Political Campaigns “not a time to enrich the population”: Catholic Priest in DR Congo

Fr. Claude Mbokani. Credit; Radio Moto

A Catholic Priest ministering in the Catholic Diocese of Butembo-Beni in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has cautioned the electorate against seeking to enrich themselves by accepting gifts from politicians during the electioneering period.

Speaking to Radio Moto on Friday, December 8, Fr. Claude Mbokani, a jurist and researcher in criminology also cautioned politicians against embarking on a donation spree during political campaigns to lure the electorate into voting for them.

“The population must know that political campaigns are not a time for enriching the population,” Fr. Mokani said.

He added, “It's also not a time for handing out donations. We're not in a period where we'd see humanitarians handing out food, non-food items or money to people, and saying that this is the basis on which we're going to vote someone in.”

“Votes shouldn't be bought in exchange for money,” the Congolese Catholic Priest said.


Fr. Mbokani went on to highlight the criteria for a good candidate. 

He said that a good representative of the people must be “truthful, honest, and a man of debate.”

The Catholic Priest added, “He or she must also have a good grasp of their missions, as well as the real problems of the community they will be representing and defending in Parliament.”

“A good candidate is first and foremost someone who knows how to avoid lies. It's someone who is honest, because you have to like the truth of spice more than the hypocrisy of sugar. As they say, a good candidate is someone with rigor and discipline,” Fr. Mbokani said.

Eligible voters in DRC will participate in the election of their country’s President, 500 members of the National Assembly, and members of the country's 26 Provincial Assemblies.

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And for the first time under DRC's new constitution, members of some 300 Municipal Councils will also be voted in at the December 20 polls.

Political campaigns for the presidential, legislative and local elections in the Central African country officially kicked off on November 19.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.