DRC: Can Félix Tshisekedi count on the UDPS?

By Anna Sylvestre-Treiner
Posted on Wednesday, 11 January 2023 17:27

Félix Tshisekedi (centre) was elected president in an alliance with Joseph Kabila, but does not have a majority in parliament. ©Brian Inganga/AP/SIPA.

Clan infighting, lack of leadership... Now in charge, the government’s former opposition party has struggled to make the transition. Will earning a second presidential mandate in a year's time be a real asset?

On 21 November, night had already fallen on Kinshasa for several hours when Victor Wakwenda pushed open the door of one of the cells in pavilion 8 at Makala prison. The old man is tired. A few hours earlier, he was arrested, interrogated and brought to the detention centre.

With years of political struggle under his belt, he can no longer count the number of tense protest movements in which he has participated, but this is the first time he has been thrown into prison like this. “Lord Jesus, what have I done to deserve this?” he repeats incessantly.

Veteran activists