Some DRC residents living in SA will not vote

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As the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) prepares for elections to choose Joseph Kabila‘s successor, some citizens who reside in South Africa say they will not vote. They have cited fear for their safety as the main reason.

This follows reports of widespread violence in some parts of the country where Kabila has been at the helm for 17 years.

Many in DRC citizens in South trade their skills in the North West capital, Mahikeng, more than 3 000 kilometres from the DRC’s capital, Kinshasa. While their fellow citizens back home prepare for the polls, they continue with their businesses.

One of them is a 36-year-old father of four, Musmusore Lolilo Mushombe. He arrived in SA in 2011, leaving behind his mother and four siblings.

He says he has never set foot in his home country since then.

“I cannot go in my country because there is war. They can kill me when I go there. I can’t go to vote.”

Others fear for the safety of their family members back home.

“People don’t have the right to vote there. Some, they are scared. Maybe there’s going to be a fight.”

The Congolese Solidarity Campaign, on the other hand, has questioned the role of the African Union and SADC. The organisation says seemingly, the regional body and the continental organisation have turned a blind eye on the plight of the Congolese.

“We are here, to just say really that, we are part of Africa. We need our country back from those who are looting. We are part of SADC, but they don’t do anything at all because we want them to do  something,” says Campaign President, Reverend Raphael Kabambire.

However, International Relations Expert, Kgame Molope has defended the two organisations. Molope says they have made efforts to resolve the DRC instability.

Molope also says the organisations can intervene but cannot interfere in internal matters.

“The two organisations have to protect the provisions of the United Nations Charter, which prohibits interference in the affairs of other states. And to this end, all efforts by either the AU or SADEC, have well been within such provisions in order to assist the DRC to deal with its instability. To this end, efforts are in place to assist in quelling the violence that is taking place in the DRC.”

Musmusore Lolilo Mushombe adds that he and many other DRC citizens in SA will like South Africans follow the elections on various media platforms.

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