections are about to happen, before the CENI orders ballot papers, announce candidates and gives space to civil society, as the state has arrested activists all-over, they have put politicians into exile and made sure the biggest opposition parties has their headquarters not in Kinshasa, but in Brussels, Belgium. You know something is wrong when the RDC politicians has to seek refugees at their former colonial masters, instead of being in their independent republic.
I don’t trust Kabila to step-down, not because I want to stay in power, but because his self interest and his wealth is based on being the Executive and a President. His wealth and businesses are built within the state and are proxy-state financed. So if he steppes down, he might loses contracts and kick-backs from business agreements and partners. That rather make business with the new guy or party, since they might choose differently, they might even be more transparent and believe in open-government. As the people can see into the contracts and license agreements, between mineral extraction companies and the government.
That is why CENI dropped the timeline now nearly a year on overtime, as Kabila has eaten space and makes him more indispensable, even when he is not. President Joseph Kabila is just using the CENI to his benefit, just like the rest of the state functions. He is eating and creating chaos to suit him… the DRC will not change with him at the helm, it will only be more hurt and more trouble. Kabila will use all tricks and continue to prolong his presidency, even play cat-and-mouse with the international allies. If he has too. Peace.
Well, I am biased, as the President are visiting Dubai for 4th Global Business Forum on Africa on the 2nd November 2017. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is trying to cater to foreign investors. People who he usually cater to at the State House, so he can get favors and Presidential Handshakes. That is why he isn’t bothered with taxes, because the tax-holidays and possible offerings will be huge for the investors who comes in. That is what the National Resistance Movement (NRM) are doing, especially if it is for instance a nations offering the state loan, than the same state can come with state-companies to build infrastructure like Chinese companies coming in after offering loans to the same NRM government. Therefore, just look at what he was saying yesterday, which is weird, but fit a pattern.
“Since you are business people, we must be talking about profits. When you talk of Uganda and Africa, you are talking about peace as an enabling environment; which we have. We have raw materials, and have a population of 40 million people that’s’ a market. And if we talk of integration we have a four tear market” (…) “In Africa, the demand is there and growing because we have been under-consuming while the rest of the world the demand is falling because they have been over consuming” (…) “There are plenty of raw materials, minerals, tourism and so on so when you invest there you have access to all these” (…) “I don’t have to bother investors with taxes, what I want is for them to invest, use our raw materials, create jobs, add value and promote exports” (State House Uganda, 2017).
Well, so the President trying to say to foreign investors, you don’t need to pay taxes for your output, just cater to me. The state you don’t have to bother about, just bother about catering to the State House and me. We will add value and promote exports, we will agreements and make sure you get the value on our resources and low-payed workers.
We know who is the biggest taxpayers in the republic, because of Uganda Revenue Authority own statement in the media on the 31st October 2017, which stated names like Mr. Alnasir Virani Gulam Hussein Habib, Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia, Mohammed Hussain, Nakayima Janat, Karia Minex, Karia Kunnal, Alykhan Hudani and Dayalijil Karan. Who are sounding like foreign investors and they are on the top 25 biggest taxpayers in Uganda. So the state has already connected families from abroad to invest there in various businesses. This shows there are already people who is not worried about taxes, but about the output of their companies.
Some of these investors has made big names, while others have worked more in silence. Still, this shows that the top earners even promoted by URA and Doris Akol. Proves how they are working, as there wasn’t that many own citizens on the list. That shows that the foreign investors must get a special advantage and special agreements at the state house for their dealings. Especially, considering how it has been done, just for tearing down markets in Kampala for own investors and financial agreements. This has been done and arranged from the State House without consultation with locals, neither KCCA or the renters of these markets. That is how the NRM and Museveni do deals in favor of him and if he get ill-gained funds, he will support the “development”. It is in similar fashion he exposes his intent in Dubai.
That the State doesn’t need taxes or need structures to facilitate for foreign investors, they just needs agreements with State House and then it is all fair-game. It is insane, but fits the Modus Operandi of the Musevenism and NRM regime. Give him a Presidential Handshake and you can operate as you want in the Republic. Peace.
State House Uganda – ‘President Museveni woos Arab investors to Uganda “We have the raw materials, human resource and market”’ (02.11.2017) link: https://www.africa-newsroom.com/press/president-museveni-woos-arab-investors-to-uganda-we-have-the-raw-materials-human-resource-and-market?lang=en
“The three arms of government and their sub-branches must have discipline. For example I have been involved in disciplining the army. We should do the same for other sub-branches of government. If the Judiciary is also disciplined in fighting corruption, citizens will lead a good life.” – Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on the 1st October 2017, State House Entebbe.
Its just one of these days that hearing the news and seeing the tweets of the President, makes me laugh and wonder if he listen to himself. He knows his system and has made his garden. The way the government steers and govern is because of his policies, his regulations and his support. It is not like there been other ruling for last 30 years in Uganda. The Republic has been under the control of Museveni and his National Resistance Movement (NRM).
The NRM has suffocated all other free-will and control. Therefore, Ministers, Members of Parliament and others seek guidance and funds directly at the State House in Entebbe. Even foreign investors meet there to make agreements. Everything is nearly sanctioned out there. The Discipline now is more on the narrow-minded government that is run from there. The institutions and the procedures are not so important. Since most things happening is with the words from “above”, meaning the President and his close advisers.
It is not rocket science to know where the benefactor or the reason for lacking structures. That is because government waits for their go sign by the State House, they are waiting for funding of the projects and institutions from the State House. The projects and the works of the State House and under the Prime Ministers Offices are the key organizations within this government. They might say all of the massive cabinet has part to play, but that is the facade.
Therefore, it is ironic for a man so controlling and so disorganized that it gives sometimes way to the unthinkable. Just like the Presidential Handshake, that was sanctioned by the State House, but taken form the wrong account. That was the problem for the President, not that the corrupt behavior was occurring on his watch. Its like he talks against himself. Because he has no problem speaking anti-corruption, but if corruption benefit his cronies – its fine and dandy!
I am not surprised by him at this point of time, its fit his narrative. He says what he expects and wants out of others, but the next day he finds a way to benefit or use the loyalty of his cronies. Not like he would have excepted the UCC not to listen and stop the suspended MPs to hit the airways and be broadcast on TV. He rather being himself on radio and in the spotlight, but will accept anyone else sharing the same space.
President Museveni is the proof of someone saying something noble, but doing opposite. He might say something insane, but act rational. Therefore, you never know where you have him. I will never believe him actually disciplining the government, if doing so. It means they are all blindfolded and following his guidelines. It does not mean building proper governance and protocol, neither is institutionalize the departments and ministries, it is all about his will and his stature.
When it comes to Museveni, discipline is about following him. Not building transparent and proper government institutions. Peace.