GILDED MANSION It was Amani party leader Musalia Mudavadi, not too long ago, who made the memorable observation that the late Mobutu Sese Seko
styled himself similarly as a hustler, an ordinary Joe.
The first was Ekila Liyonda, who briefly served in the 1980s under former dictator Mobutu Sese Seko
, who had renamed the country Zaire.
Then, from his seizure of power in 1965 onward, the United States heavily supported the dictator Mobutu Sese Seko
. By the time he was overthrown in 1997, Mobutu had bilked his country of even more money than King Leopold -- helped by more than $1 billion in US aid.
Instead, he sought a national sponsor capable of stumping up the cash and, when that happened to be Mobutu Sese Seko
, renowned kleptomaniac and incumbent dictator of Zaire, King recognised the commercial merit in emphasizing the fact that his warriors were returning to "the Motherland".
He was born in the Brussels suburb of Uccle in April 1986 to parents Pierre, who had been sent to a labour camp as a student in his native Democratic Republic of Congo after joining an uprising against dictator Mobutu Sese Seko
, and Jocelyne, a white Belgian union leader who worked for Brussels' government employment agency.
Following independence from brutal colonial ruler Belgium in 1960, Congo saw a series of political mutinies, murders and coups, leading to the rule of Mobutu Sese Seko
Therefore, your Excellency, you have a choice to make between joining Africa's greatest sons and daughters - Nelson Mandela, Julius Nyerere, Thomas Sankara and Johnson Sirleaf - or the despotic sewer of Teodoro Obiang Mbasogo, Robert Mugabe, Mobutu Sese Seko
, and Jean-Bedel Bokassa et al.
Mobutu Sese Seko
's harsh autocratic 32-year rule continued the enslavement of the population and provided very little healthcare, education, or economic opportunity, much less political freedom under the one-party system.
Sometimes it's tied in with image polishing (Manafort earned his keep in the 1980s with dictators like Mobutu Sese Seko
and Ferdinand Marcos as clients).
His 1970 song Belela Authenticite nakatiya Congress ('Declare Authenticity in the Congress') ends with the lines 'My political party is the MPR / My chief is Mobutu Sese Seko
' sung in Lingala.
1997 - Zaire's ailing president, Mobutu Sese Seko
steps down ending over three decades of highly personalised rule.