Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) opposition leader Moise Katumbi says outgoing leader President Joseph Kabila was economical with the truth when he addressed the United Nations general assembly on Tuesday.
Katumbi, who is also in New York lobbying the international community to intervene in the DR Congo elections, says a picture being projected that the elections in the central African nation will be peaceful and credible was far from truthful.
“Kabila disguises the truth but the people, the opposition, the civil society and the partners know the level of insecurity in RDC. The lack of progress of the electoral process, the cheating that is underway. No one should should allow it. The future of the country depends on it,” he said.
Kabila’s assurance of a peaceful and credible election came a few days after a massacre in the eastern parts of Congo and Katumbi seized the opportunity to make a reference point of the situation in Beni.
At least 16 people were killed and eight others injured in a rebel attack in Beni.
Twelve of the dead were civilians and the rest government soldiers in an attack late Saturday.
“The horror still strikes at #Béni. Kabila and his relatives dare not say that the situation has improved while these tragedies are daily. What kind of country has Kabila ruled since his father’s assassination in 2001?” Katumbi asked.
Katumbi and Jean Pierre Bemba are barred from contesting the delayed election on December 23, 2018
Meanwhile, Kabila pledged at the United Nations on Tuesday that “peaceful, credible” elections would be held in his country as planned at the end of the year.
His announcement calmed tensions that have seen dozens of anti-Kabila demonstrators killed by security forces since he refused to step down when his constitutional mandate expired in December 2016.
“Despite the enormous challenges still lying cross our path in many areas, just like last year, I now reaffirm the irreversible nature of our decision to hold the elections as planned at the end of this year,” he told the annual U.N. gathering of world leaders.
“The political situation in my country is becoming increasingly predictable and transparent,” he said.
“Everything will be done in order to ensure that these elections are peaceful and credible.”
Kabila is backing Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary in the long-delayed Dec. 23 poll. His biggest challengers are likely to be Felix Tshisekedi, the president of Congo’s largest opposition party, and Vital Kamerhe, who placed third in the last election in 2011.
Congo is Africa’s top producer of copper and the world’s leading miner of cobalt, which is prized for its use in batteries for electric cars and electronics.