President of the Engagement for Citizenship and Development (ECIDE), an opposition party in the embattled Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Martin Fayulu has called on President Lt Gen Ian Khama to intervene in that country’s political crisis.
Speaking exclusively to Weekend Post in a telephone interview facilitated by one of his associates currently in Botswana this week, Fayulu said it is imperative that Khama comes out publicly to condemn the violence and lead a process which would result in successful mediation.
“We want a facilitator, someone who is credible, has moral authority and is respected around the world to lead the negotiation process. We believe Botswana can play a role is searching for such a person,” he said.
“The United States and Europe have imposed sanctions. But nobody in Africa is doing anything about the DRC situation. We want Botswana to take a leadership role in resolving the matter by rallying other African countries to take action.”
Fayulu has revealed that the opposition in DRC has lost respect in the country’s elections commission and want its leader to leave office.
ECIDE has rejected a proposed dialogue as they insist that dialogue's current facilitator, Edem Kodjo; a former chairman of the African Union (AU) is not credible and is disposed towards President Kabila.
Other opposition parties have also joined hands with Fayulu’s ECIDE in setting pre-conditions for participating in the dialogue, including freeing political prisoners and lifting bans on several TV stations.
The troubled country saw a violent uprising recently, as multitudes thronged the streets to protest against President Joseph Kabila’s intention to stay in office beyond his constitutional term. The country’s electoral commission has failed to issue a writ for elections, which should be done 90 days before elections.
Kabila’s presidential term is scheduled to come to an end in November this year and Fayulu insists that Kabila should leave power at the end of his tenure and allow the mediation process to go on.
“He is playing games with delaying tactics because he knows he will be a loser in the end,” he said.
Fayulu also told this publication that other elective bodies such as the National Assembly and Senate should have representatives leaving office at the end of their terms on the 19th of December 2016.
The ECIDE leader, who recently survived military attacks, has expressed confidence that Botswana can play a major role as a game changer in DRC. He lauded former President Sir Ketumile Masire’s involvement in the DRC political crisis as a facilitator between 2000 and 2003.
Masire, a worldwide respected statesman played a major role in calming a political situation in the DRC, which later helped the country draw up a new constitution which was accepted by all the country.
Fayulu is among those who have been harassed by Kabila’s security agents, and was arrested earlier this year following his involvement in a peaceful protest aimed at dissuading Kabila from attempting to stay beyond his constitutional term.
Over 100 people are reported to have been killed for protesting against Kabila’s refusal to leave power, while ECIDE’s office was destroyed in the process.
The dialogue process has been stalled amid opposition discontentment and the facilitator is making efforts to convince the opposition bloc to participate in the dialogue.
Government authorities have reportedly said the elections, scheduled for November, must be delayed until next year to allow time to register millions of new voters.
Recently, former President Festus Mogae was involved in South Sudan’s mediation talks, as the country was plunged in political crisis amid warring political opponents in the country.
Botswana is known to be a beacon of democracy, peace and stability in Africa and its foreign policy under the presidency of Khama took a major shift in dealing with leaders who refuse to leave power.
Botswana has condemned Burundi’s government which earlier this year was embroiled in political crisis as President Pierre Nkurunziza refused to leave power at the end of his term. A number of people died in the protest which ensued, but Nkurunziza remained in office with a political solution.
A few weeks ago, Khama called the ageing Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe to leave power, because in his opinion, he (Mugabe) has become a burden to the entire SADC region.
Botswana Police Service (BPS) has indicated concern about the ongoing trend where the general public falls victim to criminals purporting to be police officers.
According to BPS Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, the criminals target individuals at shopping malls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) where upon approaching the unsuspecting individual the criminals would pretend to have picked a substantial amount of money and they would make a proposal to the victims that the money is counted and shared in an isolated place.
“On the way, as they stop at the isolated place, they would start to count and sharing of the money, a criminal syndicate claiming to be Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer investigating a case of stolen money will approach them,” said Motube in a statement.
The Commissioner indicated that the fake police officers would instruct the victims to hand over all the cash they have in their possession, including bank cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN), the perpetrators would then proceed to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.
Motube also revealed that they are also investigating a case in which a 69 year old Motswana woman from Molepolole- who is a victim of the scam- lost over P62 000 last week Friday to the said perpetrators.
“The Criminal syndicate introduced themselves as CID officers investigating a case of robbery where a man accompanying the woman was the suspect.’’
They subsequently went to the woman’s place and took cash amounting to over P12 000 and further swindled amount of P50 000 from the woman’s bank account under the pretext of the further investigations.
In addition, Motube said they are currently investigating the matter and therefore warned the public to be vigilant of such characters and further reminds the public that no police officer would ask for bank cards and PINs during the investigations.
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leadership walked out of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this week on account of being targeted by other cooperating partners.
UDC meet for the first time since 2020 after previous futile attempts, but the meeting turned into a circus after other members of the executive pushed for BCP to explain its role in media statements that disparate either UDC and/or contracting parties.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo’s spirited fight against the contentious transfers of his management team has forced the Office of the President to rescind the controversial decision. However, some insiders suggest that the reversal of the transfers may have left some interested parties with bruised egos and nursing red wounds.
The transfers were seen by observers as a badly calculated move to emasculate the DCEC which is seen as defiant against certain objectionable objectives by certain law enforcement agencies – who are proven decisionists with very little regard for the law and principle.