On Tuesday, President Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, accompanied by the Distinguished First Lady, Denise Nyakeru Tshisekedi, attended the ecumenical service celebrated at the esplanade of the People’s Palace in the commune of Lingwala in Kinshasa. The service was held in remembrance of the 140 people who died as a result of the torrential rains that fell on the city of Kinshasa on the night of Monday, 12 to Tuesday, 13 December 2022.
Moved and dismayed by this tragedy, the Head of State, who was in Washington in the United States of America as part of the second US-Africa summit, cut short his stay in the United States to return to the country. At the same time, the government decreed a three-day national mourning period that began on Wednesday, December 14, to honor the memory of compatriots who died as a result of this natural disaster.
These storms also caused enormous material damage in the city of Kinshasa, namely landslides, road closures, entire homes washed away and rivers and other sewers overflowed.
This afternoon, Apostle Kabongo, moderator of the service, stated in his introductory remarks that, “This ceremony is to address a prayer to the Lord God, so that he can welcome the souls of our compatriots and at the same time comfort the grieving families.”
As it is said in the Bible, “Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep,” he added. A dozen leaders of religious denominations followed one another to the podium for a prayer of circumstance.
The ceremony ended with the laying of a wreath by the Presidential Couple in memory of the deceased compatriots. The Prime Minister, Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde, the president of the two chambers of the national parliament, Christophe Mboso Nkodia Pwanga, and the president of the Senate, Modeste Bahati Lukwebo, as well as some members of the government attended the ecumenical service.