It’s ‘too soon’ to head home for Con­golese

Sunday Tribune - - AFRICA - KWANDOKUHLE NJOLI [email protected]

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.

FELIX Tshisekedi

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