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

Friday, November 18, 2011


In response to press statements that were issued today citing my blog, as well as suggestions by other analysts, it is important to clarify that I am not predicting a winner in the election. Nor was my analysis commissioned by a political party.

I have not endorsed a candidate. My analysis merely intended to highlight possible trends and voting patterns. Given the lack of reliable polling, and the size and the diversity of the Congolese population, any analyses will inevitably delve into some speculation. I do, however, think that the race will be close.


Anand said...

Not sure how anyone who read what you wrote would think you were making a prediction. There's a bolded section at the end where you just say the race will be close, and that's it. Anyway, I read an article today on VOA which said, "Tshisekedi said he 'did not ask the people to take up weapons' but was calling instead for 'mobilization,' which he said should be done peacefully." But that directly contradicts his statement, "And if unfortunately, police officers and other soldiers come to bother them, then they should be taught a lesson. And if they flee to the camps they should be hunted all the way out there and followed to their camp where they will receive a good punishment even in front of their family!" there some political angle to this? I've heard a lot of theorizing, but the inconsistency is in his comments is quite staggering. At a glance, it just seems like he is sort of losing his composure, trying to back out of statements with doublespeak.

Mbika said...

Anand, how about the salsa of last saturday (Nov 26, 2011). Tshisekedi's plane is forbidden to land, the meetings are cancelled on the day as ordered by another candidate (the incumbent), the electorate material is found all over the place and in the open without the president of the CENI (number3 candidate's cousin) being able to provide any convincing explanation. The bloggers who have read your rant and rave would be happily informed about your take on this situation...

Anand said...

Hi Mbika. Thanks for replying. Your points about the enormous inconsistency in election proceedings, the issues of cancelled rallies, premarked election materials, potential fraud, etc are all duly noted. Please don't think I am trying to take sides on the election. Not at all. I am not expressing pro Kabila (or any candidate) views. I am relatively new to following the DRC and had an image of Tshisekedi as a more moderate and tempered voice in Congolese politics. I did find some of his pre election rhetoric a bit alarming and inconsistent, especially when compared to his projected image. I am still learning about him and Congolese politicians in general, but some of his statements in the last couple of weeks seem dangerous to me given the current level of tension. Again, I am not defending any other politicians or completely disregarding Tshisekedi. Rhetoric is incredibly powerful as we've seen in the last 20 years of Central African politics. Tshisekedi's comments were all over the news, so I commented on them. He seems to be a pretty polarizing figure based on the opinions I've read on this blog. Some people have no use for him and some support him very strongly. I am interested to see how all of this works out in the vote. Do you have a perspective that could help me learn more? I would love to hear your thoughts. I don't know if you are in Congo, but if you are I wish you safety and hope the elections bear the fruit of positive advancement.

Mbika said...

Thank Anand! That's OK, glad that we can respectfully argue, I appreciate. As it is for any strong figure, he (Tshi) is polarizing; but I invite to learn more about his struggle for a fair Congolese society and you'll have a very different appreciation of him. If you are really interested, you have to engage in that effort by yourself...
Concerning the presidential election (of today), I can tell you that based on my knowledge of the Congolese society and the follow up of the campaign, it is mathematically impossible for the incumbent president to win. It is therefore extremely astonishing to hear the claims of "Kabila is the favorite" by the international medias, based on the fact that there more than one (opposition) candidate. It is a myth! I have simulated the process using percentages very similar to those proposed by Jason, and I was amazed to find out that no scenario could lead to a victory of Kabila; it is actually understandable!
There are many inconsistencies related to the 2006 election, especially in the eastern provinces where there were turnouts of 105% and a vote of 98% for one person. Any person who has some notions of statistics would laugh at that. No time to dive in that; however, the important thing is that, Kabila has dramatically dropped there and will be seriiously challenged by Kamerhe in S.K and Mbusa in the N.K. He has no place where he can be a big winner since he will be challenged by Tshi in Katanga (4 million) where he will top the others. The only other place where he'll top the others is Maniema (0.9 million). Only people with big wins in about 3 provinces and maintining acceptable points elsewhere can come first in this election.
Tshi was not candidate in 2006 and Kamerhe will esentially steal from Kabila electorate. The previous Bemba electorate will go to Tshi.
Tshi is ensured to win big in the two Kasai (2x2.6 million), Kinshasa (3 milliion), Bas-Congo (1.9 million); he will top Kengo and Nzanga in Equateur (4 million) and will be competitive in Orientale (4 million) thanks to the Ituri district. He will win Bandundu by not big margin.
Kengo as a candidate doesn't weigh.

So here is the review:

Kabila big wins: Maniema is balanced by Tshi's win in Bas-Congo; Katanga is balanced by the two Kasais. He will be seriously attacked in Kivus by Kamerhe and Mbusa where he has no chance of leading this time; indeed, the artisans of his Kivus' wins in 2006 are Mbusa and Kamerhe. The Kivus are not a natural base for him. No more reservoir!

Tshi has reservoir in Equateur, Kinshasa; small reservoir in Bandundu.

Kamerhe is not very competitive where Tshi is leading.

Kengo is not competitive at all.

I have run numerous simulations by modifying both the shares of the electorate by the different candidates, and the turnout; and the best I found for Kabila was (without rigging):

Kabila: 30 %
Kamerhe: 9%
Tshi: 43%

I am quite confident with the tool that I am using for the predictions!

Anand said...

Mbika - Thanks for the detailed election predictions. I didn't know, for example, that Kamerhe was central to Kabila's success in the Kivus in 2006. Interesting analysis. Sounds like you've put a lot of work into building your tool. I guess we'll see how things turn out in a few days. It is hard for me to say how sound the results will be though, given that violence and intimidation tactics are already occuring. And the reports of fraud and lack of access to the polling stations is alarming as well. Here's hoping for the best.

Mbika said...

I agree Anand, that violence, intimidation and other tactics could modify the result. All I wanted to show was that many people in the media either do not know what they are talking about, or simply are trying to influence the vote by handing a cover to the already prepared manipulations by candidate number 3. Indeed, this candidate knows that he cannot win and all the violence reported today (which we will later found came essentially from his camp) is needed for two reasons:

1. Implement the rigging strategy, which he knows is now very difficult to affect the result in his advantage, because the operations must be done manually. It would have been easier if the election process was electronic.

2. He is building a pretext for rejecting the result in case the rigging doesn't (positively view by him) affect the result.

His biggest mistake that he realized now (or sometimes before the campaign):

1. Getting rid of Kamerhe

2. Modifying the electoral process to one turn.

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