DRC: Joseph Kabila’s plan of attack against Félix Tshisekedi

By The Africa Report
Posted on Friday, 8 January 2021 12:30

Joseph Kabila, in December 2018 in Kinshasa. © JOHN WESSELS / AFP

Residing since late December at his farm in Kashamata, Joseph Kabila is refining his strategy to counter President Felix Tshisekedi’s manoeuvres to take control of the majority.

From Lubumbashi, in Haut-Katanga, Joseph Kabila conducted a series of consultations with members of his political platform, the Common Front for Congo (FCC), and those of the crisis committee he set up after his departure to the greater Katanga area, on 11 December.

READ MORE DRC: Félix Tshisekedi pushes back against Joseph Kabila

The goal: to find a way out of the political crisis, following the announcement of the rupture of the coalition that the FCC had formed with Felix Tshisekedi’s Heading for Change (Cach). In search of a new majority, the head of state has benefited from the integration of many members of the former president’s camp. According to our information, five theories have been debated.

Joining the opposition?

The first is for the FCC to systematically reject any action by Tshisekedi and the second, on the contrary, to open negotiations to secure a place within the Sacred Union. Kabila and his followers also debated the possibility of joining the opposition, by conceding power to Tshisekedi’s camp.

They then discussed all the possible ways to both recover the parliamentary majority in the National Assembly and take control of the office, before negotiating a new agreement similar to the one concluded before the Sacred Union began.

Finally, they considered a final option of allowing the president to act without trying to counter his initiatives. At the same time, the FCC is also deploying its most seasoned diplomats to try to convince neighbouring countries to put pressure on Tshisekedi.

READ MORE DRC: Félix Tshisekedi terminates coalition with Joseph Kabila

Meanwhile, the Head of State and his new allies in the Sacred Union, opponents Jean-Pierre Bemba and Moïse Katumbi, will meet in the coming days in Kinshasa to discuss the sharing of responsibilities in the incoming office of the National Assembly and the future government. Nothing has been decided for the moment. According to our information however, intense discussions are underway to obtain the position of Prime Minister and above all, the post of president of the National Assembly.

Understand Africa's tomorrow... today

We believe that Africa is poorly represented, and badly under-estimated. Beyond the vast opportunity manifest in African markets, we highlight people who make a difference; leaders turning the tide, youth driving change, and an indefatigable business community. That is what we believe will change the continent, and that is what we report on. With hard-hitting investigations, innovative analysis and deep dives into countries and sectors, The Africa Report delivers the insight you need.

View subscription options