Given the proportion of votes that appear to have been stolen in Masisi, which in the grand scheme of things is irrelevant, it’s a shame that the presidential elections in the heart of North Kivu played out so dirty.
If I was in charge of falsifying election results, I would use a little more imagination than the fixers in Masisi did. I don’t claim to be an expert on elections fraud, or even a expert on elections, but, after my crash course at DRC elections, I am thinking about publishing a book entitled ‘How to pull off an Incredibly Incredible Botched election for as little as $1.3 billion.’
I spent a merry afternoon with a friend yesterday ploughing through the 293 pages of elections results, polling station by polling station for Masisi. What we concluded was:
· The Territory showed a polarisation of voting along ethnic lines. With a few exceptions, the Banyarwanda communities voted for Kabila and the Hundes (and others) voted for Kamhere
· In the places where Kabila won, he did so with improbably high percentages.
· Some BDVs showed up some bizarre results, with several offices showing identical results across offices, and other offices giving very round numbers for results.
· Mbusa and Tshisekedi hardly got any votes.
A few examples, numerous locations under the control of the CNDP averaged 96% for Kabila: Shoa, Rubaya, Bahunde, Baishali and Katoyi. In Katoyi some almost perfect Kabila results: 100/103 and miraculously 263/263 votes for Kabila. In the areas with weak FARDC/CNDP influence people came out for Kamhere, Lwibo, Loashi, Niyabiondo showing a credible 87% support for the UNC.
Something odd happened in Sake, a polling station that we observed directly. On the day I counted over 20 BDVs, but in the tally, only two are reported, and, guess what ? Kabila carried Sake.
So a symphony of improbable results in Masisi to a back drop of well documented election rigging and intimidation by pro-Kabila elements in the military.
No results for Mpati, where Erasto directly intervened to prevent a fair vote, and no results from the heartlands of the APCLS in Lukweti.
With numerous eyewitness accounts of the CNDP directly intimidating voters on polling day, and post elections conducting door-to-door ‘surveys’ to work out who did not vote candidate number three, it’s very hard to accept the credibility of any part of the electoral process in Masisi.