I only gave voice to words of freedom and brotherhood, words they couldn't accept. Just words. ~ Patrice Lumumba
Lumumba at the time was in jail on the riot charge**, but his MNC party members and supporters in brussels refused to participate without Lumumba, they demanded his freedom.
Elections were held in May. Over 120 mostly ethnic or regional parties participated. But the MNC united across ethnic lines and regional divisions and triumphed. The party named the thirty-four year old Lumumba the country's first Prime Minister. Joseph Kasavubu of Abako (Alliance des Ba-Kongo, organ of the Bakongo, one of the largest ethnic groups in the Congo) was made President.
"... no Congolese worthy of the name will ever be able to forget that it was by fighting that it has been won, a day-to-day fight, an ardent and idealistic fight, a fight in which we were spared neither privation nor suffering, and for which we gave our strength and our blood. We are proud of this struggle, of tears, of fire, and of blood, to the depths of our being, for it was a noble and just struggle, and indispensable to put an end to the humiliating slavery which was imposed upon us by force..." Read Prime Minister Lumumba's Independence Day Speech in full (AKA The Tears, Blood and Fire Speech"
When the mineral-rich province Katanga seceded under General Moïse Tshombe, it was done with belgium's support. After all, belgium had economic interest in the Katanga region and was nervous of Lumumba's nationalist views. Since it was newly independent nation with an inexperienced army, Lumumba appealed to the UN and even America for assistance in keeping Congo unified. When neither helped, Lumumba asked the Soviet Union for planes to help move troops to the Katanga region. This further alarmed belgium and America. Kasa-vubu, with his more moderate tone dismissed Lumumba as Prime minister. Patrice in turn announced the dismissal of Kasa-vubu from presidency. So now you had two seperate governments claiming legitimacy. Now up comes Colonel Joseph Mobutu with his CIA- backed coup d'etat, taking advantage of the weak, divided government. Mobutu deposed both leaders and placed Lumumba under house arrest.
Lumumba then briefly escaped but Mobutu's troops quickly tracked him down and put him on a flight to Leopoldville. They paraded him, beaten and humiliated, in front of journalists and diplomats. Then at Mobutu's villa the Prime Minister was further humiliated when he was beaten in front of TV cameras for the world to see.
Still, belgium wanted more blood and demanded that Lumumba be delivered to General Moïse Tshombe of Katanga. Mobutu complied and Lumumba was again beaten savagely during the flight to Elizabethville where he was seized by Katangan soldiers led by belgian commanders. On January 17, 1961, Patrice Lumumba was killed by firing squad commanded by a belgium officer. His body was then chopped up, dismantled and dissolved in sulfuric acid to hide evidence.
When I analyze the stench, Mobutu was backed by the CIA because he screamed anti-communism. Tshombe was backed by the belgians because he did their bidding and could be manipulated. Kasavubu was a moderate. But Patrice Lumumba was just too independent/non-aligned for the Europeans and Americans. Remember, this was the Cold War era. African nations were gaining independence from the colonizers, who were determined to install puppets. Lumumba stood firm and refused to be controlled.
So babylon used their brains, divided and conquered. And though they may taint Lumumba every chance they get, it is up to us to uphold his legacy.
Never gone, Never forgotten!
Patrice Lumumba Speaks:
“Slavery was imposed on us by force! We have known ironies and insults. We remember the blows that we had to submit to morning, noon and night because we were Negroes!”
"We are neither Communists, Catholics nor socialists. We are African nationalists. We reserve the right to choose our friends in accordance with the principle of positive neutrality."
"Who will ever forget the massacres where so many of our brothers perished; the cells into which those who refused to submit to a regime of injustice, oppression and exploitation were thrown?" (referring to atrocities committed against the Congolese people by the belgians since the time of the time of the Congo Free State)
Question: "Some of your political opponents accuse you of being a Communist. Could you reply to that?"
Lumumba's Answer: "This is a propagandist trick aimed at me. I am not a Communist. The colonialists have campaigned against me throughout the country because I am a revolutionary and demand the abolition of the colonial regime, which ignored our human dignity. They look upon me as a Communist because I refused to be bribed by the imperialists."
(From an interview to a "France-Soir" correspondent on July 22, 1960)
Your favorite revolutionary's favorite revolutionary:
“...the greatest black man who ever walked the African continent. He didn’t fear anybody. He had those people [the colonialists] so scared they had to kill him. They couldn’t buy him, they couldn’t frighten him, they couldn’t reach him.”
~ Malcolm X (speaking about Lumumba at an Organisation of Afro-American Unity rally in 1964)
“We must move forward, striking out tirelessly against imperialism. From all over the world we have to learn lessons which events afford. Lumumba’s murder should be a lesson for all of us.”