“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also” – Matthew 5: 38-39, New International Version (NIV).
It is tragic to know that the first Congolese Prime Minister of the Independent Democratic Republic of Congo – Patrice Lumumba was not only assassinated, but deposed of in a brutal way. Which is why the only remain part of his body is a tooth. The body was deposed with acid and totally destroyed. That was a deliberate act to mask and stop any sort of trace of the evil deeds committed to him.
While we know the Belgian authorities and the United States of America – Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was involved in the matter. They where both participating and ensuring a transition to Mobutu Sese Seko and his tyranny, which took over for the revolutionary and the popular prospect of a Lumumba government. Therefore, the West did this and has never answered for their crimes in the DRC. Belgium is “regretting” and saying “sorry” but they have never paid or had any direct consequences for the years of colonialism or overlordship of the Central African Nation.
That’s why I cannot celebrate the return the of the tooth. No, it is not enough. Just like the Belgians never has paid any price or had to take any sort of real accountability for the years of colonial rule. They have not paid for their brutality and generations of suffering. A nation which paid the costs of their mass-murder and looting. Therefore, the tooth of the former Prime Minister isn’t a token or a relic of hope. But a proof of the deviousness, which has roamed large in Brussels and beyond.
Just read this here snippet about the return of it:
“A newly-built mausoleum in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital, Kinshasa is getting ready to welcome the gold-crowned tooth of the country’s independence hero Patrice Lumumba. The mausoleum was however designed by a Chinese architect and is about to take in the only known remains of Mr Lumumba. In September 2020, the family of Lumumba received news of taking in the tooth taken from his corpse. A court in Belgium had ruled that the tooth should be returned to Lumumba’s family. Lumumba’s tooth was believed to have been taken by a Belgian policeman who was helping to dispose of the body” (Africa Feeds, 23.06.2022).
What is even more striking is that a Belgian Police Officer has been able to keep it for all of these years. That a man of the law and of the law enforcement kept it as a token and a valuable artefact says a lot. Because, he and others in his company has to know how it got there. You just don’t take a tooth and other items from another country like that.
The police officer and fellow peers must have known and be aware of the “secrecy” of the assassination of Lumumba. That his life was taken prematurely and left to a grim fate. Which was acid and total destruction of his remains. That’s why the DRC is only left with a tooth.
The Belgian authorities only gives back a golden tooth. That is very symbolic of how they ruled the DRC. They called maybe the tribes of the DRC savages, but they were the definition of it. The way they looted, massacred and created horrors under rule of King Leopold. The Belgians should be aware of the bloodshed and murders that was committed in their names. That is something that should be told until eternity. Especially, when it has no consequence. The murder capital of DRC is somewhere in Belgium. Since, they ordered and ensured the demise of millions of Congolese people over the years.
Some might say it is reparation or a gesture between the nations. This was a theft. Not only the thieving of the remains of a body of a head of state. No, it was also a theft and stolen future. The Belgians together with allies hijacked the future of the DRC. They installed Mobutu and the ramifications we see to this day.
The tooth will not turn back time. It is a small item, but not insignificant. Yes, this has taken way to long. However, the ones behind the assassination is roaming loose and has no punitive actions done against them. They did a calculated murder with following destruction of all evidence. That’s how sinister the plot was and we may never know who actually did it.
The only thing we know… is that the DRC never got justice served. They only got an tooth. Which isn’t enough. Belgians should be aware and so should anyone else who has looted a nation under the banner of colonialism. They should answer for the pains and suffering they committed. It wasn’t just an one off and Lumumba’s demise is a testament of that. Peace.