DR Congo: Elections or how to kill democracy!

DR Congo: Elections or how to kill democracy!

Congolese citizen and Anti-corruption champions Award 2023.

This is the plea of ​​a citizen who sees his country sinking into denial, lies, corruption and anti-values ​​but who despite everything continues to want to believe that another future is possible. Because he is convinced that the Congo is worth it and that the Congolese have suffered too much. The way in which the general elections of December 2023 were planned and implemented in the DRC constitute a real project to kill democracy.

This is why I would like to ask questions with you. What are the criteria for a good election and why do we organize them? If elections must allow a people to freely and legally choose their leaders with complete independence and transparency, then who can tell me that in December 2023, the DRC had elections?

At the beginning of everything there was corruption and contempt for the laws to appoint Kadima as President of the CENI. Despite protests from the Catholic and Protestant Churches, the international community turned a blind eye and pushed us to give Kadima a chance. The people, tired and victims of the cheating of 2018, wanted new elections and preferred to remain calm.

Then a botched enrollment, with voter cards that fade after a few months. Everyone closed their eyes. The CENI refused an external and independent audit of a non-existent electoral register, the world turned a blind eye, Western embassies issued press releases to support and accompany the CENI. In which democratic country would we have wanted elections without knowing the list of voters?

On the financial level, more than a billion dollars invested in the greatest opacity. The Ceni violated all the rules of public procurement without this giving rise to any investigation despite numerous requests for audit from civil society. The Minister of Finance publicly criticized the CENI for its opaque management. Mrs. Patricia Nseya, the Rapporteur of the CENI, denounced in an opaque letter the management of her president, without any consequences. Mr. Totho Mabiku, executive secretary of the CENI, accused his president of corruption. There too, radio silence. In short, at each stage of the process, the law was violated, opacity reigned and rather than asking for corrective measures, we all found reasons to turn a blind eye, the country was too big, we must meet the constitutional deadline, the Congo is a young democracy, we must not seek perfection. The quality of the election does not matter, you just have to organize them. Really ?

On December 20 we did not witness an election but a parody of an election. Thousands of offices did not open their doors, voting machines did not work, millions of Congolese spent a whole day in front of the offices without voting, while thousands of machines were in the hands of individuals who voted in place of the people. The CENi will decree that everyone who wants to vote will be able to do so the next day but strangely the vote will be spread over several days in violation of the law. Instead of condemning, the world pretended to welcome a demonstration of openness and inclusiveness. In which country will we accept elections where anyone can vote without any identity document? Just by simply writing a real or imaginary name on a piece of paper called an additional list?

And at the time of the results, the CENI ignored the law and did not wait for consolidated results in the Local Compilation Centers. Proclaim the results of the presidential elections before recognizing a few days later the existence of fraud and the absence of compilations to justify the postponement of the legislative elections. The question therefore arises: how can we talk about fraud in the legislative elections without the presidential elections since the two elections were coupled and took place on the same ballot?

Today the CENI is unable to say which polling stations have opened and on which days? Which voters voted in which offices? How many voting machines were distributed to which individuals and by whom? And more serious three weeks after the elections, she is still unable to tell us where the voters list is. Finally he acknowledges that he does not have the results of 11,000 polling stations which according to him have not opened but is unable to provide us with the list and their location. Who accept elections where not only 1/7 of voters were deprived of their vote in addition to millions of other people who were unable to vote because of war and insecurity.

Finally there are the testimonies by the thousands coming from all over the country, those of the candidates, those of the citizens, the report of the MOE CENCO-ECC which speaks not only of several violations of the law but also of numerous frauds… And still no reaction of the international community. This is why I plead for a duty of truth and so that at the time of historical assessment, the Congolese of tomorrow know that not everyone had lost their reason.

For several years I have committed myself to only wanting excellence for my country and never again putting up with ‘almost’ because the Congo deserves better. This is why I will continue to demand for the Congolese people the same universal rights with internationally recognized criteria for good elections, which unanimously respect: the independence of the organizing power vis-à-vis the candidates, a list of voters known and consultable in advance, (otherwise there are no good elections) voting conditions in complete transparency and confidentiality, results consultable by all and verified with complete impartiality for each office and above all , respect for the legal framework. Otherwise it is a parody, a sham election and therefore there is no democracy.

While the West stops talking to us about democracy, values ​​and principles if it is not capable for various reasons of clearly denouncing the violation of these principles, even if it is ‘good’ – or bad – reasons: stability, raw materials, strategic minerals, competition with China or the Russian threat. As if we cannot support and promote true democrats who love their nation and do business with them. By considering that Africa and Africans “do not need real democracy or are not ready for a (real) democracy worthy of the name (rather than a misleading label of official name) and that it we must not be demanding with them”, not only does this show contempt for the well-declared will of an entire people, but we end up sending them to the Chinese and the Russians.

Above all, we are killing democracy and putting ourselves in danger. By wanting to be friends with illegitimate leaders, we end up being hated by the people and producing revolutionary pretenders who will be applauded out of disappointment or even relying on military adventurers or rebels thirsty for revenge.

I usually say that time is the nightmare of all corrupt people and while waiting for time to reveal to us the whole truth about what the elections of December 20, 2023 were like as it began to do with those of 2018, I plead for the Congolese Nation to stop for a moment and take advantage of this chaos to come together and think about our living together and our future.

Our country is not only threatened from the outside, it is especially in danger from the inside because of our illegitimacy, our corruption and our inability to unite as a Nation and as a people of a great country. . Without our unity, we could not resist the (occult) powers of our own Nation who divide us and plunder us by seeking external partners. My plea for the rebirth of the Congo and for a new beginning involves the cancellation of these shameful elections and the convening by the President of the Republic of inclusive national meetings where together we will redefine our future and our place within the concert of nations.

We, the Congolese people, can no longer hide behind a mediocre political class and its foreign henchmen to justify our suffering and our misfortunes because we are the first responsible. We complain every day, we suffer every day, our wives and mothers are raped, our civil servants are underpaid, our army is in tatters, our education system is on the ground, we are a country that has lost its roads, our hospitals have become deathhouses and despite this we have accepted the fraud of 2018 and we turn a blind eye out of weariness, fanaticism, tribalism or personal interests to the frauds of 2023. We can no longer say, “we didn’t know”. The time has come for us to stand up, sit down, talk, end impunity and fight corruption.

Today more than yesterday, today more than tomorrow is the time for each of us to make a choice. For my part, I plead for unity among Congolese not around a person, but around a project of life and hope. Together we can get there, otherwise we are heading into the unknown because I don’t dare talk about chaos.

I plead for the African people to stand up and for African leaders to get their act together. I am convinced that they are capable of it, so please come and help us talk to each other, force us to understand each other, otherwise when our house burns, the fire risks reaching you too.

I plead for the international community to use coercion to bring to their senses those of us who insist on setting the house on fire.

I plead for exemplary sanctions against those who sabotaged our elections. I plead for international justice to recognize the aggression of which my country is the victim and finally I plead for understanding and African solidarity.

Accepting these unfair elections without identified voters and in violation of the law is to kill democracy and create the basis for violence.

Jean Claude Mputu, Congolese citizen

Anti-corruption champions Award 2023