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TSHIANI’S WARPATH: Discrimination Law Will Destroy Fragile National Unity; ‘Congolite’ Is A Danger To DRC Peace

Congolese civil society has branded the widely condemned bill by American Professor Noelle Tshiani seeking to eliminate targeted candidates from the 2023 presidential race as a catalyst for anarchy.

Congolese Association for Access to Justice (CAAJ) has denounced the law being driven by President Felix Tshisekedi’s pawn, Prof. Noelle Tshiani, as a violation of the Constitution of the Republic.

Widely known as ‘Congolite’, the law being proposed by Prof. Tshiani, a kasai and tribesmate of President Tshisekedi, is an attempt to block popular Congolese opposition leader Moise Katumbi from running in the 2023 election on account that one of his parents is not originally from Congo.

CAAJ Monitoring Officer Ben Bonginda issued the statement on behalf of the organization president Georges Kapiamba who says it is a serious concern that the reform had been presented to parliament when it was there before and had been defeated.

Kapiamba says the proposed electoral law goes against the spirit of the country’s constitution.

He says the fundamental charter of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) enshrined in the constitution declares that all its inhabitants will unite and move together as one.

Kapiamba says the country’s charter adopted by the constitution states, ‘we, the Congolese People, united by destiny and history around the noble ideals of freedom, fraternity, solidarity, justice, peace and work… Let us affirm our determination to safeguard and consolidate national independence and unity while respecting our diversities and positive particularities.”

He said in addition, the constitution with specific reference to Articles 10, 11, 12, 13, 72, 102 and 106, has clearly and without exception defined a Congolese by origin and in its entirety.

Kapiamba says there was no need to reinvent the will especially that constitution reform was not among the pressing issues the country should be attending to.

He says the country’s leadership should be focusing on alleviating the misery of the people and restore peace in the East rather that focus on an inappropriate, devisive and dangerous proposal that has the potential to stoke the fire leading to chaos.

Kapiamba says the Congolite law which will eliminate people whose parents were of a different origin is a retrogressive reform that will undermine the little democratic gains the country has so far made.

He said there are many examples in several countries across the globe with leaders who had traces of immigrant backgrounds, naturalized or having acquired the nationality of the host country through one of their parents.

“I strongly call on members of parliament to focus their efforts on restoring peace, particularly in the provinces of Ituri, North Kivu and Mai-ndombe (Kwamouth Territory), fighting against the misappropriation of public funds, improving collective well-being, as well as preparing for the organisation of the 2023 electoral cycle, which is called to be peaceful, fair, democratic, transparent and inclusive,” he said.

Kapiamba says each political or social leader must work to uproot division, clear political confrontations and confront with courage the injustices fabricated over the years in the DRC.

He urged all Members of Parliament in the DRC to reject the proposed law to amend the electoral law in its provisions relating to nationality quoting writer Léon-Gontran Damas as having rightly cautioned that “color is life; and life is in the colors… culture and design when intertwined have more life and flamboyance”.

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