“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.
We are living in a day and age where leader’s doesn’t leave from their office. You have likes of Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasongo who is making himself ready for another election in his country this year and he has been in power since 1979. You have the likes of President Paul Biya of Cameroon who has been the President since 1982 and was in government since 1970s. In Zimbabwe the President of the day President Robert Gabriel Mugabe has been the Commander in Chief. And the list goes on.
We have the third term phenomenon of President Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda both of them have changed the laws or used Courts to allow them to stay in power. So the leadership roles are sufficient to stay. You have the likes of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who has been in charge since 1986 and stayed ever since, changed laws again and again to linger in power and is rumored to fix the age limit to stay passed his 7th Term.
So with this in mind, I will discuss it today. It is not a new phenomenon or a new change of guards. There are always leaders who linger and overstay their time in power. As President Juvénal Habyarimana of Rwanda took power with a coup d’état in 1973 and was in power until his plane got shot down in 1994. Just like the overthrow of first President Patrice Lumumba of Democratic Republic of Congo in 1965, who by foreign powers supposed to install Mobutu Seko Seko Kuku Ngebendu Wa Za Banga who was born Joseph-Desire Mobutu who was the President of DRC from 1965 until 1997. So there are leaders of the past who has not left office and is now long gone.
The issue with this is the way we build society around people instead of institutions and government structures. The Structures of government is kept weak and is not strong with procedure and predicated work for the civil service. That is why the leaders can linger and the way they keep it is fueling resources away from the government structures and institutions, keeping the progress weak and keeping the circle around them tight knit. Instead of having inner-circles with wits, knowledge and people who wants to succeed in their field; the leaders around the president is instead hungry men and woman who works for more and better civil service for the citizens.
That is because the leaders who circle all of government around themselves are not interested in great policies or deliver the promised pledges to the communities since then they have to give away power. When a leader tries to strengthen the power all around themselves then the necessary leadership is not about the government, but about the person who rules. The ruler set the standard ,not the laws of the state or the laws of the Parliament. As the Executive can fix the Supreme Court, Constitutional Court, can rig the Constitution and make draconian laws that issues more help for the Executive; instead of the Constitution and the Parliament representing the citizens and for the citizens it becomes for the Executive.
That is why the Executive or the Ruler, the President doesn’t want to leave power since the whole state is built around the one person. The One Person who has in his image or her image built the government around themselves. And when they have it all for themselves they don’t have to fight for anything else then themselves. That is what matters, if he schools is depleting, health care is non-functioning, roads have bigger potholes then the ones on the moon, the government loans are worse than the subprime-mortgage and so on. That doesn’t matter because the situations doesn’t hit the Executive, because the government funds goes directly to him instead of the ministries, departments and sections of government than really-really need it!
The Power that starts with personal movement of fights and liberation, the ones that are personalized towards the one man who saved them all and then doesn’t leave is that the EGO and used to be center of attention. To have the voice of being right, so they can’t do things wrong in their own mind as they risk to lose their wealth and strength if they are out of office.
Some of these leaders have lived on the strength of the loyalty to foreign powers as they need their alliance in a region to secure peace in the neighbor country or during the cold war as the Americans did whatever they could to control the world and not lose nations to the Soviet communism. Therefore they fall of Said Barre of Somalia and the struggles of the Ethiopian Dirg of the 1970s. As the Cold War complex policies dissolved and built governments with influence of American and Russian strengths of the time. Take the example of President Mengistu Hailemariam who kept the Power from 1974 – 1991 with the Soviet influx and the Communist agenda that made the result of Somalia invasion with support of the Americans in 1977. So he himself had taken power in 1969 in Somalia the army fueled government of Said Barre as his power-play internally to keep the power together with the back and forth from the leadership at the time led to his fall, as he also had long-term squabble with Ogaden and Ethiopian neighbor after the tried invasion there. This the fall after 20 years might be because he circulated all power amongst himself and not in the powers of structures and department to delegate the powers.
That is the problem with the leaders who get fueled with power. They circulate all power and decisions are under the Executive. So with this in mind instead of building institutions and government structures, they build the armies and police force to enforce the Power of the Executive, not only to enforce national security, but to secure the Power of the Executive. Therefore the first to get payment are the armies and police officers before the teachers and other civil servants.
The Rulers and the Executives keeps the ignorant yes-men around them to secure that they don’t get to opportunist or wanting to get the Executive position. Therefore they elite around the Ruler get lots of perks, tax-exemptions, cars, housing and servants while the rest of the country can’t afford that. Unless it is foreign investors in businesses owned by the Party Elite or the Government elite that belongs to the inner-circle of the Executive; as the license and openings happens on the watch of the Executive and the Power not the legal justice system or the society binding corporate bondage towards the procedures of setting up business in the country. So the way the Executive get drunk on power is set on the fact that they having everything at nearly no cost.
The Presidents who are drunk on Power have centralized all powers around them and not the government structures and the decrees and the policies are made to keep them in power; not to build a grand state who offers their citizens what they need. Therefore the laws becomes for the MPs and the Elite that fuel the money and Power towards the President, then the President delivering to the People.
So with the Inner-circle finding ways to support the President instead of serving the citizens as a government is supposed to do. Why are the Executive and rules high-on-power you asked?
That is because all of the Power, all of the resources and all of the goodwill of the nation is determined by the Executive. As the Power is resumed and determined by the Executive there is hard to leave that, as the knowledge of the system given to coming new leader can take away what the Executive already have built around itself. Therefore the security of having the power instead of giving it the next; that is why the lingering Executives and Presidents are like alcoholics!
Let me explain why the similarities are there. An Alcoholic has the hunger and need for another drink and beer. They do whatever they can to get another drink and beer, at all means and steal if they have to get that fizz. So the Alcoholic is so used to the alcohol that the feel of it weaken and needs much of it to feel it. The Alcoholic just need another brew and another brew. And never stops taking in the alcohol. In the beginning the alcoholic never think that they would end being so, and the same with power-hungry individual. It just became a habit. The alcoholic needs the alcohol, just as the Executive is drunk on power and needs some more drinks. The Executive gotten so used to and the habit of getting their will and generating the funds out of the governmental funds; so if they don’t get more the donor-funds or the Bretton-Woods Loans to their nations then they feel something is missing. They need the spotlight to be the king of the nation and the supreme ruler.
So the drunkenness and needed attention, the needed judgement and decision rate from the Executive that lingers in powers while they build the government system around themselves and weakens the people around them. So they are more needed and so that ambition gets squirrelled around them. There can only be one vision, one leader and one nation under God. That is the usual factor and the events that unfold as the dissidents and opposition get harsh treatment without any cost spared. Something that happens because they crossed the territory of the Executive and the rules of set-up by the President and the predicated actions are seen as violations of laws and constitution; that apparently been rigged in favor of current leader. Therefore another bottle of beer for the President as the sufficient drunkenness of power is staggering. Suddenly change would be hard and taken with haste. Because the drunken leaders will with force and madness go all-inn if they all of sudden loose it, they will be become bush-warriors or stealing elections to continue their Presidency. As we have seen through 2015 and 2016 that is how far these leaders goes to get the shot of power and not stop drinking from the fountain of government power. Peace.
The first president after independence from Belgium in Democratic Republic of Congo was assainated on this day in 1961. That is why I have this post on him today as rememberence of him. Because we should not forget his contribution to equality and freedom in DRC. That is why I will add on his last letter written on 4th January 1961 from Thysville prison, the letter was sent to Special Representive A.M. Dayal, here it is:
Mr. Special Representative,
On December 27 last, I had the pleasure of receiving a visit from the Red Cross, which occupied itself with my plight and with the plight of the other parliamentarians imprisoned together with me. I told them of the inhuman conditions we are living in.
Briefly, the situation is as follows. I am here with seven other parliamentarians. In addition there are with us Mr. Okito, President of the Senate, a Senate employee and a driver. Altogether there are ten of us. We have been locked up in damp cells since December 2, 1960 and at no time have we been permitted to leave them. The meals that we are brought twice a day are very bad. For three or four days 1 ate nothing but a banana. I told this to the Red Cross medical officer sent to me. I spoke to him in the presence of a colonel from Thysville. I demanded that fruit be bought on my own money because the food that I am given here is atrocious. Although the medical officer gave his permission, the military authorities guarding me turned down my request, stating that they were following orders from Kasavubu and Colonel Mobutu. The medical officer from Thysville prescribed a short walk every evening so that I could leave my cell for at least a little while. But the colonel and the district commissioner denied me this. The clothes that I wear have not been washed for thirty-five days. I am forbidden to wear shoes.
In a word, the conditions we are living in are absolutely intolerable and run counter to all rules. Moreover, I receive no news of my wife and I do not even know where she is. Normally I should have had regular visits from her as is provided for by the prison regulations in force in the Congo. On the other hand, the prison regulations clearly state that not later than a day after his arrest a prisoner must be brought before the investigator handling his case. Five days after this a prisoner must again be arraigned before a judge, who must decide whether to remand him in custody or not. In any case, a prisoner must have a lawyer.
The criminal code provides that a prisoner is released from prison if five days after he is taken into custody the judge takes no decision on remanding him. The same happens in cases when the first decision (which is taken five days after a person is arrested) is not reaffirmed within fifteen days. Since our arrest on December 1 and to this day we have not been arraigned before a judge or visited by a judge. No arrest warrant has been shown to us. We are kept simply in a military camp and have been here for thirty-four days. We are kept in military detention cells. The criminal code is ignored as are the prison rules. Ours is purely a case of arbitrary imprisonment. I must add that we possess parliamentary immunity.
Such is the situation and I ask you to inform the United Nations Secretary-General of it. I remain calm and hope the United Nations will help us out of this situation. I stand for reconciliation between all the children of this country.
I am writing this letter secretly on bad paper. I have the honour to be, etc.
Source: Patrice Lumumba, The Truth about a Monstrous Crime of the Colonialists, Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1961, pp. 68-69.