With Congo grappling with the third wave of Covid-19 infections, the planned return of the tooth remains of Patrice Lumumba from Belgium have been shelved.
President Félix Tshisekedi now says that they are prioritizing the health of the people over the celebration of the tooth remains of Lumumba.
Lumumba was Congo’s first prime minister after the country got independence from Belgium.
He was overthrown and jailed before being killed by firing squad in January 1961.
In a stunning admission, a Belgian policeman said that he dissolved Lumumba’s body in acid, but had kept a tooth.
A decade ago, Belgium said they were responsible for the death of the prime minister where it is believed that the CIA helped arrange at the height of the Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union.
Lumumba was feared that he would side with the Soviet Union, potentially giving it access to Congo’s supplies of uranium.
A Belgian court in 2020 ordered the tooth to be returned to the Democratic Republic of Congo even though no DNA tests had been carried out to confirm it was Lumumba’s.
Now, the 21st June plans to return the tooth will remained shelved as the covid-19 crisis intensifies in Congo.
Data shows that the country recorded 254 new Covid-19 infections announced on Friday, mostly in the capital, Kinshasa.
Three deaths were reported.
To date, the country has recorded at least 35,000 infections and 834 have officially been recorded in DR Congo, which has a population of at least 80 million.
However, experts say many more cases are likely to have gone unrecorded due to the poor state of the country’s health system.
DR Congo is carrying out a vaccination campaign using the AstraZeneca jab but President Tshisekedi said he wanted to speed it up by using different vaccines as well.