Alex blogs ( Much to my disappointment ) about much ado about nothing.
Sunday, August 4, 2013
(PHOTO 1: Flanked by Premier Matata Ponyo and donning a yellow hard hat, Prez Joseph Kabila lays the first stone of the new 12-story "Hôtel du Gouvernement" set to house 8 government ministries--Place Royal, downtown Kinshasa, Friday, August 2)
(PHOTO 2: A MONUSCO Light Armored Patrol Vehicle (LAPV) is pelted with stones by demonstrators in Goma on Friday, August 2)
My tweet of August 3 captured the universal disappointment and exasperation felt by Kinois soon after it transpired that the much-anticipated cabinet meeting to be chaired by Kabila himself that had been slated for August 2 (see my previous post) turned out to be instead a gathering of cabinet ministers for the pedestrian business of the Raïs laying the first stone of a new 12-story government office building:
"Much ado about nothing! Prez #Kabila summoned cabinet ministers to #Kinshasa Friday for laying of the first stone of new govt building!" (https://mobile.twitter.com/alexengwete/status/363439265490804736)
People in Kin and throughout the country were expecting to see ministerial heads to roll on that fateful bloody Friday! And the whole country could hear the sigh of relief let out by cabinet ministers, their sycophants, and their political parties.
Speaking at the event after Kinshasa Lieutenant-Governor Clément Bafiba, Fridolin Kaweshi--the minister of Spatial Planning, Urban Planning, Habitat, Infrastructures, Public Works and Reconstruction--broke into the usual spiel: this building is yet another marker in the string of other grandiose achievements in Kabila's transformative vision of the "revolution for modernity."
But only diehard Kabila supporters who flocked the midmorning event in downtown Kinshasa were dazzled by this grandstanding.
No one else in the city was much impressed by the miniature model of the 20-month building project that will be implemented by the Chinese construction company SZTC on 23,329.35 m2 for a total cost of CDF24.5b (about $26.5m).
All the talk in town was about two things: 1) What the grapevine called the "aborted government reshuffle" and speculations were rife about who or what prevented it; and 2) The "farcical ultimatum of MONUSCO" that expired in the afternoon of Thursday August 1 and that had Goma residents explode with anger at the "collusion" between MONUSCO, Rwanda and M23 to "balkanize" the DRC.