Guideline for all COJESKI Staff members during the period of elections in Democratic Republic of Congo
Guideline of the COJESKI North Kivu during this electoral period in the Democratic Republic of Congo from this October 11th, 2023 to February 1st 2024
The meeting started at 12h30 pm and took end at 2h15 pm and generally focused on the conduct of staff members.
The Meeting was chaired by Kulihoshi Musikami Pecos reminded the participants that during this period of elections from October 2023 to February 2024 most of our activities as organization will be mostly internal and will focus on the Annual Report, Strategic Plan for the period 2024 to 2026, expending partnerships, focusing on membership and putting in place other internal structures, the fundraising and urgent interventions on behalf of people in difficult situations in order to save life.
The participants were briefed about electoral process currently, the candidates at all levels, the various dates and where elections will not be held. The meeting was concerned by the small percentages of women and the youth and expressed the need for COJESKI to embark on a project that will empower women and young people in order to fully participate in elections at all levels.
It was observed that much as we want to play various roles such as civic education, election observation, human rights monitoring among others, we do not have the funding for these activities therefore we shall not focus so much on election issues unless if we get funding.
We also noted that we should create awareness among refugees in order to ensure that they are involved in elections at all levels and that we monitor their situation to ensure they are safe. We need to remind all actors that refugees are victims in search of protection but they are not political tools in order to be used during the elections.
COJESKI however will join other initiatives from the Civil Society Organizations once invited and as long as the activities are purely civic and not political.
COJESKI is a human rights organization and cannot take side to anyone, cannot support any political, religious, ethnic, tribal or any ideological agenda, our work in to focus of the promotion, the defense and protection of human rights. It was therefore concluded that no one will be allowed to put posters in the premises of COJESKI, no one will be allowed to talk to people for campaign purpose at our offices and no political actors will hold meetings at our offices,
All staff members should abstain from showing in public that they support a particular candidate, staff members should not get involved in public campaigns and should not put on T-Shirts and other signs of a particular candidate,
All staff members were informed to encourage the population to go and vote and to get involved in Civic Education activities and at the same time to orient people how best they can participate fully in the change of leadership through elections,
Staff members were encouraged to help people to ensure that the campaigns are peaceful,
The meeting observed that the staff members need more sessions to share knowledge on free, fair, inclusive, peaceful, transparent and democratic elections, therefore we hope to organize some meetings on this and invite those who have more knowledge to share with us together with some other members of COJESKI.
Staff members agreed to meet again next week in order to expend more on this issue,
Questions were about members who may be given contracts by Candidates on individual levels, it was then agreed that they can do it but they should appear in public.