Former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has categorically denied sending congratulations to incumbent President Felix Tshisekedi amid the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) eagerly awaited final results of the presidential elections.
Kenyatta, currently serving as the AU-Kenya Peace Envoy and Facilitator of the EAC-led Nairobi Peace Process, refuted claims on his official platform that he authored a message urging Tshisekedi to unite the country.
In a statement released on his behalf, the office of the 4th President of the Republic of Kenya stated, “We would like to disassociate itself from this news update doing rounds within various mainstream and social media platforms.” This revelation has added a layer of intrigue to an already controversial election process.
As President Tshisekedi takes a commanding lead in the election, opposition candidates have decried the entire process as a “sham.” The December 20 polls were fraught with logistical hiccups and chaos, prompting Tshisekedi’s main challengers to issue a joint statement on Sunday calling for mass protests against the anticipated results.
“We call on our people to take to the streets en masse after the proclamation of the electoral fraud,” declared the opposition leaders in their statement.
With the final results expected to be announced on Sunday evening by the country’s election agency boss, Denis Kadima, the tension in the DRC remains palpable.
Tshisekedi faced stiff competition for his second term from 18 opposition candidates, including notable figures like mining entrepreneur and football tycoon Moise Katumbi.
Earlier in the week, the capital city of Kinshasa witnessed clashes between police and opposition supporters, leading to the deployment of tear gas to disperse protesters demanding a rerun of the elections.
Roads were barricaded, and an attempted march to the electoral commission headquarters was halted by law enforcement.
The electoral process involved a total of 44 million registered Congolese voters participating not only in the presidential race but also in the selection of Members of Parliament and provincial and municipal representatives.
However, significant portions of the eastern region were excluded from the voting process due to persistent conflicts between government forces and rebel groups spanning three decades.