In Tanzania, an exile from Zaire has explained why he has asked for political asylum.?
In Tanzania, an exile from Zaire has explained why he has asked for political asylum. In an interview in Dar es Salaam, Kibingu Kwaka Marandura said he was a member of the diplomatic staff at the Zaire Embassy in Kenya until last year. He now claims he is a political refugee and one of a large number of Zaire nationals who are living in exile.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Marundura described how his work in the embassy in Nairobi, had been interrupted in October 1977, when he received notice that he had been recalled to Zaire. He said that while preparing to leave Kenya, friends working in the embassy had warned him that if he returned home, his life would be in danger.
Mr. Marundura said there were between 10 and 20,000 people from Zaire living in exile in Tanzania and Kenya. He stressed that he had not been a member of any political party, but that despite not being politically active he was in the same position as all the other Zairean exiles. He said he thought he had been threatened with death because he was a critic of the President of Zaire, General Mobutu Sese Seko. The only opposition group within Zaire, the People's Revolutionary Party, is Marxist and outlawed. It conducts guerrilla activities against the government of President Mobutu, mainly in eastern Zaire.
He went on to say Zaire was in great economic difficulties and that the standard of living was poor. He said the effects of the recent fighting in Shaba province had placed further financial strain on the country. In April, rebels invaded Shaba and French and Belgian troops were sent to rescue members of the European community living in the town of Kolwezi. Mr. Marunda said President Mobutu was unable to cope with these problems and that he should resign. He added that President Mobutu should at least be prepared to negotiate with opposition groups within the country.
Mr. Marandura said the political system in Zaire was oppressive and that abuses of human rights in the country and the large number of people living as political exiles should be brought to the attention of other African nations. He called on President Mobutu to explain his policies and methods of government to the Organisation of African Unity Summit Conference in Khartoum. Mr. Marandura added that he would never return to Zaire while President Mobutu was in power.