A fire on Wednesday night at a warehouse in Congo’s capital, Kinshasa, has destroyed thousands of voting machines and ballot boxes that were due to be used in the December 23 presidential election, a presidential adviser said on Thursday.
Barnabe Kikaya Bin Karubi told Reuters that 70 per cent of the equipment due to be used for voting in Kinshasa, the capital where more than 15 per cent of the country’s population lives, had been destroyed in the fire.
Congo’s election commission said in a statement that preparations for the vote would move ahead.
President Joseph Kabila is due to step down after 17 years in power after a long-delayed vote to choose his successor.
The election, which was meant to happen before Kabila’s mandate expired in 2016, had been delayed for so long that many doubted it would happen.
The election will be Democratic Republic of Congo’s first peaceful transition of power since independence from Belgium in 1960.