Three days of national mourning declared
Three days of national mourning from Monday 27 to 30 June 2022 are being observed to pay official tributes to Patrice Emery Lumumba, the independence hero of DR Congo who was executed in 1961. And this after about five days of touring the country as a last honour. A mausoleum will host a burial ceremony afterwards.
The tooth of Patrice Lumumba, the only remaining relic of the former Congolese prime minister, was returned to the land of his ancestors on Wednesday 22 June. The coffin was displayed at several key locations in his life. From Onaloua, the village where he was born, through Kisangani, his political stronghold, without forgetting Haut-Katanga, where the independence hero was assassinated, and finally today in Kinshasa, Patrice Lumumba received the admiration worthy of a president of the republic. At each stage, officials, a large delegation of traditional chiefs, members of his family and crowds of people came to pay their respects to their former first Prime Minister and his two companions who were assassinated on 17 January 1961 with a feeling of sadness mixed with joy.
“At last history has been made, a 61-year mourning period has been imposed on us, imposed on the Congolese people, imposed on the people of Sankuru who saw their worthy son coldly murdered, shredded, it seems, and whose flesh was put in acid. But those who allowed themselves to be murdered at least said to themselves that we must be left with proof that we were the ones who murdered him. They took two teeth, one of which was allegedly thrown away by this Belgian policeman. The Belgian conscience worked with the efforts of both the Lumumba family and the DRC, and today the proof of Lumumba’s remains has arrived here in Kinshasa,” said Daniel Aselo, deputy prime minister of interior, security, decentralisation and customary affairs, at Kinshasa airport today.
Kinshasa is the last stop on the journey of the coffin of this very first Prime Minister of the DRC. The body was received by President Tshisekedi, accompanied by the President of the National Assembly, the Senate, the Prime Minister, the former Vice-President and many others