News / Africa

DRC Group Petitions President Kabila to Pardon Jailed Legislator

DRC President Joseph Kabila (file)DRC President Joseph Kabila (file)
x
DRC President Joseph Kabila (file)
DRC President Joseph Kabila (file)
Peter Clottey
A group of 12 Civil Society organizations based in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s North Kivu province has launched a petition asking President Joseph Kabila to pardon a jailed parliamentarian of the ruling party.

“The petition is twofold,” said Fidel Bafilemba, a leading member of the civil societies’ umbrella group. “We want forgiveness from the president, but also amnesty, because without amnesty he could get out of jail without being able to go back to his job as a member of parliament.”

Bafilemba says the arrest and detention of lawmaker Muhindo Nzangi has angered residents in the region.

“Members of the team are working to dispatch this petition to the president and to other government officials,” said Bafilemba. “His prosecution has been highly political because all this MP [Member of Parliament] was charged for is common or public knowledge because everybody talks about those same issues. But the expediency of the trial and the way it was conducted is only ridiculous.”
 
Nzangi, who represents the North Kivu capital, Goma, was arrested after being accused of going too far in criticizing President Joseph Kabila and of “demoralizing” army troops battling rebels in the eastern part of the country.

During a live radio show on Kivu One FM, a locally-based independent radio station, Nzangi reportedly accused the government of deliberately mismanaging the political crisis in eastern Congo.

Some analysts describe Nzangi as a firebrand who has often accused senior government officials of graft and financial malfeasance.

“He is known not to get along with the current North Kivu province governor. Although we don’t have evidence, we believe that the governor must be behind it because of the way Nzangi was jailed,” said Bafilemba. “He was feared to be the prominent opponent of the chairmanship of the governing [party] here in Goma who could replace the current governor.”

Representatives of the governor have denied the accusations.

Supporters of the jailed lawmaker say his quick trial and sentencing demonstrate that he was politically persecuted. The government has yet to respond to calls that he be pardoned.

Critics say the lawmaker was a rabble-rouser who compromised national security, an act they say is punishable by law in spite of the immunity that legislators enjoy. Bafilemba disagrees, saying the mistreatment of the lawmaker is aimed at silencing any dissent in President Kabila’s ruling coalition.

“There have been some MPs who have gone to the frontlines of the conflict and they spoke to the media and nothing happened to them. But this guy, because he criticized the government and the security system, as soon as he came to the media and spoke about what he has seen then they accused him of being a threat to security, so it doesn’t really make sense,” said Bafilemba.
Clottey interview with Fidel Bafilemba
Clottey interview with Fidel Bafilembai
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid