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DRC: President Tshisekedi Quits ‘Kabila Coalition’

DRC President Felix Tshisekedi has announced the dissolution of a coalition which has been running the country since last year, Chimp Corps report.

The announcement came after Tshisekedi concluded consultations with different stakeholders regarding national security, management of state assets, the independence of judiciary and the organisation of elections at the presidential palace.

He said the coalition has continued to frustrate his efforts to implement key reforms needed to transform the country.

“The coalition does not allow me to do what I was elected to do,” he said in a national address on Sunday.

Tshisekedi was elected in as president in January 2019 after agreeing to a secret coalition deal with his predecessor, Joseph Kabila’s party, Common Front for the Congo (FCC).

Kabila maintained the majority in Parliament. But Tshisekedi has been arresting key Kabila allies on accusations of corruption.

Several senior army officers who served under Kabila have died mysteriously.

Tshisekedi is under pressure from the international community especially World Bank, IMF and United States to fight corruption especially in the mineral industry.

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But his reforms have since met resistance from Parliament which is dominated by Kabila’s allies.

Tshisekedi said he had identified an “informer” to root for a new coalition where he would have majority support in Parliament.

FCC, which boasts over 300 MPs in the 500-seat Parliament, accuse Tshisekedi of trying to bribe lawmakers to switch sides.

However, the president said if he fell short of obtaining majority support in Parliament, he would use his powers as president to “dissolve the House and call for fresh elections.”

Observers say Tshisekedi has been struggling to wriggle out of the Kabila’s grip to effect reforms. Kabila’s allies literally control the finance and mineral dockets.

Kabila, who is a Senator for life, is expected to contest for president in the forthcoming elections.

Last week, authorities reportedly blocked President Kabila from traveling to Lubumbashi, a major escalation of the conflict with Tshisekedi.

Human rights lawyer Jean-Claude Katende was quoted as saying restricting Kabila’s movement was an infringement on his rights.

AU Intervenes

African Union chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, last week traveled to Kinshasa for consultations with President Tshisekedi.

“In order to encourage and strengthen political dialogue, the PCUA (Faki) had discussions with HE Mr. Félix Antoine Tshisekedi and former President Joseph Kabila,” the AU said in a statement this past Saturday.

“He (Faki) called on the whole of Congolese policy to work resolutely and sincerely for the establishment of national harmony and the preservation of peace and stability in the DRC.”

Faki also had discussions with the office of the Group of African Ambassadors, the United Nations, the European Union and the ambassadors representing the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (P5), calling on everyone to “spare no effort to support the DRC in its quest for peace and development.”

The DRC government recently agreed with Uganda to joint develop the road infrastructure network in Eastern Congo to boost regional trade and address insecurity in the area.

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