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[VIDEO] DEMONSTRATION: Protests Erupt In Lubumbashi Over Minister’s Racist Remarks As Police Use Force To Disperse Gathering

Police in Lubumbashi this afternoon used force to disperse protesters who stormed the streets to express their displeasure against Minister of Hydrocarbons Didier Budimbu’s comments directed at Ensemble pour la République (Together for the Republic) president Moïse Katumbi.

The march, according to the organizers, was intended to protest against the “racist remarks” made by Mr. Budimbu on his recent visit to Lubumbashi.

“We organized a peaceful march with the aim of denouncing with the utmost energy the remarks of which our leader Moïse Katumbi Chapwe was the victim at the hands of those in power, and particularly Mr Budimbu.

“These members of the regime think that they have the monopoly of everything in this country and allow themselves to make abusive remarks, and we wanted to express our displeasure,” Jean Claude Muselwa, one of the youth leaders of Ensemble pour la Republic Lubumbashi, said.

The police used tear gas in front of the governorship offices to disperse the demonstrators.

“We are in the information age. We informed the city authority about the organization of our march today so that they make arrangements for our safety. Unfortunately, the police have given us inhuman treatment. We have comrades who have just been arrested, mothers and young people who have been brutalized,” Muselwa added.

Several banners denounced officials in President Felix Tshisekedi’s party for using hate speech to advance their agenda ahead of the 2023 polls.

“We say no to racist remarks,” the official said. Less than a year from the elections, tension is mounting in the country.

On his recent of Lubumbashi, Didier Budimbu, Minister of Hydrocarbons, had called Moïse Katumbi a “bat” without making direct reference but insinuating that a non Congolese was seeking power.

Foreign Trade minister Jean-Lucien also made similar remarks to his base stating that “everyone who is not born of a Congolese father is our enemy.”

The provocative remarks were disapproved by the Head of State at the Council of Ministers last Friday.

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