L’assassinat du Mwami Lenge III le 26 octobre 1996

IL Y A 25 ANS JOUR POUR JOUR… Mwami Lenghe III d’Uvira était assassiné à Kabumbe (non loin de Mboko), en territoire de Fizi. C’était le 26 octobre 1996.

Lorsqu’au petit matin du 25 octobre Uvira se réveillait avec la nouvelle selon laquelle les rwandais étaient déjà à Kiliba (à une quinzaine de kilomètres d’Uvira) et que tous les militaires avaient abandonné la ville, la population civile et les autorités administratives (coutumières aussi) se décident alors de fuir, prenant la direction du sud d’Uvira, vers le territoire de Fizi.

Dans cette fuite, tout le monde a un seul mot à la bouche : “bateki mboka” (“ils ont vendu la cité”). 

Mwami Lenghe Rugaza Kabale (le 10ème roi de la dynastie des Bene Lenghe) faisait partie de cette marrée humaine qui fuyait Uvira, en direction de Fizi.

Le lendemain, lorsqu’il arrive à Kabumbe (non loin de Mboko, en territoire de Fizi), il sera bloqué par les “Combattants” (ces jeunes “Maï-Maï” à qui le pouvoir de Mobutu avait décidé de remettre les armes pour appuyer les militaires zaïrois dans la résistance contre les rwandais) et les miliciens FDD (du Burundi) qui lui reprochent d’avoir “abandonné” son entité aux mains des envahisseurs.

C’est là, au check point de Kabumbe, que des témoins diront avoir vu pour la dernière fois Mwami Lenghe vivant, dans des échanges virulents avec les “Combattants”; avant que la nouvelle de sa mort ne circule dans la cité de Mboko le soir.

Il était alors accompagné de son épouse et de trois de ses enfants.

Jusqu’à ce jour, les circonstances exactes de son assassinat n’ont jamais été élucidées; les communautés Bembe et Vira-Fuliru s’entre-accusant. 

Mwami Lenghe Rugaza Kabale (de son vrai nom Rampan Romain Geslin) a régné pendant 31 ans sur les Bavira, de 1965-1996.

Il fut succédé, en 1997 par son fils, Lwegeleza III Lenghe Edmond, qui règne jusqu’à ce jour.

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