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Kabila 'campaign video' angers DR Congo opposition

Louise Dewast

Kinshasa, DR Congo

Has the election campaign season kicked off already in DR Congo?

Possibly, if this video is anything to go by.

What looks like it could be a political campaign video for the Democratic Republic of Congo's President Joseph Kabila is circulating on social media.

Using catchy music and a slogan, the video created by governing party members praises President Kabila for pacifying the country, developing infrastructure and the economy, among other perceived accomplishments.

It describes him as being "indispensable for Congo".

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"We wanted to pay homage to a young man like us," Adam Chalwe, a party official and youth coordinator for the presidential majority, told the BBC.

Mr Kabila was 29 when he became president in 2001.

"He has accomplished a number of things and we wanted to thank him for everything he has done - there will be more to come," Mr Chalwe added.

Posters showing Kabila as a presidential candidate have also appeared in the capital Kinshasa, drawing criticism from opposition leaders.

President Kabila's mandate expired in December 2016 having reached the constitutional limit of two terms in office.

Since then elections have been repeatedly delayed.

A constitutional clause has allowed him to stay in power until the elections - which are now scheduled for December 2018.

In recent weeks, rumours have been spreading about whether he will seek to extend his tenure.

Tshibala: Kabila will not seek re-election in DR Congo
The prime minister of the DR Congio says President Kabila will not seek re-election in December.

Kabila's presidential motorcade in fatal crash

Accident scene
News Diggers
The truck driver died in the crash

The motorcade of the Democratic Republic of Congo's President Joseph Kabila was involved in an accident in Zambia's capital, Lusaka, on Sunday, leaving one person dead and another seriously injured.

The accident happened on Leopards Hill road following the alleged failure by police to clear the route for Mr Kabila’s motorcade, according to eye witnesses.

Despite police officers lining the road, a light truck collided with the motorcade, leaving the driver dead and a police officer who was manning the road seriously injured.

Police spokesperson Esther Katongo said the driver, Andrew Phiri, was rushed to hospital, where he succumbed to his wounds.

Last week five people were killed in an accident involving a cement truck and Mr Kabila's motorcade in DR Congo's capital, Kinshasa.

Mr Kabila was visiting Zambia to strengthen bilateral relations when the latest accident happened.

Former DR Congo colonel to face rebellion charges

Catholic faithfuls run for cover after police fired tear gas to disperse a demonstration to call for the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to step down, on December 31, 2017 in Kinshasa
AFP
John Tshibangu threatened to overthrow President Joseph Kabila as he did not apologise for the deaths of protesters in December (pictured)

A former Congolese colonel is to be extradited from Tanzania to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) to face charges of rebellion.

John Tshibangu deserted the army in 2012, but was arrested on Monday at the airport in Dar es Salaam.

The arrest came 10 days after he appeared in a video threatening to "remove" President Joseph Kabila unless he apologized for a "massacre" carried out against protesters.

At least seven people were killed during the anti-Kabila marches in December.

Crispin Atama Thabe, the DR Congo defence minister, confirmed to news agency AFP that Mr Tshibangu would be returned to face charges.

"He will be extradited," Atama Thaba told AFP in a text message. "This is the result of judicial cooperation between our countries."

The minister added that extradition could be lifted if "the Tanzanian government undertakes to try him and have him serve the requisite sentence."

Florent Geel, Africa director of the Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights, said there was a risk of physical harm coming to Mr Tshibangu should the extradition go ahead.