MPs vote out Tshisekedi’s ally from house

Monday June 1 2020

Félix Tshisekedi.

DR Congo President Félix Tshisekedi. Parliament has voted out his ally Jean-Marc Kabund as the first vice-president of the National Assembly. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

PATRICK ILUNGA
By PATRICK ILUNGA
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Democratic Republic of Congo Parliament has voted out Jean-Marc Kabund as the first vice-president of the National Assembly of the country.

Mr Kabund, who is also the interim president of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress, party of president Félix Tshisekedi, immediately accused the Front Commun pour le Congo (FCC), a political grouping of former president Joseph Kabila, of being behind his ouster.

He then tweeted: “It’s no surprise to me. This passage in force from the FCC is proof that the plot was hatched and goes beyond my dismissal. I leave this post with my head held high and without compromise. Proud to have defended our ideal of combat, our power and the President of the Republic.’’

In a very tense plenary, where the national deputies came to blows, 289 voted for the deposition of Mr Kabund, 17 voted against and nine abstained. After this dismissal, scenes of violence were recorded in several cities across the country. Several headquarters of Kabila’s People’s Party for Reconstruction and Democracy were attacked.

The genesis of Mr Kabund’s problems go back to early April when Alexis Thambwe Mwamba, the president of the Senate, announced during an interview on a radio show that there was going to be a special meeting between the Senate and the National Assembly to pass a law to accompany the president’s order on the state of health emergency in connection with the Covid-19.

A few days later, Mr Kabund opposed Mr Mwanba’s proposal on the same radio show, arguing that the holding of the congress was going to cost $7 million. The controversy then took hold of institutions and public opinion. And the assertions of Mr Kabund were termed "false" by Mr Mwamba.

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It must be said that since the establishment of the coalition between the political families of Kabila and Tshisekedi in January 2019, to "manage" the DRC together, divisions are legion in the country’s institutions.

At the height of the controversy over the cost of the congress between the supporters of President Tshisekedi and Mr Kabila, a deputy, by the name of Jean-Jacques Mamba, an MP of the Mouvement de Liberation du Congo (MLC), Jean-Pierre Bemba’s party, then wrote to Mr Kabund, asking him to enlighten the deputies. He said Mr Kabund’s words had “affected the collective credibility of the deputies, to the point of preventing them from freely debating their own laws”. Mr Kabund did not respond.

The MLC deputy decided to send a second letter, then a third. Mr Kabund did not respond to these letters.

Mr Mamba, whose MLC belongs to the Lamuka coalition, then decided to initiate a petition to bring down Mr Kabund.

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