PACON confers Posthumous recognition on Patrice Lumumba

11 Sep 2013 11:40
WINDHOEK, 11 SEP (NAMPA) – The Pan-Afrikan Centre of Namibia (PACON) on Wednesday conferred one of its highest awards on African nationalist leader and first prime minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo (then Zaire), Patrice Lumumba.
Lumumba helped win that country’s independence from Belgium in 1960.
The PACON Posthumous Pan-Afrikan Icon Award was received by Lumumba’s two sons – Ronald and Francois Lumumba – in Windhoek. They arrived in Namibia on Tuesday.
Speaking to Nampa in an interview on Tuesday, Francois Lumumba said he was only 10 years old when his father died, adding that he was old enough to know what was happening around him.
“At home our parents made it a point to involve us in discussions, particularly about our father’s involvement in politics. Thus this prepared us morally and psychologically for events such as the passing on of my father,” he noted.
He said if there is one key lesson they have learned from the history and life of their father, it is to “always fight for justice as it is the basis of democracy in any society”.
Lumumba went on to say they are still seeking justice for their father’s death.
The late Lumumba suffered inhumane treatment as he was tortured, shot on 17 January 1961, buried, exhumed and dismembered by Belgians and the secessionist authorities of that time.
“In spite of that, nothing has been done to bring to justice those responsible for those heinous acts, neither has the actual circumstances of that assassination been clarified,” he noted.
It is for this reason, he indicated, that the Lumumba family took it upon themselves to lodge a complaint against the alleged killers of Belgian nationality before the courts of Brussels (in Belgium) “for the truth to prevail and justice to be accomplished”.
The Lumumba family is currently acting alone in their struggle to obtain justice, with the support of a few lawyers to accelerate the ongoing trial in Belgium.
“That is why we are also seeking the involvement of all Pan-Africanists so that crimes of this kind are not repeated,” he indicated.
Speaking to Nampa on the same day, PACON vice-chairperson Maureen Hinda-Mbaziira said the award is an annual event at which a prominent Pan-Africanist is honoured. She said the Board of Directors of PACON resolved to bestow the award on Patrice Lumumba this year.
“In the past we have awarded and recognised icons such as Jackson Kaujeua and Steve Biko, amongst others,” she said.