Sixty years after his assassination, the last part of D.R. Congo’s Independence hero, Patrice Lumumba, a tooth, will finally return home.
The tooth is the last part of Lumumba’s body recovered by the Belgian government after he was dissolved in acid following his killing.
Belgium will return the tooth to his family in a handover ceremony expected to launch an official mourning period.
Francois and Roland Lumumba, his sons aged 69 and 63 respectively, have fixed dates to commemorate their father’s demise in an event scheduled to hold in Brussels, the Belgian capital.
Lumumba was murdered by separatists and Belgian mercenaries in 1961, following a Cold War in Katanga, a territory of the country which attempted to break away, shortly after the country gained its independence from Belgium.
Congo D.R’s first Prime Minister, he was killed in a firing squad and his body dissolved in acid. The tooth, which is to be presented to his family has been kept by a Police officer who handled his remains.
His sons, aged just three and nine at the time of his death say it is a relief to see their father’s remains, in any form.
The events to finally lay Lumumba to rest will tentatively hold on June 21st and 22nd in Brussels, although the dates are yet to be fixed.
A Congolese delegation is also expected in Brussels to receive the tooth on the 30th of June, and a ceremony in honour of Lumumba will follow in Kinshasha.
Congolese President, Felix Tsishekedi has revealed his plans to build a mausoleum in honour of the heroic leader.
Lumumba is considered a victim of Belgium’s highhanded approach in Congo D.R. following the East African nation’s independence and the rise of Katanga at the time.
Lumumba’s sons have accused Belgium of committing war crimes against their father and the case is still in court.