Power Struggle Between Catholic Church and Kabila’s Regime

The volatile political situation in Congo is changing fast. Various elements of the petty bourgeoisie there are jockeying for themselves positions of political and economic influences.

The February 2017 death of Etienne Tshisekedi, the face of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) has deprived the once main opposition group to Joseph Mobutu and now to Joseph Kabila, its senior national and most charismatic figure.

UDPS’s capacity to mobilize millions of impoverished people throughout the country was under Etienne Tshisekedi’s leadership. Its leaders and members consider themselves as the organization that brought “democracy” to the Congo.

Often what they mean by that is they are the champion of “mass protest and shut downs and stay-away days” throughout the country.

UDPS bragged about their nonviolence credentials, while many of their dedicated rank-and-files were brutalized and killed by Mobutu’s and Kabila’s henchmen.

There are no concrete gains to show nor programs from which to measure any sort of success for the three decades of UDPS’s leadership over the wretched masses of the Congo.

At the 1992 National Conference to reorganize the national neocolonialist leadership in the Congo, Laurent Monsengwo, the now Catholic archbishop of Kinshasa and primate of the Congo played the same role then that he is playing now.

He ensures that white power imperialists’ interests remain at the status quo. The difference now is that without Mobutu or Tshisekedi, Monsengwo is the only national neocolonial figure of stature.

Monsengwo is using his position as the archbishop to mobilize and reorganize the African petty bourgeoisie sell-out class in the Congo, which he has described as a mediocre class.

Catholic leaders want to reorganize the Congo’s ruling class

The Catholic church is the largest organization in Congolese society next to the army.

In Kinshasa alone, there are 167 parishes.  The Catholic church controls most of the primary and secondary schools across the country.

Some 75 percent of Africans in the Congo consider themselves Catholic.

Since the formal end of Kabila’s mandate in 2016, the Catholic church has been playing the conciliatory role of negotiating with Kabila’s ruling party and the opposition groups to organize an election to determine the new government.

A sector of the Catholic church leadership has concluded that Joseph Kabila and his party, the People’s Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (PPRD), will not organize elections on their own accord. They will just remain in power.

 On December 31, 2017, the Catholic church called for nationwide marches throughout the Congo to demand the respect of the December 31 2016 agreement that requires Kabila to organize presidential and parliamentary elections.

Kabila must also make it clear that he will not be a candidate to his own succession.

Joseph Kabila can only be a candidate to his own succession if the constitution is modified to allow such hypothesis.

The current constitution allows two terms, which has ended Kabila’s rule in December 2016.

Last time Joseph Kabila tried to amend the constitution was in January 2015.

It backfired and a massive rebellion rocked Kinshasa between January 19 and 21 with several hundred protesters killed, forcing Joseph Kabila to abandon this project.

Many observers believed that the horrors of mass graves discovered in Maluku, a suburb of Kinshasa, was the unceremonious burial site of African martyrs who dared to resist Kabila’s attempt to amend the constitution and stay in power─ barbaric neocolonial rule.

The African petty bourgeoisie is engaged in struggle to reform the moribund neocolonialism in the Congo

On January 4, 2018, African Martyr’s Day in the Congo, a mass demonstration was organized by the Catholic church in memory of the victims of the repression of the December 31st protest.

This mass protest was also brutally attacked by the neocolonial state of Kabila with tear gas.

The Catholic church called for another march on Sunday January 21, 2018. This time, they were joined by Protestant churches and other faith groups.

 On January 16, the Protestant church’s hall, filled with PPRD’s ruling class dignitaries, foreign press and representatives, to hear Reverend David Ekofo’s sermon in honor of Laurent Desire Kabila,  assassinated by the colonial alliance between rulers from U.S. bourgeoisie and African petty bourgeoisie from Rwanda, Uganda and the Congo itself, on January 16, 2001.

There is no doubt that those who called for the murder of Laurent Desire Kabila were in the hall.

Joseph Kabila’s wife and extended family sat in front. Joseph himself was absent and his mother was absent too.

Since the power struggle erupted between the Catholic church and Kabila’s PPRD, the Protestant church is a safe refuge for neocolonialist leadership.

They avoid assisting the Catholic sermons.

The sermon, given by Reverend David Ekofo, was not what the rulers expected.

He said if we consider the Congo’s immense resources, the current situation is inadmissible.

He did not emphasize the historical role played by imperialism nor did he criticize the African petty bourgeoisie as an opportunist social force.

Here are some of the criticisms made by Reverend Ekofo:

He read from Luke Chapter 12 Verses 48, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”

Ekofo stated, “God gave us a lot, he will demand more from us.

We must pass onto our children a country with food and self-sufficiency.

When one fly over our country and look at its green landscape, at this immense unused land, where we can grow food, develop animal farming, but we do not do it, we import food from abroad, it is inadmissible for the Congo.

We must pass onto our children a country with a real state, where everyone is equal before the law. It does not matter if you are a general, minister or whoever, if you break the law of the republic, you would be arrested, tried and punished accordingly like any other citizen.”

Here, Ekofo is clearly asking for the improvement of the neocolonial State.

The canceling of this January 21 protest by the government is a provocation

The government has just announced that the Sunday, January 21 march will not happen.

This provocation will only add to the resolve of the people that Kabila must go.

The bourgeoisie is sending his observers to the Congo.

What the world needs to understand is that for many people in the Congo, Kabila is an illegitimate leader that must be removed from power.

We want the right to protest and free speech as described in the Congo’s constitution.

We want the liberation of all political prisoners.

The more desperate imperialism is for profit, the more barbaric imperialism is.

Coltan genocide reflects the rubber genocide under Belgian king Leopold II. This current Coltan genocide exposes to what extent the African petty bourgeoisie will kill African workers and peasants to make Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and others rich and get their own part of the loot.

What we want is the end of the neocolonial regime. This can only happen through revolution.

The African working class needs its own revolutionary party to advance the struggle for national liberation. Mediocrity, food imports, the lack of equality before the law  and the absence of state services to people, are all consequences of white imperialist domination over the Congo and all of Africa.

We want demonstrations all over the world to demand the liberation of all political prisoners and to denounce imperialist corporations as the main beneficiaries of the Congo’s genocide and wretchedness.

Today, Congo is at the bottom of every development index, yet it hosts most of the essential minerals needed for computers, electrical cars, space crafts etc.

We want the money stolen from neocolonialists and stored into foreign banks in Europe, North America and tax havens to be returned to the Congo.

Build APSP! Build The Revolutionary Party in the Congo!






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