Jean Nguza Karl-i-Bond

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Jean Nguza Karl-i-Bond (1938-July 27, 2003) was a prominent Zairian politician who served twice as Prime Minister of Zaire (August 27, 1980-April 23, 1981 and November 25, 1991-August 15, 1992), as foreign minister three times (1972-1974, 1976-1977, and 1979-1980), and as Zaire's ambassador to Washington once (for two years, starting in 1986). For a time in the 1970s, he was political director of the MPR, the country's only legal political party.

However, in 1977, he fell out of favor with President Mobutu Sese Seko, was accused of high treason, and was sentenced to death. According to Nguza, Mobutu personally threatened to shoot him. Many believe that Nguza's sole crime was having been mentioned in the foreign press (during the first Shaba invasion) as a possible successor to Mobutu. During his interrogation, he was subjected to torture which included: the insertion of a metal tube into his penile shaft, through which jets of air were introduced, causing the blood vessels to rupture; and the application of electrical shocks to his testicles. The torture is said to have left him impotent. Shortly afterwards, his sentence was commuted, and, after receiving a presidential pardon, he was named Prime Minister in 1979.

In 1981, he fled into exile, testified against Mobutu in front of U.S. Congress hearings, and outlined, in graphic detail, how Mobutu stole hundreds of millions of dollars from the country's treasury and deposited it in foreign banks. He even wrote a book, titled Mobutu ou l'Incarnation du Mal Zairois, which was highly critical of the regime. Even so, Mobutu forgave him, invited him back home, and appointed him as ambassador to Washington.

After the proclamation of the Third Republic, and the subsequent legalization of opposition parties in 1990, Nguza started his own party, the Union des Fédéralistes et des Républicains Indépendants (French: Union of Federalists and Independent Republicans). He later replaced Étienne Tshisekedi as Prime Minister, after Tshisekedi tried to block Mobutu from accessing cash at the central bank. Nguza was regarded by other members of the Sacred Union (of which his party was a member) as a "traitor" because of this, and he subsequently left the Sacred Union. His party formed a new coalition, the Alliance of Patriotic Forces, which was committed to political reform but rejected "extremist" stances. The relationship between Tshisekedi and Nguza deteriorated considerably, and armed clashes, many taking on ethnic dimensions and resulting in considerable loss of life, broke out between their respective supporters, further contributing to the instability and chaos prevalent in the country.

Nguza died in 2003.


[edit] Trivia

Nguza was a nephew of the former Katangan leader, Moise Tshombe.

[edit] Works cited

[edit] Books

  • Harden, Blaine. Africa: Dispatches from a Fragile Continent. Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN 0395597463
  • Meredith, Martin. The Fate of Africa: From the Hopes of Freedom to the Heart of Despair, a History of Fifty Years of Independence. Public Affairs. ISBN 1586482467
  • Nguza Karl-i-Bond, Jean. Mobutu ou l'Incarnation du Mal Zairois. Bellew Publishing Co Ltd. ISBN 0860361977
  • Wrong, Michela. In The Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz: Living on the Brink of Disaster in Mobutu's Congo. Perennial. ISBN 0-06-093443-3
  • Young, Crawford, and Thomas Turner. The Rise and Decline of the Zairian State. University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 029910110X

[edit] External links

Jean Nguza Karl-i-Bond

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