08 August 2019

patrice Lumumba was the first Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo following its independence.  On 17th January the DRC observes Heroes Day and honours its first democratically elected prime minister. Lumumba came into power after what was then the Republic of the Congo received its independence from its colonizer, Belgium. Whilst speculation and conspiracy promoted by the imperialist agencies still surrounds his assassination in 1961 till this day, it has long been an established fact that he was murdered by the US working together with Belgium.

The leadership of Lumumba was significant in the Republic of Congo securing its independence and eventually becoming what we now know as the DRC. Due to his considerable and understandable dislike for his Belgium colonizers, he joined the Liberal Party of Belgium in 1955. Following his arrest by the colonial government, he went on to co-found the Mouvement National Congolais (MNC) in 1958 and proceeded to win the elections in 1960 at the age of 34. Lumumba’s anniversary comes exactly a week after the DRC’s elections which saw the end of Joseph Kabila’s 17-year rule and ushered in what will hopefully be a brighter era under the leadership of Felix Tshisekedi. The victory by Tshisekedi and his political party Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDSP) came after international pressure succeeded in putting an end to the delay tactics in the announcing of the election results.

Many Congolese Twitter users and Africans alike, have taken to social media to commemorate the revolutionary’s anniversary as well as the DRC’s journey since colonial rule “Without dignity there is no liberty, without justice there is no dignity, and without independence there are no free men” said Patrice Lumumba. This leading Pan-Africanist and revolutionary, was assassinated in 1961 by the Belgian government, with US collusion. n

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Kabeer Katlat

The Communist movement in India has a history of almost a century after the salvos of October Revolution in Russia brought Marxism-Leninism to the people of India who were engaged in the national liberation struggle against the British colonialists. It is a complex and chequered history.