This is a week to remember, undoubtedly.. although it might pass unnoticed in the larger population of the world. I trust that there are a few of us with shared interests who are to an extent excited by what this week will bring.
On the same day Egypt and the DRC were to go to the polls. Both elections are contentious issues. In the case of Egypt, the system not the participants, is flawed. Egypt's elections will not bring about the immediate democracy that its people campaigned so hard for- if the military gets its way Egypt's democracy will be put on ice for yet another 12 months minimum, but they've waited over 50 years already what's another on the calendar? This would be Egypt's first ever election. Coup after coup has been the usual passing of power. and so you can see why people may be excited and eager to take part.
Further south the DRC is also having elections. And as can be expected the particpants not the system is flawed.. that is the story of sub-saharan Africa. President Joseph Kabila inherited the apparent democracy from his father who stole it from the dictator Mobutu who violently and inhumanely seized it with unashamed neo-colonial Belgian and US sponsor, from the country's first president, Patrice Lumumba. That has been the story of the DRC. Now in the country's elections candidates with rumoured history of serial rape, dealings in blood minerals and all other types of crimes run for positions in government that will give them access to large quantities of funds.
I'm not one to trust western media (and I throw Al Jazeera into this label) when it comes to African affairs, simply because I know that the world doesn't rate us, but I reckon in this case - the case of the DRC which is not only the poorest but the most dangerous place to live in the world - some accusations may just be true. It worries me that in the spirit of democracy someone with such a shady past with no sign of remorse or reform could be given legal power and the resources to govern the people he tormented for years. Many more statesmen have been expelled from the political arena for much less than what this gentleman is being accused of.