It appears that change is underfoot in the Congolese political sphere; however, when the Kabila regime is involved, such change is usually not for the better. And, while it is claimed that recent changes in the upper echelons of the Kinshasa government are designed to facilitate a more ‘inclusive’ leadership structure, the ruling elite undoubtedly have ulterior motives for their sudden, new-found desire for political inclusion.

On 14th November 2016, Prime Minister Augustin Matata Ponyo announced that he and the members of his government had resigned from their ministerial positions in accordance with an 18th October deal between the government and a small section of the political opposition that had participated in a so-called ‘national dialogue’ (News24, 15.11.2016). Unfortunately, the dialogue does not chart a clearer way forward, or meet any of the requirements analysts and western observers feel are necessary to stabilise current tensions and end the persisting political impasse  

At the press conference Communications Minister and government mouthpiece, Lambert Mende, quoted the President as stating that the 2005 Constitution would be respected and that he would not seek third presidential term. Interestingly, Mende did add that the term limit did not preclude Congolese citizens from modifying the constitution in “three, four or five years, if they so desire” (Reuters, 14.11.2016).