Washington — A former high-ranking official from mineral-rich Zaire says that President Mobutu Sese Seko and his family took more than $150 million in foreign exchange from the country's central bank over a two-year period, reports Monitor correspondent Daniel Southerland.
Nguza Karl-I-Bond, former prime minister of Zaire who resigned last April and fled to Europe, contends that Zaire, one of Africa's largest countries, is ripe for revolt. At a breakfast meeting sponsored by Foreign Policy magazine, Nguza urged the Western nations to end their "blind and uncritical support" for the Mobutu regime.
Three times the size of Texas, Zaire is strategically located in the center of Africa. It is rich in minerals, providing about half of the West's cobalt. But its people's standard of living has been declining for a number of years. In July of this year, Zaire Roman Catholic bishops issued an 18-page document denouncing President Mobutu's regime for corruption and mismanagement.
Nguza is expected to turn over the results of a Zairian parliamentary investigation, which he says support his changes, to the US House of Representatives subcommittee on Africa Sept. 15.
Nguza has long been known as a pro-Western, anti-Communist political figure. But he told his audience that unless the Western nations dropped their support of Mobutu, the Zairian people would hold the West responsible for keeping Mobutu in power.