Great People

We Remember Patrice Lumumba Born 2 July 1925 – Assassinated 17 January 1961

"The Most Important Assassination Of The 20th Century"

Patrice Lumumba became the Democratic Republic Of Congo’s first prime minister upon independence on June 30, 1960 at the age of 34. But his premiership would not last long. Barely three months later, he was toppled in a Western-backed coup, after being arrested and tortured. On Jan. 17, 1961, he was executed and his body, along with those of two associates, was cut up with a hacksaw and soaked in sulphuric acid—erasing any trace of his physical being.

He was born on 2 July 1925 in Onalua, Belgian Congo (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). With just a primary education, Lumumba emerged to become one of Africa’s most vocal critics of colonialism. Early in life, he developed interests in grassroots union activities and joined the Postal Union. As secretary-general of the union, Lumumba began publishing essays critical of Belgian colonial rule, and advocating independence and a unified centralized Congo. His writings appealed beyond ethnic and regional loyalties to a national constituency.

In 1955, Lumumba became regional leader of the Circle of Stanleyville and joined the Belgian Liberal Party. In 1956, he was arrested and charged with embezzling union funds and sentenced to two years imprisonment. Released after twelve months, Lumumba became sales director of a brewery in Leopoldville. To solidify his political base, in 1957 Lumumba helped found a broad-based organization that appealed beyond ethnic and regional loyalties—Movement National Congolais (MNC). The following year, he represented the MNC at the Pan-African conference in AccraGhana

Since his assassination, Belgium has made a conscious effort to shy away from its long lasting colonial legacy especially what it did in DRC. In 2002 (41 years later), Belgium finally admitted responsibility for being part of the plot, that involved the CIA driven by the Cold War and pursuit of Congo’s valuable minerals, to kill Lumumba and his associates. His assasinaton has been described as “the most important assassination of the 20th century.”

This week, the city of Belgium named a public square in honour of Lumumba

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One Comment

  1. In South Africa …in particular…After the CODESA negotiations, there has been an amount of guilt on the part of the ruling party…African heritage and history intertwined has had new narrators who falsify our history and ignored it’s heroes and heroins who fell on the way side of the imperialist GUNS during colonialism and the scramble for AFRIKA. The ANC HAS BECOME MORE POPULIST THAN EVER and can never self correct after the damage it has caused. They are so self centered and will make noise about the sellout leader called N.Mandela who contributed to the long enslavement of his people…..our African leaders were PAN AFRICANISTS and as such we will expect very little from those who went to bed with the oppressor…..having said that however, we commemorate these unsung patrons of our struggle… the struggle for LAND continues unabated and we must draw strength from the sacrifices made in this regard starting with ROBERT MANGALISO KA- SOBUKWE UP TO KWAME NKRUMAH ….From CAPE to CAIRO and MOROCCO TO MALAGASIE.

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