According to several sources, a leader of the opposition UNC party in Bukavu has received serious death threats.
Kizito Mushizi, the spokesperson for the UNC in the Kivus and a candidate for parliamentary elections, says that he received word on Saturday, August 13 that a plot had been hatched to physically eliminate him. The decision allegedly came two days earlier, during an evening meeting of several high-ranking government and military officials in Bukavu. The officials raised Kabila’s poor standing in the province, as well as the UNC’s perceived popularity in Bukavu. Since Mushizi was recently named provincial leader, they allegedly took the drastic step of ordering his assassination.
One of the people in the meeting then discretely warned Mushizi of the death threat. A second military source also informed a member civil society of the plot.
Mushizi is the well-respected former director of Radio Maendeleo, a non-profit radio station that has been based in Bukavu for almost twenty years. Two months ago, he quit his job and officially announced that he would run for a national assembly seat in Bukavu for the UNC, Vital Kamerhe’s party.
After receiving the death threat, he informed the United Nations as well as local media outlets and human rights groups. In addition, he has written a letter to President Kabila, in which he relates the information he received. According to a source within the provincial government, he has been followed since the weekend.