DR Congo will hold elections in December

Among the list of 24 approved presidential candidates who will be on the ballot in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s elections on December 20 are incumbent President Felix Tshisekedi, Nobel Laureate Dr. Denis Mukwege, former Katanga Province Governor Moïse  Katumbi, and 2018 presidential candidate Martin Fayulu.  

Despite the large list of candidates, many are unconvinced there will be a change of leadership. Candidate Martin

Fayulu told France 24 that he does not expect fair results from the upcoming elections. “It seems 43.9 million people will vote, but the counting will increase [the number to] another 10 million votes from nowhere,” he said. 

Seats in provincial office, district office, and Parliament all will be on the ballot on December 20. 

MP Edward Mwangachuchu of DR Congo sentenced to death 

Edward Mwangachuchu, age 70, was convicted by the military court of Congo for the crimes of illegal possession of weapons and of supporting anti-regime militia groups – in particular the M23 group. He was fined $100 million to be paid in Congolese francs for the damage caused by war in Eastern Congo, and was also sentenced to death. 

Mwangachuchu is the president of the National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP), a political party. He was elected in Masisi, in North Kivu. He also owns a mining company in Masisi territory, in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. He was arrested in Kinshasa in March, imprisoned in Makala, then transferred to Ndolo, a military prison. 

Jeuneafrique has reported that during Mwangachuchu’s trial, one of the judges mentioned Mwangachuchu’s

relationship with Rwanda, saying in May 2021 Mwangachuchu got a COVID-19 test in Kigali, that there is evidence Mwangachuchu sends minerals to Rwanda, and that he possesses real estate in Rwanda. Thomas Gamakolo, Mwangachuchu’s defense attorney, attributed the guilty verdict to ethnic discrimination. 

  Appearing weak in court, Mwangachuchu denied all accusations, and said that he is a victim of M23 war crimes and hostility between Rwanda and DR Congo. If  Mwangachuchu’s death sentence is carried out, he will be the first person to be executed in DR Congo in 20 years.  A number of people have been sentenced to the death penalty, but they were never executed and instead are in prison for life. 

Bomb attacks foiled in Uganda  

According to a message from Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on X (formerly Twitter), Ugandan police successfully prevented bomb attacks by Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) that were meant to destroy two churches in Butambala, the central region of Uganda. ADF members had planned to seal the bombs in packages that would have been given to local pastors as gifts, but vigilant bystanders revealed the plot before the bombs reached the pastors. Museveni said that security agencies are working to identify those who collaborated with the ADF on the plot.

Last September, Ugandan police foiled another bomb attack among worshippers in one of Kampala’s cathedrals. The man behind that mission is in jail. 

The ADF was founded in Uganda in the 1990s, with the aim of opposing Museveni, who was accused of persecuting Muslims. In 2001, the group moved its base to eastern Congo after being attacked by the Ugandan army. In 2016, the ADF announced that it had become a branch of the Islamic State. In 2019, ADF received financial support from the Islamic State to reinforce their attacks in Uganda.