MEMORANDUM OF THE CONGOLESE COMMUNITY OF SOUTH AFRICA TO THE SPEAKER OF SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HONOURABLE BALEKA MBETE, ON THE OCCASION OF THE 54TH ANNIVERSSARY OF THE INDEPENDENCE OF DRC

30 June 2014

 

Dear Honourable Mbete,

It is with honour that we are expressing our concerns to you,while commemoratingwith pain and sorrowthe independence of our countrythe Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) brought to us through the sacrifice of our Hero Patrice Emery Lumumba on 30th June 1960.  Since then, our country has been riddled with conflict and political upheaval set up by the western power, with the continuously war which claimed the lives of eight million people and left behind five million women raped. While the entire world chooses to remain silent about the suffering of Congolese people,we noticed that most rebel groups operating in eastern part of our countryin the past two decades have anuncompetitive support of the international community who seems to like the DRC but not its people.However, as Africa’s second-largest country and richest mineral deposits in the world, we are victims of minerals that are been less a gift to us than a curse. Violent armed groups exploit resources to support themselves, often raping and killing with the connivance of the international community. The people of Congo have suffered and still suffering under the dictatorship of Joseph Kabila who became the president of DRC by miracle on 18 January 2001, after the murder of Laurent Kabila to serve the interest of the international community. It’s sad to witness the emerging of democracy in many countries in the continent and the world, while the Congolese people have been deny the power to choose leaders of their choices in their own soil since 1960 up to now. As member of Pan African Parliament, Inter-Parliamentary Union and Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum, we would like to tell you that, while the current situation of DRC is degenerating from bad to worse, Joseph Kabila is proceeding to the change of the constitution which will allow him to stand for the third term in 2016 general election, while he is banned by our constitution through its Article 220.

As voice of the voiceless, we decided to highlight youthis miserable situation which is blocking us to return to our country as we cannot live in exile as refugees for ever. We are still not convince why Joseph Kabila still enjoying regional and International recognition while he lost the 28th November 2011 election. The time for the people of Congo to elect the leaders of their choices has arrived, but we need your support as well as the support of all South Africans totackle the challenges fronting by our country.We would like to quote Abraham Lincoln who said, «Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable a most sacred right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world. » it is in this spirit we believe that as Africans, if we stand together as one, we can make our continent a better place to live without western intervention.

We reiterate that we are proud of the support of South African government throughthe existing bilateral relations with DRC, and hope that both our countries may continue to enjoy these relations that we believe are not made up for the interest of  individuals, but for the benefit of our nations.As member of SADC we are experience one of the worst political disaster in our country that can end with an immediate implication of regional leadership. We should predict that failure to address the Congolese challenges, a negative resultcan be expected which will impact not only to us, but also to all SADC countries, as well as the whole Great Lakes Region.We should indicate to you that if the current crisis in DRC is not addressed  accordingly, South Africa will received all the time refugees from DRC not because Congolese want to ask asylum here, but because people opposing  Joseph Kabila are subjected to murder unless they live elsewhere. We are calling upon the South African government through the African Union and SADC toadvise Joseph Kabila to respect the constitution which is the corner stone of democracy in any nation.

As we know that all SADC states members have committed to maintain good political, economic and corporate governance, entrenched in a culture of democracy, full participation by civil society, transparency and respect for the rule of law in their countries, the DRC leadership should be forced to comply with this commitment now.

Although the country has been described by many international researches as a rape capital of the world with the average of 48 women raped per hour, the Kabila’s administration failed to address this challenge, because it doesn’t not enjoyed the legitimacy of the Congolese people, because the legitimacy of an elected president must come from the peopleof his or her country, not from the international community as it is always the case in the DRC. We need  the assistance of South Africa to end the war, violence on women as well as the political instability so that the Congolese people may be able to hold a democratic, free and fair election in 2016 which abide by international framework. This milestone will enable us to return to our country so that we can participate in the reconstruction and development, because living out of your own country is always miserable.

We do praise the Obama’s administration through the call of the  secretary of state John Kerry who urged Joseph Kabila during his visit in DRC on 03 May 2014, to respect the constitution which prohibits him to stand for re-election for a third term, and requested him not to have any attempt to modify the constitution.

We are asking that South Africa through your regional and continental  responsibility discourages Joseph Kabila to modify the constitution, and help to solve the current political crisis prevailing in DRC with the context of preparing a democratic, free and fair election in 2016.

While acknowledging South Africa for hosting us as refugees, our main goal is to return to our country as long as Joseph Kabila is out of power. As such we are open up to any further discussion with South African authorities if need be, to discuss the way forward about the future of the DRC, knowing that if the DRC is stable, the entire Great Lakes Region will become stable.

 

Yours sincerely

 

The Congolese Community of South Africa leadership board

 

Alain Mambudi

Arthur Mabiala

Jerome Okito

Leonard Mulunda

Mike Alomba

Olivier Kalala

Richard Lungila

Sulaiman Massamba

 

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