Thursday, August 2, 2012

MP Antipas Mbusa Nyamwisi's disappearing act fuels rumor of defection to M23

Former warlord, former minister, former presidential candidate (he ran
in 2006 and in 2012), and current MP Antipas Mbusa Nyamwisi (photo
above) has pulled a disappearing act.

When Parliament recessed last month, speculations started about the
vacation itinirary of Nyamwisi.

In fact, no one knows for sure when Nyamwisi left Kinshasa. The
consensus was however that he didn't wait for parliament recess and
that he'd gone to South Africa.

(That destination has however now been updated to "whereabouts
unknown," according to Kinshasa media.)

Pretty soon, rumors were rife on Congolese streets and blogosphere
about Nyamwisi sightings in Rwanda and Uganda, where he's joined the
M23 insurgency.

Rumors then turned into seemingly coordinated attacks against Nyamwisi
in Kinshasa media.

But the most recent assault on Nyamwisi happened on Thursday, August
2, Radio Okapi reports, on his own turf of Butembo, North Kivu.

Anonymous leaflets littered the streets of Butembo warning residents
to stop supporting Nyamwisi, who has joined the M23 insurgency.

A number of renegade FARDC senior officers who had belonged to
Nyamwisi's rebel outfit in Africa's World War and some others who also
happen to be members of his Nande ethnic group have defected and/or
joined M23--including Mai-Mai General Kakule Sikuli Vasaka aka

In Kinshasa, the opening salvo of the anti-Nyamwisi campaign was fired
well before parliamentary recess, more precisely in mid-May, by MP
Zacharie Bababaswe, when he told the pro-Kabila daily Le Phare:

"We are sick and tired of this story of the east turning restive again
and wasting the country's energy."

He added:

"Those [Kivu] leaders, and I'm not afraid to say this, Kivu leaders
are implicated in what's happening in North and South Kivus.

"I asked Mr. Ruberwa, Mr. Vital Kamerhe, Mr. Mbusa Nyamwisi and all
the other leaders to get together, because Congo isn't going to suffer
in the name of national unity!"

Soon afterwards, vitrioloc attacks against Nyamwisi went viral on
newspapers and TV political shows.

By mid-July, even the pro-Tshisekedi Kinshasa daily Le Phare urged
Nyamwisi to break his silence and to answer the serious charges of
sedition being leveled at him.

The only Kinshasa politician to defend Nyamwisi on TV was opposition
MP José Makila, from Equateur Province, who said that Nyamwisi took
advantage of the parliamentary recess to visit his family in South

Makila further said that Nyamwisi being from the Nande ethnic group
that straddles the DRC and Uganda, and Uganda being the business hub
of Nande entrepreneurs, the alleged sightings of Nyamwisi in Uganda
have therefore no underlying nefarious meaning.

Besides, Makila surmised, Uganda isn't involved in the M23 insurgency.

The spin Makila wanted to give to Nyamwisi's disappearing act doesn't
hold water.

Le Phare reported it had repeatedly tried to reach Nyamwisi in South
Africa to no avail. Besides, as I said, he left Kinshasa before the
National Assembly recess. And more importantly, where the hell is the


PHOTO CREDITS: John Bompengo/Radio Okapi


Alex Engwete said...


Nyamwisi ran concurrently for president and for MP in the 2011 general elections.

IHStewart said...

All seems a bit careless to me mind you the Australians managed to to misplace a PM totally 45 years back and that must be a world first. That is really being careless.

Alex Engwete said...


MP Bababaswe talked to the PRO-Kabila L'AVENIR!