From the return of the head of state to Kinshasa to the rise in food prices, including the return to parliament, scandals involving clergymen, the ending week has been rich in news. Karin Kanku combs through these highlights.
Hello Mrs. Karin Kanku and thank you for your time. Last year, you did us the honor of commenting on the news. Has there been anything new in your activities since then?
Karin Kanku : I am still a women’s rights advocate, coach and consultant on gender and personal development, and an expert in human resource management. I am coordinating the National Dynamic of Women Candidates of the DRC (DYNAFEC).
The coming week was marked, in particular, by the return to Parliament. Among the tasks of the March session are the reforms of the electoral system. What are your expectations about this?
Karin Kanku : This is a long awaited session. The DRC is a signatory to international treaties and agreements that promote equal participation in decision-making bodies, we ask for increased sanctions to discourage electoral corruption and ensure good media communication by sanctioning messages that are rejected. We want the legislative framework to be the first tool that allows all candidates to participate in the electoral process on equal terms, it is the bible of elections.
With regard to the representation of women and youth, the President of the National Assembly assured the population that the demands and obligations of this chamber were taken into account. What elements do you think should be changed as a women’s rights advocate?
Karin Kanku : This topic is close to us. Mainstreaming a gender perspective in electoral reforms will increase women’s participation in the electoral process. We hope that this session, as President Mbosso said in his opening remarks, will not disappoint women. We call for the involvement and participation of all MPs in order to comply with the spirit of article 14 of the constitution in our next electoral law. Because article 13 of this is not in line with article 14 of the constitution, which is about parity. It would be necessary to impose a list rejection restriction that violates this provision of the law. We also ask, without abandoning parity, to gradually introduce a mandatory quota for women in the lists of candidates for elections.
Also during this week, dramas occurred in Lualaba, Kinshasa and Kwilu. A train crash that killed more than 70 people, a fuel depot caught fire, and three provincial deputies were washed away by the waters of Mai Ndombe Lake. Do you think these events could have been avoided? How?” or “What?”
Karin Kanku : accidents are not inevitable, we can work to reduce them, take drastic measures that everyone is called to obey, and in case of violations, severe sanctions are allowed to break this cycle of everything when we take measures to ensure the safety of the population. needs to be periodically monitored and evaluated in order to move forward.
The head of state returned to the country after treatment in Belgium. What do you think about how public relations officers in the presidency processed this information?
Karin Kanku : We wish a speedy recovery to the Head of State, who is also a champion of positive masculinity and our first partner in increasing women’s participation in the electoral process and in decision-making bodies. He is human and can get sick like everyone else. The Communications Department, in the face of anything that may affect the institution of the presidency, is called upon to speak with one voice, and the coordination work must be respected, consultation before communication between all communication stakeholders, and above all, anticipate.
For security purposes, this week three nurses were kidnapped by militias in Fizi in South Kivu. At the same time, their colleagues threaten to impose burdens and demand that the authorities be involved in order to release them. What are your expectations from the security authorities?
Karin Kanku : For Greater Kivu, we call on our authorities to work tirelessly to restore full peace in this part of our country, and we also call on them to work with the countries of the subregion, not forgetting the participation of communities. I sympathize and pray for the release of the three nurses with the participation of our staff and communities.
Scandals involving clerics emerged this week on social media. What do you think of these events?
Karin Kanku : We strongly condemn these scandals and call on the leaders of various religious denominations to come together to think about how to frame all those who rise to the service of God. I encourage the mentoring and training of young pastors who have gifts but lack the fruits of the Spirit. This is a work that requires perseverance and observation from an exemplary spiritual model. Moreover, it is not only the prerogative of the revival churches that the people of God should respect deontology, but the man of God should show exemplary and high moral integrity. They should be presented in a typical profile. I call on all leaders of religious faiths to look at these scandals not as the work of resurrected churches, but as guardians of spiritual values, so that they come together to think about the framework that can play the role of a regulator of people’s behavior God, capacity building and sharing best practices in in accordance with respect for the teachings and faith of another confession. How to instruct young servants who are human and go through all the stages associated with their development.
In Goma (North Kivu) and Bukavu (South Kivu), food and food prices rose in the market. What advice would you give to the economic authorities?
Karin Kanku A: before becoming an advocate for the rights of women and children, I am a mother, wife and this part of food management, in many families, this is a woman doing it better. This reality is also felt in Kinshasa. The housewife’s basket suffers, economic power is weak, the largest share of the family’s budget is directed to priority needs, and sometimes even in excess of this budget. Congolese families use several strategies to meet their basic needs, and this has health implications. We call on the Congolese State to make improving the socio-economic conditions of the population a priority.
In international news, the war between Russia and Ukraine continues. Last week, a pregnant woman died along with her baby after the bombing of the maternity hospital where she was due to give birth. What are your suggestions for keeping women and children safe in this region of the world?
Karin Kanku A: We encourage parties to resolve disputes by peaceful means. You can start a war, but you don’t know exactly when it will end. These are people who pay a high price. Women and children suffer doubly. Let all organizations working for world peace get involved in bringing Russia back to the negotiating table to find peace, so that Ukrainians can freely and peacefully go about their business.
The last word?
Karin Kanku : I hope that our authorities will respond in a concrete way to this testament, bequeathed by Etienne Tshisekedi wa Mulumba, a political model for me: “People above all.” That our authorities at every level consider themselves servants of the people, that we are getting out of egocentrism. That politicians do not see themselves as enemies, but as political opponents who are brothers and consider the DRC their homeland, and that women’s rights are respected, especially that the electoral reforms are gender mainstreaming to a great extent, and that God bless the DRC and its people.
Interview Priska Locale