We have two new governors, both from Kabila’s AMP coalition: Marcellin Cisambo for South Kivu and Pascal Tutu Salumu for Maniema. No real surprises, as the AMP dominates both provincial assemblies, who elect the governors. But the run-up to the elections revealed deep fissures in Kabila’s camp – people were unhappy about the management of both provinces, and Kinshasa’s imposition of candidates. This was especially the case for South Kivu, which has had three different AMP governors in three years. In Maniema, the only other candidate in the race protested that he had been receiving death threats and that President Kabila had accused him of “defying [the president.]
In any case, Kabila’s recent tour of the East was coolly received by the local population. In a previous posting, I described his walking tour of Bukavu. This is how a diplomat described his time in Kindu, the capital of Maniema:
President Kabila arrived in Kindu begining of this afternoon to campaign for the AMP candidate for the elections of the the governor of Maniema to be held on Saturday. He was received at the airport by a small delegation composed of AMP officials from Kinshasa and some members of the provincial security committee. An unexpectedly small number of people were outside the airport and less on the road to salute him despite the fact that the whole town knew of his arrival since yesterday. He did not make any statement/speech on arrival but was taken straight to the Governor’s office to meet with the provincial deputies. The latter had to suspend their campaign session to attend the meeting. We learned that gabanertorial candidate Tunda and his deputy were not allowed to enter into the conference room. They were excluded from the meeting. He called on the deputies to be disciplined and respect the hierarchy since there is no opposition in Maniema. The decision of the national leadership is to support the AMP candidate Tutu and his deputy Bikenge, thus requested the deputies to elect them. We also learned that he did not allow any question or comment from the provincial deputies. He had lunch with them before his departure. He spent less than three hours in Kindu.