Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
President Mnangagwa yesterday met a special envoy from his counterpart President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo who briefed him on the progress made on that country’s elections set for December 23.
The special envoy, Mr Kikaya Bin Karubi who is President Kabila’s chief diplomatic advisor, told journalists after meeting President Mnangagwa at his Munhumutapa Offices in Harare that they were going it alone in the coming elections without external assistance.
Mr Karubi, who was accompanied by DRC Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mwawapanga Mwanananga said once they accepted external assistance especially from the Western world, they should be prepared to pay back 10 times more.
“In terms of democracy, we are still babies, but we are doing it alone because elections are a matter of national sovereignty,” said Mr Karubi.
“We do not want anybody to interfere with our elections. The international community has been coming and asking to help us here and there, but in Congo we say we must be wary of Greeks bearing gifts.
“When someone offers you a gift, you must always remember to ask what does he want in return? So, we do not want anybody to help us with our electoral process. If we need help, we know on which door to knock. It will first be our African friends.
“We will never go all the way to Europe or America looking for help because we know when they offer you any kind of help, you must always be prepared to pay something 10 times more in return.”
Commenting on the political situation in DRC, Mr Karubi said; “The situation is good despite some challenges here and there where transborder terrorists are coming into our country and killing our people. Our army is really putting pressure on them to put an end to that, come election time.
“The second challenge is the Ebola virus. The Ebola virus has been hitting here and there, but we have medical teams with the international community helping us as well to try and contain the disease.
“In terms of democracy, we are in a learning process. Congo, being a country of over 88 million people has 40 million voters and 21 candidates for the presidency and for the MPs I don’t know how many people. We have 700 parties competing for elections. This is a learning process for us.”
Mr Karubi said he gave President Mnangagwa a comprehensive brief on the political situation in DRC.
He said more than 700 political parties were participating in the polls with 21 candidates gunning for the presidency.
“As you know, the Democratic Republic of Congo will be having its third elections on the 23rd of December, so President Kabila thought that it was important that he sends someone to see His Excellency President Mnangagwa and brief him on the political situation in the Congo,” he said.