Sixteen of the 21 former rebel groups
who recently signed a ceasefire agreement with Kinshasa have formed a political
party to contest future elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The party, known as the Patriotic Coalition for the Defense of Democracy (PCDD)
aims to address what its founders described as the ineptitude of President
Joseph Kabila's government. The former combatants accused the government of
failing to alleviate the suffering of the ordinary Congolese.
Didier Bitaki is
a leading member of the new party. He told VOA the new
party is generating a lot of grassroots support after Kinshasa failed to live
up to its promises.
reason why the party was created was that first 16 years we have been fighting
in different wars, but didn't get the solution to stabilize the country. And
now among the reason why there was a war… we can select for example political
issues, political problems, which have to be resolved. Social problems and
diplomatic problems," Bitaki said.
said Kinshasa has so far failed to resolve the country's problems.
political leaders were not able to place the country on the place where it
should be placed. Unfortunately, there is looting, there is corruption money
laundering and many things. So, we are just doing our best to improve on that
situation through the new political party we are creating as a main aim of our
party," he said.
said the new party would ensure that it addresses the concerns of ordinary
we were fighting and we were looking for solutions by making the way
unfortunately we did not do so. Now, we are deciding to lead our party and wait
for the elections to prove that we are patriots. The people are with us and the
population understand why Mai Mai we are fighting and I think in short that is
the reason," Bitaki said.
said the new party is credible and has the support of the people and would
seriously challenge the ruling party in future elections.
first thing is that we are credible because the reason why is that if you ask
who is the Mai Mai and what does the Mai Mai people need? Mai Mai people need
is patriots and due to their patriotism that is what has led to the fighting of
Mai Mai is that all of the people were behind Mai Mai combatants. Now, because
we have already resolved the military question and I think due to the need of
the population, we noticed that we need to deal with the political issues," he
said most ordinary Congolese support the former combatants to bring about
change in how they are governed.
are saying that we are going to fight all of what is bad for our population; it
means that the people understand our cause and all of them are mobilized behind
us that to make a change in the country," Bitaki said.
accused some political leaders for embezzling funds he said belong to the country.
political issues, do you see how the country is? So that for someone to be rich
to find money to become very strong, he has to become a political leader in the
country starting by stealing money from the national treasury and build house.
And I think buying a house is the political aim of our political leaders now in
our country now, we need to bring change there," he said.
said the country has not had good relationship with its neighbors.
Democratic Republic of Congo is the only country around the world that doesn't
have any embassy out of the country for real. They are not paying even the
ambassadors and there is a very bad relationship with our neighbors. So we want
to resolve that issue," Bitaki said.