Kinshasa: Democratic Republic of Congo
opposition chief Etienne Tshisekedi, who rejects Joseph
Kabila`s re-election as president, had himself "sworn in" at
his home as police clashed with his supporters.
Tshisekedi, 79, who came second in the November 28 poll,
defied a police ban on his "inauguration" yesterday, which had
been planned for a football stadium in the capital where
police fired teargas to prevent the planned ceremony.
With armoured vehicles of the Republican Guard and large
forces of police mobilised at the stadium, the event was moved
to Tshisekedi`s Kinshasa home, where police also used tear gas
on supporters and officials of his Union for Democracy and
Social Progress gathered outside.
"It`s banned. There is already an elected president who
has been sworn in. We cannot have another swearing-in. It`s an
act of subversion," a source close to the head of the
country`s police said.
"Such a rally would be destabilising for the regime in
place," the source added of the event planned for Martyr`s
Tshisekedi took the oath on a Bible after his chief of
staff Albert Moleka read a statement claiming that "today puts
an indelible mark on the history of our country which has
passed from dictatorship via the oligarchy of Kabila and his
followers to real democracy."
Government spokesman Lambert Mende promptly dismissed the
ceremony as a farce and a non-event, as well as "an insult to
"The head of state only takes the oath before a supreme
court," he said. "Did you see a supreme court judge?"