DRC ruling coalition spokesman says house attacked ahead of vote

Monday October 22 2018

Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila.

Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila. FILE PHOTO | AFP 

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The Democratic Republic of Congo's ruling coalition spokesman said Monday his house was sprayed with bullets overnight in the capital Kinshasa, just two months ahead of a key vote.

"At around one in the morning, my residence came under heavy fire from unidentified men travelling in a Toyota IST," said Andre-Alain Atundu, a spokesman for the ruling coalition of President Joseph Kabila.

"Nobody was hurt but there was heavy damage. The roof was damaged and my two cars were riddled with bullets," he told AFP.
An AFP journalist also saw the traces of gunfire.

Atundu, who was the country's former security chief, is also currently a top official at the national electricity company.

Tensions are mounting ahead of the vote. Kabila, who has held office since 2001, has said he will not run again in the long-delayed December 23 ballot.

Months of speculation about Kabila's plans, marked by protests that were bloodily repressed, ended in August when he clearly said he was not contesting and threw his weight behind his designated successor Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary.

A candidate list finalised at the end of last month included opposition figures Felix Tshisekedi and Vital Kamerhe but confirmed the exclusion of former warlord Jean-Pierre Bemba and regional baron Moise Katumbi — a move that raised protests from their powerful blocs of supporters.

On Sunday, Kinshasa police carried out searches for arms on Toyota IST vehicles, the capital's police chief Sylvano Kasongo said.

The cars, widely used as taxis in the sprawling city of 10 million, are often used by bandits and kidnappers.