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DRCONGO: Kabila’s brother calls for Kabila’s ousting

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Kabila’s half-brother calls for his ousting

Emmanuel Masirika Kabila, a son of the late Laurent Desire Kabila. ILLUSTRATION | JOHN NYAGAH | NMG

THE EAST AFRICAN – A half-brother of President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo has joined the crusade to remove him from office, accusing him of staying beyond his constitutional mandate.

Thirty-two-year old Emmanuel Masirika Kabila, a son of the late Laurent Desire Kabila, says President Kabila should leave office and allow the country to organise a national census that was last done in 1984.

He is also demanding the removal of the chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission (CENI), Corneille Nangaa, accusing him of being part of President Kabila’s schemes to remain in power.

Emmanuel Kabila was born in Ankoro in Katanga province in 1985. His mother, Victorine Hakiza Masirika from South Kivu in eastern Congo, was one of the senior Kabila’s wives.

The polygamous Kabila had about 25 children with different women but never settled down as he kept on moving within Congo and Tanzania to escape from the wrath of former president Mobutu Sese Seko.

Immediately after Emmanuel was born, the senior Kabila fled to Tanzania and mother and son only joined him in exile after one year. Masirika was killed in 1994 by Mobutu forces while on a spy mission in Ankoro.

Speaking to The EastAfrican from Nairobi, Emmanuel said he fled DRC in December 2011 because of continuous harassment by security agencies and threats of death.

“The issue is that we have been requesting President Kabila to relaunch investigations into the assassination of my father, release those who were wrongly arrested and return our family wealth and inheritance,” he said.

He accuses his half-brother’s administration of persecuting some family members following the assassination of the senior Kabila in 2001.

“We are still looking for explanation why my aunt, Esperance Mukalayi, was killed in 2005, and my sister Aime Mulengela Kabila was killed in 2008,” said Emmanuel, who lives in exile in South Africa.

On DRC politics, Emmanuel, who declined to confirm or deny rumours that he plans to contest the presidency in the December 23 election, was doubtful that the president would leave power after the elections.

He said President Kabila —whose constitutional term ended in 2016—is worried that if he leaves power without a guarantee of immunity, he could be called to account for the human rights abuses and the killing of protesters who want him out.

President Kabila recently directed parliament to discuss the status of former presidents, including immunity from prosecution and benefits.

But Emmanuel, who is also the chairman of the People’s Power Committee for the Liberation of Congo, wants President Kabila to answer for the persecution of his family since the assassination of his father in 2001.

Meanwhile, five DRC opposition parties issued a joint statement asking for President Kabila’s resignation before the December 23 elections.

At the same time, the United States on Thursday urged President Kabila to declare that he will not seek re-election.

France and Britain have previously also called for him to state that he will step aside and not run in the election.

CENI requires those wishing to contest the presidency in December to forward their names between July 25 and August 8.

Those in the race are:
>Former vice-president Jean-Pierre Bemba, who was acquitted of war crimes at the International Criminal Court in June.

>Moise Katumbi former governor of Katanga, who fled to Brussels in 2016 and was later charged in absentia for illegally selling a property.

>Felix Tshisekedi, son of late veteran opposition Etienne Tshisekedi.

>Vital Kamerhe, who competed against Kabila in 2006 and 2011.

—— AUTO – GENERATED; Published (Halifax Canada Time AST) on: July 28, 2018 at 06:15PM

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