CONGO (DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC)
Portrait of a Leader
Democratic Republic of Congo 5 Makuta 1967 (scaled to about 250dpi)
It was with the backing of the U.S.
government that Joseph-Désiré Mobutu got to be the
President of Democratic Republic of Congo. This was in 1965 during the
Cold War. President Mobutu is portrayed on the coin above:- 5 Makuta of
1967. This is one of only a handful of different coins from this part
of the country's history. President Mobutu changed the name of the
country to Republic of Zaire in 1971, the word "Zaire" being much used
locally as a name for the huge River Congo. The following year
President Mobutu changed his own name to Mobutu Sese Seko. In 1997
Mobutu was forced out of the country and at the same time the country's
name was changed back to Democratic Republic of Congo, as it remains to
this day. A list of Africa's top ten dictators of all time on the pages
of www.africanews.com puts Mobutu at position number 4 and his
successor Laurent Kabila, not quite so tyrannical, at number 7.
Nowadays coins are not in use in Democratic Republic of Congo, not even
the coins that look like normal coins have ever been intended for
circulation. The earlier coinage from this country; that of the
predecessor state “Belgian Congo”, is a lengthier series and is
somewhat more varied.
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