Maurice Mpolo and Joseph Okito decorated with the rank of « Grand Officers » in the National Order of National Heroes, Kabila-Lumumba by the Head of State

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The presidential couple laying a wreath in front of the remains of P.E Lumumba at the Palace of Nation

Kinshasa, July 1st, 2022 (CPA) – The President of the Republic Felix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, Grand Chancellor of National Orders, decorated on Wednesday, at the Palace of the Nation Maurice Mpolo and Joseph Okito, to the rank of « Grand Officers », by presidential order Number 22/057 of June 9th, 2022 on posthumous admission to the National Order of Kabila-Lumumba National Heroes.

The two combat companions of Patrice Emery Lumumba, assassinated alongside him on January 17th, 1961, in Shilatembo in Haut-Katanga, were thus honored for « eminent services rendered to the Nation. »

Previously, the Head of State accompanied by First Lady Denise Nyakeru Tshisekedi, laid a wreath of flowers in front of the coffin containing the relic of Patrice Emery Lumumba, before meditating.

The delegation of the Belgian government, headed by the Minister of State André Flahaut as well as the representatives of the Heads of State of South Africa, Senegal and Equatorial Guinea, made the same gesture.

Apart from the laying of wreaths and the posthumous decoration of Maurice Mpolo and Joseph Okito, another highlight marked the passage, at the Palais de la nation, of the remains of the National Hero, namely the projection of the video of his historic speech delivered on June 30th, 1960.

The coffin containing the relic of the late Patrice Emery Lumumba was then taken to the prime minister’s office for the continuation of official tributes.

Emotion and sadness during the passage of the remains of Lumumba to his residence in Gombe

Before the tributes at the Palace of the Nation, the remains of the first Prime Minister and National Hero of DRC, Patrice Emery Lumumba passed, the same day, to his residence on Boulevard of June 30th, in Gombe municipality.

Transported by FARDC officers, the body was welcomed by political figures, customary chiefs, members of the Women’s League of the Unified Lumumbist Party (PALU) and an emotional and sad public.

Once the coffin was installed in the chapel fitted out for the occasion, the stage of contemplation and rituals followed, to the rhythm of traditional tetela music.

Approached by CPA, the daughter of the illustrious deceased, Juliana Lumumba expressed her gratitude to the President of the Republic, Felix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, and to the government, for having facilitated the repatriation of the relic of her father .

Juliana Lumumba particularly wanted the Congolese State to consider revisiting the teaching program for the political history of the Congo by recounting, in a profound way, the political journey of this Congolese and African legend.

The public, curious, finally made the rounds of the residence of Patrice Lumumba where they discovered in particular a large effigy of the National Hero at the main entrance; the wreckage of the vehicle of the first Prime Minister as well as a gallery of works of art including mostly masks and statues.

ACP/Zng/RNL/OB/JLL/CDN