afrol News, 5 April - According to a broadcasted statement from the Congolese government chief Theophile Mbemba, President Joseph Kabila today announced the dissolution of the government of Congo Kinshasa (DRC). Joseph Kabila, which has held the presidential title for only four months, thus attempts to get the upper hand in the ongoing power struggle, analysts say.
Just before leaving on an official visit to Germany, President Joseph Kabila made public a presidential decree, declaring the Congolese cabinet "dismissed" but asking the ministers to stay on their post temporarily to "carry out current business" until a new government has been established. The Congolese President did however not mention a date for a new government to be established. The statement was read out on state television.
The President reportedly promised to dedicate himself to the current problems of the country on returning from his 48-hours visit to Germany, naming specifically the "deteriorating living conditions" for his fellow countrymen.
Dismissing the government, which was only named in November 2000, the leadership of Treasury and the leaders of public companies, analysts claim Joseph Kabila is demonstrating that his grip on power is secured. After taking over power, the ability of the young (29) soldier to lead the country has repeatedly been questioned.
Joseph Kabila has however assured himself three important bases of power. On the military side, he rapidly got the support from the Angolans, Congo's most important ally, which deploys thousands of troops in the country. Angola was, similarly to Joseph Kabila, interested in a peaceful solution and stability in Congo Kinshasa. "Hawks" in the government, and the more aggressive Zimbabwean militaries, started losing influence.
The president further has gained the confidence of the international community, many top leaders seeing him as the only person that can produce peace, stability and progress in troubled Congo Kinshasa. Equally, he is enjoying an enormous popularity among the Congolese people, maybe as the first politician since independence president Patrice Lumumba (who was assassinated). Recently, there were spontaneous demonstrations in Kinshasa in support of the president's policies. Attacks on Joseph Kabila thus could sparkle international sanctions and popular revolt.
It had long been expected in Kinshasa that Joseph Kabila initiate changes in the government's composition. Today's government seems split between Kabila's followers and opponents, and an establishment of a cabinet more in line with the president's view was expected at the moment that he felt secure enough to assert his authority. Joseph Kabila has earlier made some cabinet changes of lesser significance.
Answering to critics from the opposition that he was spending too much time on his visits abroad, President Kabila, through his spokesman, said his travels were "a campaign of explaining" to "assure a during peace" in the war-ridden country. Joseph Kabila has made several international visits in the few months he has been president, meeting world top leaders and running a successful diplomatic campaign to obtain peace at his country's conditions.
Sources: Based on RDP and afrol archives