The Constitutional Court of the Democratic Republic of Congo made a significant ruling, affirming Moïse Katumbi’s eligibility to run for the upcoming presidential election scheduled for December. This decision comes in the wake of two legal challenges that sought to challenge Katumbi’s candidacy.
The first petition was deemed inadmissible, while the second, though admissible, was found to lack substantial grounds. The primary point of contention in both petitions revolved around allegations of foreign nationality supposedly held by Moïse Katumbi, with rumors speculating Italian or Zambian heritage.
The first petition was brought forth by an individual named Tshivuadi Mansanoa, who raised a professional dispute involving the candidate Katumbi. Despite the petitioner submitting a brief to support their claim, the Court swiftly dismissed this case as inadmissible, evidently affording it minimal attention.
The second petition was presented by candidate Noël Tshiani, a prominent political figure who had previously proposed legislation aimed at restricting presidential candidacy solely to individuals born to two Congolese parents.
In his petition, Noël Tshiani sought to disqualify Moïse Katumbi’s candidacy by asserting that, during the issuance of his nationality certificate, the former governor held another citizenship.
The Court ruled that the second petition was admissible in form but lacking in substance. This decision was met with relief by Katumbi’s supporters, as the shadow of this ongoing issue had loomed over him for several months.
In another development on the same day, a petition filed by Seth Kikuni against the candidacy of the current president, Félix Tshisekedi, was declared inadmissible. Seth Kikuni had approached the Court to challenge the incumbent president’s eligibility, citing a lack of qualification.
These recent rulings by the Constitutional Court bring clarity and resolution to the presidential race in the Democratic Republic of Congo as the nation prepares for a pivotal election.
The decision to confirm Moïse Katumbi’s candidacy puts an end to protracted speculations surrounding his national allegiance, while the rejection of the challenge against Félix Tshisekedi underscores the importance of legal rigor in the electoral process. As the election date draws near, the political landscape in the DRC continues to evolve, setting the stage for a critical moment in the nation’s history.