Why Patrice Lumumba, first Prime Minister of the Congo was Assassinated
Reponse to a reader by D'Lynn Waldron, Scripps-Howard foreign correspondent in the Belgian Congo, who was confided in by Patrice Lumumba just prior to Independence.
A Congolese scholar who read the materials on my Web site wrote to me with the following questions, which I quote followed by my response.
Dear Dr. Waldron,
All my life I was affected by the tragic end of Mr. Lumumba. My father could not explain why this very intelligent and lovely man who was the incarnation of our socio-political dreams and hopes was killed with the blessing of the USA president of the time, UN general secretary and the local leaders of the time,
My question is why Lumumba was so hated? Why nobody could hear him and understand him objectively? Why king Baudouin who was so intelligent and religious could not take time to discuss with Lumumba to know him better and understand his vision for his home country? From South Africa to Algeria, Egypt to Ivory Coast, I heard similar stories of the best men who were killed to satisfy the international community.
Dear Rev. Doctor,
I don't think anyone in America had anything personal against Lumumba. They did listen to him and they understood very well what he had to say, and that is why Western economic interests killed him.
Lumumba was killed by the European and American mining and banking interests because Lumumba was the only person who could hold the Congo together after Independence, and those economic interests wanted to break the Congo apart for their own profit. In order to justify killing Lumumba, they had to create the propaganda lie that he was a Communist. The assassination of Lumumba also suited the Russians who could not control Lumumba alive, but after his death could wrap their man Gizenga in his mantle.
Lumumba was doomed. If the West hadn't killed him, Russia would have, and Lumumba's Congolese political rivals were equally determined to get rid of him so they could carve out their own little kingdoms within the Congo. This was not just Tshombe in Katanga, but do not forget that Kasa-Vuba originally called himself King Kasa in his election campaign, in which he promised to make his own ethnic group an independent entity.
In the months before Independence, most of the Belgians in the Congo knew perfectly well that the Belgian Government, for the sake of the profits of Union Miniere de Haut Katanga and its other economic interests, was already engineering the conditions in which the Congo could not survive as a unified country. The Royal Family of Belgium were major stockholders in Union Miniere de Haut Katanga, and King Baudouin of the Belgians was just as profit motivated as the notorious King Leopold II was when he set up that company to exploit the mineral riches of the Congo.
Ordinary born-Congolese Whites and those among the provincial administrators who were caring and honest, were outraged by what the government in Belgium was doing, not just to the African Congolese, but to the White Congolese. You can read more about this in the Luluabourg excerpt from my book THE SECRET IN THE HEART OF DARKNESS; The Sabotaged Independence of the Belgian Congo, which is on this Web site
There is a saying in English, that to understand something you "Follow the Money". Therefore, don't look for answers to what happened to the Congo in political ethics, or animosities, or misunderstandings of what Lumumba was saying and wanted to do. Look for the answers in who was planning to profit. The people who were behind the chaos and the murder of Lumumba then looted the Congo of all its resources both through taking them directly and through loans to Mabutu at crippling interest rates to have European companies the lenders designated build (or in many cases not actually build) unneeded huge projects while letting the basic infrastructure crumble, impoverishing the country and depriving the people of the necessities of life to service the debts.
The people of the Congo need peace, good government, and a viable infrastructure, and I do not know how any of these can be attained in the present conditions of corruption, chaos, war and poverty.
A BOOK I RECOMMEND TO SERIOUS SCHOLARS:
THE CONGO CABLES THE COLD WAR IN AFRICA--FROM EISENHOWER TO KENNEDY
Author: KALB, MADELEINE G
These are the actual cables back and forth between Washington, the Congo and the UN.