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DRC honours Patrice Lumumba 60 years after his assassination | News News

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President Felix Tshisekedi pays tribute to firebrand political leader at a site in Kinshasa where a memorial is to be installed.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has honoured independence hero Patrice Lumumba, marking 60 years since his assassination in a plot linked to the fledgeling country’s colonial master, Belgium.

President Felix Tshisekedi on Sunday paid tribute to the charismatic political leader at a site in the capital, Kinshasa, where a memorial is to be installed in his honour.

Lumumba became the country’s first democratically elected prime minister after independence from Belgium in 1960. His government lasted just three months before he was overthrown and assassinated by firing squad.

Lumumba’s body will never be recovered, however. Shot by Katangan separatists and Belgian mercenaries on January 17, 1961, during the first, chaotic months of independence, his body was dissolved in acid.

The only part of his body ever recovered was a tooth seized from a Belgian policeman who, by his own account, took it while helping to dispose of the body.

Last month, Tshisekedi said Belgium would return the tooth to his family in time for independence anniversary celebrations on June 30.

Soldiers guard Patrice Lumumba, right, and Joseph Okito, left, following their arrest in December 1960 [File: AFP]

Juliana Lumumba, the slain leader’s daughter, wrote to Belgium’s King Philippe last year, at the height of Black Lives Matter protests, asking for its return.

Prominent Congolese gynaecologist Denis Mukwege, the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, also paid tribute to Lumumba, calling him “one of the greatest heroes in history”.

Lumumba was a “man of determination who fought to the end for the freedom, the sovereignty of the #DRC”, he wrote on Twitter. “A model of courage for the youth.”

Lumumba was removed from his post as prime minister shortly after independence and then delivered to his death at the hands of the Katangan separatists and the mercenaries. His supporters and some historians accuse the CIA of having ordered his killing.

In 2001, a Belgian parliamentary committee acknowledged that the country was “morally responsible” for his death. In 2012, a Brussels appeals court went further, describing his murder as a war crime.

An investigation in Belgium for war crimes is in its final phase, according to lawyer Christophe Marchand, who filed a complaint in 2011 on behalf of Francois Lumumba, a son of the slain leader.

“It was the Belgians who planned Lumumba’s death and who carried it out,” said Congolese historian Guillaume Nkongolo, referring to recently opened archives.



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Zooming ahead: Videoconferencing firm tops analysts’ expectations | Coronavirus pandemic News

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Revenue more than tripled to $882.5m in the fiscal fourth quarter, the company said, surpassing analysts’ estimates.

Zoom Video Communications Inc. projected annual revenue that would top analysts’ estimates, signaling the video meeting service expects to remain a ubiquitous presence in daily life even as the pandemic recedes. Shares jumped about 10% extended trading.

Sales will be as much as $3.78 billion in fiscal year 2022, the San Jose, California-based company said Monday in a statement. While the projected annual revenue growth of 43% is far short of Zoom’s 326% increase in the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, it topped the 37% average estimate of analysts, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Profit, excluding some items, will be as much as $3.65 a share. Analysts projected $2.97.

Investors have feared the software maker couldn’t continue the dramatic growth in 2020 that came as people forced home in coronavirus lockdowns connected remotely on the service to work, school, friends and family.

While Zoom’s stock jumped almost fivefold last year as it became one of the biggest beneficiaries of the pandemic, it had gained just 11% during the first two months of 2021 before surging almost 10% Monday to close at $409.66 in New York.

Chief Executive Officer Eric Yuan has tried to diversify Zoom’s capabilities and add products such as a cloud phone system to appeal to more large enterprises and small- and mid-sized businesses.

“We believe we are well positioned for strong growth with our innovative video communications platform, on which our customers can build, run, and grow their businesses; our globally recognized brand; and a team ever focused on delivering happiness to our customers,” Yuan said in the statement.

Revenue more than tripled to $882.5 million in the fiscal fourth quarter, the company said. Analysts, on average, estimated $811 million. Profit, excluding some items, was $1.22 cents a share, compared with an average estimate of 79 cents.

“In our view, and whether you like it or not, video will continue to remain a core element of our daily lives and further be embedded in work, school, etc. Zoom will clearly benefit and report sustained levels of growth, in our view, and increasingly in the enterprise segment,” wrote Matt VanVliet, an analyst at BTIG, in a note before the results.

Zoom offers video gatherings free for 40 minutes and as many as 100 participants before users are charged for the service. Analysts have focused on the churn, the number of customers who drop monthly or annual subscriptions, particularly among corporate users.

The company said it had 467,100 customers with more than 10 employees, a jump of about 8% from the previous period and topping analysts’ average estimate of 442,570. The company also said 1,644 clients contributed $100,000 in trailing 12-month revenue. Analysts projected 1,474 such large customers.



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