Over a hundred of Congolese Nationals in South Africa, on Tuesday, took to the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s embassy in Pretoria to protest against the continuous stay of Congo’s President Joseph Kabila.
Kabila’s reign expired on Monday, December 19 but he apparently refused to step down.
BuzzSouthAfrica gathered that the president deliberately allowed his tenure to run without establishing an electoral platform that would elect the next leader.
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This did not go down well with opposition activists, who accused Kabila of trying to retain power unconstitutionally.
President Joseph Kabila took over from his father, former President Laurent-Désiré Kabila ten days after his assassination. He succeeded his father in 2006 and was re-elected in 2011.
Some of the protesters in Pretoria called on police officers to allow them to speak to the officials in the embassy. This was after the police barred them from gaining entrance into the embassy.
One of the first protesters to arrive at the DRC embassy in Pretoria Roger Biayi was spotted flashing a red card. The small placard read: “We are tired of him, we want him to be out.” Another protester shouted: “today we are going to burn down the embassy.”
The police also tried to confiscate some drinks from the protesters while others insisted that the police must stay out of their way because the protest in Pretoria forms part of worldwide protests against Kabila.
One of the protesters, Claude Kabambi from Kinshasa said he really wants to go back home but will do that if Kabila steps down as Congo’s president.
The crowd taunted the police by pushing through the tapped streets. At this point, the police responded by firing rubber bullets at some of them in a bid to disperse them. From all angles, the protesters were chanting “Kabila Must Go”.
It is pertinent to note that Congo has never witnessed a peaceful change of power since independence in 1960. According to the Constitution, Congo’s President Joseph Kabila is allowed to serve just for two terms.
On 19 September 2016, massive protests calling for him to step down as legally mandated hit Kinshasa, and killed 17 people.
Also, elections to determine a successor to Kabila were originally scheduled to be held on 27 November 2016. But the nation’s electoral authority announced on 29 September 2016, that the election would not be held until early 2018.
Hence, the reason why the protesters took to Pretoria to march against Congo’s President Joseph Kabila.