DR Congo: Stakeholders gloomy about 1st Quarter results
It is five months since the Supreme Court confirmed Joseph Kabila as the winner of the DRC’s presidential elections, and four months since he took office, encouraging onlookers by pledging his commitment (not for the first time), to all sorts of Good Things. Judging by the new government’s first quarter results, though, clobbering dissent appears to be a higher priority than establishing democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
And despite their huge investment in the election process itself, the UN and the rest of the international community has not made a particularly tough stand on those issues, either. Reaction to the disproportionate use of deadly force against a trouble-making sect in Bas-Congo was remarkably muted, but some diplomats drew the line when hundreds more civilians and some of their own embassies came into the line of fire in March.
Nobody expected miracles, and these are still early days, but a weary population is still wondering whether living conditions will improve in 2007.
It might be a good moment for determined optimists to remind ourselves of the President’s declared plans. Unfortunately, the page on his website titled ‘Vision Politique‘ was today returning the following error message:
The requested URL /visionpolitique.html was not found on this server.
In any case, infrastructure, jobs, health and education all featured prominently, as well as a promise to manage the country's finances more transparently.
It is interesting to discover, then, elsewhere on the same site, a note of a recent cabinet meeting in which the Prime Minister is reported to have reminded his colleagues of the need for “respect of the constitution and laws of the Republic, a culture of discipline, finalisation of the budget to be presented to Parliament, the maximisation of receipts, the fight against corruption, and the need to rationalise the number of missions abroad”, amongst other things.
At the same meeting, the Minister of Public Works, Infrastructure and Reconstruction was asked to explain why the new general hospital at Ndjili is still not open (ten months after construction), and instructed to do something about the ‘deplorable’ state of the capital’s roads.
Are cabinet meeting notes posted on the internet in your country?
(Cross posted at Extra Extra)