The Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Congo to Zimbabwe Mawampanga Mwana Nanga has urged Africa to continuously preserve peace and unity to foster development in the region.
Speaking ahead of the DRC's 58th independence anniversary celebrations that will be held tomorrow in Harare, Ambassador Mwana Nanga said his country’s independence was very significant for Africa as it hosts the largest reserve of natural resources on the continent.
“Congo is rich in natural resources. It boasts vast deposits of industrial diamonds and copper, one of the largest forest reserves in Africa, and about half of the hydroelectric potential of the continent. It is also strategically located, and that is the reason why colonisers wanted to control it. Controlling DRC meant controlling the largest country in Africa.
“Our independence day is very important as it brings us together as Congolese and also as Africans,” he said.
Ambassador Mwana Nanga said DRC has been declared Ebola free.
“Allow me to inform you that DRC was declared Ebola free following this year’s outbreak in Mbandaka-Bikoro and Itipo areas of the Equateur Province. The outbreak was firmly kept under control by the Ministry of Health with support of the World Health Organisation, Red Cross and other practitioners,” he said.
The diplomat, who is also the Dean of African Diplomats in Zimbabwe, said the DRC has made progress in its preparations for harmonised elections set for December 23.
“We have made progress over the past few months towards organising elections for 23 December 2018. The voters roll and equipment audit was carried out successfully by the Organisation Internationale de la Francophine (OIF). The only sticking point towards free and fair elections remains the opposition’s reluctance to use the voting machine.
"The machine is not rigging machine but a printing device which allows people to click the picture of their candidate and print the ballot which is subsequently displayed in the ballot box. It reduces the cost of elections as requested by the opposition,” said Mwana Nanga.
He said relations between DRC and Zimbabwe remained good under the new political dispensation in Harare.
DRC gained its independence from Belgium on June 30 1960 under the leadership of Patrice Lumumba as prime minister and Joseph Kasavubu as president.
Lumumba was, however, later assassinated by Belgian and United States agents.