Tanzania President John Magufuli says will use his current position as the political head of Southern African Development Community (SADC) to send officials from three member countries into DR Congo to assess the political situation.
At a presser in Dar es Salaam following a meeting with visiting DR Congo counterpart Joseph Kabila, the ‘bulldozer’ said is banking on foreign affairs ministers from Tanzania, Mozambique and Angola.
“President Kabila has briefed me on the situation in his country and will thus send the ministers to assess the situation for way forward,” Magufuli said
He said Kabila had informed him that “during the last election five years ago, there were between 30 and 35 million voters but now the number has grown to about 45 million. And thus if elections are held today, then about 10 million people will not be able to take part in the polls,” and it is the reason polls have been delayed.
The opposition have rubbished this claim saying Kabila is hatching plans to arm-twist the law and cling to power. The electoral commission said nation can only be ready for polls in December 2018.
Congo has not had a peaceful transition of power since independence from Belgium in 1960. Protests over Kabila’s perceived attempts to extend his 15 years in power have led to clashes with security forces several times in the past year.
Scores of people have been killed in the violence.
Supporters of Kabila, who was in Tanzania to discuss oil exploration in Lake Tanganyika on the two country’s borders, deny he is behind the delays, which they say are due to logistical and budgetary constraints.
But diplomats and observers fear increasing anger among Kabila’s opponents and a growing political crisis could trigger a repeat of civil wars that killed millions of people between 1996 and 2003. Kabila brushed off such concerns.