AFRICA/DR CONGO - Father Apollinaire Malumalu has died, organizer of the first free elections in the DRC

Friday, 1 July 2016 elections   priests  

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - "A shocking news that troubles us strongly. The death of Father Malumalu is one of the greatest difficulties that the DRC has to overcome. It is a catastrophe, and a great loss for the entire nation". This is how the Study Centre for the Promotion of Peace, Democracy and Human Rights (CEPADHO) defines the death of Father Apollinaire Malumalu, the Catholic priest who organized the first free elections of the Republic democratic of Congo, in 2006, in a statement sent to Agenzia Fides.
Father Malumalu was in fact the President of the Commission électorale Indépendante (CEI), replaced in the disputed elections of 2011 by the Commission électorale Nationale Indépendante (CENI), also led by the priest. In 2013 the Bishops had however imposed canonical sanctions to Father Malumalu when he was again elected at the head of CENI (see Fides 02/07/2013). Later the priest was forced to leave his post for health reasons (see Fides 12/10/2015).
Father Malumalu died in the night between June 30 and July 1 in Dallas, where he was being treated for cancer. The announcement of his death was given by His Exc. Mgr. Melchisédech Sikuli Paluku, Bishop of Butembo-Beni, the diocese of origin of the deceased priest. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 01/07/2016)