The body of Etienne Tshisekedi, the leader of the Congolese opposition, who died at the beginning of February in Brussels, will not be repatriated this week in Kinshasa. His family nevertheless flagged up the date of Saturday March 11th for his return to his native country but this timescale will not be kept to. The deceased’s younger brother, Bishop Gérard Mulumba, has indicated this to RTBF today (Monday).
Moreover, this information was confirmed to the Belga press agency by André Kabanda, the Belgium spokesman for Tshisekedi’s party, the UDPS. No new date has yet been fixed for the repatriation of his body.
The Tshisekedi family have agreed upon a burial in the cemetery of the Gombe district in the centre of the Congalese capital. It is as much his political family as his biological family that would like him to be buried at party headquarters in Limete. The government is against this, maintaining that people should be buried in a cemetery.
At the end of February, the famiily and Kinshasa authorities finally agreed that the deceased should be buried in a 500 m²-specifically dedicated area. Mr Kabanda says, “However, the works in this respect have not yet made sufficient headway.”
Monsignor Mulumba, for his part, declared to the RTBF that the government had “categorically” refused the proposal for space made available by the authorities. “The works in progress in Gombe should be stopped.”
André Kabanda says, “Moreover, the family’s safety is not secure.” He went on, “It is as much the works and safety issues which fall under the remit of the authorities but there has been no direct contact between the family and the government.”
At this time, the body of the former leader is still at the Ixelles funeral home.