A statue has been erected in memory of ex-President Mobutu Sese Seko of the Democratic Republic of Congo [DRC] despite a series of human rights violations supervised by the former dictator when in power between 1965 and 1997.
The statue, it was learnt, was erected in the former dictator’s hometown of Gbadolite, northwest of DRC.
The bronze statue, which had glasses on and and a hat similar to that of the former dictator, was unveiled on Sunday, August 29, in Gbadolite, capital Province of North-Ubangi and stronghold of Mobutu Sese, a dictator who ruled Zaire [now DRC] with a ruthless iron fist during his 32-year reign.
Joseph Molegbe, Mayor of the city, expressed his delight over the development which was initiated by Guy Loando Mboyo, DRC’s Minister of Territorial Development.
In spite of Mobutu’s records of human rights violation in the 32 years he ruled the Central African country, the Mayor referred to him as a “statesman,” and said that until now there had been no memory of the “marshall.”
Mobutu Sese Seko, known for wearing a leopard hat and clutching a cane, seized power through a coup d’etat on November 24, 1965, becoming one of Africa’s strongest dictators who reigned supreme for 32 years before he was ousted on May 16, 1997. He was ousted by former DRC’s president Laurent-Désiré Kabila, who forced him into exile and ruled from 1997 until 2001.
Mobutu Sese Seko died in Rabbat, Morocco, on September 7, 1997 at the age of 66, but his remains are yet to be repatriated to his home country of DRC.