In May 1997, a kleptomaniac fled his homeland. After ruling for 32 years, Mobutu Sese Seko fled to Morocco. He used to be the richest man of Africa, owning more then five billion dollars in special bank accounts. While he and his family enjoyed wealth, power and luxury, most Congolese workers suffered from poverty, bad hygiene and lack of basic human needs. Mobutu Sese Seko build many palaces and even a private airport for his fleet of planes and luxurious Mercedes-Benz cars. Mobutu was a criminal put into power by the western anticommunist world. This is his story, the unknown story of a right-wing kleptomaniac!
Today’s Democratic Republic of the Congo is a failed state in Africa. Suffering from the effects of two wars and 32 years of living under a anticommunist kleptomaniac. Even before Congo became independent, western imperialism showed its brutality and genocidal ambitions. The Belgian King Leopold 2, bought the nation in 1884. He called it the Congo Free State and made it his own private property. Leopold was a narcissist, racist and colonialist. An evil person much like Hitler and Stalin. Between 1884 and 1908, more then seven million black workers were killed doing slave work. Those who refused to work were punished with amputations. Millions suffered under the Belgian imperialist rulers. In 1960 the Kingdom of Belgium granted Congo its independence. But behind the scenes they worked with the American CIA, to install a pro-western anticommunist government!
Congo was in crisis after independence, a crisis which the colonialists of the western world exploited. France and Belgium wanted a pro-western government and worked against anti-colonialist leaders like Patrice Lumumba. In 1961, the popular Lumumba was murdered with Belgian officers present. They wanted him death because Patrice Lumumba was the Nelson Mandela of Congo. Killing him was a easy with of dealing of enemies of western imperialism. After his murder, the CIA made it possible for anticommunist army officer; Mobutu to take power!
Joseph-Desiré Mobutu was born in 1930 and worked in the colonialist army of Belgium in Congo. Mobutu hated Lumumba for his leftism and had him murdered with support from Belgium. After the killing, Mobutu was installed as prime minister of the Republic of Congo. Made a army general by the president, Mobutu was now in control of the army, which he would use to take complete control. In 1964, the revolutionary; Pierre Mulele tried to overthrow the government. Mulele was a Maoist rebel who was briefly minister of education in Patrice Lumumba’s cabinet. But with the army behind him, Mobutu was able to defeat Mulele. In a cleaver game of trickery, Mobutu lured the exiled Maoist back to Congo. He promised him amnesty and Pierre Mulele fell for it. Once back in Congo, Mobutu ordered his arrest. In jail the former rebel was tortured and mutilated by Mobutu’s henchmen. In tradition with colonialist punishments, he was publicly tortured and executed. Mulele’s eyes were pulled from his sockets, his genitals were ripped off and his limbs were amputated one by one, all while he was alive. He was among the first who would die at the hands of the kleptomaniac!
Unlike famous European dictators such as Hitler and Stalin, Mobutu remains unknown to many. Maybe this is because most African dictators are unknown to the western world, with Robert Mugabe today a exception. Another reason is perhaps that Mobutu was a puppet of the CIA, a dictator installed by the western world. In order to portray himself as anti-colonialist ( yet pro-western ) Mobutu created a pseudo-revolutionary movement called the Mouvement Populaire de la Revolution, or Popular Movement for the Revolution. This movement became his ruling caste and fulfilled the function of a communist party in a Stalinist state. In a way Mobutu ruled like a Stalinist, but rejected Marxism-Leninism competently!
In 1967 the Constitution of the Republic of Congo was changed to allow only two parties to govern the nation. Yet Mobutu made sure that only his Mouvement Populaire de la Revolution was allowed to select candidates. He followed the Cuban example of Fidel Castro, who also banned political parties from participating in elections. The elections of 1970 gave the MPR full control over the Congo state and institutions. It was then that Mobutu stared with a brutal ethnic nationalist program called ”Authenticité”. With this program he wanted to purge his nation of western influence and culture. Although still loyal to those who put him into power, inside Congo all things western had to go. Western music was banned, western dancing was banned, European style attire was banned and replaced with the Mao-style tunic labelled the “abacost” and its female equivalent!
Mobutu banned all but four Christian churches. He wanted to control religion as much as he wanted to control the people. Only four Christian Churches were allowed. Having Christian names was also banned, people were forced to adopt names of African origin. In 1971, the name of Congo was changed. Mobutu renamed his nation into the Republic of Zaire, a name it would held until 1997. It was then that Mobutu started to use the wealth of Zaire ( Congo ) to enrich himself. Millions were made by selling diamonds which made the dictator and his caste very rich. European capitalist enterprises were nationalized, but unlike Stalinist nations the ownership was not moved to the state. Mobutu gave ownership of these enterprises to his family and close friends. We see this today in Zimbabwe, were Robert Mugabe gave nationalized farms to his friends inside the ruling ZANU-PF party. In Zaire, the economy soon collapsed because Mobutu’s MPA friends mismanaged their businesses. Still they did not suffered, the working class suffered and the peasants!
But Mobutu loved to blame others for his own failures. A victim of the kleptomaniac was Jean Nguza Karl-i-Bond. He was minister of foreign affairs and loved by the ruling caste of the MPR and Mobutu himself. In 1977, Nguza fell out of favour and was arrested and tortured, which included the insertion of a metal tube into his penile shaft, through which jets of air were introduced, causing the blood vessels to rupture, and the application of electrical shocks to his testicles. It is said it left Jean Nguza Karl-i-Bond impotent. Under pressure from his pay masters in Washington DC, Mobutu forgave Nguza and made him minister again in 1979. Still he fled Zaire and wrote a very critical paper on the dictator. Although very angry about his defection, Mobutu pardoned him and Nguza was allowed to return which he did!
The personal wealth of Mobutu was estimated around five billion dollars in 1984. He was the most richest leader of Africa and fulfilled a promise to himself to become the richest man of the whole continent. His favourite car was the Mercedes Benz, Mobutu owned a whole fleet of these expensive cars. While ordinary people were suffering from hunger, bad hygiene and poverty, Mobutu lived the life of a king, a big capitalist and a playboy. His mismanagement of the economy caused corruption to rise very fast among bureaucrats and government workers. Still the western world kept their anticommunist puppet in power, he was a favourite among the western presidents, kings and princes!
Although supported by nations such as France, Belgium and the USA. Mobutu was hated by the national liberation armies of Angola and Mozambique. In the early 1970’s, Mobutu supported anticommunist colonial powers to fight national liberation movement such as the MLPA in Angola and FRLIMO in Mozambique. Both were Marxist-Leninist ( Stalinist ) in nature and hated the kleptomaniac. In 1977 and 1978, the Angola government ( now led by the MLPA ) supported the Front for the National Liberation of the Congo. This rebel movement tried to overthrow the regime of Mobutu twice. Fearful of losing another anticommunist republic after the collapse of South Vietnam, the French, Belgium and the USA worked together with Mobutu to fight the rebels. The two invasions of Zaire by rebels from Angola was halted by western soldiers with air transport provided by the USA. Mobutu’s wealth was saved thanks to western imperialism!
Since 1972, Joseph-Desiré Mobutu called himself Mobutu Sese Seko Nkuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga, this stood for; The all-powerful warrior who, because of his endurance and inflexible will to win, goes from conquest to conquest, leaving fire in his wake, Mobutu Sese Seko for short. By the late 1980’s, Zaire was ruined. Poverty was high, the infrastructure was neglected and many died due to a lack of proper medicines. Still the kleptomaniac did not care, he would command civilian planes of Air Zaire for his shopping trips, Mobutu even took over a Boeing 747 for personal use. His wife loved to shop at expensive French stores and while her husband was a guest of the French president, she enjoyed the luxury life of being the first lady. Because of Mobutu’s anticommunism, the western world looked away and marginalized the reports of his totalitarian dictatorship!
At Gbadolite, a town in the Nord-Ubangi District, Mobutu build his special palace. He liked Chinese architecture, so a replica of a ancient Chinese palace was build here. Under Mobutu’s Bamboo Palace in a open tomb, his first wife was buried after she died. A huge sarcophagus was placed in the centre of the tomb for the dictator himself. Next to his Bamboo Palace, a private airport was constructed. The airport at Gbadolite was build with a control tower and a arrival hall. After the collapse of Zaire in 1997, the airport and the palaces of Mobutu were abandoned, the tombs opened and vandalized. Today their ruins are a reminder of the massive wealth this dictator stole from the Congolese people, right under the noses of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank!
Things changed for Mobutu Sese Seko after 1990. Suddenly the western world started to criticize his nepotism, his greed and abuse of human rights. Suddenly he was called a dictator and a criminal by European and American leaders. Mobutu was told that he had to end his single party state and to allow opposition parties to participate in elections. Knowing that he could lose his luxurious lifestyle he agreed. The MPA allowed the formation of more political parties, but behind the scenes it was still Mobutu who ruled supreme. In 1994 opposition forces joined together to oppose the kleptomaniac. In panic Mobutu ordered massive privatisations and austerity politics to gain support from the IMF and the World Bank. Still it did not saved him. Laurent-Désiré Kabila started the first Congo War in 1996 to end the regime that stole so much from the people!
As a result of massive corruption inside the army, government and ruling party. The regime of Mobutu Sese Seko collapsed in less then a year. Although supported by the former Armed Forces of Rwanda ( who committed the Rwanda Genocide ), Mobutu fled Zaire in May 1997. Kabila was installed as President of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Still no peace and stability came. The second Congo War lasted until 2003 and killed between 2,7 and 5 million people, when foreign groups ( mainly from Rwanda and Uganda ) invaded the new DRC, to steal its resources. Another chapter in human history untold in the western world, because France, Belgium and the USA were responsible for keeping Mobutu in power for almost 32 years!
In exile, Mobutu Sese Seko died just months after leaving his Republic of Zaire now renamed the Democratic Republic of Congo. In his lifetime, he was a dictator that stole billions from the Congolese working class. He echoed the Belgian King; Leopold who also killed millions to enrich himself between 1884 and 1908. Leopold and Mobutu are the two biggest butchers of Congo and shall forever be cursed and hated. Congo is still poor and backward, a result of massive corruption among the same rebels who took power in 1997. Laurent-Désiré Kabila was murdered in 2001, leaving his son to rule the DRC. Joseph Kabila Kabange is now the president for 13 years. Although not a kleptomaniac as Mobutu, he is leading a corrupt government that is unable to govern. Today’s DRC is a failed state. A direct result of European colonialism, western imperialism and a kleptomaniac installed by the CIA, who ruled for 32 years!