Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila has dispatched military personnel and local police to various cities in the country as his team prepares an illegal third term bid ahead of the December 23 national polls.
The DRC is due to hold delayed elections two days before Christmas after its leader illegally extended his stay in office for an additional two years.
Indications suggest Kabila, who is constitutionally barred from seeking re-election, is working round the clock to stay in office.
The Congolese population is becoming impatient with its leadership as fears of an uprising heighten.
In Lubumbashi – the second largest city – police officers and military personnel were dispatched to quell a simmering resistance and have since imposed a curfew and are terrorizing residents.
Authorities claim the hundreds of police officers of the Brigade of the National Legion of Intervention (LENI) were dispatched to prevent crime and maintain peace and order.
Yet the residents don’t feel safe with the increased police presence.
In Lubumbashi’s Matshipisha and Kisanga neighborhoods, residents fear police will start killing them.
“They will stop at nothing to rob us, beat us, and mistreat us,” one resident who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal says.
“The policemen placed at the Matshipisha and Golden Mill level in Kisanga district are spreading terror.
“When they stop you, they tear all your valuables: jewels, and get even the money. They take everything away.”
Another resident said they were forced to give in to police demands because they feared for their lives.
“But for those who lack valuable goods on them, the police go with them to their homes to snatch what they want,” he continued.
“These policemen are supposed to protect us but they do not do it. There is no way to travel beyond 21 hours. We fear for our lives, ” a resident of Kisanga says.
A resident of Matshipisha said the outbreak of security forces had nothing to do with crime but politics.
“This is terrorism sponsored by the government. We know elections are coming; Katanga people have made it very clear. It’s time for Kabila to go,” the residents added.
Last Thursday, the provincial police station asked all those holding weapons of war and military caliber to drop them at the nearest police station.
Katanga, which was divided into four regions by the Kabila regime, is widely perceived to have endorsed opposition leader Moise Katumbi for the December 23 polls.