Comrades cry foul as Kabila rival dies in suspicious house fire


Pro-democracy activist Luc Nkulala was killed in a suspicious fire overnight at his home in Goma, in eastern Democratic of Republic of Congo, his opposition Struggle for Change (Lucha) group said on Sunday.

“We suspect that the enemies of democracy and peace carried out this act on our comrade even though, so far, we don’t know how the fire started,” said Ghislain Muhiwa, a senior figure in the movement which is based in Goma.

“Our comrade Luc Nkulula died in a suspicious fire at his house on Saturday night, he told AFP.

Nkulula was one of the founders of Lucha, a pro-democracy movement strongly opposed to President Joseph Kabila remaining in power.

In August 2016 he was the spokesman for Lucha in a meeting with Kabila four months before the end of the president’s official mandate.

Elections for DRC’s head of state are due to take place on December 23 after two postponements that have stoked fears the sprawling, volatile state could spiral into war.

President Kabila, who has been in power since 2001, had been due to step down at the end of 2016 after he reached his two-term constitutional limit.

In May 2016, however, the Constitutional Court ruled that Kabila could remain in office after the expiry of his mandate, even without being re-elected.