Engulfed by conflicts, violence, corruption, the country should go to the polls on December 23… an insurmountable obstacle. And then everything has to be rebuilt.
It is not strange for religious leaders to be strongly implicated in the socio-political life in the Democratic Republic of Congo and this has been in existence since the country’s pre-colonial days. The powerful Catholic Church and its leadership in particular have been involved in stifling any simmering chaos, not that they are always successful, but politicians have had a tendency to at least listen for a while. Religious leaders played a significant role in the 1990 National Sovereign Conference that sought to re-introduce multi party politics and end two decades of the Mobutu dictatorship. They also closely followed the Inter-Congolese Dialogue in Sun City, South Africa between 2001 and 2003, which heralded, for the first time in the history of politics in Africa, four Vice Presidents in a system that was aimed at overcoming the traditional divisions in the country’s polity and sought to usher in a veritable democratic system.