The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been passing through a very delicate phase in its politics since last November 14th when the Premier Augustin Matata Ponyo was dismissed, following an accord in October that prolonged the mandate of President Joseph Kabila. Kabila should have terminated his office last December 19th, but his coalition, along with part of the opposition, has decided to continue on until next elections in April 2018.
This was the heated context in which the Congolese Political Movement for Unity (PMU), which is inspired by the values of the spirituality of Chiara Lubich, was formed last October 29th. “During this period, the Church and its Bishops Conference is working to avoid chaos in the country,” say Damien Kasereka and Aga Ghislaine Kahambu from the local Focolare Movement. “The launching of the PMU at this moment is really an answer to a need. We’re glad to see members of the Movement more involved in politics, especially the young people who are convinced that things can be different. In spite of everything, we don’t lost hope.”
On December 3rd the PMU was officially introduced at the multi-purpose meeting hall of the Moyi Mwa Ntongo Medical Centre in Kinshasa. The Le potentiel newspaper devoted a long article to the event, titled “Love and Brotherhood in Society: the Launch of a Mass-Awareness Movement”. “Far from being a political party, the PMU is a network of reflection and action for the promotion of brotherhood in the political life of the Congo. Its initiators are convinced that universal brotherhood is the basis and the key for positive change in society, especially Congolese [society] whose anti-values are finding it hard to die out,” the newspaper wrote. The event was attended by university researchers, teaching staff, journalists, religious, medical doctors, graduate students, social activists and other professionals.
The meeting underscored the importance and opportunity being offered by the PMU in the DRC, since it promotes “doing politics in favour of unity” which is so needed at this difficult moment in time.
The National Deputy Dieudonné Upira, one of the initiators of the PMU in the DRC, affirmed: “We’d like to raise a generation of young people who are not afraid like us. Obviously, we have not done much for this country. Perhaps we weren’t trained and this is the reason behind our fear. Therefore, we want to train the young people who are interested in doing good, so that they will be prepared to denounce, announce and renounce. Young people who, in front of the bipolarization of the Congolese political sphere, are able to say: “We must work for our nation.” A young person with training can influence society with his or her way of acting.”
Ex-Deputy Georgine Madiko, who was among the initiators, also said: “We’ll begin periodic university courses that will allow young people to receive training through modules. [Then,] we’ll spread like a spider web covering the whole country and all the academic fields. This spider web will serve – if not in eradicating – at least in mitigating the wrong in our society and in promoting the good.” It will begin with a group of 59 people.
At the conclusion, Aga Ghislaine Kahambu thanked everyone: “Your presence shows that you want our country to change. You don’t need a crowd to change society. Each one of us can perform positive actions. Now, we no longer want these actions to be isolated.”