Dr Ngarikutuke Tjiriange
I will just try to have a brief overview of the long and complicated history of this Sadc member state which sometimes finds itself in untenable situations.
I was very happy when DRC joined the countries in Sadc. I believed this, was not an act of benevolence from our detractors but an act of political maturity and progressive development in the sub-region. I really hoped that the time has come for that great country to bury forever the long past history of political instability and to progress peacefully forward within Sadc.
In 1958, Patrice Lumumba founded the Congolese National Movement (MNC). This party was intended to fight for national self-determination and form their own revolutionary government to rule that great country. The late Patrice Lumumba wanted a government which will introduce socialism in Congo, because of that, the reactionary forces with the support of the European and American imperialist forces regarded Lumumba as a dangerous communist.
This resulted in the Congolese National Movement (MNC) splitting up into three factors. These were MNC Lumumba, MNC Nendaka and MNC Kalondji.
Before independence, Joseph Mobutu was close to Lumumba and was sent to Belgium for military training so that he could come back and build the defence forces for MNC Lumumba. Maybe what Lumumba did not know was that Joseph Mobutu was a scoundrel and that while he was in Belgium he instead was trained as a spy for the benefit of America’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
What Mobutu wanted was Euro-American capital and Euro-American values in the process betraying Lumumba who wanted a government of socialism in his country.
The independence of Congo was proclaimed in June 30th 1960, and Patrice Lumumba became the Prime Minister. He formed his government without carefully analyzing class force of all those who composed his new government.
There were in fact contradicting class elements around him. Soon after the formation of the independence government reactionary and traitor elements such as Tsomba and Kalondje seceded Katanga and South Kasai province and formed the so-called multi-racial independent governments, thus trying to have many governments in one country.
The political conflict then erupted which resulted in major rift between the people of the country. The armed conflicts that were supported European imperialists forces were also launched in many parts of the newly independent Congo.
Patrice Lumumba then ran to Nikita Krushchev who was the head of the Soviet Communist Party and its government for help and nothing came out of that. The only promise he got from Krushchev was a strong worded statement which said: “The whole of Russia, the whole Party and I myself, Kruschev, are with you opposing the barbarous facing you and in fighting it to the end.” Nikita Kruschev then suggested that Lumumba must go to the UN and request for military intervention. Lumumba went to the UN which in turn send forces to Congo. By that time Lumumba found himself surrounded by the puppets of European and American imperialists, such as Moise Tsombe, Kasavubu, Victor Nendaka, Albert Kalondji, Justen Bomboko and others.
In the meantime the scoundrel Mobutu, with the help of imperialists had been preparing himself to get in the highest position of power.
When Lumumba came back from UN he was seized and cruelly murdered in Lubumbashi on January 18th 1961 together with his comrades Okito and Mpolo (in front of UN forces) and UN Secretary General Dog Hammarskjoid did not also take tangible measures to help Patrice Lumumba. Before his murder Patrice Lumumba said, “Even though I may die, the sons and daughters of Congo, the rivers and forests, will mourn for me and struggle relentlessly against imperialism and exploitation.”
After the death of Lumumba there was endless political chaos and persisting commotion in Congo and that is now for Congolese themselves to their history. In fact, for a protracted period after the murder of Lumumba the power struggle intensified amongst those who wanted to rule the country, most of them who were puppets of the Western imperialists’ forces.
However, I shall end this long and crisis marred history of DRC with what Mobutu did.
Joseph Kasavubu who had at one point in time became President of Congo and Head of State was overthrown by Mobutu, who then turned Congo into military state.
It is said Kasavubu died in hospital where he was apparently given a poisoned injection.
Tsombe was kidnapped on plane from Madrid and sent to Algeria where he allegedly died of heart attack, but it is also believed that he was poisoned maybe by agents of Mobutu.
This political turmoil continued unabated in Congo and many people died in the process.
Now this year there were elections in that great and rich African country and the hopes were high that everything will go well and democracy will at last prevail.
But from what is now being announced it appears there is again a political turmoil which destroys those positive hopes.
The perceived ragging of election (whether true or not) might spark another anxiety and political uncertainty in that country which has been marred by political conflicts and security risk for many years.
However, I really hope that the peace which was absent for many years in that great country will now prevail. I hope Sadc under the chairmanship of the President of Namibia will succeed in helping the people of that country to manage the situation in their country in a peaceful manner and put to end once and for all the conflicts that plagued that nation for so many years.
There are, of course, other problems in Zimbabwe and may be in Lesotho and there may be problems in the impending lot of elections in the region.
However, I am positive we shall overcome and maintain peace and stability in our great sub-region.
New Era Reporter
2019-01-31 09:58:40 | 1 years ago