A very frustrating grief – The week of

On a continent where the disappearance of a single important leader is enough to disrupt the fate of an entire people, and for a long time to come, there are many lessons that politicians and African peoples can learn from the sacrifice of his life. by Patrice Lumumba.

His family seems happy to finally be able to give Patrice Emery Lumumba a place to rest in peace. While the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo, in noticeable fervor, never stop bowing to the only remnant left of the Pan-African hero, some Africans refuse to accept this indulgence that his family desires, and continue to shout their anger. How do you explain this?

At independence, Patrice Lumumba was one of those leaders who was completely in tune with his people and his homeland. He carried the hopes of Africa, with a determination that quickly frightened the incipient neo-colonialism, whose proponents for the most part were in the Western camp. The language, to express the pan-African faith then, sounded in the ears of the Western world as the worst communist danger. In the midst of the Cold War, the West, like the East, imagined only an exclusive love for Africa, on the border of totalitarianism. And murder, we would have forgotten, is a common and justified way of working for cynical totalitarianism.

Hence the cruelty with which they ended Lumumba, and which continues to rebel against millions of Africans. Because, in Lumumba’s own words, “the wounds are still too painful today for Africa to be able to chase them from its memory.”

Of course, the recovery of this tooth puts an end to six decades of desecration of the mainland hero’s body. But respecting the peace of heart that the family desires does not prevent one from getting angry, just by imagining the inhuman cruelty with which these people ended this calm, peaceful leader, whose only weapon was the power of the verb, in the service of the dignity of his people. . Neither pen knife nor anything else, to attack or defend.

But was he not opposed to an overly strong coalition of interests?

Apparently, Belgium, the United States, other Western countries, perhaps even certain sensitivities, were involved in the Soviet bloc, to varying degrees, in this disgrace. But the worst thing is that other Africans, then leaders of the Congo or future lords of Zaire, were also involved. Not to mention the small hands of servile Africans, assigned too disgusting tasks, while their masters looked elsewhere.

Does this mean that it was also up to the people to protect their leaders?

In order to suffer the worst violence in history, these peoples, who constitute what Césaire called a community of oppressed people, should stop staying there, mourn their murdered heroes, and hold accounts while being liquidated before their eyes, others, their prophets. , as Bob Marley would say. Since Lumumba, how many leaders who are jealous of the interests of their people have perished or been attacked! During these six decades, every profile that stood out as a charismatic leader, with intact sincerity, became a goal.

To his people, Lumumba promised that this land and all its riches would henceforth be his. But how have the Congolese become masters of Congolese riches for sixty-one years? He would cry if he discovered that nothing had changed, even in the sad fate of the “boys’ people”, which he no longer wanted for the Congolese! The only real consolation today would be the fact that Lumumba through his sacrifice did more for Congo than Mobutu and his peers. If only the African leaders could finally understand that their people are a much better source of legitimacy than the opportunistic support they seek outside, and which sooner or later end up weakening the whole nation! In the near future, Africa needs living heroes more than ever, because the disappearance of a single good leader seems to be enough to disrupt the fate of an entire people, and for a long time to come.

► Read also: Patrice Lumumba: 61 years after his death, Belgium returns his remains to the family

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