UDPS Secretary General Jacquemain Shabani sanctioned for « Gross Misconduct »
Once again, crisis struck at the top of UDPS organization this
Thursday, November 17–eleven days in the run-up to the general
elections. The head of UDPS « Commission Nationale de Discipline »–the
party’s disciplinary commission–read a statement broadcast on TV and
radio announcing that Secretary General Jacquemain Shabani had just
been sanctioned for « gross misconduct » (« faute grave »).
The discplinary commission alleged that Shabani failed to follow up on
the situation of jailed UDPS party members, stifled initiatives coming
from sections within the party, thwarted a crucial meeting between
MONUSCO and the youth wing of the party. Adding these acts of
indiscipline to the active obstruction of the commission’s
investigation by Shabani amounted to « disrespecting » the person of the
party’s chairman, Etienne Tshisekedi!
However, despite its strong wording, the statement didn’t spell out
the actual consequences of this finding of « gross misconduct » on
Shabani’s position and career within UDPS. Could Shabani still operate
as the party’s secretary general? Has he been suspended or fired?
What’s certain is that UDPS can’t afford an abrupt estrangement with
one of its most vocal, articulate, media-savvy, and visible non-Luba
senior party officials for those flimsy reasons, when statistics being
thrown around by pro-Kabila campaigners purport to show that an
overwhelming majority of MP candidates on UDPS lists nationwide were
members of Tshisekedi’s own Luba ethnic group.
This development, coming just days after Shabani urged CENI to
disqualify Kabila for using government resources and resources in his
reelection bid, left analysts and observers scratching their heads for
an explanation for such a suicidal move by a party whose chairman has
recently proved to be at best mercurial or at worst unhinged.
Alex Engwete (http://alexengwete.blogspot.com/)