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DRC: Félix Tshisekedi pushes back against Joseph Kabila

By Jeune Afrique
Posted on Tuesday, 4 February 2020 11:41, updated on Tuesday, 11 February 2020 10:17

The Congolese Head of State, January 20, in London. © Henry Nicholls/REUTERS

The Congolese president, after considering a dissolution of the National Assembly, continues his tussle with Joseph Kabila's FCC, whom he accuses of blocking several of his initiatives.

Félix Tshisekedi on 19 January, while in London attending the UK-Africa summit, publicly threatened to dissolve the National Assembly, which he claimed was thwarting constitutional reform, including a return to a two-round presidential election.

His fear was the National Assembly, controlled by Joseph Kabila’s FCC, would obstruct the project. Tshisekedi had made the same threat on 16 January when he summoned Jeanine Mabunda and Alexis Thambwe Mwamba, presidents of the lower house and the Senate respectively.

But since then, Tshisekedi has, according to our information, decided to calm things down. On 23 January, he sent his high representative, Kitenge Yesu, to inform Kabila that he had no intention of dissolving the Assembly for the time being — this discreet meeting lasted two hours.

Three ministers in Tshisekedi’s sights

The President and his predecessor will meet in the near future to try to ease the remaining tensions. Apart from the thorny issue of Gécamines’ debt, they are expected to talk mainly about appointments at the head of public companies and financial boards (such as the General Directorate of Taxes, General Directorate of Customs and Excise, to name a few).

Tshisekedi also accused some ministers of blocking his initiatives on the orders of the FCC.

According to our information, José Sele Yalaghuli (Finance), Clément Kuete Nymi Bemuna (Portfolio) and Célestin Tunda Ya Kasende (Justice) were directly targeted.

The first is accused of blocking the financing of the “100-day programme”, the second of openly countering Tshisekedi’s directives, and the third of refusing to ratify the orders of 3 June 2019 appointing the new leaders of Gécamines and the SNCC.

Tshisekedi suspects these ministers of obeying Nehemiah Mwilanya, the FCC coordinator, and Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, the FCC candidate in the last presidential election.

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