Congo Prime Minister, Antoine Gizenga Resigns
Antonie Gizenga resigned from his post as Prime Minister today. He was head of the Unified Lumumbist Party (PALU). Gizenga is a long-time Lumumbist who served as Deputy Prime Minister to Patrice Lumumba in 1960 before he was assassinated.
In his brief stint as Prime Minister, from 2006 - present, Gizenga was adamant about excluding those who pilfered state coffers during the war and transition years. It is widely believed that his office was the primary impetus within the government that moved the contract review process forward.
Many observers wondered why President Kabila did not show up for the United Nations Annual Meeting in New York. It is clear now that he remained in the Congo to oversee Gizegna's resignation.
The obvious question is who will replace Gizenga. Leading the talks of a replacement are Planning Minister Olivier Kamitatu, National Assembly President Vital Kamerhe, and Agriculture Minister Francois Joseph Mobutu Nzanga. Should Kabila look to placate Gizenga's home province of Bandundu, he may go with Olivier Kamitatu.
In the final analysis, there are several underlying fundamental issues that will be a challenge for whoever replaces Gizenga. The government is in serious crisis and a shuffling of the decks will not make much of a difference.