As citizens of a nation, we always vote for a change in our countries. We hope that our elected leaders will do some magnificent work. However, this is not what we see in our African continent. When people line to vote, we expect peace, transparency, and harmony. It is unfortunate to see police officers whipping citizens after the elections finish. This article addresses how president Felix cannot deliver justice to pre-election crisis victims.
Some electoral bodies in other countries may fail to deliver trustworthy results triggering election violence. When an elected president steps in power, he forgets the promises he made to his people and treats them like animals denying them their rights. Other evil befalls his regime, therefore, contradicting his initial promises.
Amnesty International, a non-governmental organization, protects the rights of the vulnerable and poor people. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, there has been an issue of the government denying the people their rights and therefore human rights organizations got involved.
President Felix Tshisekedi and His Inauguration
President Felix is the legitimate President of the Democratic Republic of Congo. After he won the elections in 2018, Felix underwent his swearing process in 2019 and made pledges. He said that he will strive to promote liberty and justice in the country. However, he forgot to take keen concern on the victims who died during the pre-elections in the country. Until to date, the President is not concerned to look into the matter that caused the lives of over 300 people during demonstrations between 2015-2018.
Amnesty International and Pre-election crisis victims
Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Director for Southern Africa, commented on the issue.
“President Felix and his regime must acknowledge the pain that victims and their families have been enduring. They must publicly commit to promptly and effectively prosecute those who are responsible.”
Some officials wrote a report concerning the issue but the government dismissed the new report.
The government in DRC denied the victims justice. The non-governmental organization talked to some survivors in the efforts of seeking justice for the victims. A lot of the survivors showed anger and frustration as the authorities did not take concern over their injustices.
Kelly Tshimanga is one of the victims undergoing suffering from the loss of his father Rossy Tshimanga. The police shot Rosy Mukendi at his stomach at St. Benoit Catholic Church in the capital in 2018. Kelly says that before Felix Tshisekedi became president, he promised to take care of them. After he became the President, he did not honor his promises. The teenager is seeking justice for his dead father.
Vague Justice- The Opinions and Cries of pre-election crisis Victims
After the Amnesty International interviewed some victims, they had different views concerning the issue. Some said they raised their complaints to the authorities in an attempt to seek justice but their efforts bore no fruits and hence gave up. Others are afraid to seek justice while some have convictions that justice approval is only meant for the rich. This is an unfortunate situation since everyone must receive equal treatment in a nation.
A random mother gives her story. She says on 19th December 2016, a soldier killed her son in cold blood. The soldiers who killed her son still move around freely since they possess weapons and are free to do anything. The mother decided to keep quiet since she does not want more of her family members to die.
Boweya Ntando died on 20th September 2016 after a headshot from a police bullet. Mulela, her sister and also a fish seller, is taking care of her sister’s children together with hers. She says that she has no knowledge of legal affairs and no money to pay a lawyer.
The police also killed Therese, a nun, in St. Francois de Sales Catholic Church. Her family is determined to find justice for her death despite being aware of all the risks they are exposing themselves to. The family also rejected compensation from the authorities. The government paid funeral costs for some victims and threatened those trying to find justice.
Absurd Investigations- Joseph Kabila’s Committees
Due to international pressures, Joseph Kabila, a former head of state, came up with 3 committees to look into the matter and none was successful.
The 1st committee came to existence in 2016 to look into violent demonstrations from 19th until 21st September 2016. It resulted in over 40 people losing their lives after the electoral body did not announce the election results in time. Moreover, the committee never mentioned anything on the police force using forceful methods.
Deprose Muchena said:
“The law governs the Democratic Republic of Congo and is a signatory to international human rights instruments which strictly forbid extrajudicial execution and police using force. If the police suspect anyone of committing unlawful killings they should arrest, charge, and accord a fair trial without recourse to the death penalty. They must be held accountable for their crimes.”
During the formation of the 2nd committee that came into existence in 2018, it was to look into the issue of police using force on demonstrators. It also advocated on a trial of officials who used excessive force on the citizens. The 3rd and final committee came into existence in 2018 and it was to re-investigate on murder in 2016.
Indeed, human rights activists need to ensure that the governments have compensated any victim of election violence. They should ensure the victims have received justice and not just money. The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo just like any other in various states should respect human rights.