Congo Elections

Bud Kroeker in Kinshasa Report N° 7

Wednesday evening, December 7, 2011

Dear friends,

This morning I sent in the grid showing the amount of votes for each candidate according to province. People here, especially the observers, like this way of comparing as it gives them a picture of what’s going on. A journalist from one of the local television stations asked if he could also have a copy. The grid from this morning was based on 90% of the votes already counted. Some parts of the country have only turned in 80%. Officially the results were to be announced Tuesday but the CENI asked for 48 hours more to finish off the counting of the votes.

Publishing the partial results of the elections can already give an idea of who is winning. The remaining 10% won’t change the outcome. So the population is prepared to accept little by little the results even though the politicians haven’t yet named the winner, and continue talking about fraud.

Today this city is all but dead. Pastor Milenge phoned me this morning to say he was at home and those in his office went home at noon. Other offices decided already last week to stay closed until Wednesday. The streets are basically silent without the usual noise of loud vehicles going down the street. Even the personnel here at the Guest House are reduced in number. The girls who normally serve stayed home. The huge metal gate, usually open for visitors, stayed closed all day. The boys in the little guardhouse are sitting outside looking at an old TV. Only a few cars are parked in the parking lot and some look like they’ve been there a long time, such as two vans of the CAP jacked up on blocks. At noon, the cook tells me that I can go ahead and eat since I’m the only one.

This evening I sat outside where it was a bit cooler and where I could rest my eyes. All around are large buildings of up to 8 floors. And on the roofs is a collection of antennas of all sizes for TV, Internet, and communications. A papaya tree as high as the second floor of a building is sitting there with luscious fruit up at the top that no one is going dare to pick. There are also several banana trees and many palm trees around here, which give such charm to the city. No one is moving over at the Print shop of CEDI next door, even though several lights are lit inside.

We will see if life comes back to normal tomorrow. Those who don’t like the results of the election could go on strike, but life must go on, otherwise one doesn’t eat. We continue to pray for peace and that the population will go back to their normal tasks. If they could but realize that the promises of politicians describing a life that gets better immediately will never be kept. In my opinion it’s time to encourage people to return to the country to a more wholesome life. But they don’t seem to think of it.

Please pray for the many facing difficult situations. There’s a young lady here whose parents have both died, she’s been rejected by her aunt and has no income, yet she has to somehow pay rent, and she’s but one of so many others. Pray also for those who will be leading this country in the days ahead.

Bud

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