It’s ‘too soon’ to head home for Congolese
DEMOCRATIC Republic of Congo (DRC) nationals who are living in South Africa say despite the euphoria following the election of a new president, they will adopt a wait-and-see approach before making any decisions on their future.
The secretary-general of the Africa Solidarity Network, Daniel Dunia, said that it was too soon for them to even think of going back home.
“Having a new president is a good first step, but many challenges lie ahead before people can even think of packing their bags and heading back to the DRC,” he said.
Dunia said the new president had his work cut out for him as he had to stabilise the country, restore peace and eradicate poverty before people could consider returning.
“People are living in dire poverty back home, the unemployment rate is extremely high, there is a shortage of food and there is civil unrest. No one can decide to go home this early,” he said.
A part-time lecturer at the Durban University of Technology, Professor Isaiah Mutombo, said his country had suffered 17 years of dictatorial rule and he hoped a new leader would mean a new dawn.
“It makes me happy that this transition was a peaceful one. Now the new president must restore and rebuild the DRC,” he said.
Mutombo added that even though it made him happy that there was a positive transition in his country, it was still not time to return home.
“I do wish I could be home to celebrate with my fellow citizens, but it is too soon as socio-economic issues there have not yet been resolved,” he said.
He said that after years of a dictatorship, power had emerged through democratic means.
“Although I would have loved to vote, I am happy that people were able to make the right call,” he said
Brian Minga Anza, the leader of the Pan-africanist Party for Progress which is based in Durban, said they were celebrating a double victory.
“The first thing we are celebrating is that Joseph Kabila finally agreed to step down as president. Secondly, we are celebrating that the candidate he chose did not win the elections.”
Anza added that people were reluctant to go home due to security and the Ebola outbreak.
“Until these issues are resolved I do not think anyone will be in a rush to go back. We have to see signs of stability,” he said.