In a big show of loyalty to President Mobutu Sese Seko, several thousand people paraded through the streets of Kinshasa last week.
In a big show of loyalty to President Mobutu Sese Seko, several thousand people paraded through the streets of Kinshasa last week. It was one of several marches staged throughout the Zaire Republic organised by the ruling Popular Movement of the Republic.
Demonstrators carried placards proclaiming "Present or Absent, Mobutu remains our idol" -- a reference to the President's month-long visit to Switzerland for a rest and a medical check-up. He returned only last weekend.
SYNOPSIS: A major demonstration in Kinshasa, dominated by the slogan "Present or Absent, Mobutu is our idol" -- a reference to the Zaire President's month-long visit to Switzerland for a medical check-up and a rest. This march by thousands of people in the capital was one of a series of demonstrations of support last week throughout the Zaire Republic. They were organised by the ruling Popular Movement of the Republic. Several members of the Movement's Political Bureau were among the marchers in Kinshasa. So was National Assembly President Bo-Boliko.
Among the many placards expressing loyalty, was one inscribed "Long Live Authenticity". This referred to President Mobutu's campaign for African authenticity in the former Belgian colony. It's a policy that has involved changing the names of the country, landmarks, and even leading personalities -- who have been asked to adopt African rather than European names. After parading their slogans for three hours, these Kinshasa marchers gathered at a big stadium in the city.
Inside the stadium, the crowd listened to a brief speech from Kinshasa Governor Ndjoku Ey'Obaba. A couple of days later, at the weekend, Kinshasa crowds were out in force again to cheer the return of President Mobutu from Switzerland.