Three weeks back, the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, H.E Felix Tshisekedi, appointed H.E Sama Lukonde Kyenge as the nation’s new prime minister. H.E Lukonde would be replacing the outgoing Prime minister Sylvester Ilunga Ilunkamba who was appointed prime minister in May 2019. Before his appointment to the new DR Congo government, Lukonde was the General Director of state-owned mining company Gecamines. Through his outstanding leadership, the company achieved running DR Congo’s mining flagship project. Apart from this, the new prime minister also served as a former minister of sports in DR Congo.
What to expect in the new DR Congo government
Many political experts in DR Congo argue that the appointment of Lukonde serves only to advance President Tshisekedi’s efforts to increase government revenues. The President expects the increased revenues will support the expansion of social programs in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. In his pursuit of this, the President has chosen to utilize the country’s abundant natural and mineral wealth to do so. But while Prime minister Sylvester Ilunga Ilunkamba was still in office, President Tshisekedi had to bargain with him over any policy shift.
Lukonde is an ally of the President. As this is the case, it should help President Tshisekedi install a more loyal cabinet to push through his agenda. But weeks after H.E Sama Lukonde Kyenge into office, the prime minister has delayed establishing his cabinet. Many in DR Congo are worried as the challenges facing Tshisekedi’s government persist. The Democratic Republic of Congo hasn’t had a government for two months. Corruption and violence are at an all-time high in the mineral-rich east African country.
Delay of the establishment of Cabinet
Because of the nation’s dire state, the President of the Senate had to recall the urgency of the issue of the Prime Minister establishing his cabinet. The President spoke about the issue during the first March parliamentary session in Kinshasa. The start of the parliamentary session came one month after the appointment of Lukonde into office. The Senate’s President urged the Prime Minister to for his cabinet as the challenges that await the new government need immediate attention. The longer DR Congo stays without a government, the more the nation will lose, even economy-wise.
Many citizens in the Democratic Republic of Congo remain baffled. The establishment of the cabinet has dragged on for a very long while. It is uncertain why it has taken so long when for other countries, the idea of a government with 40 members is hardly feasible given various political parties’ ambitions and appetites.
Some individuals believe it has taken too long as there are many differences over ministerial posts’ distribution. Those close to both the Prime Minister and President Felix Tshisekedi reveal that it appears that the announcement of the lineup of new cabinets will happen this week.
Apart from the government’s inauguration, the two chambers of parliament will also take care of priority reforms. One major reform requiring attention is the new electoral law. Additionally, when established, the two chambers of parliament will handle new members of the electoral commission.