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Kongulu Mobutu (c. 1970 - September 24, 1998) was a son of Mobutu Sese Seko, President of Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), and an officer in the Special Presidential Division.

Biography

Kongulu (also known as Kongolo) was one of the seventeen children of President Mobutu Sese Seko. His mother was the President's first wife Marie-Antoinette Mobutu, who died in 1977. He has been described as "a stocky, bearded man with a taste for fast cars, gambling and women."[1]

As a Captain in the Special Presidential Division of Zaire (DSP), Kongulu Mobutu was a key enforcer in the final years of his father's despotic regime; his brutal treatment of political opponents earned him the nickname "Saddam Hussein".[2]

Kongulu Mobutu was in charge of various businesses in Zaire, including shipping and import firms. He and his father were key in establishing JFPI Corporation as Africa's largest private holding company. According to a former employee, quoted in a United Nations report, one of his companies, Hyochade, acted as a front for extortion, state propaganda and surveillance of political opponents.[3] The German ZDF network's investigative program Kennzeichen D has claimed that Kongulu participated in the siphoning off of the national wealth by helping to organize the secret movement of gold to Gambia during the Nineties.[4]

In April 1997, as forces led by Laurent-Désiré Kabila advanced towards Zaire's capital, Kinshasa, it is alleged that Kongulu Mobutu compiled a list of 500 of his father's opponents who were to be assassinated.[5] When troops entered the city on May 17, Defense Minister, General Marc Mahele Lieko Bokungu tried to negotiate and was shot dead; it has been claimed that Kongulu had a role in his killing.[6] Kongulu fled across the border to Brazzaville later that day with the help of his father's long-time diamond advisor, M'zée Fula-Ngenge.

Kongulu Mobutu died in exile in Monaco on September 24, 1998, aged 28.[7] Former Reuters journalist Michela Wrong has written that he and his brother Niwa died of AIDS.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b Wrong, Michela (2001). In the footsteps of Mr Kurtz. Fourth Estate. ISBN 1-84115-422-9.  
  2. ^ Time
  3. ^ Report of the Committee against Torture
  4. ^ Congo Chronicle XII
  5. ^ ReliefWeb
  6. ^ New York Times
  7. ^ Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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