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FALSE! Woman attacked in viral Congo’s election video, not CENI President

Claim: CENI president publicly humiliated after announcing fake and rigged results.

Verdict: False. The CENI president is male, and his photographs, as published by credible news platforms, show no resemblance to the woman in the video.

Full Text

Amidst the presidential election held in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a (Twitter) user posted a video showcasing an alleged president of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) being assaulted for declaring ingenuine and rigged election results.

The X user, Nkirukamma (@SabinaNkiru), wrote: “DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) Election Commission Chair(man) humiliated after announcing fake and rigged results.”

In the video, voters who had come to cast their votes at a polling centre were visibly seen beating a woman who only struggled to flee the hostile mob.

Ms Nkirukamma tried to spotlight the incident against the backdrop of Nigerians attempting to call out the leadership of the Independence National Electoral Commission (INEC). 

“If INEC and co (were) afraid of something even a little bit like this, our fortunes today (would) be much better.” Ms Nkirukamma further wrote.

The post garnered 719,000 views, 2,048 reposts, 492 comments, 2,999 likes and 371 bookmarks.

From the comments, other users believed and shared the same view as Ms Nkirukamma.

“The day will come soon.” Kingboy (@kingboy02458754) commented. 

“I wish that Nigerians would wake up from their slumber.” Royal King (@iam_royalkingg) also commented.

Due to the sensitivity of the claim, we decided to carry out a verification.

Verification

We conducted a keyword search and came across an Aljazeera report informing of incumbent President Felix Tshisekedi’s re-election in the DR Congo election. The report revealed that Mr Denis Kadima, described as the “election chief,” stated that the results would be sent to the constitutional court for confirmation.

Mr Kadima is identified by Voice of Africa (VOA) as the president of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI). 

Denis Kadima (standing) as depicted in Voice of Africa report, awaiting election results. Photo Source: AFP 

The same person is identified in an image published by the international news outlet Breaking News Network (BNN) as “Dennis Kadima, the president of the Independent National Electoral Commission.”

Dennis Kadima as depicted by Breaking News Network (BNN) Photo Source: BNN.

However, Fatshimetrie, a citizen’s blog, reports how women were publicly assaulted during the DR Congo election due to their franchise choices. The magazine mentions how a woman was sexually violated and attacked for voting for opposition leader Moise Katumbi in the Grand Kasai region. They further asked that the perpetrators be punished. A similar incident was recorded in Kananga, one of the cities in DR Congo, of a female poll observer, who was also attacked in the Apollo district.

Conclusion

The claim is false. The CENI president is a male, and photographs of him taken by credible news platforms reveal him to be a different person from the woman attacked. There is also a report of gender-based violence that occurred in the DR Congo elections.

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