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

Monday, December 5, 2011

Op-Ed: Stability vs. transparency

The following is an opinion piece I published in the Guardian today. More tomorrow on the tense situation in Kinshasa and the imminent announcement of election results.

Tens of millions of Congolese went to the polls last Monday. It was an emotional day: women with infants strapped to their back waited for hours in the sun, while elsewhere old men hobbled through knee-deep water to cast their ballots. And yet, as the country heads towards a post-election crisis, western diplomats seem ready to see the voters' verdict sacrificed for a misguided notion of stability.

These elections, the second since the end of a bloody civil war, have been mired in controversy for the past year. In January, President Joseph Kabila's party orchestrated a change in the constitution, getting rid of a runoff round of polls for the presidency. This effectively pitted opposition candidates against each other, improving Kabila's chances. The election law was also changed, allowing the ruling coalition to appoint the head of the election commission. Nonetheless, the incumbent has faced stiff competition, especially from firebrand opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi, who has been able to attract crowds of over 100,000 people. There has been no reliable polling, but preliminary results from voting stations suggest that the race is tight, meaning even minor rigging could be a game-changer.

Then, election day came with a crescendo of controversy. While most of the country voted peacefully, there were hundreds of incidents small and large. In the central Kasai provinces, dozens of polling stations had to close or were burned down by mobs following allegations of fraud. In the east, soldiers in Masisi territory forced voters in dozens of villages to vote for their candidate, in one case tying up voters and taking their ID cards to vote for them. In the western city of Mbandaka, the provincial governor chased opposition witnesses out of his polling station and then spent almost an hour inside before leaving.

Election results are now being compiled, with official tallies showing Kabila leading by a hefty margin. But these figures are again hotly contested, not least because the election commission has not disaggregated the results by polling station, so they can be crosschecked with those of independent observers. Opposition parties, which had officials in most polling stations countrywide, say they have proof the tallies are false. This is the basic bind the country is in: with the credibility of the election commission tarnished, neither of the main contenders will accept defeat. Tshisekedi had declared himself the winner, while Kabila's campaign has said it can't lose.

The sad truth is that it is no longer a question of whether there will be a crisis tomorrow, when official results are supposed to be announced; the question is how bad it will be. Kinshasa is simmering with rumours and anger, while police and presidential guards have been deployed in force throughout town. If Kabila is announced the winner, there will be urban unrest. If Tshisekedi perseveres, army officers in various parts of the country have threatened violence.

In the face of this predicament, the reaction of senior diplomats has been half-hearted. In a closed-door meeting of the UN security council on Friday, some European countries voiced concern at the irregularities, but the body was too divided to take a strong stance. Only one ambassador took part in the meeting; others were too busy working on Syria and Egypt. According to sources present at the meeting, the council thinks it will be difficult to know how much fraud took place and whether it affected the outcome. The priority is to prevent the UN from becoming an arbiter and to ensure stability. The fact that ambassadors find Tshisekedi an unsavoury leader does not help matters.

Their analysis and priorities are ill-founded. The Democratic Republic of the Congo has suffered from violence for the past 15 years, often due to unaccountable leadership. Looking the other way as polls are rigged will hardly make the country more stable. It is also not true that we may never get to the bottom of electoral fraud. There are around 40,000 Congolese observers from churches and civil society monitoring the polls, alongside several hundred foreigners. The election commission must urgently publish poll results in a disaggregated form, so observers can verify them. Polls should then be held again in the many places where they were cancelled, and allegations of fraud jointly investigated with international observers.

We are entering a critical period in Congolese history. Foreign countries, which provide over $3bn in aid a year to Congo, have a heavy responsibility to allow the Congolese decide their own fate. They should not shirk it.


Anonymous said...

hi Jason, there has been a belgian politcian (maria arena, socialist party) qualifying as "minor irregularities" the fraud and violence during the elections. If in Belgium ONE person would be shot during the elections, the country comes to a halt and there would be extremely harsh judgements. My point is, the foreign countries are hypocritical and merely advancing their agendas and are not looking out for "electoral justice". I totally agree with you, let's analyse the results. It is so sadening for the congo, and violence has allready erupted in brussels, 15 years of misery, war, corruption is enough. When will those western powers and UN understand that???

Anonymous said...

JASON you have no business in Congo,the CONGOLES peoples don't want your help because we all know who you work are the enemy of Congo who have made a lot of money from that country 's trouble and you don't want peace in Congo because with a stable and peaceful Congo you will have a lot to loose.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jason,

Aside from Army officers threatening violence if Kabila doesn't win, do you know how Kabila's home province of Katanga would react?


Nkunda said...


Thank you for this thoughtful and, I would say, morally indicting piece.

Those who are dismissing that the DRC stalemate evokes Rwanda prior to 1994 genocide, are refusing to recognize the reality as it is. The very existence of xenophobic propaganda is quite an acknowledged fact of life. And now, it is becoming clear that violence is inevitable as well. The two elements combined, always have the potential for genocide.

The other question to ask is, how does the DRC affect regional politics? If a fresh wave of violence emerged again, how and what would the region look like? It seems Burundi still hosts a good number of armed rebellions, some of them with an external focus. Moreover, the DRC is surrounded, to a large extent, by a collective of despotic regimes (Rwanda, Burundi, Angola, Republic of Congo, CAR.

Curiously, what is South Africa's position in this stalemate. As it seems, often our focus on the west tends to obscure the fact that South Africa is a big player in African politics--they sell a considerable cache of arms as well.

Is this an end to the many efforts of peace in DRC? Have we reached the point of no return?

Again, thank you for this excellent reflection.

Anand said...

Jason - I just watched a long C-SPAN video from some months back featuring James Entwistle, US ambassador to the DRC. Wow. In light of everything that's openly transpired over the past few months, I was floored by the sureness and optimism he declared regarding the success of the coming elections. In terms of logistical support, international observation, funding, etc., he just went down the list, justifying US and western under-participation in all of the above. Any idea what his position is now?

Anonymous said...

Dear Jason,

This is one of the best analyses I have read about the current situation in DRC.

You have just demonstrated that there is a way out of the Congolese crisis. Unfortunately, the western stance of stability has a hidden agenda: mining contracts.

It is immoral to deny Congolese their voice for imperialistic purpose. My fear is that this approach may radicalise the Congolese population to the extent of becoming hostile to foreigners. The fact that Congolese have stopped dancing Ndombolo to become politically conscious, should ring a bell. They are no longer as stupid as western countries still think they are. They will therefore fight for their votes at all cost.

Many Thanks,

Muana Congo

Rich said...

If you are a fan of excel spread sheet the link below maybe of interest to you...

If you are interested in the file attached in the link then take it quick since the link will be destroyed anytime after this post...

In other news, the head of MONUSCO has been in talks with both J Kabila and e tshisekedi and it is said that they both said they are going to respect the results of the election (not too sure if they are talking about the CENI results though!). I guess we chall wait and see.

@ Jason, just to add that as we say it is wrong for J kabila to rig the elections and stay in power, I can say it is also wrong for the opposition to highjack these elections to claim something it does not deserve. I say this because the INTENT to take power from outside the elections was shown well before the elections and that is not fair on Congolese...

Here is the link:


Pierre said...

From the Excel spreadsheet shared by Rich, it looks like Kengo and Kamerhe together have about 11% right now. This is a bit less than Kabila's official lead for now, but if they stay in that range after all polling stations are combined, I wonder whether these votes will make the difference. In that case, the January electoral law reform will have worked out for Kabila, and the failure of the opposition to unite will have cost them dearly.

Rich said...

CENI has now published the 4th batch of compiled results making it to 67.65% of results compiled so far... One important thing to note is that Kinshasa now has almost 71% of compiled results and J Kabila is still overall in the lead ...

It is difficult to see where else tshisekedi can get the votes he needs to catch up with J Kabila. Kinshasa was his ultimate chance to do so but here again he has failed to win J Kabila by a significant margin like he did in the two Kasais and the remaining non compiled results from what should be his strong hold are simply not significant to change the current trend of results...

You can get the complete report from radion okapi and if you feel like it you can simply plug these results in the spreadsheet I provided to get a most up to date figure on the compiled results. This tool will also be usefull not only to cross check with the figures from independant observers or indeed for the next elections...

I know there are irregularities but looking at the numbers I will be very surprised if they do not match the disaggregated figures from independant observers...


George said...

Jason, your post is great and captures the reality. The Electoral Commission is set up to rig these elections. The Commission's president Ngoy Mulunda is so close to Kabila that it's extremely difficult to differentiate the two of them. Mulunda will never publish disaggregated polling results, as he has never allowed independent observers to look into the electoral file to dismiss the accusation that minor children, service men and dead people were enrolled. The International Community thinks that keeping quiet is the way-forward, but in fact it is the dead end, because the people are now angry and will serve as new recruits for militia that have started dusting off the AK47 to back back in business. The over 3bn$ international community money will soon all be lost as the country will return to war.

Tony said...


I completely agree with you.

Jason's analysis is what we call in French "langue de bois". It adapts the reality to support a scheme of thinking. A scheme that is dominated by the idea that the DRC must be "saved from the outside" by the West under the leadership of the USA.

Since the deep economic and political crisis that is hitting the USA and Europe, this type of calls is becoming little by little anachronic and dangerous since they raise tensions on a worldscale between the BRICS and the West.

View the immens responsibilty of the USA in the problems it created since the 60's in the DRC, it is also hypocritical or in the best case naive. It is as calling an arsonist to behave as "a heroic firebrigade".

The following weeks we will see if this scheme will prevail and the West takes advantage of the irresponsible agitation by Tshisekedi and his sect to weaken the Congoles government and to impose a government of national unity.

Or if the Congolese people will impose their democratic will and defend their unity and sovereignity by refusing to follow the hysterical insurection-calls by udps and Tshisekedi and by in stead sticking to common sense and the law of their sovereign country.

Anonymous said...

Jason made a good analysis; and as always rich has come to the rescue of Joseph and co with something that does not stand. I am a congolese and I know quite well what Tshisekedi and Kabila are capable of. The first one is able to instill a sens of accountability while the second one is not able.

you should remember that we know who is responsible for the rape and massacre of people in the East of the DRC. And you and those people are making sure that Kabila remains in power.

Anonymous said...

The chaotic character that this elections has demonstrated and beyond the critics and appeals, I suggest that we can also propose some possible solutions freely.
I think and this is only my opinion but each of us can feed the idea.
Here is my proposal in the concern for peace, national unity and non-violence:
1. The recognition by all (opposition MP) of the chaotic nature of these elections.
2. The need for a political agreement for a small transition (six months to a year) with the primary missions: The new and truly transparent and credible elections and the consolidation of peace and national security.
3. The need for a rotating presidency (MP-Opposition) during the transition ie during the first half of the transition; Kabila: President, Tshisekedi: Vice-President and in the second half of the transition; Tshisekedi: President Kabila and Vice-President .
4. The recognition of the failure of CENI, his dismissal and his replacement by a body of technocrats and neutral expert (local and international) for the reorganization of the elections during the small transition.
5. The head of state no longer the supreme head of the army and the non-politicization of the army and national police will be managed by a board of generals of all forces in coordination with UN forces to the new republic.
6. A government composed of Permanent Secretaries will deal with current business, led by the President and Vice-President.
7. The parliament and the senate will work those proposals and take off for the campaign.
8. The real best team win!
9. God bless the Congo!

WTT said...

The statistics are speaking for itself, how long more does the war has to keep on? 15 years and counting- no European States would allow such thing to go on in the European Continent. Everyone got together and made sure the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Montenegro Serbia could cease. The United State was so prompt to rescued South Vietnam against the North Vietnamese but some how DRC is off the map. Afghanistan. Supporting and training the mujahideens to fight back against Soviet occupation(Perhaps produced Osama Bin Laden), Iraqis to fight back against Saddam in ‘03, Helped the French, Brits, and Jews to fight against Germans: but some how the Congolese can handle there issues by themselves. The International community watches as men one after the other (father to Son) strangles a whole country, and population. As our next door neighbors allied themselves to "pillage us". Pillage: The act of looting or plundering in war. Enough is enough, the people in power have had 10 years since 2001 and I've seen no adequate change. There is no equal representation for the lower class regarding the citizens and there is certainly no such things within the Congolese gov't at all. What type of Democratic party changes the constitution of the country to favor themselves? what president agrees to that ideology? one who certainly didn't graduate High school or experienced higher education (If no education at all).The article mentions that foreign aid to the DRC range around 30billion a year, why don't they make the financial statements public so we see where the money goes? If Baraka Obama was to change, one line within the U.S constitution people will go mad and ask for immediate removal from the oval office aka impeachment. I hope that my comment is not viewed as a complain, instead it should be regarded as thoughtful understanding and as a request for CHANGE. Why are we so greedy? How easy is it to watch someone else suffer, what happens when it millions for 15 years. Do we still watch?

Anonymous said...

May i ask u something? have u ever been in Katanga?

WTT said...

Unfortunately I have Anonymous....And to say the least, it pitiful. I shouldn't be the source of questioning or concern. The Gov't in place should be ask if they've been in Katanga. and how are schools, gov't offices, hospitals, water&electricity operated. I am only a man looking from the outside, but feeling the sharp pain of the knife stabbing every single Congolese.

Anonymous said...

This electoral process remains opaque, chaotique and confusing.
Either CENI's tally is reconciled with the figures at the polling level and Kabila is the clear winner
Or CENI is unable to give detailed, dissagregated information and those who argue that the election is rigged have a point
I am personally looking forward to the explanations that J Kabila's cheerleaders Rich And Toni will give if thats the case !!
Irresponsible, dangerous demagogue, leader of a sect of extremists, unstable, unreliable, unpredictable....these are the very adjectives that were used by the West and Western journalists in 1960 to undermine and discredit Patrice Lumumba. Interestingly (like Tshisekedi), he was popular with the Congolese people and not so much with the outside world, who preferred Mobutu.....we all know how much damage his destructive leadership did to the Congo, with the silent approval of the West.
"to weaken the Congolese governement" should have a word with your champion J Kabila and try to convince him not to marginalise and....weaken his own government as he has done so well in the past few years:
- no cabinet meetings
- key decisions are centralised in Kabila inner circle
...I could go on.

Vincent said...


I'm affraid you read to much into this post, maybe you should try taking off your Che Guevarra glasses once in a while.


Rich said...

Quite alarming to notice that for such a great blog, no one seems ready to tell us what they make of the opposition’s clear and pre-elections’ INTENT “….from now on, I am the head of state… I give the government 48 Hrs. to free prisoners if not I order you to go and break those prisons…terrorise police officers and soldiers in front of their wives and kids… Mulunda will cry in his mother’s tongue…” to FORCE its way in government on the back of these very elections!

The Congolese have seen worse and I can tell you that even this one will not break them...


Anonymous said...

Quite alarming to notice for such a great blog, some people seem ready to forget J Kabila's camp pre-elections' "intent":
- electoral list not audited by independent parties, full of under 18 voters
- Katanga with a population of 6.5 million has almost 5 million registered voters, 1.5 million more than Kinshasa which has 10 million inhabitants
- constitutional reform that changes the way president is elected
- CENI headed by the president's oncle
- electoral and polling station lists made available only a few days before the election not A MONTH before as promised

Vincent said...




Rich said...

Anon December 6 2:27

Fair tentative but it falls very short.

1. electoral list not audited by independent parties, full of under 18 voters

Answer: Opposition parties were invited to audit the lists and some even went to court but their cases were dismissed due to the various reasons...

2. - Katanga with a population of 6.5 million has almost 5 million registered voters, 1.5 million more than Kinshasa which has 10 million inhabitants

Answer: Katanga population has been estimated at 10834 (5388 males and 5446 females) projections made by the Institut National de la Statistique Kinshasa Limete in 1999. Kinshasa population was estimated at 8683 (4372 males and 4311 females). Do I need to stress the fact that these projections were made when J Kabila was not even dreaming of becoming the president of DRC???

3. - constitutional reform that changes the way president is elected

Answer: This was not unconstitutional since there is not a single article of the constitution that has been violated. Show one if you are aware of any and I will be grateful to learn from you.

4. - CENI headed by the president's oncle

Answer: Mulunda was chosen with the agreement of the Congolese political class in parliament. in the same way Jack Joli (from MLC an opposition party) is vice chair of the CENI. Who is to blame if udps was not present in the National Assembly in order to block/veto Mulunda's designation?

5. - electoral and polling station lists made available only a few days before the election not A MONTH before as promised

Answer: udps protested against it and I think they even launched a court case but lost it again for various reasons...

My question is still STANDING...

For the record, I would like to say I am not a J Kabila backer but I don't mind being perceived as such since the elections have made things a bit SUBJECTIVE rather than OBJECTIVE ...


Anonymous said...

You should remove your mask and tell us who you are. You hate UDPS because of the song that has accompanied him through the all campaign. You have mourned on the death of tutsis in Fizi and you have complained also on Yakutumba supporting ET although the CNDP have done the same with the PPRD...

Rich said...

Sorry, the population estimates are in thousands, so one needs to add 3 zeros at the end of the figures I gave...

e.g. read, "Katanga population has been estimated at 10,834,000 (5,388,000 males and 5,446,000 females)...

Rich said...

Anonymous December 6, 3:03

I am sorry to say this but that last comment is just very shallow that even an ant can swimm in without the fear of drawning...

Why don't you borrow a nick name so that we can see if you can assume your post?

It seems like some of you guys are acting in a cowardly way, masking or changing your pseudo so that you can avoid scrutiny...

Very sad from thos who would like the world to see them as the SOLUTION for the DRC... That is so PATHETIC

I don't mind being labelled a Tutsi and trust me if I am one, I will still be a VERY PROUD CONGOLESE regardless of what you think.


Anonymous said...

Please give us your sources. A quick look at Wikipedia and you have a 2010 population estimation of 5 608 683 for Katanga. Lubumbashi the largest city has 1 630 186 inhabitants.......
We find ourselves in the same situation as CENI (You) and the opposition (Me): we have different numbers that don't agree.....what is the solution ? your carrying on claiming that you have the right information or finding TOGETHER the reasons for the discrepancy and a way forward ?
Let me know !!

Anonymous said...

@Anon 3.03:
Please stop namecalling.... we deal with facts here even if we have our views/opinions about what is unfolding in the DRC
@Rich: you are absolute right !!... the comment is shallow, disrepectful and hurtful.

Rich said...

Anonymous 3:16

Re-read my post and the source is there.

Anonymous said... mistake.
You are talking about courts.... I don't know if you ever dealt with one in the DRC, but justice is always delivered according to power and status. If you are in power, all decisions will be in your favour so answers 1 and 5 are irrelevant.
Institut National de la Statistiue de Limete in 1999....please, you should know better. Does it still exist ?
The last pouplation census was carried in 1985 in the Congo. It is standard practice to ignore data, especially from 1999 when the DRC was at war with its neigbours, from most Kinshasa's based insituttes as they usually take a casual approach to everything.... from selling degrees to producing statistics to please a particular audience. The question reamains: we need an authoritative source to agree on.....

Rich said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

When delivering your lecture, just make sure you provide an authoritative source and don't rely on statistics that are 12 years old.... the DRC has moved on since 1999.You must be desperate to try to impress me with "reconstruction demographic estimates from extraneous/missing data".
Simple question: when making a business decision, do you seriously think that a foreign investor, for instance, will rely on a 1999 statistic or a more recent one from a RELIABLE source such as the UN, CIA, UNFPA or FAO... ?
Good day in Ouagadougou !!

Anonymous said...

Balanced and provocative piece, Mr. Stearns.

I had planned on weighing into some of these discussions but, for the time being, I believe its best to sit back and wait and listen.

We just concluded what, to a foriegn observer living in a mostly functional state and democracy, a pretty disturbing election process from the get go but, again, level-headedness is going to be key moving forward.

In any event, I am somewhat happy former UN Rep, Governor of New Mexico, and failed Presidential candidate- Bill Richardson- is to be the special envoy in the Congo. In addition to his own inspiring story being the son of Mexican migrants to this country that has achieved, I know for a fact Bill has the deepest and most profound love for the Congolese people and is committed to democracy in Africa. Ofcourse, he's known the key players in the Congo for atleast 2 decades now and has stated many times that the prime problem in the Congo is it inability to create a functioning state (seen clearly in this mess of an election) and these two key frameworks will serve him and the Congolese well, I believe.

This, and I guess a few others things, gives me hope in what is likely to be some difficult days ahead.


Tony said...

@ anonymous
you say: "Irresponsible, dangerous demagogue, leader of a sect of extremists, unstable, unreliable, unpredictable....these are the very adjectives that were used by the West and Western journalists in 1960 to undermine and discredit Patrice Lumumba. Interestingly (like Tshisekedi), he was popular with the Congolese people and not so much with the outside world, who preferred Mobutu.....we all know how much damage his destructive leadership did to the Congo, with the silent approval of the West."

To compare Tshisekedi to lumumba is what Mobutu did himself many times. When i read Western ress for the moment i see not many adjectives I used on Thsiekedi. Many people also n the big pmedia have copied even sme rumors launched without proof by Tshisekedi and udps.

But I agree and excuse myself. Congolese people who believe realy in Tshisekedi as the alternative to Kabila have every right to do that. And this adjectives could be interpreted as directed to them.

It is not because some people on facebook or on the streets are menacing some friends simply because they do not favor Tshisekedi and some people organise a lott of intoxication with non fundede accusation via sms and so, that all members of udps are hysterical or members of a sect. This is something i didn't wanted to have insinuated.

There are certainly in the udps courageous and honnest people who have common sense. And who only want to change their country for the good.

Let's hope that they can prevail for the coming days and weeks.

Good news is this :

M Poff said...

While the prospect of massive post-election upheaval is dire, one (more peripheral) dynamic that hasn't been publicly discussed or acknowledged at all is the prospect that such instability will make northern Congo a safe-haven for the LRA. Kabila has more or less booted the UPDF for the time-being (most saw it as pre-election politicking that can be reversed once things settle down) and FARDC are totally incapable of dealing with the LRA themselves (and continue to pretend that the problem doesn't exist).

Anonymous said...

I can't believe the level of arrogance and self-sufficiancy some of you are demonstrating here.Such cynicism is just beyond comprehension.
This probably explains why the diaspora is up in harms, with some even demonstrating naked to show how they've been stripped of all dignity by the current regime and their supporters. By the way Jason, looking forward to reading you soon. Many thanks for this well-balanced, factual and empathetic piece.

Anonymous said...

Check it out, see if we are talking from the same standpoint. Between the lines, it is says that even if Kabila got re-elected this time and no major crisis unfold, he ought to take bold initiatives and respond accordingly to the level of political contention raised by the opposition. Equally the opposition needs to decide if they use the street as the lone strategy and stay in the streets or move in the real political arena. Actually the UPDS would be better off to be present in the Parliament after such a long abscence in the coutry decision process and management to prepare 2016. If they miss this time again, their credibility already questioned will be wiped out for ever. Unless it is uncertain that UDPS cannot survive Tshisekedi, and is being just a structure to lift him to the state power?

I did not intentionally work out the other alternatives to suggest major crisis. If this happen, let us pray that Congolese spirit and ingeniousness will confront at the least human cost..and spare Africa of a huge embarrassment.

The international or donor community cannot just pull out or blackmail Congolese people who had suffered and given a lot to the World development as per the abundant documents or historical facts. Anyway the events are unfolding or moving very quickly: 1. Bill Richardson is in Kinshasa from what message or mediation? - days will tell! and 2. possibility of final results announcement being delayed- what interpretation and consequence. This is going to be a 24h feedback


Vincent Harris said...

Based on his last comment I would say Rich is Kabila's Special Adviser and UNFPA Representative Richard Dackam.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we losing focus in between the name calling and bravado being displayed by some of the contributors.

The issue here is the current elections and to be more precise the irresponsible and reckless way the tallying of votes is being done and handled.

But then i could be wrong....


Anonymous said...

I will second that, I have never read anything from him condemning JK's regime, human right violations,embezlements,Bosco Tangana's situation, Kunda's situation and so many more cases of bad governance and abuses.His main beef is with ET's words directed to Congolese to help them conquer their fears of this repressive regime. His brother is running for office in Likasi in the Katanga,he said, this might be the clue to his hatred of ET.


WTT said...

Its interesting to see that everyone has an opinion for everything. People are bringing in facts from a decade ago to wikipedia to raw data, but what are we really doing? What the fruits? Instead of pointing out facts and where the leaks are- we should probably base our efforts and energy toward figuring out a solutions. It easy to sit in a front of PC for hours, and write about impressions we have because we believe that those are the best solutions to the Congolese problems. What about spending 60 second on what the problem is instead of 6 hour of figuring out how to fix it.

Anonymous said...

@WTT : You don't need 6 hours to figure out what the solutions are. As I have been labelled a Tshisekedi supporter (by Rich) I will point out a few ideas to defuse the tension:
- delay results annoucements
- create a forum including opposition parties and J Kabila's camp to compare reluts of each camp
- publish only resulsta that have been agreed and find a consensus on the troubling votes....if any
Th only problem at this point is: CENI is unable or unwilling to publish results polling station by polling station as demanded by the Congolese clergy and Susan Rice.
Surely if you can give 2 743 000 votes in Katanga, you should be able to give a breakdown of your numbers ?
The opposition won't have any arguments left if the official tally (CENI) matches the one compiled by the opposition, civil society.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree that its time CENI published the results as per polling station and i'm certain all the candidates will have no choice but to accept the results whoever becomes the eventual winner.


Vincent Harris said...

But more likely Rich is Richard Kapend who gives a presentation on " The demography of armed conflict: reconstructing demographic estimates before, during and in the aftermath of the 1998 – 2004 D. R. Congo armed conflict" today.

Anonymous said...

@ Vincent Harris: its not the first time, and sadly not the last, that a supposedly scientific work is used to justify political objectives. Rich could have started by saying that he is a proud Katangan (which I assume he is, based on his surname) and a staunch Kabila supporter for tribal reasons or economic ones, or any other reason.
If Rich reads this, I am also based in the United Kingdom (London) and will be more than happy to read your findings. I am happy to offer suggestions and ideas.

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