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 8, 2010

Kabila's interview

Yesterday, Belgian journalist Colette Braeckmann published an interview with President Kabila in Le Soir. You can read the whole interview here. Here are some excerpts:

Constitutional revision

Kabila said that the "absolute priority" are the elections, and that the revision will come afterwards - this implies that he may postpone his commission on constitutional reform until after the elections, even though he may have been able to push through some of his reforms with a 2/3 vote in parliament. He does say he wants to reform the High Council of Judges (the body that names, promotes and disciplines judges), change the electoral law (his advisors have spoken of changing to one person, winner-takes-all electoral districts) and stop the creation of new provinces (from 11 to 26 provinces).
Mais on n’en est pas encore là ! Je crois qu’ il faudra introduire quelques réformes, principalement dans la loi électorale. Ce qui compte c’est d’aller aux élections, le reste viendra après. A propos de la Constitution, qui date de 2006, il y a quatre ou cinq articles à revoir, à propos du découpage territorial, du Conseil supérieur de la magistrature, mais la priorité absolue, ce sont les prochaines élections, il faut enraciner la démocratie.

Army involvement in mining

After the UN Group of Experts provided ample evidence of army involvement in mining in the Kivus, and after a BBC investigation in the army chief's personal involvement in gold mining, Kabila still says there is no proof of military wrong doing:
C’est à vérifier. Le jour où on les attrapera, ils seront certainement sanctionnés. On accuse les militaires de faire du business, mais il faut en apporter la preuve. Nous avons une armée de plus de 100.000 hommes, déployés sur toute l’étendue du territoire national ; or je n’ai jamais vu aucun rapport accusant les militaires déployés au Katanga, au Bas Congo ou au Kasaï, de faire du business…
"I have always told human rights defenders that I am their best ally"

When asked about Floribert Chebeya's death, Kabila says that it shocked him and that he supported Chebeya's work, even if he had been critical of the president. He also says that journalists should not be afraid, that they need to speak out and be critical.

J’ai toujours dit aux défenseurs des droits de l’homme que j’étais leur premier allié. Je serai toujours là pour les défendre.
Les journalistes aussi ont peur, certains d’entre eux ont été assassinés…
Ils ne doivent pas avoir peur. On a besoin d’eux pour qu’ils dénoncent ce qui ne va pas, et ce que nous ne savons peut-être pas, ni moi, ni mes services de renseignement, ce que peut-être on nous cache…Il est bon de révéler les choses, mais il faut avoir les éléments et pas se baser sur des rumeurs


Rich said...

I'm tempted to call the shot! I saw that coming and I did say here after the death of Tungulu that J Kabila will soon come out of his silence. However, no word was said about the Tungulu case! I thought Collette would ask that because it is still a big talking point in Matonge (Brussels)!! I'm sure she was told not to mention that case if she realy wanted the interview. I'm off to Brussel and whilst I'm there, I will try to find out what people (Congolese diaspora) make of the intervew.

james said...


This interview is interesting for the things it doesn't say. E.g. no follow-up questions on the Chebeya-murder (role of John Numbi, not a word on the rumour that Numbi was at Kabila's farm near Kinshasa when Floribert was being tortured, ...).
Well-informed sources in Kinshasa tell me that the regime wants to change the electoral law, e.g. no more posting of results in local poll booths, so cheating will be made easier.
I also hear that the regime still wants to change the legal terms (two) for a president so Joseph K. can rule forever, elections based on a majority vote instead of proportional vote...

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