Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabange Kabila has been accused of arming brigades of cane-brandishing youth to disperse those opposed to his ‘third term’ bid.
According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), the youth were reportedly paid US$65 by officials of the ruling Peoples Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (PPRD) to scuttle a peaceful demonstration in the DRC capital Kinshasa.
According to reports, the plain-clothed assailants belonged to a cabal of PPRD sympathisers from the army, police, security services and youth associated with a Kinshasa-based football club, Vita.
The DRC is scheduled to hold elections on November 16 and President Kabila, who is attempting to run after serving his mandatory two five-year terms has come under heavy criticism for attempting to change the rules.
Recently, one of his PPRD close allies, Katanga Governor Moise Katumbi deserted the party and also resigned from governorship, and implored president Kabila to stand down after the expiry of his two terms.
Also, seven opposition figures who had allied with his PPRD in the pursuit of electoral reforms recently wrote to President Kabila, denouncing his third term quest and detailing their inability to continue working with him.