THE DRC WE WANT
founder of RC, Pacifique Sukisa-Makasi
This document is a proposal of the Revolution Congolaise (RC), aiming durable and lasting solutions to the current DRC’s social, economic and political problems, among others, the major problems of governance, State institutions (Electoral Commission, Judiciary & Legislature), social cohesion, citizens’ participation, development and the DRC’s position on the Global arena.
The Revolution Congolaise (RC), registration number: 2017/313356/08 was founded on the 10th December 2011 following the DRC’s 2011 flawed elections. The RC’s vision is a Peaceful, Stable and Prosperous DRC. The RC envisages good governance, good management of our country’s natural resources and a viable environment to the Private Sector in DRC.
After several years of carefully examining the current social, economic and political affairs in DRC, the RC’s founding team concluded that there is a need for a New Beginning that is key to paving a way to future democratic, free and fair elections in DRC. This New Beginning must be all inclusive for it to be credible but should be led by an impartial leader who is not linked to the current political power-struggle between the ruling alliance and a part of the political opposition. So, the RC founding team came up with the proposals for “the DRC we want”.
We want a peaceful, stable and prosperous DRC rooted on Good Governance, based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, democracy and other universal principles, “the Government of the people, by the people, for the people”; “a democratic & free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities”. We want strong, impartial and independent State institutions. We want good management of our country’s natural resources and a viable environment to the private sector. It is no longer arguable that our country is currently home to autocracy, deadly conflicts, extreme poverty, gross human rights abuses because of a political system rooted on myth that every success and every failure is a product of sorcery and fetishism, diversity intolerance, selfish ambitions, weak State institutions, deliberate failure to promote our country’s Constitution, Democracy, the universal declaration of human rights and most importantly, persistent leadership bankruptcy that has resulted to political power based on the finger on trigger, corruption, intimidation (arbitrary imprisonment, physical and emotional torture) and even death.
How do we promote Democracy without democrats or good leadership with leadership bankrupt politicians?
The RC’s founding team believes that our country will get out of where it is if we understand the need to talk to each other instead of talking about each other because dialogue/political negotiation remain key to finding durable and lasting solutions to the DRC political problems and most importantly, there is a need for a New Beginning that shall effectively pave a way to future democratic, free and fair elections in DRC. However, this New Beginning must be all inclusive for it to be credible but should be led by an impartial leader who is not linked to the current political power-struggle between the ruling alliance and a part of the political opposition. In addition, there is a need for sacrifices such as, the replacement of revenge with unconditional forgiveness, reconciliation, social cohesion, etc. In other words, we need to set aside our differences and focus on building a nation out of our deeply divided societies. Impartial DRC leaders must conquer fear and act even if this means self-sacrifice. There is a need for the current leadership’s retirement without punishment to avoid more unnecessary bloodshed and we plead that the sub-regions the DRC belongs to, the African Union and the broader International Community take the risks to try ‘The DRC that we want’ proposals and to renew their commitment to promoting the ‘Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of Congo and the region’ – http://www.peaceau.org/uploads/scanned-on-24022013-125543.pdf
I. Where are we now?
Our country is currently home to autocratic governance, corruption, deadly conflicts, gross human rights abuses, extreme poverty, economic degradation, etc. None of the basic human rights is fully enjoyed by the ordinary DRC people as stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “1. We are all born equal 2. Don’t discriminate 3. The right to life 4. No to slavery 5. No torture 6. You have rights no matter where you go 7. We are all equal before the law 8. Your human rights are protected by law 9. No unfair detainment 10. The right to trial 11. We are always innocent till proven guilty 12. The right to privacy 13. Freedom to move 14. The right to seek a safe place to live 15. Right to a nationality 16. Marriage and family 17. The right to your own things 18. Freedom of thought 19. The freedom of expression 20. The right to public assembly 21. The right to democracy 22. Social security 23. Worker’s rights 24. The right to play 25. Food and shelter for all 26. The right to education 27. Copyright 28. A fair and free world 29. Responsibility 30. No one can take away your human rights.”
II. What got us where we are today?
The argument that DRC’s postcolonial leaders inherited an undemocratic political system based on selfish ambitions and human rights abuses from Belgian King Leopold II and our former Belgian colonial masters and that there are external interferences with wrong intentions in our country’s political affairs cannot be ruled out completely but after more than half a century of our country’s independence, we – the DRC people should be honest with ourselves and admit that the postcolonial persistent negative social, economic and political situation in our country is mainly our fault, mainly because of our deliberate failure to implementing the texts of our country’s constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Democracy and other universal principles which we have agreed upon.
Our first democratically elected prime minister – Patrice Lumumba ignored his own promise to make the DRC a member of the free world countries. Patrice Lumumba impatiently chose the revenge path instead of dialogue or negotiation and reconciliation paths that would have potentially led our country towards a rainbow-new nation out of our previously divided societies mainly based on racial and tribal differences. Arrogance, impatience, leadership bankruptcy and revenge drove Patrice Lumumba and his supporters to ignore the article ten (10) of our country’s Constitution and this resulted in DRC’s citizens of non-black skin colour to cruelly be driven out of the DRC soon after our country’s independence!
Here follows the article 10 of the DRC constitution that hasn’t changed but that unfortunately continue to be ignored and continue to cause unnecessary conflicts and none of our politicians seems to learn from the mistakes of their predecessors regarding this article:
Congolese nationality is one and exclusive. It may not be held together with another nationality. The Congolese nationality is obtained either by origin or by individual acquisition. Of Congolese origin are all persons who belong to ethnic groups whose members and territory formed what has become the Congo (presently the Democratic Republic of the Congo) upon its independence. An organic law determines the conditions for the recognition, acquisition, loss and recovery of Congolese nationality.”
In the 1990’s former President of the DRC, known then as Zaire Mobutu Sese Seko ignored the article ten (10) of the DRC constitution and unwisely asked one of his provincial governors in the east of the DRC to cruelly drive the DRC citizens of Tutsi ethnic group out of our shared country regardless of our ancestors’ origin, skin-color,tribe/ethnic group, physical appearance, language, etc if we are covered by the constitution of our country!
After Mobutu Sese Seko, former President of DRC – Laurent Desire Kabila made the same mistakes when he put all Tutsis present in Zaire in one basket calling them all Rwandans because they look like Rwandese and speak a language very close to Kinyarwanda. Laurent Kabila’s hunger for power pushed him to irrationally mobilize DRC people of Non-Tutsi ethnic belonging to drive our Tutsis compatriots out of the DRC!
President Joseph Kabila’s grip on power, intimidation and other human rights abuses committed during his leadership have so far driven millions of DRC people out of the DRC but at least for now he hasn’t publicly asked a specific tribe or ethnic group to massively leave the DRC. However, being mostly surrounded by the same people who misled Mobutu Sese Seko during his thirty-two (32) years as president of the DRC and those who mainly misled Laurent D. Kabila are key advisers to Joseph Kabila resulting in President Joseph Kabila’s opportunity to strengthen autocracy.
No wonder many of our compatriots have blindly grown a sentiment that some of the DRC citizens are not genuine DRC citizens and that our social, economic and political negative situation is entirely a fault of Belgium and other Western countries simply because of their former roles in slavery and colonization to try and deviate ordinary people from our focus on service delivery and our politicians’ accountability!
In short, all our post-colonial politicians seem to share many negative things in common such as: leadership bankruptcy, power based on myths that all progress and failures come from sorcery and fetishism, the finger on the trigger, corruption, arbitrary imprisonments, torture, other forms of intimidation including human slaughtering, rape, deliberate isolation of our country from the international community’s scene.
The other key problem is that most DRC’s political parties are rooted on tribalism or, and personal conflicts between former friends. Most of our country’s political parties are considered by their founders as their personal entities aiming selfish ambitions and mainly selfish economic gains instead of political parties aiming national interest. Therefore, most of our country’s political opposition leaders are not opposed to bad political system in our country but are mostly opposed to an individual they do not like because of their personal issues or because they do not share a tribe, a province or a language!
Both politicians in power and in the formal opposition seemingly share negative political ideals. Is democracy possible without democrats? Can a leader who fails to democratize a political party democratize a country?
The other major cause of our country’s current social, economic and political negative situation is diversity intolerance among us ordinary people of DRC. Diversity intolerance that have simply resulted in ordinary people blind support to political leaders not because these political leaders have good programs for the country but simply because these politicians share a tribe, a province, a language or a religion with these ordinary people! This diversity intolerance has resulted in persistent conflicts and gross human rights abuses on the DRC soil to the point that in the past two decades the Eastern DRC and for nearly a year now the Kasai region that is situated in the centre of the DRC have become human slaughtering fields to the point that the South and North Kivu provinces have made our country become the world’s rape capital! In other words, the ordinary people of DRC’s negative citizens’ participation in the DRC current affairs is among the key factors to the threats our country’s constitution’s texts are persistently faced with. The ordinary people’s diversity intolerance and the blind support to political leaders are also a big obstacle to the better, peaceful, stable and Prosperous DRC that we want.
III. What will get us out of where we are?
Most of the DRC people have expressed their desire for a new beginning in our country but unfortunately because of trauma, lack of real leaders and hopelessness most of them feel as this new beginning can at present, only take place through violence!
That’s why we – the RC founding team have taken the risk to come in, even if this means self-sacrifice, to say no to violence because there are still peaceful means available to make this needed new beginning possible without more unnecessary bloodshed or human suffering on our country’s soil.
The truth is that none of us has the power to fix the past but we all have the power to build positive futures. We have the power to make the DRC a place to fearlessly live, to visit, a place where the hard worker and the honest shall invest and prosper and a DRC that our future generations shall inherit, live in harmony and call home with dignity.
The other temporarily defeated truths are that to every problem there is a solution and political dialogue or political negotiation remain the best way to find durable and lasting solutions to our countries political problems.
To get our country out of its current negative social, economic and political situation we unarguably need the help of the sub-regions our country belongs to, we need the help of the African Union and the help of the broader international community but it is primarily we – the DRC people’s responsibility to get our country in order. In other words, any effort aiming a peaceful, stable and prosperous DRC, good governance based on universal principles in DRC, good management of our country’s natural resources and a viable environment for the Private Sector should have politically impartial DRC nationals on board and preferably these politically impartial DRC nationals should be leading such efforts.
IV. Sacrifices must be made.
Seemingly, we have failed to put our differences aside to build a nation out of our divided societies. This failure has made the RC founding team to conclude that there is an urgent need for the DRC’s politicians (both the ruling alliance and the opposition at large), the ordinary DRC people and the international community to make the following sacrifices:
To negotiate the retirement of the current DRC’s leadership without punishment to avoid more unnecessary bloodshed and revenge that doesn’t solve any problem but that instead strengthen what we call: “a circle of I hit you today, you hit me tomorrow.” Both the DRC political ruling alliance and the opposition must give up their struggle for power and allow an impartial political leadership, an impartial electoral leadership, an impartial head of the judiciary and preferably an impartial army chief, police, etc. to come to life and lead the needed powerful transitional government aiming democratic, fair and free elections and a peaceful power transfer to future democratically elected leaders.
Diversity tolerance (unconditional forgiveness and reconciliation). Ordinary DRC people should give up projects aiming revenge and replace such projects with unconditional forgiveness and reconciliation.
We also take advantage on this document to remind our compatriots that our beloved country is surrounded by nine other countries making it reasonable that some of our country’s citizens covered by the article 10 of our constitution are unavoidably from these nine neighbouring countries. In addition, it was part of our primary education and still is, I think, that beside the “Batwa” or pygmies other DRC people migrated from other parts of Africa and the world. We need to be honest with ourselves and try to have the rational understanding that none of the DRC nationals asked to be born a member of a specific tribe or a specific ethnic group. None of us asked to be born in a specific province or where a specific language is spoken. None of us asked to be born with a specific skin colour. Yes, there are things which divide us such as religion, political organization and opinions that we chose but again, our political, religious belonging and opinions should not divide us because they are simply parts of our basic rights and key ingredients to the democracy that we seek.
We plead that the sub-regions that the DRC belongs to, the African Union and the broader International Community take risks to try our winning new formula instead of continuing to promote formulas which continue to fail.
We plead that the above mentioned organisations renew their commitment to promoting the “Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of Congo and the region” – http://www.peaceau.org/uploads/scanned-on-24022013-125543.pdf
V. Our vision for a New DRC in 2030
· A Peaceful, Stable and Prosperous DRC / Good governance, Good Management of the DRC’s natural resources and a Viable Environment for the Private Sector shall be in existence.
· Women and men should be equally allowed not only to participate in electing leaders but women and men should be equally elected at all levels of our country’s leaderships.
· Distribution of clean drinking water and electricity at least to half the people of the DRC.
· Reasonable and regular salaries to teachers, medical – veterinary doctors and nurses, army, police and national security services’ staff members, etc. Brief, reasonable and regular salaries to workers in both the public and in the private sectors.
· Food security, industry, trade, investment and finances, natural resources and environment, social welfare, diplomacy, international relations, etc. should have successfully kick-started.
· Quality basic education (modern competitive skills at Global level).
· Improved and accessible Public Health care.
· Peace and Stability.
· Economy & employment.
· A skilled workforce.
· Improved infrastructure across the DRC (Urban and rural areas).
· Sustainable human settlements.
· Accountable local, provincial and national government.
· Natural environment.
· A clearly positioned DRC on the Global arena.
· Efficient public service.
· Inclusive social protection.
· Nation building, social cohesion, positive citizens’ participation.
VI. About the author
“My name is Pacifique, a French name that means “peaceful, pacifier, peacemaker”. My surname is Sukisa-Makasi, a Lingala – DRC national language meaning Victor.
I was born from a poor rural/subsistence farmer family, on the 18th September 1971 in the persistently troubled South-Kivu, Eastern province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
I was not fortunate enough to reach the educational qualifications I wished for. I’m convinced that the lack of a high qualification contributes on my vulnerability to effectively access platforms through which I could easily share with other world’s citizens my views/experience on our country’s social & economic persistent man-made hardships & my commitment to contribute on making our country peaceful, stable and prosperous (Good Governance based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, democracy & other universal principles, “the Government of the people, by the people, for the people”, “a democratic & free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities”; Good Management of the DRC’s Natural Resources & a Viable Environment to the Private Sector). A DRC that shall effectively contribute on making our interdependent world a better place.
I remain a “Never Give Up” person. My rural upbringing & my life in cities, have helped me discover that to contribute on one’s country’s social & economic improvement one requires primarily one’s good & free will to do so. I’ve also discovered that skills can be acquired at any time of one’s existence & in various ways. When one has personally been a victim of persistent social & economic injustices, one has good & free will to serve others, one is willing to conquer fear, work hard, learn from one’s personal hardships & from those who have positively contributed on positive changes in their communities or countries, I believe that GOD mysteriously connect such a person to the right mentor(s). It is just a matter of having a clear vision.
A deadly poisoning, I survived in 2013, the arson my kids, wife & I survived in 2015, financial struggle & other assassination attempts forced me quit my law studies at the University of South Africa.”