In Congo, the Church has been banned from deploying its members in the field to supervise the 21 March presidential election due to lack of a receipt. However, a solution is possible for the Church to deploy its members in the field in order to secure the vote of the Congolese.
The bishops of Congo-Brazzaville are forbidden to supervise Sunday’s presidential election, as they would have wished, with a view to securing the Congolese vote. A lack of a receipt for this purpose, which should be issued by the Congolese Ministry of the Interior, is an obstacle to the Church’s desire to monitor the election. This situation is deplored by the bishops, through the voice of Father Félicien Mavoungou, national coordinator of the Episcopal Commission « Justice and Peace » in Congo-Brazzaville.
« We do not understand this refusal. A church which is present in the country and which is an important part of civil society. We do not understand. They are asking for a specific receipt for election observation. We have never heard of this, we don’t know of a single case of an NGO holding a receipt for election observation. All this surprises us and we are asking many questions. We want to know a bit more, » he told RFI.
However, the bishops could well deploy their « scouts » in the field, despite this ban by the Ministry of Interior, which has brandished a lack of receipt to prevent them. All it takes is a de facto alliance with any opposition party for the bishops’ staff to be made available to that party. From then on, even in civilian clothes, these bishops, acting in the name of this opposition party, could be representatives in the polling stations and hope to secure the election, as they wish.
It is a pity that the Congo has reached this stage where it is necessary to find subterfuges to hope to enjoy all its prerogatives. In African countries, the word seems to be given by heads of state who, like Alpha Condé of Guinea or Alassane Ouattara of the Ivory Coast, want to stay in power forever. Let the bishops join an opposition party and foil this ugly trap set by the powers that be to do who knows what. From then on they will be able to break the lock placed by the regime of Sassou N’Guesso to block their mission of securing this election which seems won in advance.