By Stephen Odoi-Larbi
The Leader of the opposition Blue Movement Party in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Reverend Jean Paul Moka, says though he is the under-dog in the upcoming September 2011 elections in his country, the Congolese people will not be disappointed when the results are announced.
“I can tell you straight away, that I am the underdog. Before me, there are names that are well known. I can also show you that most of the people of Congo in our villages, they don’t know me. But, the same way, I would like to show you from what I have seen both in Congo and outside Congo, that I have a very strong message that the Congolese people seem to like very much, and I think by the time elections are actually taking place, I will not disappoint the Congolese people,” he told The Chronicle in an exclusive interview in Accra.
With a vision to fight corruption and invest in technology to improve on the well-being of the Congolese people, Moka believes that his vision would be a mirage, if the international community does not intervene to bring to a halt the human rights abuses in DR Congo.
Last June, Moka called on the international community to launch independent investigations into the mysterious death of Floribert Chebeya Bahizire, who was a human rights activist and president of a local non-governmental organisation (NGO) called Voice.
“Like all other sentences, the Blue Movement demands of the international community that a free and independent investigation is conducted, to ensure that sponsors and executors of this heinous act are identified and brought to trial,” he said in a press release to the Congolese people. “The methods of intimidation against the opposition and advocacy organisations for human rights implementation in the DRC, do not bode well for major political events coming soon in 2011,”
Moka believes that the time is ripe for Africa to manage its own affairs, and that it was time Africans unite to pursue a common goal, and eliminate all human rights abuses from the continent, especially, that of DR Congo.
“We are not going to continue to let the west tell us that we have to take care of our own human rights. Every single African life is important. In Europe, when someone dies as a result of accident on the road, it becomes news all over the place. How come when we have hundreds and thousands people die in Africa, it is not news? So, I think we have to start by valuing the lives of every single African child,” Moka told The Chronicle.
Touching on his personal views about Ghana, Moka said he was impressed by the country’s governance system that has helped it become an example for the rest of Africa.
“My answers have always been truthful; so, I am not going to say something to please anybody, or to disappoint anybody. I will speak my mind, and say what I truly think. Whether we like it or not, today, Ghana is an example for the rest of Africa,” he argued.
According to him, Ghana stands tall in all indicators of development, be it in economics, governance, or spiritual matters.
“Whether we talk about economics; whether we talk about governance, or even whether we talk about spiritual matters, very few people will contradict me about those things. That doesn’t mean the Ghanaian system is perfect, and that Ghanaians are fully satisfied. That is not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is, in terms of benchmarking, Ghana is an example today,” he explained.
Congo should learn from Ghana
Looking at Ghana’s level of development, in terms of governance in its democratic dispensation, Moka was of the firm belief that it was time DR Congo learned from Ghana, and that was one of the reasons why he was in the country.
“Remember, Lumumba had to come to Ghana for his message to be heard, and for him to emerge. So, I am here to learn from the Ghanaian people, and what I can tell you is that I very much like and appreciate the humility of the Ghanaian people, their sense of organisation, as well as their collaborative nature,” said the optimistic Blue Movement leader.
Moka is in the country to share his views on human rights abuses in the DR Congo, and how he intends to fight corruption when given the nod to rule the country.
He is expected to brief the media on the aforementioned issues today in Accra.
Jean-Paul Moka is a leader of the opposition to Congolese President Joseph Kabila.
He studied at the St. Louis Institute, St. Andrews University (Scotland), Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA), and graduated from HENAC (Belgium), in human resources and economic management, and has achieved great success in international banking and finance. He is happily married to Rachel Kakudji, and has five children.
During the first Congolese war, Rev. Moka was nominated as a Mediator by the leaders of all political factions (apart from Kabila’s), and he played a key role in improving the process that led to the “Sun City Peace Accords” signed by many of the warring parties on 19 April 2002, after 19 months of negotiation.
Unfortunately, the Accords did not bring about an end to this tragic and deadly war, which has taken more than 5 million lives (a low estimate by all accounts), and continues to result in murder, rape, and other atrocities being committed on the Congolese people.