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Excerpts from a rambling statement delivered by Zairian Info

May 16, 1997

Excerpts from a rambling statement delivered by Zairian Information Minister Kin-Kiey Mulumba regarding President Mobutu Sese Seko’s departure from the Zairian capital, Kinshasa:

``Mobutu has decided to leave the capital, leaving to the government the responsibility to conduct national policy. ... Mobutu has given a document to South African authorities specifying his powers. ... The president now reigns and the government governs.″

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``The president, aware of his (deteriorating) health, came to Kinshasa only to conduct negotiations ... and as negotiations have failed, Marshal Mobutu therefore left the capital.″

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``The constitution institutes parliamentary rule, and according to this rule, the president reigns but does not govern. ... The vacating of the presidency of the republic is pronounced by the Supreme Court of Justice, conforming to the constitution. If the presidency is vacated, the president of the parliament is charged with acting as president.″

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``(Rebel leader Laurent Kabila’s) demand for the transfer of power is a violation of the constitution. ... The president of the republic cannot transfer (power) arbitrarily.″

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``When the (rebel) alliance demands a transfer of power, one may ask, what sort of power? And one cannot see how one can organize a coup d’etat at this moment.″

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``The alliance is trying to validate force as a mode of gaining power. ... All Zairians have the duty to defend the nation and to thwart any individual from taking power by force.″

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