President Joseph Kabila: His Second Term and Three Challenges awaiting

by admin on February 17, 2012

by: Fidele A. Lumeya

From the outset of his new presidential term, Kabila is facing the challenge of winning the hearts and minds of the Congolese electorate which has lost trust in him and in his leadership.
The second term of the Congolese President Joseph Kabila’ is now and will in future be facing three dilemmas that need to be addressed, preferably within the first 100 days of his new term as President while the electoral promises are fresh in the minds of his people. Firstly, the Congolese people need a basis for believing in the President’s promises. Secondly, the President will need to replenish seriously diminished trust levels. These elements are inter-related. The reason to believe is related to the human need for security and trust levels are related to governance viability; neither can function without the other. People who feel insecure and who distrust their government are not easily led, even by a newly elected President. They are no more enthusiastic as they were during the campaign.

If citizenry feel secure with regard to their future, they embrace the challenges of hardship and change. Hope and patience take root in a secure atmosphere. Such are the elements of the moral basis from which leaders are elected and followed.

For many Congolese, the One month presidential campaign did not provide time sufficient to vet the eleven presidential candidates nor time to understand their respective programs and the underlying values. Much like the dynamics of a beauty contest, candidates were on display and the electoral commission, CENI, served as the judges.

With regard to the trust deficit, the officially publicized results of the 2011 presidential election in DR Congo were received with equinity neither by national nor by international observers. Even now, the results exude an obnoxious odor. As human being we like order in the way our lives are organized; we like predictability in what we anticipate and we like reliable human interaction. In the 2011 presidential election in Congo, all three elements were absent. There was an absence of order in many polling stations, producing unreliable results and thus deepening the electorate’s distrust in Kabila. Opposition groups in Kinshasa referred to Kabila as a “nominated president” and they referred to his opponent, Tshisekedi, as the “president elect”.

Herewith some concluding observations and suggestions. Without trust, relationships falter. Trust is to relationship what oil is to an engine. Constructive dialogue between the people and the President is available as a beginning point. Alas, Kabila is not a good communicator and his minister of communication is even less effective. Social media facilities such as Facebook, Twitter, and radio, among others, provide excellent avenues of engagement between the President and his skeptical citizenry. In this regard, President Museveni of Uganda has set a good example. In the year 2000, he launched a morning show on Ugandan national radio. He was there to receive questions from the public and to respond. Many Ugandans were grateful for the opportunity of engaging with their President without the fear of intimidation or arrest. Town hall meetings provide another vehicle for building trust between a President and the people. For many Congolese President Kabila is an unknown quantity. His background is opaque, leaving the electorate with many unanswered questions.

President Kabila must abandon his “party-going-guy” aura; he must shift from functioning merely as a ceremonial or inaugural president to the posture of a president who can engage in a trust-building manner with the people of his country. Ceremonial fluff has the effect of eroding the trust of the body politic. Popular enthusiasm for his presidency must be based on the election momentum that he had generated in November 2011. After the 2006 presidential election, Kabila enjoyed the support of a majority of the Congolese people while Bemba, his opponent, mobilized guns to contest the election results. By contrast, in the 2011 DR Congo election a majority of the electorate questioned both the electoral process and the officially publicized results.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Ray February 21, 2012 at 7:13 am

The campaign period for the election was NOT 2 weeks, it was ONE MONTH.Before misleading the world, its important to get your facts right.

admin February 29, 2012 at 5:55 am

Dear ray
Thank you for your comment and thank you for the remark around the timing. However, to call it “misleading the world” seems to give to the article the intent that was not the aim of the article.
We appreciate your collaboration.
Fidele. March 15, 2014 at 5:25 pm

Hello my friend! I want to say that this articoe
is awesome, great written and include approximately all important infos.

I’d like to loopk extra posts like this .

admin March 28, 2016 at 12:00 pm


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