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Tshisekedi faces uphill task

DAUNTING task lies ahead of the DR Congo President-elect Felix Tshisekedi, with political commentators highlighting a myriad of challenges especially in unifying all Congolese. 

Already, the United Nations has commended the people of DR Congo and other stakeholders for the election, reaffirming commitment to continue supporting the vast country. 

In interviews with the ‘Daily News’ in Dar es Salaam yesterday, analysts observed some of the challenges as forging close working relationship with all the neighbouring countries in the great Lakes region and carrying out major governance reforms. 

They observed that for the first time in history, DR Congo has experienced the first democratic transfer of power, 59 years since the country gained its independence. 

According to announced provisional results by the electoral commission, Mr Tshisekedi (pictured) garnered seven million votes or 38 per cent, with another opposition candidate, Martin Fayulu collecting over six 6 million votes—about 34 per cent. 

The ruling party candidate, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, managed four million votes or 23 per cent, according to the results. 

Senior Lecturer with the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) Dr Benson Bana was on the view that the president-elect had an uphill task in unifying all the people and groups in the country. 

Picturing the election results, Dr Bana said it is clear that other candidates also claim huge support from the people considering the number of votes that the president-elect garnered in relation to his competitors. 

Dr Bana also pointed out that once the new President is in power, he has to win the confidence of all the people, including from those areas where they failed to cast votes for whatever reasons claimed. 

Much as the country is rich in resources like minerals, forests, water bodies among others, the analysts said the resources have never benefited majority Congolese and this should be among key areas, which the new leader has to focus. 

Political Expert at Ruaha Catholic University (RUCU) Professor Gaudence Mpangala maintained that the country should build good relations with neighbouring countries like Uganda and Rwanda. 

He noted that the leader should also ensure that rebel groups’ bases are dismantled and do not in any way have connections with DR Congo. 

Prof Mpangala also argued that the country will need to establish good relations with all countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region and later seek membership in the East African Community (EAC) with consideration that most of its neighbours in the Great Lakes are members. 

Another lecturer at Mwalimu Nyerere Memorial University Dr Parit Sarun commended Mr Tshisekedi for the victory in the just conducted elections in the vast central African nation. 

Dr Sarun said that the election that resulted in the announced outcomes demonstrates that all Congolese won the fight for democracy. 

“In order for the new President to prosper, collaborated efforts for building new DR Congo are needed,” he said, advising that the president-elect should find ways to diplomatically settle matters with factions operating in the country and restructure DR Congo. 

And, more importantly, the political analyst emphasized on security concerns and the opening up the country. 

The mineral rich country, rich in resources and vast land need to move fast and act quickly to promote movement and businesses through reconstruction of infrastructure. 

UN Secretary General António Guterres said he took note of the announcement made by the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) of the provisional results of the December 30 presidential elections in DR Congo. 

He commended the Congolese and political actors for conducting the presidential, national and provincial legislative elections, which saw a broad and inclusive participation of political parties. 

“The Secretary-General calls on all stakeholders to refrain from violence and to channel any eventual electoral disputes through the established institutional mechanisms in line with the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Constitution and relevant electoral laws,” the UN said in its statement. 

It added: “the Secretary- General expresses hope that the CENI, the Constitutional Court, government, political parties and civil society will each live up to their responsibility in preserving stability and upholding democratic practices in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.” 

The SG further reiterated continued support and commitment of the UN in collaboration with regional actors and international partners, for consolidation of peace, stability and development in the DR Congo. 

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Author: MAUREEN ODUNGA

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