Sunday, September 24, 2023

DR Congo: New museum prepares to take in Lumumba’s tooth

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Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi is an experienced and award winning journalist from Ghana. He has worked for several media brands both in Ghana and on the International scene. Isaac Kaledzi is currently serving as an African Correspondent for DW.

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.

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The tooth was seized by authorities in 2016 as part of an investigation by federal public prosecutors on Lumumba’s death.

The court in Belgium said that the tooth should be given to Lumumba’s daughter, Juliana Lumumba.

Last year President Tshisekedi had indicated that a mausoleum will be built to honour the independence hero but all activities were put on hold until this year.

This year marks the 61st anniversary of Lumumba’s death – a man who served as prime minister at independence in 1960.

Lumumba, became Congo’s first prime minister after it gained independence from Belgium in 1960.

He was murdered in 1961 by a firing squad after he was abducted by separatist fighters.

Lumumba lasted less than three months in his position as prime minister when he was overthrown and given up to Belgian-backed separatists militias.

The British and American spy agencies were believed to have been involved in his capture and death.

The Belgian government had a role in his death as well and in 2002 issued a formal apology.


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