1. Home
  2. Africa
  3. DRC
  • News

Zimbabwe opposition boycotts Kabila speech

The Zimbabwean opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) on Tuesday boycotted a special address to parliament by DRC President Joseph Kabila, whose government President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe is backing in the Congo war, the BBC reported on Wednesday. All 56 MDC members stayed away from parliament as Kabila gave the 30-minute address, the report said. The MDC is bitterly opposed to Mugabe’s 1998 decision to have some 12,000 Zimbabwean soldiers deployed in the DRC. “The involvement of Zimbabwe in the DRC has brought untold suffering to the ordinary men and women of Zimbabwe, who suffer fuel and food shortages directly attributable to the millions of Zimbabwean money pumped into the DRC war,” the BBC quoted an MDC statement as saying. Mugabe criticised the MDC for their action, describing them on state television as “imbeciles”. “Opposition members are disgraceful for walking out as President Kabila addressed parliament,” Mugabe said. In his speech to parliament, Kabila praised Mugabe for his military support for the Congolese government (in its war with Congolese rebel movements, backed by Uganda and Rwanda). “Zimbabweans have all reasons to be proud of what they have accomplished in the DRC,” he said. Analysts in Zimbabwe expressed some surprise that Kabila should have addressed parliament in the first place, since the MDC was so opposed to the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) intervention in the Congo and was not averse to expressing itself volubly in parliament.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

Share this article

Get the day’s top headlines in your inbox every morning

Starting at just $5 a month, you can become a member of The New Humanitarian and receive our premium newsletter, DAWNS Digest.

DAWNS Digest has been the trusted essential morning read for global aid and foreign policy professionals for more than 10 years.

Government, media, global governance organisations, NGOs, academics, and more subscribe to DAWNS to receive the day’s top global headlines of news and analysis in their inboxes every weekday morning.

It’s the perfect way to start your day.

Become a member of The New Humanitarian today and you’ll automatically be subscribed to DAWNS Digest – free of charge.

Become a member of The New Humanitarian

Support our journalism and become more involved in our community. Help us deliver informative, accessible, independent journalism that you can trust and provides accountability to the millions of people affected by crises worldwide.