The public debate in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) over “Congoleseness” has taken a new turn in recent days.
A draft law that would exclude anyone whose two parents are not Congolese from voting in presidential elections and other government activities has provoked conflicting reactions.
The law has divided the political class, as well as the general population, with strong opinions.
“You know that this law will not only trace, paint in red the lines of our political and ethnic divergences, but it will also bring the seeds of conflicts, to awaken these seeds that exist today,” said political analyst Omar Matandiko.
Opponents of the bill claim it is aimed at opposition activist Moise Katumbi, whose father is Greek and who is rumored to be running for president.
Congo’s presidential election will take place in only two years. According to observers, President Felix Tshisekedi is eager to use Katumbi’s parents to prevent him from voting.
The government has yet to make a statement on the bill.
Opponents have called the draft legislation “discriminatory” and “unconstitutional,” but it still has a long way to go before it becomes law.
It must pass through multiple phases, beginning with the National Assembly, which is split on the matter.