Headlines

Kabila’s Third Term Bid Comes Alive; Court Judges To Confirm Move

Democratic Republic of Congo leader Joseph Kabila is certain to manipulate the country’s constitution and run for a third term when the elections are held in December.

President Kabila is constitutionally barred from seeking re-election but has no intensions of leaving power after illegally extending his stay in office for two years.

The DRC, the vast impoverished African nation that sits on some of the world’s major natural resources, was due to hold elections in December 2016 to end President Kabila’s rule.

However, even after the delay, the incumbent is still manouvering to change the constitution and prolong his stay – which started in 2001 when his father Laurent – was killed.

According to Bloomberg, changes at the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Constitutional Court could clear the way for President Kabila to run for a third term, a situation that deepens the central African nation’s political crisis.

Kabila, in power since 2001 and constitutionally barred from seeking another term, a week ago announced the appointment of three new judges to the court. Two are well-known allies, fueling concern among the president’s critics that his supporters could press for rulings permitting him to run in elections scheduled for December.

“The Kabila clan will now do everything to push big decisions and big questions to the Constitutional Court and the court will respond in favor of Kabila’s political family,” opposition lawmaker Martin Fayulu said by phone from the capital, Kinshasa. The Presidential Majority, Kabila’s ruling coalition, said the nominations were “completely normal and legal.”

Congo, Africa’s largest copper producer, has never had a peaceful transfer of power and any attempt to further extend Kabila’s rule would outrage his opponents, most of whom say he should have stepped down when his second term finished in late 2016. Elections weren’t organized in time and Kabila remained in office, sparking sporadic protests in which security forces killed dozens of people.

The electoral commission, known by its French acronym CENI, has scheduled polls for Dec. 23. Kabila’s refusal to indicate who’ll be the candidate for the Presidential Majority has spurred speculation he’ll seek to change or reinterpret the constitution to run again — or even delay the vote.

The president, parliament and the High Council of the Judiciary each appoint three judges to the nine-member Constitutional Court.

Kabila chose Norbert Nkulu Kilombo, ambassador to Rwanda and a member of his People’s Party for Reconstruction and Democracy, while parliament named Francois Bokona, who’s also a lawmaker for the party. The High Council nominated Jean Ubulu Pungu, one of its former heads.

“The judges don’t work for Joseph Kabila or his Majority,” said his coalition’s spokesman, Andre-Alain Atundu. “They work for the interest of all.”

Bokono declined to comment on his appointment when contacted by phone.

“Everyone has his own perceptions and convictions,” Nkulu said, declining to comment on criticism of his appointment. “In all the countries of the world it’s the head of state who names all those who fill our position,” he said.

While the court had lost its independence years ago, some judges have continued to push back, said Stephanie Wolters, head of the peace and security research program at the Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria, South Africa.

“Now Kabila seems intent on locking it down completely in his favor, surely because he anticipates that he will need it to rubber stamp his plans to hold on to power,” she said.

Opponents see several scenarios by which Kabila could extend his rule.

Ahead of Congo’s last vote in 2011, a constitutional amendment changed the presidential election from a two-bout contest to a single round. Kabila’s supporters may argue he’s only served one term under this revised constitution and seek a court ruling backing that claim, according to Georges Kapiamba, president of the Congolese Association for Access to Justice, a local non-governmental organization.

An attempt by Kabila’s backers to file his candidacy at CENI would likely be rejected, but that decision could be appealed at the Constitutional Court. That chamber could then rule he’d been wrongly rejected him because the 2011 amendment “equated to a change of regime,” according to Kapiamba.

Alternatively, he said, pro-Kabila parliamentarians could petition the court to seek an interpretation that would let him run again. Fayulu said he’s concerned over the role the court will have in resolving any electoral disputes, or that it could allow CENI to again delay the polls.

The president’s adversaries claim the two judges who resigned in April following the death of a colleague were pressured into the move. Kabila’s allies saw them as “recalcitrant,” Fayulu said, and both were notably absent from an October 2016 hearing where the court authorized the CENI to postpone elections.

“There is an intention to take actions at the Constitutional Court which are outside the popular will and outside the constitution,” said Eve Bazaiba, secretary-general of the Movement for the Liberation of Congo, a major opposition party. “It’s one of Kabila’s strategies because he doesn’t want to leave and he hasn’t selected his dauphin.”

41 Comments

  1. Sinkamba

    U are a brother to HH dear.

  2. Madalitso Banda

    Africa Africa Africa and it’s leaders!

  3. Benny

    What’s wrong with African people yaya am disappointed indeed most leaders in this continent never satisfied they just want to continue eating. There is need to remove or reduce manner from government house in Africa. Please AU do something Congo will make our country overpopulated.

  4. Augprina

    We saw it coming, that animal would not just hand over power to others but days are numbered!

  5. Agm

    All oposition parties re unite make one party so that they can chase and bullet him by votes.

  6. Lusubilo mutambo

    I don’t know what’s wrong with African leaders, even the Zambian president is thinking of contesting in 2021.Mugabe was just forced to resign,it was the with Jacob u make.

  7. Lusubilo mutambo

    I don’t know what’s wrong with African leaders, even the Zambian president is thinking of contesting in 2021.Mugabe was forced to resign, it was same with Jacob zuma.

  8. Weagans Kanubu

    Kabila must

  9. Weagans Kanubu

    Kabila must have manners fo

  10. Abuna musa

    It’s only a gun that can move kabinba out from office.

  11. zek man

    Kabila is not the greatest leader his days r numbered ,same to ZAMBIA

  12. Nkonkosheni

    Just trite him like mugabe.He is 2 stupid.

  13. kennedy

    I Wonder Hw Could U Compare Zambian Politics To Congo?u must take time to understand de constitution or u remain in the dark with yo leader.

  14. Sunday Chisha

    wats wrong with these leaders?

  15. Does it matter?

    This is a big problem in Africa!
    People in High Offices cant reat due to the favouritism or Corruption!!!!
    Thanks to those Brave soldies or Army of the Great Zim who managed to stop Robert and i only see weak and Corraped …….. In ……..
    This is also in my State Zambia in particular!!
    My name is MR Ease!!!!!

  16. zam

    Let him enjoy for the sake of peace

  17. zambian

    All African leaders are useless and evert old man working is stupid I mean any one above the age of 60

  18. Eddie Kapambwe

    Tashifula?

  19. semmy

    Ecowas works better i ve not seen the actions african union was it formed jst for decorations?

  20. Joseph Kabila-Jnr

    why are you crying

  21. GENIOUS SOGOLA WA (PF)JERE

    Kabila will face same problem to Jacob Zuma.
    And my question is!where is military in DRC?

  22. swana brown

    The people have suffered enough mr kabila cn u please handover the powers to some else,vox populi vox dei

  23. Razor

    But African presidents mwandi. Even museveni, this Burundi guy and now our very own going for third term. No wonder others call us sh*thole countries

  24. Jms

    SINKAMBA you are a coward you are felling to say that he is lungu’s friend SINKAMBA you must be useless I shouldn’t have said this but you saw kabila was here and you know what happened when he was here

  25. Toni mwale

    You are all commenting from an ignorant point and even insulting yourselves when you say what’s wrong with African leaders.
    When Angela Markel went for her third term is there anyone in the world who rose up to speak out as you are commenting now? Germany is in Europe. President Xi Ji pin’s rule over China is now indefinite,for life..is there anyone who has risen to ask what’s wrong with Chinese or Asian people?
    You Africans wake up. Don’t copy what your white education has taught you.if you are as educated as your western counterparts why are you still wallowing in abject poverty?
    You have to free yourselves from this mental slavery and think differently. What is democracy without economic stability? Kabila has managed to reposess some economic power and put strict measures and brought sanity into the mining industry. As you condemn him he managed to stabilize the country apart from the north east where your economic slave master’s have been sponsoring rebels to fight off the government forces in order to protect these mining companies from paying tax for minerals taken out of eastern Congo. Don’t be ignorant of how Africa has been enslaved . Go to even the near by lubumbashi today you will see that they are developing and your Lusaka is far much behind compared to lubumbashi. There is more mines in Congo than Zambia and they employ more locals than your Zambian mines. Congolese people’s support one another but you zambians have cursed yourselves by refusing to cooperate. Zambians don’t support one anothers progress because of jealousy,hatred and envy. Meanwhile the Asians and whites have worked together taking over from you zambians,in Lusaka what do you own? Nothing? You are happy getting bread crumbs from politicians, you are happy with your small street deals in Lusaka for money for beer. Wake up, let kabila continue protecting his people. You know nothing about your own Continent and the oppression that is propagated by the so called democracy. The same Democratic leaders don’t even care about you,they steal and live luxurious lives while you are busy calling for elections every 5 years. Have a stable and disciplined leadership like in Germany and China and see how Africa will prosper.

    • exm5fe03@gmail.com

      You are a very kind of stupid person for making a point of view straight up your asses. You think Germany is a dictatorship? You are a very stupid and I don’t know where you matriculated from.

  26. knny

    Africans why are we so ignorance we struggled to get independence from the whites,we got indepence and then you want fellow Africans to start planning on how they will get indepedence from a fellow African.missed you mandela madiba you taught southafricans good morals R.I.P

  27. King cool

    Kikikki this guy is a very critical for the next generation.

  28. Toni mwale

    The question is what kind of Independence are you talking about? They just let you live Muma yardi and also allowed to get white collar jobs. You own nothing and don’t control anything. When you change a president every 5 years you think you are independence and have democracy,wake up, why don’t you have brains to manufacture? Why do you export raw copper,cobalt and gold and give VAT refunds to the mines instead of collecting VAT? Why do you always have to borrow from the IMF and get loans from Chinese for projects when you have adequate resources to raise money locally? Do you have Zambian billionaires in dollars? Stop this nonsense of condemining your brother in Congo for wanting to take power from the weatern world. I know you all think katumbi will do better,that’s a western puppet and he already showed his greediness and lack of care for the people of Katanga when he controlled every business including street currency trading, groceries,transport name it. Kabila has given freedom to citizens to participate in local business. Congolese educated exiles are going back to work in their home country.wake up Zambia wake up,if you are not careful you will be going to Congo as refugees because you have simply become inept in your own country. Selling mukula to Chinese and destroying your own environment.digging up minerals and leaving huge holes without seeing any benefits. Wake up and look around? Who controls the economy? It’s not your bank of zambia PHD holders no,they have no idea on to manage because the western powers have captured all your minds you can’t independently apart from shouting democracy every 5 years. Wake up. Your agriculture is dead. Who killed it? Wake up.

  29. ZONDA

    Comment kabila ukafwangawiso fumapofye

  30. PF

    Dnt Be Selfish Like H,H
    Kabila U’re Too Much “INDIVIDUALIST” U’re Just Consider Ur Self To Be Best Than Others.

  31. newbie

    Hasn’t this greedy fool stolen enough from his country? What more could he possible need or want?

  32. The analyst

    I should be quick to mention how impressed I am by the quality of this report… Good job for the well researched and articulated work #Sakala

  33. ba general

    There in nothing wrong with peoples comments.most African leaders Ar a big problem.y Ar they so selfish?.what kind of leaders who does not obey the law of the land when they Ar in the front of arresting a lot of people who desobeys the constitution. A warning to African leaders.can u shore marturity in things that u do…..pliz ba kabila step down u Ar not God. ……

  34. Sichalwe Anthony

    Why you African Leaders you don’t want to leave the chances to your friends.Please African

  35. FGM

    Ton Mwale ! Don’t insult the intelligence of Africans. Good and bad leaders should respect the constitutions of their countries. Manipulation of constitutions encouges civil strife. Respecting our constitutions is the only way citizens can be assured of stability and development.

  36. AFT

    Go………kabila

  37. Anthony Notgo Linda

    Yes live de office u evil man like devil.

  38. suplex city

    what goes around comes around.

  39. mr patriot

    Kikikikiki yaba! Our beloved continent

  40. biggie

    some fools are been born fools coz how can u compare a sitting president to a opposition president! sinkamba think as a patriotic zambian not an opposite side

Comments are closed.