Felex Share Senior Reporter
Democratic Republic of Congo leader President Joseph Kabila has expressed gratitude to President Mugabe and other African leaders for standing by his country in its efforts to ward off moves by Western countries to impose illegal sanctions on Kinshasa.
The mineral-rich country has been witnessing disturbances especially in the eastern region fuelled by M23 rebels.
The European Union and United States have imposed sanctions on some DRC government officials alleging “serious human rights violations” and have been targeting to weaken the country’s economy.
The sanctions include travel bans, asset freezes, and a ban on making funds or economic resources available to, or engaging in transactions with the listed individuals.
Kinshasa’s representative in Harare, who is also the Dean of African Diplomats, Mr Mawapanga Mwana Nanga, conveyed President Kabila’s appreciation when he met Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday.
“We went around the issues of African diplomacy, how African countries have to come together,” Mr Mwana Nanga said after the meeting.
“You recall that the African Union Summit took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and my president and President Mugabe were there. You also know that we have the same enemies left, right and centre who are trying to put sanctions on our leaders. My principal went there (to the summit) and explained that the things on which the Western countries wanted to base their sanctions on are internal affairs and we needed the support of our African brothers to put an end to this.”
He added: “All the African Union leaders rallied behind the DRC, so I had to come personally to express the thank you message from my principal to President Mugabe through my brother the Vice President.”
Mr Mwana Nanga said the political situation in the DRC was no longer volatile.
“DRC is a big country and there are a lot of issues left and right but as I speak, the situation is under control,” he said.
“Some of the volatility was coming from opportune opposition leaders who were inciting people in their areas to create insecurity so that they could blame it on the government. Guess what, when they found out that they were some opportune leaders, the leaders were exfiltrated from DRC and the West is putting sanctions instead on the economy. All in all, the country is coming back together thanks to the solidarity of African brothers.”
He said elections in the DRC were likely to be held next year.
“On elections, we had two agreements one in October last year and another in December that same year,” Mr Mwana Nanga said.
“When the time of President Kabila came to an end, we negotiated, went to the Constitutional Court which said the president would remain until elections are organised. Two dates were agreed; the first one was April 2018 but at the second agreement in December, the radical opposition said we have to have elections end of 2017.
“But the Electoral Commission has said we cannot have elections at the end of this year because we are still enrolling, as they could not do so because of disturbances in some regions. They said they had enrolled 33 million people but needed to enroll 42 million. They are asking for a delay and most likely elections will be held next year but they will take place.”
He said the Government would not amend the constitution as alleged by some opposition elements.