Saturday 22 October 2016

Lumumba's many lovers

Published 22/09/2002 | 00:11

THE author who uncovered compelling evidence of Belgian involvement in the assassination of African leader Patrice Lumumba says the former Congolese prime minister was married three times and had a number of lovers during his turbulent political career.

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Ludo De Witte, based in Belgium, said the claims made by a Dublin-based man that he's the illegitimate son of the African Nationalist leader could well be true given the events, and the relaxed mores in the Congo at that time.

Last weekend Francois Lumumba disputed the claims made by Kongole Lumumba, based in South Dublin, that they are half-brothers. Francois said it was "not a possibility that my father had children with any woman other than my mother".

Sorry, Francois, not so, according to Ludo De Witte.

Patrice Lumumba was the subject of an anecdote by Enda Kenny which eventually led the new Fine Gael leader to make a public apology.

De Witte's book The Assassination of Lumumba is considered the definitive study of the charismatic African leader. De Witte told the Fifth Column that Patrice Lumumba had many relationships and had what he termed a "number of concubines". "He had no children with his first wife Ortensa but was quickly divorced from her in the very early Fifties," he said.

De Witte said that Lumumba was married for a second time to Pauline Akila and they had a child, Francois, who is still involved in politics in Kinshasa. Patrice Lumumba married for a third time in the late Fifties to another woman called Pauline, this time with the surname Opango Ono Samba.

She gave birth to children, named Patrice, Julianna, Roland, and a fourth child Marie Christianne who died during the Congo crisis while her father was under house arrest.

"At the same time Lumumba also had a concubine who was more on his intellectual level, Alphonsine Masuba. Remember, he was divorced early from his first wife and then the two Paulines, who he later married, were both illiterate.

"Alphonsine was pregnant with a child when Lumumba was murdered. She was part of his staff in Government. This child, who was born after his death, was named Guy and up to some years ago was living in France," he said.

But Alphonsine was not Patrice Lumumba's only bit of the side, as it were. According to De Witte, Lumumba had a "number of concubines".

"Nearly all blacks who could afford it, and nearly all whites had several relationships," he said. Members of the Lumumba family in Tallaght said they accepted Enda Kenny's apology for the anecdote which contained the word "nigger" and now wanted the matter to rest. They continue to insist that Kongole Lumumba is the son of Patrice Lumumba.

Mr Lumumba's son said that the family's youngest son Joseph had been "getting a hard time at school" following reports in Little England on Sunday last weekend that he was an "imposter", followed up on The Last Word radio programme, in a cosy chat between Eamon Dunphy and the newspaper's editor Paul Drury. The Sunday Independent was not invited to take part in that discussion.

Aside from the claims of Francois, Little England relied on Kongole Lumumba's birth cert to back up its claims. This shows Kongole's birth as almost two years after the death of the man he says is his father. Kongole claims his birth cert was altered by his mother for his protection, after his father's assassination.

Sources in two State agencies here told the Sunday Independent the date of birth on Kongole Lumumba's file is stamped "To be verified".

Jerome Reilly

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