Widow of Congo’s Independence-Era Hero Dies

Pauline Lumumba (Courtesy Photo)
Pauline Lumumba (Courtesy Photo)


KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — The widow of Patrice Lumumba, Congo’s first prime minister whose assassination more than 50 years ago made him a liberation symbol worldwide, has died, the country’s government spokesman said Tuesday.

Pauline Opango Lumumba, 78, died in her sleep on Tuesday in Kinshasa, Lambert Mende said.

“We present in the name of the government our sincere condolences to their children and members of the family,” he said.

Patrice Lumumba was elected prime minister when Belgium granted Congo independence in 1960 after almost a century of colonial rule.

The exact circumstances of his 1961 death remain unknown, though it is generally seen as a Western plot to take power from a socialist-minded African leader.

A Belgian parliamentary probe determined that the government was “morally responsible” for Lumumba’s death.

A U.S. Senate committee found in 1975 that the CIA had hatched a separate, failed plan to kill the Congolese leader.

The CIA and Britain’s MI6 have been implicated, though no proof has ever been provided.

Lumumba was hastily buried after his killing. But Belgian policemen later dug up the corpse, dissolved it in acid and crushed the remaining bones to avoid turning the grave into a pilgrimage site.

His death ushered in the long, corrupt dictatorship of Mobutu Sese Seko, who ruled for more than 30 years with the support of the United States and other Western governments and was finally overthrown in 1997.

Last year, Congo’s government announced it was creating a new town named after Lumumba. Lumumbaville, located in Kasai-Oriental province, was to be made of several existing communities.

Mende said Tuesday it was still being built.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Washington Informer Newspaper, 3117 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC, 20032, You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Back to top button

My News Matters to me - Washington Informer Donations

Be a Part of The Washington Informer Legacy

A donation of your choice empowers our journalists to continue the work to better inform, educate and empower you through technology and resources that you use.

Click Here Today to Support Black Press and be a part of the Legacy!

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker