As the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) gears up for its upcoming presidential elections, one name that’s been making headlines is Constant Mutamba. His campaign has been about “we are going to arrest Paul Kagame”. This strategy only attempts to harness anti-Rwanda sentiment to bolster his candidacy. Mutamba is not alone in employing this tactic. Congolese politicians have a history of using anti-Rwanda sentiment to gain political support and leverage.
Anti-Rwanda sentiment has long been a powerful force in Congolese politics. Constant Mutamba’s campaign is just the latest example of a trend that stretches back over a decade.
Mutamba, like many before him, has tapped into the deep-seated grievances of some Congolese citizens who swallowed fabricated propaganda that Rwanda and its President, Paul Kagame, interfere in DRC’s affairs.
Politicians like Martin Fayulu and Vital Kamerhe used anti-Rwanda sentiment during the 2018 presidential elections. Fayulu accused the then-incumbent president, Joseph Kabila, of collaborating with Rwanda to maintain power. He claimed that Rwanda was providing military support to the Kabila government, further stoking the flames of anti-Rwanda sentiment among his supporters and Congolese in general.
Vital Kamerhe also utilized anti-Rwanda sentiment during the 2018 elections. He accused Tshisekedi of making secret deals with Rwanda and alleged that Rwanda had been meddling in the Congolese election process.
This time around, Constant Mutamba knows to what extent the false allegations that pin Rwanda in the DRC crisis have deluded the Congolese people. He wants to ride on the ridiculous ticket that he will ‘arrest Kagame’ once elected. By highlighting such a statement, Mutamba erroneously seeks to win the Congolese electorate.
Congolese people should know that their weak and self-centered politicians are only preoccupied with the presidential elections set for December 2023. These politicians are cowards who failed to set an agenda, vis-à-vis the deteriorating state of DRC but keep peddling a dangerous sentiment that doesn’t help their country and the region at large.