lundi 10 septembre 2012

Democratic Republic of Congo: Mobutu, inventory of a poisoned legacy? *

Fifteen years after his death, the Congolese dictator's shadow still hangs over the country. Who are the heirs? Where is his fortune? Mobutism is he really dead? The man who was, during his lifetime, the symbol of bad governance carnivore - the point of giving the body a neologism not listed, but oh so colorful, gargantuan neighbor, near and manducatoire synonymous predator mobutuesque - it still nothing, or almost visible.
       Weeds and looting of biblical dimension reduced fetish Gbadolite the palace, where the King of Zaire loved to give parties drizzled with champagne and chateau latour, the state remains haunted. Kamanyola the yacht on which this man of the curve of the river refuge in times of trouble invoking the spirit Mami Wata, the goddess of water, is a carcass.
       The hat and cane, portraits and songs, griots and marabouts, heavy glasses and boxes dollars: all gone. Ten years after its extinction, September 7, 1997, the most successful specimen of the great race of dinosaurs African based, forgotten land in Morocco.
       Just interested he still these paleontologists are political historians.

Forgotten by the
World,  Forgotten by God, but not by his countrymen.

       Forgotten by the world, forgotten by God, but not of his countrymen, in which his shadow still looms, scary and tutelary, reassuring and disproportionate. It will take another generation before probably get rid of the Congolese mental grip of a dictator who has shaped their minds for over thirty years.
       Because Mobutu was in the truest sense of the term totalitarianism. Totalitarianism Bantu tempered by the palaver and palm wine, certainly, but also a laboratory of brainwashing and disaster which plunged in thought, sometimes with delight, the vast majority of its citizens.
       Mobutu Sese Seko had his matrix, the MPR (Popular Movement of the Revolution), which was a member of all Congolese, willingly or unwillingly, from his birth and he was both the bogeyman and father. For three decades, working under Mobutu and work closely mingled for Mobutu.
Basis of the Constitution, providential man, thought Mobutu for his subjects: "They owe me anything, I owe them nothing,"
he said, and added: "Before me, the deluge, after me, the deluge."
Mobutu was above the law, above public morality over ethics, values, human rights, private property, and the extent of the truth. Pressed a bloated security apparatus, eyes raised to the sky constantly European-American, where he got his power, he transformed a colony bleeding by the Belgians in a State thief, repressive, manipulative, smarmy, corrupt and debilitating.
       In many ways, Zaire was a disaster and a collective shame that did not escape, in a political contaminated to the bone, those who had the courage to go into exile or underground.

Unconscious mimicry.

       Attached to the occult dimension, essential category of public and private life in Africa, where Mobutu used and abused to protect themselves, eliminate enemies and grease the wheels of his regime, this domestication general population is one of the key current persistence of Mobutu.
His opponents have also been the first victims, and involuntary Pavlovian, this unconscious mimicry.
       The "Tshitshisme" the cult of personality that surrounds the opponent Etienne Tshisekedi and reproduced at the neighborhood level Limete in Kinshasa and Kasai, one in which Mobutu loved to wallow. Ditto for his lady-killer Laurent-Désiré Kabila, who imitated the manner of speech of Marshal and went to advocate, to "awaken sleeping consciences by years of Mobutu" the use of chicotte in force until the late 1980s.
       The Mzee treated and his ministers and senior officials ¬ how Mobutu its heyday: regularly arrested, beaten, imprisoned, released and returning to their office sore buttocks, as if nothing had happened.
       As for the Congolese, at least those in the West, nostalgic for a lost power when their cultural references - especially Lingala - prevailed over "the other Zaire",
the Eastern Swahiliphone, they tend to zap the second half of Mobutu's reign, that of the descent into hell, to remember that the 1970s boom years of the "authenticity" of the triumphant zairianisation and commodity boom.

A proud people led by a strong leader.

       This past both obscured and mystified when all the "hits" were allowed and that we hoped to enrich millions (of dollars) without working in skinning the beast, Kinshasa retained its own identity a way to dress, walk and move eminently recognizable as a daring, opportunism, a spirit of resourcefulness and a willingness to take risks that do not belong to them.
       In addition, this complex character that was Mobutu, in which the bid on the West cohabiting with a deep heritage nationalism has undoubtedly passed to his compatriots a certain pride which traces remain today.
       Proud to live in a huge country courted for its riches, pride exist in the aftermath of colonization infantile pride of being commanded by a strong leader, charismatic and media: "When Mobutu was room at the UN or Moreover, we saw that Zaire was present, "
a nostalgic sigh.
       Admittedly, it did not take long, just a decade before the slender young general in 1965, sponsored by the CIA, becomes incarnation Bantu Bula Matari-- this mythical figure and summary of all that modernity represents violence, suffering, chaos and misery for the Congolese, Leopold II massacres Kivu.

What remains of Mobutu's a paradox of ambiguity.

Valium but what the poor memories of the time when Kinshasa was nicknamed "Kiese Kin (Kin la Belle)" allows its 8 million inhabitants to withdraw into a dream of what they might be, as they are disappointed by what they have become.
       What remains of Mobutu Sese Seko is above all a paradox. While the looting of the state and private grabbing of public good a case study, the former army sergeant colonial Congolese instilled a strong patriotic reflex unit can withstand the toughest tests.
       This ambiguous legacy became clear during the terrible years 1996-1998: while all conditions were met bursting of Congo, it has never been about the secession of a province alone.
       When Kabila launched an assault Mobutu is to capture the state, not to skin it. And it is this very nationalism "Mobutu" to be the cause of her breakup with his Rwandan and Ugandan mentors.
       It is also worth remembering that Mobutu, unlike a Ceaucescu, which they compared willingly, was not overthrown by a popular revolution, but driven by a foreign intervention.
       The conditions for the reproduction of the system he fathered are far from having all been eradicated. For that determinism does not shed in fatality, President Joseph Kabila, who has the advantage of never having known or met Zaire Mobutu virus and can therefore assume without passion posthumous legacy Leopard, must of be each day a little more vigilant.

* Article of François Sudan, journalist at Jeune Afrique.

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