Monday, February 18, 2013
self-proclaimed oldest son of Mzee Laurent-Désiré Kabila. He claims to
be the rightful heir to the DRC presidency)
As the DRC still reels from the Rwandan-backed M23's military
occupation of vast swaths of North Kivu Province, Congolese were
shocked to learn about the arrest in early February in the northern
South African province of Limpompo of 19 Congolese coup d'etat
The 19 men, who were training in weapons handling and tactics, were
being monitored for quite some time by the Hawks, an elite South
African intelligence unit.
The arsenal found in their possession is quite impressive: 5, 000
AK47s, 1,000 grenades, suface-to-air and surface-to surface missiles.
Enough firepower to cause havoc and mayhem in Kinshasa--for the
Congolese capital appears to have been their objective.
Calling itself the Democratic Union of Nationalists for Renewal
(acronymed UDNR in French), the group was planning nothing less than a
sudden regime-change event in Kinshasa.
Makhosini Nkosi, the spokesman of the South African National
Prosecuting Authority described the objective of the 19 compadres as
"The grouping's objective was to receive specialized military related
training to overthrow the current DRC government, under the leadership
of President Joseph Kabila."
It also emerged since then that the outfit was seeking support from
multinationals in exchange of lucrative mining contracts in the event
that the coup succeeded. Another botched Wonga Coup, as it were.
Well, so far, no eye-popping news for the residents of a republic of
these boondocks of the third world, where Rwanda and Uganda could kill
for profit with impunity millions of Congolese while the rest of the
world enjoys the spectacle.
But it was the surrender to the Cape Town police of the purported
ringleader of the bandits on Friday, February 15, that firstcraised
eyebrows and then triggeted guffaws in the streets of Kinshasa.
The ringleader arrested in Cape Town is a crook who goes by the
moniker of Etienne Taratibu Kabila.
He claims to be the only "legitimate" son of Mzee Kabila.
Well let's grant him that, goes the conventional wisdom, and let's
assume he's the son of the assassinated president, so what?
By the way, DRC Communication Minister Lambert Mende rightly points to
the "surrreal" situation where "Mzee Laurent-Désiré Kabila, who'd be
better than anyone else to know his own children, has never introduced
Master Etienne Kiza as such while [Mzee] was still alive."
Master Etienne Kiza?
As it turns out, the man's real name is Etienne Kiza. He is not
related to the Kabilas and his sole merit is to have perfected the art
of Nigerian Internet scammers.
By the way, even if Kiza were Mzee Kabila's only son, what natural
entitlement does he have to the presidency of the DRC?
To be sure, in 2001, the current DRC Prez was propelled to the
presidency in the wake of his father's assassination, but this took
place when the fledgling revolutionary regime in the Congo was
threatened with extinction by the predatory regimes of Rwanda and
Uganda. It had to come up with a viable scenario of survival.
In other wotds, that was a single freak event that took place at an
extraordinary moment of the national history of the Congo.
Be that as it may, the 19 men and their identity-thief leader are
facing stiff charges in Pretoria under South Africa's Foreign Military
PHOTO CREDITS: bbc.co.uk
Posted by Alex Engwete at 9:39 PM