Painting by Cheri Samba

Lokuta eyaka na ascenseur, kasi vérité eyei na escalier mpe ekomi. Lies come up in the elevator; the truth takes the stairs but gets here eventually. - Koffi Olomide

Ésthetique eboma vélo. Aesthetics will kill a bicycle. - Felix Wazekwa

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Siasa hiatus

I will be absent from this space for a few days. It's a shame - so much to discuss: Kabila's inauguration, attended by the full diplomatic corps of Kinshasa, along with Robert Mugabe. Hillary Clinton's strong statement on the elections, slamming the Supreme Court's cursory treatment of Kamerhe's dispute. Tshisekedi's increasingly radical statements - arrest Kabila! - juxtaposed with his reluctance to call his supporters out onto the streets. The ongoing controversies over irregularities in the legislative polls, as first results are released (no trends yet, although Moba had some weird results, now posted on the CENI website).

Anyway, happy holidays to all.


andrea.trevisan said...

happy holidays to you and thanks again for your great, open and clear coverage of the elections in DRC. it has really been of unvaluable interest for me.
enjoy your holidays now!

mbelekete said...

sigh - disagree - you got it wrong
happy holidays anyway

Anonymous said...

baktamba says...
shame on you, IF you hate Tshisekedi, at least explain in a few words WHY, and leaving the congolese people NOW with a blog on absence is like leaving a boat whilst sinking with people on ... but maybe, PROBOBLY, for Jason Stearns, it is keeping this blog alive is merely simple work, not dedication to the congolese people, NO "coming from down the belly", no ideology whatsoever. I pray and hope the choice of the people will be respected. The people have choosen a Congolese leader, not and murdering imposter. evh

Anonymous said...

Dear Jason,

You're entitled to your well-deserved rest after doing such a fantastic job. After all, you have a life, a family perharps that you need to care after. By the way, you may have noticed the level of 'addiction' has formed over the months between many Congolese and your blog: it's touching, heart-warming but also melancholic. Even for few days/weeks, many Congolese will feel LONELY. People are desperate, at a loss, for what just happened to their country.

I was chatting the other day with a teen who almost moved me to tears when he lamented that the country'd descended so low, so low, he could see any future here and that he had no choice but escape from this open prison. You know what, he was told two days after he's crossed to Brazzaville, with absolutely no papers to seek a new life there.

People are really desperate (for change), and I hope you could see that for yourself on the ground. Now, I wish the plight of the Congolese not spoil your holiday. But please do remember that you've, unwittingly maybe, created yourself huge responsibilities towards the Congolese: you're probably America's best Congo expert currently alive. And you know the truth about the Congo. And you clearly do have some clout. Please don't forget the Congolese. You're right: what happened is a shame, sheer shame.

This has not been the US, France, Britain..'s finest hour. All of them were keen on letting J Kabila get away with this...They knew what to do; they opted not to. Acting too late as they did will not hide their egregious complicity.

After the festive season's over, I promise I've revert to this blog to pound heavily on Ambassador Meece whom I consider as the key architect of this hold-up. You may be surprise, but I promise I'll prove it.

To finish, I'll steal few words from Tony Gambino: "If this crisis is not successfully resolved, it will not be possible to improve governance in the Congo in meaningful ways. If the present situation is not managed successfully, Congo could descend once again into a deeper humanitarian disaster."

He and you were not listened to by the powerful ones in this planet. Pray for us.


Anonymous said...

You're the greatest reporter i'd never known.
Thanks for your interest in Congo drama.

Anonymous said...

I've never commented on this blog before just to let know that a lot of people in and outside the country follow your blog.

Happy holiday and even do I don't believe in God...GOD BLESS

Anonymous said...

Happy Holidays to Jason and to all who are contributing to Jason's blog. It is indeed a great place to read balanced opinions on the DRC's tragedy,this is not to say that at times there is a "toto" who comes up with a warped posting.Thanks Jason for your work and I will second Bruno's comments in the posting from December 22,2011@12:56am. At this critical time, the DRC needs more people standing for the truth, now more than ever before. Thanks Jason for being one of these people.


Anonymous said...

It sims like the UDPS activists are becoming very active on this blog and JASON STERN is slowly becoming the UDPS chief propagandist. Now on this blog anyone who gives a different opinion is being attacked ,because they think that the entire world must support CHISEKEDI because no one has the right to criticise theire leader

Anonymous said...

@Anon 9:34 am
I do not care about Tshisekedi. What I do care about is people right to choose their leaders through free and fair elections. The issue here is that we don't know who won this election because of CENI incompetence and bias towards J Kabila. I do believe that if we want the DRC to move forward, leaders must accept that they are accountable to their people and therefore they will be voted out if they don't deliver.
Kabila's supporters are in denial about the obvious flaws of the whole eelctoral process: your champion benefited from a massive fraud !!
In the process, J Kabila has lost most of the legitimacy that he inherited in 2006.
Do not blame Tshisekedi for Kabila's failed policies of the past 10 years.

Anonymous said...


Anand said...

Happy Holidays to you and yours Jason.

Does anybody know where to find Clinton's entire statement? What I heard in summary didn't sound all that strong, but I haven't read the whole thing. Thanks.

Happy Holidays to all.

Anonymous said...

Parliamentary vote counting halted. CENI requests "technical assistance" from the international community. More wonders what is going on behind the scenes in Kinshasa? An unexpected development, to say the least.

Anonymous said...

Anyway so much to discused, as you said, you need a breack for your holiday, that's sure. so merry Xmass and Happy New Year 2012. I will keep a closed look in my country and I pray God will fixed what need to be fixed.
Hope to see you soon.

Anonymous said...

the idea that jason is just a shill for the udps is ludicrous. i don't know him, but to judge from what he writes, this seems a ridiculous claim. frankly, i'm not as interested in whether or not these particular elections were flawed (it is, however, intriguing that no one seems to view the elections as a possible competition of fraud, in which kamerhe, kabila, and tshisekedi did what they could above and below board to win) as i am interested in how these elections can serve as a step towards a consolidated democracy. personally, i think that goal -- a consolidated democracy -- is years away, but the question at hand for me is how the current round of elections move the country in that direction.

Anonymous said...

Happy Holidays Jason ! Very grateful for your excellent coverage and hopefully, justice will prevail after all. And to all of you, friends and foes - even those who have chosen to be on the wrong side of history :-) - I wish US the very best for the coming year. Cheers !


Anonymous said...

Baktamba said ...

Since K(abila) isn't a Congolese national he NEVER should have been invested as a president of the DRC. NEVER.
He is and has been no more than a mean killer, a sadic, a coward, an imposter, a thief; he is responsible for the killing of thousands of innocent people, their bodies dumped like waste in the CONGO river and in mass graves. He never cared about Congolese people.
He has to be arrested and judged by the ICC (if this organisation really stands for justice) or by the Congolese people for all of his crimes.

Blessing ourselves and each others these Christmas days is nice but so easy, so neathy, too ...
that today, Tshisekedi may be invested by the them as their President and that this 23rd day of December 2011 may always be remembered as the BIRTHDAY of The Democratic Republic of the Congo.

With a clean heart i humbly wish ALL Congolese people a better and much safer life.

(Btw, i know Tshisekedi won these 2011 elections without cheating. I know his people simply voted massively from out of the belly, for change with him, for as long as the Almighty has given him time to do so)

May the DRC be blessed !
A peaceful heart for all of us !


Tenons bon
Soyons prêt aujourd'hui pour l'ultime sacrifice

Anonymous said...

baktamba said...

Maybe when Jason returns, each of us can visit the copied 'links' and comment and/or thinktank about any suggestion that maybe can help the Congolese people to reach their freedom after too many years of fear and misery.

Merry Christmas and a happy year to come.

Thank you all.

blaise said...

This blog is very interesting and I will invite my fellows Congolese to refrain from ad hominem attacks but instead to bring something on the table. Let's have a civil discussion instead of demonizing whoever doesn't share your point of view.
That say, I don't know if I'm the only one who think that it's to add insult to injury when everybody keep saying that there was irregularities but that doesn't necessary mean...
I think it's more a matter of principle to recognize that if a result is flawed it's unacceptable. It seems to me that we all fail to elevate the debate.
Mr Kabila used tricks to win,mr Tshisekedi used populism, both should be ashamed, the former more than the latter.
Anyway, let's discuss of more grown up ways to help our people to dream again, without relaying to politicians.
Happy new year

Anonymous said...

Lorsque nous interrogeons l’histoire tragique de l’Est de la R.D.C, les témoignages concordants de certains acteurs et témoins de ces massacres parlent d’un certain « commandant Hypo » qui était aux commandes de ces tueries. Qu’est-il devenu, ce « vaillant commandant » ? Où est-il passé ? S’est-il ainsi volatilisé dans la nature sans que personne – même pas les services secrets américains et français, qui sont pourtant les plus efficaces du monde – ne sachent nous dire ce qu’il devenu !
Le peuple Congolais doit se lever comme un seul Homme – en fredonnant les paroles combien profondes de notre cher hymne national – non pour réclamer, mais pour défendre ses droit et faire opposition à toute puissance d’occupation. Chacun, à son niveau et à sa manière a cette noble et sacrée mission.
N’attendons pas le « mot d’ordre d’Etienne TSHISEKEDI » ; personne n’est sans ignorer le piège que lui a tendu le fameuse C.P.I pour l’accuser de tous les maux. Vous n’avez qu’à voir comment les médias occidentaux et certains responsables des partis politiques occidentaux s’étaient emparés de certaines de ses déclarations de campagne pour préparer l’opinion à une hypothétique inculpation.
Etienne TSHISEKEDI a lutté et offert les trente dernières années de sa vie à une lutte pour l’avènement d’un Etat de droit dans notre pays. Le peuple congolais, qui se retrouve dans la lutte de son leader, le lui a bien rendu en votant massivement pour lui. Cette victoire du peuple congolais est en train de lui être volée et tout le monde reste calme, attendant que l’autre fasse quelque chose.
Déjà chapeau aux congolais de la diaspora qui continue un excellent travail : ils ont mis les décideurs occidentaux face à leur hypocrisie et leur double jeu. Le jour où la R.D.C se mettra débout, c’est toute l’Afrique qui se lèvera avec. Les occidentaux le savent et ils redoutent ce jour-là ! Voilà le pourquoi de toutes leurs manœuvres dilatoires tendant à nous maintenir au rang des sous-hommes.
Par ailleurs, appellons à la cohérence et à la coordination de nos actions. A l’exemple des révolutions dans les pays arabes pour qui les vendredis étaient le jour de tous les dangers, nous congolais devons arrêter un jour de la semaine. Jour au cours duquel beaucoup des gens ne travaillent pas ; cela va nous éviter un manque à gagner pour nos familles, mais aussi éviter l’essoufflement de notre élan. Car, si l’occident silencieux, il joue sur le temps et compte sur l’essoufflement de notre mouvement. Prouvons-leur le contraire et montrons que la conscience congolaise s’est réveillée et que rien ne peut l’arrêter.

Anonymous said...

I like what the man did for the last 30 years but we have to realize that some of his past and present positions have nothing to do with justice or democracy. Sometime he is egomaniac and doesn't look at the interest of the people. What he stands for can be subject of debates but from what I know, he made a lot of costly mistakes during Mobutu and the Kabilas.

Anonymous said...

@ Blaise, Can you please give us examples of what you would consider egomaniac behavior, positions that have nothing to do with justice
and democracy and the costly mistakes he made during Mobutu and the Kabilas.Your are saying that"what he stands for can be the subject of a debate", what is he standing for in your eyes? Then again,"you like what the man did for the last 30 years". What are you saying in the end.


Anonymous said...

CHISEKEDI is a irresponsible ,egomaniac,umpatriotic,divisive,tribaliste and very unpredictable politicien and thanks goodness he has been sworn in to run his limite compound but not the DRC.

Anonymous said...

Now the diaspora ignorents are very active on Congo siasa ,i can see the HYPOLITE KANAMBE garbage from Honoré NGBANDA ,poping up all over.may be JASON STERN will convince them to start calling the RAIS his real name (JOSEPH KABILA KABANGE).

blaise said...

@ Bismark,
First, i will thank you for keeping it civil unlike others who will disagree and call you all kinds of names.
To answer your question and clarify my ideas, I will start explain what I always liked about mr Tshisekedi.
For the past 30 years, he, in my eyes, personified the idea of change, the ideal that Congolese people deserve better. He didn't give a free ride to neither Mobutu or the Kabilas.
I will credit him for giving us hope that a better future await us.
But, he made some historical mistakes, in my view :
- didn't capitalize on the CNS's wave: any lawyer will tell you that you just can't take off what you don't like in a contract and sign the rest. (hence the egomaniac attribute). It's good for a theatrical's effect but not a smart move
- lost opportunities to be the consensus candidate in Sun City by his radicalism. A geopolitical's strategist should know who are the king makers and deal with them.
- boycotted the 2006 elections when everybody was weakened. At that time, Kabila was just interested to be president, there was a great occasion to win the legislative hence control not just the Parliament but also a good deal of provinces.
- He showed his hands before winning the game. Politic is a poker game, don't say what you will do, you may frightened an allied.
I'm not against the man, i just think he lost another opportunity to topple mr Kabila. He should have learn from ADO.
What he stands now is subject from debate because, in my opinion, it's not clear what he want beside the ultimate power. that why the west stick with the demon they know compare to the angel they know nothing about.

blaise said...

@ Bismark,
what I meant at the end is simple:
- our politicians showed that they are incapable to grow up and elevate the debate. It's clearly a leadership deficiency.
- it's up to us, the people, to find ways to go forward from here.
- We need to coordinate actions, helps those NGO on the ground like the red cross(contributions), document abuses(full flesh website with date ,testimonies, real proofs,etc)
- We need to devise strategies to defeat those people.
I didn't see a coordinate campaign online yet.
We think we are all that but reality shows that we are last now. We need to act... We need to start discussing how we can change that society. Not by means of arms but with our might and craft.
That's all I meant, that why I'm mad of Tshisekedi and Udps. We need actions that will actually hurt them not the people like those ville mortes.

Anonymous said...

@ Blaise, thank you for your detailed reply to my questions. I am happy and appreciative of the fact that we can exchange with civility at this level as I believe that people with no arguments are the ones resorting to hateful name calling, insults…, because in the end, that is the only thing they can do. I can understand the frustrations that one can feel with ET’s fight. You have raised some legitimate points in your reply. ET as a human being has made mistakes like we all do in our lives, he himself said so and apologies for them in a letter addressed to the DRC citizens and read by Mr. Albert Moleka before the elections.
That said, the Congolese politician with a few exceptions (minority), is a twisted beast, he is about extreme greed, corruption, incompetence, lies, fraud and is a coward; he has no loyalty to ideals and can not be relied upon, he has no principles besides feeding his fat belly. Someone might say aren’t all politicians the same, to this I would reply that it is a question of degrees; our politicians are in a class by themselves. As an example in 2006, how can one explain MLC’s inability to vote for one of its own for the governorship in Kinshasa while it had the majority of the elected representatives for Kinshasa’s local parliament? You yourself said that “they are incapable to grow up and elevate the debate. It is clearly a leadership deficiency”. Operating as a principled political actor in this cesspool of back stabbing, lying, unreliable politicians over many years can be challenging for anyone even for ET.
I also believe that given the different reports on the nature of the November 28 elections, the results would have been the same no matter what strategy ET and his allies would have put in place. It is clear that the people who organized these elections were bent on putting in place a massive fraud for #3. They got caught by the vigilance of the DRC citizens, the Catholic Church and the West. It is so funny now that the same incompetent, corrupt people who claimed that the elections were OK at the presidential level are now calling for help from the West to clear up the mess they have created. They now want help to get to the right results for the legislative balloting, how about the presidential? The presidential and legislative voting were held in the same voting station and at the same time and supervised by the same Ceni operators, but for some reason or some magic, these same Ceni operators did a good job only for the presidential election results not the legislative. It is a disgrace, an insult to all thinking and non thinking DRC citizens, their friends in the West and all over the world. I can understand your frustrations with ET but I am more frustrated by the results of almost 15 years of rule by the AFDL and its descendants. These people were welcomed by the DRC citizens and were supposed to be bring about an improvement over the last 15 years of Mobutu‘s rule. They have failed brilliantly. Thanks again.


blaise said...

@ Bismark
You got a point, as a human being and in extraordinary conditions, ET did what he had to do. I was just expecting more from him and I still believe he didn't deliver. He put more populism than reason when he tried to stop the train-
For the AFDL, I honestly didn't have a lot of hope. Nothing good ever came from an army of occupation and the dismantlement of the defeated army. Check Machiavelli for reference.

Anonymous said...

@ Blaise , I respect your opinion and conclusion, I still believe that it was basically not possible for ET or anyone else for that matter to win or ”Stop the train” as you say it,
given the level of intentional fraud and chaos created by JK and his cronies during these past elections. There are things though that give me hope and I believe that ET has contributed to in some major way, the elevated political awareness of the Congolese people for example is one, seeing DRC citizens standing up for their rights in the DRC and in the Diaspora is another. Congolese have expressed in strong terms the need for a radical change of leadership and orientation in their country, some have lost their lives, killed by JK’s repression apparatus, some have stopped rush hour traffic on a very important bridge in Montreal/Canada, just to make the world aware of the DRC’s tragedy. This increased consciousness of the DRC citizens might be what is needed to finally “stop the train”. Based on the non transparent (flawed, fraudulent) Ceni results, the citizens of the DRC won 52% to 48%, JK is in the minority. I will agree with you when you say that,”it is up to us, the people, to move forward from here” because only the Congolese people can free themselves from this nightmare.


Anonymous said...

When interviewed by CNN Christiane Amanpur about Rwanda's exploitation of Congolese ressources Paul Kagame answered "Where are the Congolese?". This wake up call, though it came from the least expected source, should sound an alarm in all of us. Do the military deals that Kinshasa cut with Kigali and Kampala benefit Congo's vital interests and its popluation?

One can extrapolate this question and ask " How the actions of ten years of Kabila's tenure have shaped the emergence of peaceful, prosperous and democratic Congo?"

Congo comes at the bottom of international rankings in relation to human rights, human development and good governance. One is therefore tempted to believ that there is something wrong with Congo's leadership. The results released by the CENI in relation to the recent presidential elections reveal that the absolute majority of Congolese beleive that the current leadership is inadequate. This same view is shared by Kagame; in fact, "Where are the Congolese?" suggests that the current Congolese leaders are not up to the task.

Since the views of the minority of Congolese who believe in the incubemt leader needs to be respected, let's wait and see what five more years of the same will produce.

Anonymous said...

i think tshisekedi missed the boat in 2006. i don't remember if it was palmares or phare or potentiel that published a cartoon in 2007 depicting him as missing the train, but that really was the result of that boycott.

i'm curious as to what readers make of his call for prison breaks in november, but this strikes me as an example of being irresponsible. as to egomania, i think anyone running for presidency already possesses of bit of that by the very fact of thinking he or she should be in charge.

i've pasted bbc's reporting from 7 november:

Threats made by Democratic Republic of Congo opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi could amount to treason, the government has said.

Mr Tshisekedi said that he considered himself president and called on the authorities to free his supporters arrested during recent protests.

He urged people to organise jail breaks if they were not freed by Tuesday.

Rights groups in DR Congo have warned of a deteriorating security situation ahead of elections on 28 November.

It will be the second poll since the end of a brutal five-year war which drew in neighbouring countries. Mr Tshisekedi boycotted the 2006 election, saying it had been rigged.

During the live telephone interview broadcast on the pro-opposition RLTV station on Sunday evening, Mr Tshisekedi, 78, said that for the rest of the electoral process the authorities should report to him as "the majority of the people are with me".

"I'm giving a 48-hour deadline for all opposition prisoners to be released. Past that deadline, I will ask the population to attack prisons and free them, and as president, I'm ordering prison guards not to resist," he said.

blaise said...

@ Bismark,
I had a funny idea about the 52% and one picture with a lady proudly holding her 48.9 % paper to support mr Kabila. It's will be interesting to see people proclaming:" we are the 52%" like in the occupy
In a more serious note, I had a thought about one of Udps problem : how do you stay relevant? I think they should find a way to have a impact in people life like the Hamas and the Hezbollah do. I'm not talking about suicide bombers but the social aspect. They need first a network of donors, a clear social plan and a strong network of benevolent. Why I said that?
Watch this video:
you will notice how different we are from our Zambian's neighbors.
In order to start change, one has to have the power to move people. The Arab spring succeeded because the middle class could afford to paralyze those countries for weeks. You have to strike well it's hurt : the purse.
In order to get there, you have to be strong enough to do what the state doesn't do and make clear it's you not them.
Is it impossible to do? Not really. Is it hard to do? most definitively. It will take organisation and a real plan to get there.
Dr Kashala could have been the man, in my view, if he could have start from scratch like that.
Beside, it's a little naive from the Udps to think that the power will be handle to them. Tshitshi recognized that he need imperium in order to assume power. Did he strike a deal with the cndp,rwandan, uganda,angola and Congo? I doubt it. He should have done so, I think.

Anonymous said...


The Hezbollas & Hamas benevolent network is supported by immensely wealthy countries who have geopolitic and religious reasons to do so. Kabila is supported by China who also has good reason. UDPS will never have that kind of money.

With his stupid 2006 decision, Tshisekedi deprived of means of action/expression a whole generation of serious UDPS politicians bred on the gains of the conférence Nationale. He has been acting really funny for some time now, and you can be sure he did nothing to organise his succession. The five years since then his main occupation seems to have been not to share his legitimity with anyone. Who would support a spinla cordless UDPS at the risk of a direct confrontation with China ? Not the USA nor Europe, I'm afraid.

blaise said...

You partially right about those movements, what I really meant was that it's possible to start some where as far as having support. It doesn't take a lot to please people who don't have much. It's about strategies and organization. A grassroots movement start with benevolent people.
It's true the man made some mistakes. He had to live with it.

Anonymous said...

Bismark to @Blaise.

Happy New Year to you, your loved ones and to all who post their positive ideas on this blog. I am going back to your posting from December 31, 2011 / 4:44.

I believe that the UDPS is still very relevant and has already had a deep impact on the people of the DRC as for generations; it and other true opposition figures have been associated with the fight for change, in the consciousness of the citizens of the DRC. Everything that is done by UDPS is done by benevolent people who contribute their time and little money to the cause of change.
I believe that the heightened degree of consciousness of the DRC's tragedy found in the Congolese at home and in the Diaspora is due in good part to the work of the opposition over the years and to the blatant incompetence of the ones ruling the country for the past almost 15 years.
I would agree with you on the idea of affecting social change like the two Palestinian entities you mentioned. This proposition will be difficult to achieve as it is linked to money .I will use the reason that Anonymous from December 31,2011 6:31pm has given “ Hezbollah & Hams benevolent network is supported by immensely wealthy countries who have geopolitical and religious reasons to do so, Kabila is supported by
China who also has good reason. UDPS will never have that kind of money” to explain the difficulties of putting in place your suggestion. In the recent history of political parties in the DRC, it is sad to say that , only the ones who are in power have the money (AFDL,PPRD,MSR,…now PALU who used to be a pauper) since they are helping themselves in the coffers of the state. Once out of power they no longer have money (MPR for example). We are indeed different from Zambians as we have a different colonial history, they have inherited to some degree the discipline and order of the British (check most former British colonies in Africa, there is some order) as we have inherited from Belgium a mentality set that is at times not very helpful just like the one you find in Belgium between the “Walloons and Flemish”. This might be a cliché.
The idea of hurting the purse in order to affect change is good but whose purse are we talking about? Foreign money and foreign NGOs are doing a lot of the work that JK and his government should be doing thus bailing them out. It is this foreign money and the work of the NGOs, if pulled back that could affect these cheaters(do not forget that there is a parallel JK government(real power broker)based at the presidential palace that makes deals in the name of the country and that has access to money that the “main – Muzito” government doest not see.. how do you hurt the purse of such shadow entity) As far as striking a deal with the groups and countries you mentioned, what kind of deal and also what kind of deal do these entities actually have with JK? How to improve on them? Your idea is a good idea if one has the monetary means to achieve it, I still believe that even if the opposition had done what you are suggesting they would still have lost these elections for the simple reason that JK and his cronies were never going to accept a defeat at the ballots. They ran these elections and put in place what was necessary not to loose, a massive fraud that smells so bad that even their own supporters in the west and Africa are having a hard time to openly embrace them for fear of being contaminated by the stench. There is nothing in my humble opinion that the opposition could have done given the fact that the whole process was in the hands of bunch of unscrupulous bandits bent on committing a shameful electoral hold up. Bismark….

blaise said...

@ Bismark,
I agree that the idea is far stretched but I'm still convinced that it's feasible. When you have a group of dedicated people and a clear plan, anything is possible. The key is to convince people about your vision and stay true to it.
Like a business plan, you have to come up with hard numbers : review the situation, identify the problems, develop strategies to reach your goal.
One have to determine what will be the short, medium and long term milestones to reach.
Everybody has a weakness, you should find it and exploit it.
The outcome will have been different? I believe so. I don't think the opposition did a great job weakened the apparatus. I don't see any strategy develop now.
They are cheaters? Of course they are. Why didn't they see that coming? They had five years to learn what happened to Bemba in order to device strategies.
Again, everything is about preparation and anticipation. The opposition lacked both.
Money problem? Not an issue. Know where to knock and keep everything transparent. People give when they know the money is going for their cause. Hezbollah and hamas(shia) are principally supported by Iran, al quaeda is financed by very wealthy people. But you got the idea, people has to know that your cause is their cause in order to support you. Money is less an issue than organisation(networking). That what I'm talking about.
If you read the latest rapport of the UN, you will realize that as Syria,it's fear and greed that got Kabila his support. The question now is how did one address those delicate questions in his advantage. Like one say, States don't have friends but interests. How did the opposition turn the table in their advantage knowing that all those armed group who had the real power were keen on supporting the incubent.(not because they like him but because they didn't know the opposition).
To summarize my long point,lol, there was a lack of organization from the Udps and ally. Politic cost money, one has to make friends to get there. Without organization and strategies, you won't go nowhere.
I hate to say that I liked Laurent Kabila for his swagger although he miss an opportunity to channel the goodwill congolese poor toward him. He didn't capitalize the momentum. It's true also for Tshisekedi, i believe.

blaise said...

take a look of this:

Anonymous said...

Bismark said @ Blaise

I believe that the fight in the DRC is fundamentally a fight for justice, truth, the principles of democracy and the rule of law which can lead to the development of the DRC as a strong nation, how to achieve these goals? I am pretty sure that there are several ways, elections, military or civilian “coup d’etat”…. I have a problem when you seem to be putting the failure or inability of the opposition to bring about change in the DRC squarely on its shoulders. “I don't think the opposition did a great job weakened the apparatus” you said, can you please give me an example of what the opposition could have done to weaken this apparatus. A disguised dictatorship does not respond well to contradictions as an example during the past elections, marches were organized several times by the opposition for access to the CENI server with no luck but people were killed in the process by JK forces. I believe that the weakening of this apparatus was already done over the years by the incompetence of the apparatus itself as people everywhere wanted change and still want fundamental changes in how the DRC is ran(not by hoodlums). Thanks for the book you recommended, I did not get the chance to go through it but it seems to be about the effectiveness of civil resistance and the tactics and strategies that could help to make it more effective. I believe that civil resistance has already been going on in the DRC for several years with some success. I am going to beg to differ when you say that money problem is not an issue, you can have the best business plan in the world but with no money it is not going to go anywhere ask the small business people who are having difficulties going anywhere with their business plans because of lack of funds. The opposition did not learn from Bemba’s problem and design strategies to be better prepared this time around, you said. The balloting was changed from two rounds to one by JK’s buying off the representative votes in the majority in the parliament, could the opposition have prevented that? I think not. I’m pretty sure that there are some things that the opposition could have done better.To put the blame solely on the shoulders of the opposition for not achieving the removal of the cloaked dictatorship in the DRC is not to consider the fact that JK and his cronies rigged the playing field to their advantage which is basically cheating(that’s ugly an low by any standard). They were the ones who built the playing field. This whole exercise was like going to a football match between team A and team B where the referee is already bought by team B, team A might score several legal goals but because of the corrupt referee, these goals would be disallowed to assure the win for team B. Team A will never win in a ball game of this nature even after filing a complaint with the football association that is already in the “coup”, the results will stand. It is not because team A did not perform well on the pitch that it lost the game but it is because of a concerted effort between B, the referee and the football association to change the rules and the game itself to the advantage of team B. Can you please tell me what team A should have done from the get go????? Bismark…………………….

blaise said...

Hands up, I probably was too arch with the opposition. My excuse is " I had a lot of hope in their ability to take us in another level"
That said, i still believe that there was a lot of opportunities to bring take the house down. I will explain in a minute.
When i said money wasn't an issue I meant that with organization and discipline, one can find that elusive money. You have to have a clear message and been able to galvanize your troops. Did Udps used his network efficiently? I can't tell. I'm convince that money was out there. Congo as more friends than enemies.
for the opportunities, it's started with the 2006 sidelining. It continue with all those radical positions and decisions.
I don't hear a lot about taking things to the justice system.

blaise said...

Sorry for the typo, I was half awake,lol. To elaborate more in my conviction, I understand that there is a lot of sharks in Congolese's waters. Nevertheless, I'm still convince that a statesman should know how to survive in troubled water. I'm not talking about compromising your ideal, I'm talking about alliances. One has to position himself as the channel of all the frustrations. That where I blame the opposition.
I read somewhere that there is two principal ways to get power : by the gun or from the ballot. The former is faster than the latter.
To win an election, one has to have some kind of supports. According to a study, the push from change and more freedom come from an emerging middle class that need more liberties in order to enjoy their new acquire wealth.
Were the conditions favorable for Udps alone to win? not necessary. they wanted to go solo. It's revealing to listen to one comment an opposition politician from Boshab's circumscription had after been defeated: he was bitter because not only the opposition came without unity but more they undermined each other.
Like i said before, the opposition should have look at the bigger picture: put their men in position. The focus was so much in the presidential instead of the legislative. It was a 50-50 chance to win after the plain field was change. As the count show, it's easier to cheat in the presidential than it is in the legislative. It's hard to prove that Kabila cheated in mwene ditu but it's fairly easy to say that there is no way bikindu won the seat for that district.
Why the legislative so important? that where the power is. that where the kingship will happened. Why do you think Kabila was eager to have the power to name those governors again? Julius Cesar said once :" I rather be first in my village than second in Rome".
What I blame the opposition, particularly Udps, is that they put most of their effort to have Tshisekedi elected. They could have coordinate efforts and assess their strengths and weaknesses. They could have divide the country by sectors and be behind anyone who could have challenge the UMP. They needed a super majority to govern. They could have made the regime even weaker.
Yes, Kabila would have cheated anyway but I believe that a stronger challenge would have prevent him from appeared so daring as he his today.
Remember that he compromised in Sun city because he was weak. Even today, he doesn't control most of the country. So imagine if the opposition had a strategy and organisation to topple him. The guy has mortal enemies, people who won't even take his money.
The opposition should have mount an array of attacks: bring up law suits, challenge any UMP candidate, try to divide them, etc.

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Anonymous said...

@Blaise: UMP is a french political probably meant MP (Majorite Presidentielle). Your analysis is ignoring the fact that the DRC political/judicial system is deeply flawed and that most power is concentrated on the president hands. Congolese parliamentarians are mostly driven by money and privileges and I am not sure that newly UDPS members of parliament will be any different.
Your analysis is right only in system where most participants play by clearly defined rules and respect those rules: this is not the case in the DRC.
What puzzles me is that a 40-year-old incumbent can fraudulently use state funds and infrastructure to keep himself in power with the Western democracies tacit approval.

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