AFRICA/DR CONGO - Congolese Bishops threaten to file suit against Kinshasa mayor

Tuesday, 5 June 2018 bishops  

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - The National Bishops’ Conference of Congo, CENCO, is considering filing a lawsuit against Dolly Makambo, Mayor of Gombe, a municipality in the north of the Congolese capital, Kinshasa. The CENCO accuses the Mayor of forcing his way into the Inter-Diocesan Center of Kinshasa to tear down two posters put up by the Apostolic Council of Catholic Laymen of Congo.
The incident occurred on the afternoon of June 2. One of the posters read “No third presidential term;” the other, “No revision of the Constitution”, two key points of the 2016 New Year’s Eve Accord, sponsored by the Bishops.
CENCO Secretary-General Father Donatien Nshole described the Mayor’s action as “trespassing,” and does not hide his indignation: "The armed policeman threatened to shoot our guard who had no choice but to step aside", said Fr Nsholé, who has announced legal action if the Mayor does not apologize "to the Congolese people".
The Mayor replied: "I have done nothing illegal by tearing down the two posters. It is within my powers to tear down any writings posted in the municipality of Gombe without my prior authorization or that of the office of the mayor".
The episode is only the latest of a series of provocations against the Church and the associations of the Catholic laity that demand respect for the Constitution and the 2016 New Year’s Eve Accord. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 5/6/2018)