Congo-Kinshasa: Ruling Coalition on the Brink of Implosion

Président Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo and former president Joseph Kabila
15 November 2020

The government in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) could be going through a crisis of some sort following persistent wrangles in the ruling coalition fronted by President Félix Tshisekedi and his predecessor Joseph Kabila.

The political families of these two leaders have lately been fiercely opposed, wrecking the coalition they formed and all government institutions.

This week, rumours swirled of a possible revolt in the Congolese army (FARDC) who were expected to start holding sit-ins and other protests to demand their delayed pay.

But Léon Richard Kasonga, the spokesperson for the army dismissed the allegations.

"The FARDC would like to clarify that for their smooth functioning, they receive various financial, logistical, technical and structural allocations," he said in a statement.

"Thus the pay, as well as various other benefits, being an independent expenditure, are disbursed as a proportion of the public revenue of the State without it being necessary to declared in public," he added.

'Social media rumours'

Kasonga criticised the purveyors of the social media rumours, saying the authorities will go for them.

He admitted that certain difficulties resulting from Covid-19 and the unfavourable international environment have prevented the disbursement of money, hampering the operations of the army.

"The armed forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo call on all valiant fighters to remain united, disciplined as always, vigilant and behind the supreme commander. Discipline requires the military to carry out only orders emanating from their hierarchy. They owe submission and loyalty to legally established institutions," he said.

At the same time, the army announced the transfer military guards situated at Mont-Ngaliema, the one-time presidential guests' residence in Kinshasa.

Kasonga said the relocations had been planned long before the rumours of delayed pay.

"This building is dilapidated. Today the number of officers posted here exceeds what was expected at the time," he said of the building that was often used during the Mobutu Seseko days.

"In this site, it is impossible to put everyone together and accomplish our constitutional regulatory missions in a convincing way."

The general warned political actors to refrain from discussing the armed forces.

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