December 17, 2020
File – First democratically elected Prime Minister of Democratic Republic of Congo Patrice Lumumba.
By Patrick Ilunga Correspondent in Kinshasa Nation Media Group
KINSHASA – The remains of DR Congo’s former Prime Minister Patrice Emery Lumumba will be repatriated from Belgium, President Félix Tshisekedi has announced.
In a national address to the country in front of Parliament on Monday, he said the national hero will be given an appropriate burial.
“In June 2021, on the sidelines of the celebration of the 61st anniversary of our independence, the homeland will show its gratitude to Prime Minister Patrice Emery Lumumba, one of the national heroes whose relics will be repatriated and to whom we will give finally a burial worthy of his sacrifice for the party,” the President said.
The remains will be the teeth of the Congolese national hero.
Lumumba is one of the fathers of the independence of Congo-Kinshasa. He was assassinated on January 17, 1961.
Former President Joseph Kabila had erected a monument in Kinshasa in honour of Lumumba, and every year on January 17 Congolese would go to pay homage to him.
In June, Belgium announced its intention to return to Congo the teeth of its hero. Lumumba’s daughter, Juliana Lumumba, had officially informed President Félix Tshisekedi of the family’s decision to send a letter to the King of Belgium in the hope that he would help recover her father’s remains “in order to end our interminable mourning.” In turn, the Congolese head of state wrote to King Philippe, King of Belgium.
In June, King Philippe expressed “his deep regrets” about the atrocities committed by his country in the Congo.