Malo Ndimba Mobutu, kin of a former Congolese dictator, has been elected governor of North-Ubangi Province by lawmakers in the region.
The grandson of Mobutu Sese Seko garnered 11 votes out of 18 ballots, beating four other candidates, three of whom are from powerful families of the Mobutu era. The 40-year-old new governor of North-Ubangi will rule the 56,644 square kilometres province, which has almost fallen into ruin since the former president of then Zaire fled in 1997.
His election is seen as a symbol and a historical event in DR Congo. It is the first time a Congolese of Mobutu’s descent has been democratically elected to a major political post.
“In a way, it is a posthumous rehabilitation of Joseph-Désiré Mobutu, the second president of the republic of the independent Congo. But also and above all, a possibility for the current generation to give this name (Mobutu) a bearable significance, different from his 32 years of dictatorship,” wrote Géopolis, a newspaper in Kinshasa. Malo Ndimba faces the tough task of restoring North-Ubangi to its former glory. Gbadolite, the province’s capital, was considered the second seat of government after Kinshasa because Mobutu often took refuge there when facing political heat in Kinshasa.
The Province of North-Ubangi covers an area of 58,839 km2, which is twice the size of Rwanda, Burundi and Belgium and 22 times the size of Luxembourg. It has an estimated population of 2,685,832 in 2021. The density is 45.6 inhabitants/km². It is geographically located at 4°17’N and 21°1’E, altitude 300-450m. In its administrative subdivision, the Province of North-Ubangi has four Territories: Bosobolo, Businga, Mobayi-Mbongo and Yakoma with the City of Gbadolite as its Chief town with its 5 Incorporated Groups, 3 Communes: Gbadolite, Molegbe and Nganza. North-Ubangi also has 4 Communes Rurales, 11 Sectors, 126 Groupements, 16 Quartiers, 1,204 Villages and 102 Cellules or Avenues/Rues.
Malo Ndimba faces the tough task of restoring North-Ubangi to its former glory.
“I am the expression of Congolese youth, of renewal, of dedication to the country. We are all responsible for this failure, and we have a moral obligation to leave to future generations a country that is more beautiful than before,” he wrote on his Twitter account.