Campaigning continues in the Democratic Republic of Congo, just two days before Sunday?s first multi-party elections in more than 40 years. Professor Ose Muhima, a leader of the Renewal for Development and Democracy Party (RDDP), is one of 33 presidential candidates. He told VOA English to Africa reporter James Butty that he is prepared for Sunday?s election.
?I?m doing well despite all the problems that we are having on the ground. You know that our country is one of the countries that has been suffering for a long time. There are a lot of problems on the ground. We have security problem. But we will never give up.?
Muhima says the elections should proceed as planned, despite claims by some that fraud and a lack of transparency will taint the process.
?I think that we should stake to the calendar given by the Electoral Commission. There?s no other alternative than going to the election. The people ? the people are understanding. Wherever we go we are speaking to them. They are really expecting real change, and they know that real change can come only with new people.?
Muhima expresses confidence in his chances of winning.
?I know that my chances are very good despite all the difficulties that we are having on the ground. I know that the message I have is the message that the people need to wake up.?
He says he and other opposition candidates are encountering difficulties in gaining access to the media for campaigning purposes.
?We have problems using the radio because they are very expensive. I?m saying that the national radio, the national television is almost twice as high, and it is used by the people in power. And you know that in this country we pay fifty thousand US (dollars) to stand for the presidential. Not a single African country has such money. I?m from South Africa, and South Africa doesn?t even have five thousand for the presidential.?
Muhima says he is concerned about the security situation in the DRC, but that it is part of the struggle to liberate the country. He says there should be someone like him willing to give his life for the people.
Let us know what you think of this report and other stories on our website. Send your views to AFRICA@VOANEWS.COM, and include your phone number. Or, call us here in Washington, DC at (202) 205-9942. After you hear the VOA identification, press 30 to leave a message. We want to hear what you have to say!