« Cow can we save his face now? ” The question is asked by a Western diplomat from the Great Lakes region. The person at the center of this questioning is none other than Félix Tshisekedi, the president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. “Less than two years after coming to power, we have to admit that the results are quite disappointing”, resumes another diplomat from the region, more cunning with the hushed language of embassies.
Félix Tshisekedi launched, on November 2, political consultations the avowed goal of which was to try to set up an alternative majority to the one he was forced to form with the political platform of his predecessor Joseph Kabila, the Common Front. for Congo (FCC).
If Joseph Kabila’s FCC agreed to “appoint” Tshisekedi to the presidency, he retained the reins of power by taking 341 seats out of the 500 in the National Assembly. Tshisekedi is therefore bound hand and foot towards his partner.
But that was the price to pay to be able to settle in the presidential seat. The international community, too happy to see an African president finally step aside after a poll, has turned a blind eye to these arrangements between Kabila and Tshisekedi and “sold” this peaceful transfer of power (generally and fortunately avoiding the use of the adjective “democratic”) as an example to be promoted in Africa.
Less than two years later, it is total disenchantment. Tshisekedi never succeeded in freeing himself from Kabila despite his promises to “debunk the old regime”, his management left speechless and his futile standoff with his ally began to annoy certain capitals both in Africa and in Europe. “How to go about pleading the handovers of power with the men in place for ages on this continent when the only examples to give show that as soon as a new one settles down, he seeks to get rid of his predecessor whatever the signed agreements ”, launches a French expert who points the finger at both Tshisekedi and Lourenço, Dos Santos’ successor on the Angolan throne. “Then go and advise Biya (Cameroon) or Sassou (Congo Brazzaville) to accept a peaceful alternation !”
A poorly prepared initiative
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tshisekedi’s latest attempt to cross swords with his partner through his consultations ended in failure. Tshisekedi can boast of having obtained the support of Professor Bahati, a former Kabbalist minister who dreamed of being president of the Senate and who had already left the FCC boat for a few months. As a tactician, the boss of the AFDC announced his intention to keep his independence. There remains the hold claimed by the presidential camp of the FCC Minister of Town Planning and Housing who would have decided to leave “Kabilie”. Worry, the minister denies.
Tshisekedi will have succeeded in removing the heavyweights of the opposition from their provinces; Jean-Pierre Bemba and Moïse Katumbi. The two – and in particular the former governor of former Katanga – mainly came to take a walkabout in Kinshasa. They listened to their former “ally” and “brother” Félix, before turning away without a word.
Tshisekedi’s initiative was as complicated as it was ill-prepared. To overthrow the majority in the National Assembly and achieve control of the institution, the President of the Republic had to “return” more than 200 elected officials, including nearly 100 in the ranks of the FCC where some claim to have received $ 7,000 of the presidential camp as “advance” on a possible divorce with their family. Without forgetting that he needed all the elected members of the opposition, which seems very complicated, some deputies with a little memory remember that Tshisekedi was one of them before betraying them on the eve of the presidential election to found his Cach movement (renamed ca $ h by some) with Vital Kamerhe.
Tshisekedi had promised to kick Mabunda, the president of the National Assembly. Verdict, it is still well installed and all the elected officials of the FCC have realized that Kabila kept the rudder. Those who could have had any inclinations to leave have changed their minds. Tshisekedi’s consultations allowed the FCC to close ranks.