United Against Kabila's Dictatorship, The Congolese People Will Win--Moise Katumbi

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Moise Katumbi in South Africa.

Officially, the Democratic Republic of Congo is scheduled to hold elections on December 23, 2018, but there are serious doubts given the lack of preparation by Joseph Kabila's regime. Meanwhile several of Congo's leading opposition parties have been meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, where the former governor of Katanga and presidential aspirant Moise Katumbi Chapwe made the following speech.

My dear friends, we are gathered on the blessed land of Africa to share our views and together, give a new impulse to our dear, great and beautiful country, the Democratic Republic of Congo. I recognise a lot of known faces here, some that I have not seen in years. I am very happy.

Thank you for being here.

Thank you for responding without hesitation to my invitation. From all the provinces of Congo, Africa and beyond, you have travelled thousands of kilometres to join me here in South Africa. Your commitment, your availability touches me deeply. Together we will work for the future of our country.

I also want to thank the South African authorities. Whenever the fate of Congo has been threatened, the Republic of South Africa has responded in support. The Sun City negotiations continue to mark the collective memory. These negotiations have put an end to the war. They sealed our destiny.

Today, because of the arbitrariness and injustice in Congo, I cannot launch my Movement from my home country, your country, our country. And it is again South Africa that offers us its hospitality. In Nelson Mandela's country, democracy is lived day to day. Institutions work. Justice is independent. When the good example comes from elsewhere, let’s not be afraid to inspire ourselves from it. This country shows us that Democracy in Africa is not just a dream.

My dear friends, what brings us here is, above all, the rejection of the dictatorship that has settled in our beautiful country, and the desire to build a better world for our fellow countrymen. In the past couple of months, recent years, our countrymen have stood up to defend these values. Millions of Congolese marched across all countries and faced the bullets. Some have lost their lives. They are heroes. They are in our hearts and in our memories. We will never forget them. In memory of all these heroes, I ask you to observe a minute of silence.

My dear friends, let us take inspiration from the courage of our fellow countrymen. During these three days, let us live up to their sacrifice.

If you are here today, it is because you too are not afraid, that you too defend your convictions. These beliefs that we share, together, we will turn them into actions, and make them win. The Congolese people are watching us and want to see a strong opposition.

Personally, I was governor and you know, that when my convictions were no longer in agreement with the imposed political choices, I took my responsibilities. I was not afraid to resign, to mark my opposition because, in all circumstances, we must know how to reconcile morality and politics.

These three days together will help build the change of tomorrow and show the Congolese people that they are not alone, that we work and that we will win.

My dear friends, here we are in the final hurdle, before the change that our people demand. The conditions for considering credible, fair and honest elections are far from being fulfilled. Many fellow countrymen still languish in prison unjustly deprived of their liberty. Others are condemned to exile. Peaceful demonstrations are repressed in the blood. Private media close to the opposition is threatened or closed down.

The electoral process is still threatened by the dictatorship. CENI wants to impose a machine to cheat ... The electoral file must be audited and cleaned. The question of the vote of Congolese people abroad has still not been settled. The law on the distribution of seats has not yet been voted. All these points, lead us to commit ourselves. If we want elections to take place in time, we must prepare. This is the reason for our meeting here in South Africa.

My dear friends, I am addressing you today as the captain of the team that wants to win. Our victory is first and foremost about the seriousness, application and the work that we have to do together. Leave no room for improvisation. Let's work hard. Our country deserves it. It's urgent.

As of today, I ask you to work together. Not looking at the future with your eyes looking in the rear-view mirror. There is no G7 here, AR, Dynamics, Civil Society. There are no old and new here. There are patriots here who are determined together to build a new Congo. Let us be disciplined and worthy of the expectations of our people to be at the “Rendez Vous” of December 23 and bring to the Congolese people the change they demand.

I wish you fruitful exchanges and thank you again.

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