A Devaluation of Congolese Politics by Rev. Pasteur Daniel Ngoy Mulunda and the loss of “Democratic Gains” in DR Congo.

by admin on January 7, 2012

By Fidele Lumeya
For the greater good of the Congolese nation the Rev. Daniel Ngoy Mulunda, president of the Congolese Electoral Commission, should present himself to the coming Congolese parliament, offering an apology to the elected representatives of the 70 million Congolese. Why? By performing below the acceptable standards within the National Electoral Commission, he has devalued Congolese politics. And this is called “Situational values”. Something Hillary Clinton described as  “did not measure up to the democratic gains we have seen in recent African elections”. This is about Era, behavior and Institutions building.

We live in era described by Dov Seidman as an “Era of Behavior and the rules of the game have fundamentally changed. It is no longer what you do that matters most and sets you apart from others, but how you do what you do… Sustainable advantage and enduring success for organizations and the people who work for them now lie in the realm of how, the new frontier of conduct…What makes an institution sustainable is not the scale and size it reaches but how it does its business- how it relates to its employees, shareholders, customers, suppliers, the environment, society, and future generations.”

Relationships propelled by situational values, says Seidman, involve calculations about what is available in the here and now. “They are all about exploiting short-term opportunities rather than consistently living the principles that create long-term success. They are all about what we can and cannot do in any given situation.”
Sustainable values, by contrast, are “all about what we should not do in all situations…values that connect us deeply as humans, such as transparency, integrity, honesty, truth, shared responsibility, and hope–all about how, not how much. Situational values push us toward the strategy of becoming ‘too big to fail’ … Sustainable values inspire us to pursue the strategy of becoming ‘too sustainable to fail’”.

Congolese made that “Democratic Gains”. After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of Cold War in ‘89s, Congolese fought for the democratization of the country like it was happening all over Africa. That fight was translated by the efforts made to convene a National Conference in the early‘90s. For many the effort was all about the upgrading of political process that had been devalued during the 32-year rule of Mobutu and the preceding governments led by Kasa-Vubu and Lumumba. The core concern was to shift the thinking of Congolese politicians from “situational values” dominated by the preoccupation with the political dynamics of the moment to careful planning for the welfare of future generations (Sustainable values). Such a posture could be called the posture of generational thinking.

But, unfortunately, the National Conference became another missed opportunity for radical change in Congo. Because no one could think deeply about the changes and the direction that the country needed to take for a viable future, the so called Kadogos revolution took place. Laurent Kabila, the deceased father of the current President, mobilized an offensive from the eastern Congo to Kinshasa with an army of children known as Kadogos, this for the purpose of humiliating Mobutu and the whole nation. By so doing, he devalued the army. Anyone with a gun or a green beret could function as a general. It was politics, pure and simple.
Devaluation of Congolese Politics:
If I have to play the double advocate for the sake of the argument the war against the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI), cannot be won for three reasons. Firstly, more than any other organization- whether of national or international stature – CENI was the only entity with operational capacity sufficient to staff the 63,865 polling centers established around Congo, a country as large, geographically, as the territory comprising the countries of the European Union. This point of view is shared even by the US State secretary Hillary Clinton who said “…However, it is still not clear whether the irregularities were sufficient to change the outcome of the election.”

Secondly, compared to the 2006 Election, CENI was fully funded by the Congolese government. According to the Chairman of CENI the sum of $320 million out of the total of $350 million required for the election budget came from Congolese tax payers. The source and the amount of this money denied any organization any undue leverage over the CENI mandate.

Thirdly, the absence of consensus regarding the election results among the national and international elections observers created space for the CENI and the Kabila camps to take counter positions with reports such as the one from the African Union, or the reports issued by regional organizations such as the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC). A house divided against itself cannot stand…
Rev. Daniel Ngoy Mulunda may feel as occupying the high moral ground the same way the American baby boomer generation feels. But that moral high ground has become fraught. Authors T. Friedman and M. Mandelbaum have written about American baby boomer politicians and what they have described is similar to what Congolese are feeling and expected to change within the 2011 elections framework.

In their book “That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back authors T. Friedman and M. Mandelbaum wrote: “We believe that as the boomer generation has assumed a dominant place in American society, the country has strayed from three of the core values on which American greatness depended in the past. The first of these changes involves a shift from long-term investment and delayed gratification, which were characteristic of the Greatest Generation, to short-term gratification and get-it-now-while-you-can thinking, which alas is typical of the baby boom generation.

The second change is the loss of confidence in our institutions and in the authority of their leaders across the society. Related to this is a shift in how society sees people in authority, whether politicians or scientific experts–a shift from healthy skepticism to cynical suspicion of everything and everyone. This shift makes generating the kind of collective action we need to solve our big problems and update our traditional formula for prosperity that much more difficult.

The third shift in values is a weakening of our sense of shared national purpose, which propelled us in—and was reinforced by–the struggle against fascism in World War II and against communism in the Cold War.”

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