D.R. Congo National Assembly Vice President Resigns over bullying

Jean-Marc Kabund, the  first vice president of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s National Assembly, has resigned over what he described as bullying, humiliation and torture.

Kabund, a close ally of President Felix Tshisekedi, resigned at the weekend after CCTV footage appeared on social media, showing members of the Republican Guard raiding his house and detaining a man.

The resignation of Kabund, a key figure in Tshisekedi’s rise to power, shows the nation’s leadership is in crisis, and could spell uncertainty for the ruling coalition ahead of the presidential election in 2023, according to political analysts.

CCTV footage shared by Kabund’s family showed half a dozen armed men dressed in army fatigues and maroon berets entering his garden around 19:00 on Wednesday evening. They removed one man from the property, kicking and hitting him as they left.

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Unverified videos on social media later appeared to show the house had been ransacked, with possessions scattered across the floor and furniture upturned. 

“Today I take the decision to resign from my position as first vice president of the national assembly,” Kabund wrote on Twitter, without elaborating.

“Thus begins a new page of history, which will be written with the sweat of our brow, which will flow every day that we face bullying, humiliation and torture.”

The raid came just one day after a video surfaced of a police officer snatching a rifle from a Republican Guard member who was sitting in a car in traffic.

“Everything will now depend on the follow-up,” said Tresor Kibangula, a political analyst at New York University’s Congo Research Group. “Will he leave the (President’s party)? Will he be able to recruit or constitute a core of followers within the Sacred Union? Nothing is certain.”

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