Woman throws hat in ring for top job in Congo - Daily Nation

Amid the tension, woman throws hat in ring for top job

Thursday August 11 2016

Dr Monique Mukuna Mutombo appears on German television station DW. Dr Mutombo has said she will contest in the upcoming Congo presidential elections in November 2016. PHOTO | SCREEN GRAB

Dr Monique Mukuna Mutombo appears on German television station DW. Dr Mutombo has said she will contest in the upcoming Congo presidential elections in November 2016. PHOTO | SCREEN GRAB 

By NDI EUGENE NDI
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YAOUNDÉ, Wednesday

Monique Mukuna Mutombo is the lone woman in the race to replace Joseph Kabila as tension mounts in the mineral-rich but politically unstable Democratic Republic of Congo.

The poll should be held in November 2016.

The situation has been aggravated by recent actions that have been interpreted by rivals as manoeuvres by Mr Kabila to seek a third term against the constitutional limit.

A court ruling in May that authorised President Kabila to continue overseeing the affairs of the state beyond his second term that should end in December, is facing stiff opposition from his rivals, including the lone woman aspirant, Dr Mutombo.

All the five people who have already declared their interest in the upcoming election are challenging the court ruling, which they see as a travesty of justice.

Dr Mutombo, 42, who declared her candidacy in March this year thinks the time had come for a woman to be at the helm of the country.

She thinks it was time for women whose population was over 60 per cent, to rule DR Congo to change the governance narrative.

“As you know, the solution to the instability in the DR Congo is not the exclusive preserve of men. Women can even do it better. Women have proven to be good managers during periods of strife and conflict. Ellen Johnson has done it in Liberia,” she said in an interview with the Daily Nation.

The DRC, says Dr Mutombo, cannot continue to wallow in poverty in the midst of plenty.

“I am frustrated to see that the DRC is among the poorest countries in the world while being so potentially rich,” said Dr Mutombo.  “It is a shame that my country is better known only by the level of wealth of its leaders, while the population is living in abject poverty, poor health and starvation.”

According to the presidential aspirant, the Democratic Republic of Congo economy had suffered from poor and misplaced policies under Kabila, which had put its citizens in dire need of health facilities, electricity, good education, clean potable water and food security. Dr Mutombo promises to bring a new stimulating perspective she calls the ‘woman power’.

“I seek to provide new policies and laws that would assist this beautiful country lead in doing business, attract investment, grow the economy and create wealth, the woman touch in development,” she promises.

Dr Mutombo, who is going into the election as an independent candidate, is aware of the allegations that President Kabila was trying to delay the elections in order to remain in power.

She says the incumbent had only been working for himself and a small group of his cronies and allies, while committing grave human rights violations, resulting in the death of citizens and the looting of the country’s mineral resources to benefit himself and his circle.

“I consider those protests as a volcano that can erupt any time and no one will be able to stop it. DRC is not like some other countries in the region, it is very volatile.

‘‘In the past, I have seen Kinshasa becoming so uncontrollable that Mobutu (Sese Seko) who considered himself as a demi god, had to flee the country without notice,” said Dr Mutombo.