Zihindula Mulegwa

I am no longer the official Spokesman for the President. After leaving that job, I wanted to work independently, but the President asked me to join his National Security Council, which is a structure responsible for formulating his policies. I became responsible for all diplomatic matters.

In addition to working at the National Security Council, I also started a think tank called the Center for Political and Strategic Studies. The Center makes contextual analysis and every Wednesday has a discussion forum that brings together diplomats, politicians and the population from the grassroots to discuss and make recommendations on different issues affecting the country.

We also organize one seminar outside the province. This seminar serves to put decision makers in touch with the population in the provinces. In July 2005, we did a seminar in Bukavu to discuss security. Participants included the British Ambassador, delegates from the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations, international organizations, European and American diplomats, local NGOs and representatives from the grassroots.

During the first round of elections last year, the Center set up political debates across the country, getting political candidates to answer questions from the electors. It was the first time this has been done in the country. We plan to continue the same initiative when local elections are organized.

On the eve of announcing results of the first round of Presidential elections, violence flared up between troops loyal to the President and the runner up. As fear grew that the same thing may happen during the second round of elections, the Center played a role in building a bridge between the two candidates. In the end God smiled on the country, and no violence broke out.

A lot remains to be done in this country, and, with or without me, the Center will continue to be involved in issues affecting the nation.

In the upcoming months, as things settle down here, I would like to pursue a Ph.D. in Political Science. I would also like to go back to SPI as often as possible to brush up on what I learned during my wonderful years at EMU. The rest, we shall see what the Creator has in store for me!