Jannah Theme License is not validated, Go to the theme options page to validate the license, You need a single license for each domain name.
BusinessUSA

How DR Congo coup leader Christian Malanga moved to Salt Lake City as a political refugee, had eight children and worked as a small businessman before returning to Africa for military service and plotting to overthrow the government with his 21-year-old son Marcel

The man who led a failed coup attempt in the Democratic Republic of Congo has been identified as a Salt Lake City resident who first arrived in the United States in 1998 as a political refugee, settling in Utah, raising a family and running several businesses.

Christian Malanga, 41, was “neutralized” during the violent uprising in which he also involved his son, Marcel, 21, who remains captive in this central African country. His right-hand man would be Benjamin Zalman-Polun, 36, a Maryland resident and cannabis entrepreneur.

The two men and their group of around 20 men allegedly attempted to force their way into the government complex. The group flew the flag of former DRC dictator Mobutu Sese Seko.

Malanga moved to the United States alongside her parents and five siblings, according to the obituary of her father, Joseph. According to his tribute, the family lived in one of the poorest neighborhoods of Kinshasa, the capital of the DRC. His mother died when he was five years old.

“He had the drive and determination to take his family from Congo, Africa to the United States in hopes of pursuing the American dream,” the obituary reads while also mentioning his dedication to Christianity .

Marcel Malanga shown here with his father during his youth in Salt Lake City, Utah

Marcel Malanga shown here with his father during his youth in Salt Lake City, Utah

Marcel Malanga pictured with his mother, Britney Sawyer

Marcel Malanga pictured with his mother, Britney Sawyer

Marcel seems to have had a completely average education in the United States.  He graduated from Copper Hills High School in the West Jordan, Utah community in 2020, where he was also a star football player.

Marcel seems to have had a completely average education in the United States. He graduated from Copper Hills High School in the West Jordan, Utah community in 2020, where he was also a star football player.

Marcel regularly informed his subscribers on social networks of his exploits

Marcel regularly informed his subscribers on social networks of his exploits

Following in his father's footsteps, Marcel was an aspiring entrepreneur

Following in his father’s footsteps, Marcel was an aspiring entrepreneur

Marcel Malanga, 21, looked terrified as he was pictured ahead of the attempted coup in a video posted to Facebook by his father.

Marcel Malanga, 21, looked terrified as he was pictured ahead of the attempted coup in a video posted to Facebook by his father.

Eight years after arriving in the United States, Malanga returned to his native country for military service, reaching the rank of captain in 2007. During that time, he had at least 235 soldiers under his command.

At Highland High School, Malanga was an Air Force ROTC cadet. This business is referred to as “the fundamentals of one’s life” on its website.

After unsuccessful attempts to enter politics in the DRC, Malanga returned to the United States in 2012, but continued to be active in the country’s affairs during his exile. He founded a political party that gained popularity among indigenous Congolese people around the world, the United Congolese Party.

After high school, Malanga said he studied to become a pilot, as well as “training in computer software, computer hardware, business mentoring and much more.”

He also considers himself the “first black African American in the state of Utah to register as an automobile dealer.”

Malanga has made religious freedom one of its main platforms. In exile, he presented himself as the president of the DRC.

On his website, Malanga writes that it was his time in the DRC army that turned him against the government, describing corruption and the government’s lack of concern for its own citizens.

It is unclear how Malanga became close to Zalman-Polun. In May 2022, it was reported that the two had invested in a gold business together in Mozambique. Mining is mentioned as one of Malanga’s commercial activities.

The two men were also partners in an electronic cigarette company.

His son, Marcel, seems to have had a completely average education in the United States. He graduated from Copper Hills High School in the West Jordan, Utah community in 2020, where he was also a star football player.

After high school, he played for the Utah Islanders, a team that helps develop players to play college football.

Malanga was married at least twice, one marriage to a fellow Congolese expatriate, Lucille Malanga. According to her social media profiles, she is also passionate about the politics of her native country.

Lucile lives in Miami, Florida. Its Facebook cover image is a photo of Malanga with the caption “President of the Democratic Republic of Congo”.

“Obviously Malanga was used by someone. There are a lot of people unhappy with the president in Congo and ambitious powers outside Congo who want him removed – and a lot of that has to do with resource ambitions, including gold,” a former DRC representative to the United Nations told the Washington Post.

Christian Malanga's last known address in the United States, in Salt Lake City, is shown here.

Christian Malanga’s last known address in the United States, in Salt Lake City, is shown here.

Marcel Malanga lived nearby in Provo, Utah

Marcel Malanga lived nearby in Provo, Utah

Christian Malanga was also married to this woman, Congolese expatriate Lucille Managala.

Christian Malanga was also married to this woman, Congolese expatriate Lucille Managala.

Malanga moved to the United States alongside her parents and five siblings, according to her father, Joseph, pictured here with his wife Chantal's obituary.

Malanga moved to the United States alongside her parents and five siblings, according to her father, Joseph, pictured here with his wife Chantal’s obituary.

A Facebook post from Malanga's daughter, Christine, mourning her father

A Facebook post from Malanga’s daughter, Christine, mourning her father

On his personal website, Malanga presents himself as the “President of New Zaire”. The DRC was previously called Zaire. His profile on this page states that he is currently married to Lucile and is the father of eight children.

His son, Marcel, however, comes from a relationship that Malanga had with an American woman named Britney Sawyer.

On Facebook, she wrote about developments in the DRC.

“All the hatred in the world!” It’s so sick. He was an innocent boy who followed his father. I’m so fed up with all the videos that are posted everywhere and sent to me. God will take care of you, people! Karmas ab****!’

Meanwhile, another of Malanga’s children, his daughter Christine, mourned her father in a Facebook post.

“They say there’s a reason they say time heals, neither time nor reason will change the way I feel. It hurts my heart to know that I have to tell people about the death of my father,” she wrote.

“I thought I’d have more time before I had to say it too, just know that I can’t just message you to see how your day was or ask you to buy me my car or that I calling you to tell you about everything that’s going on, it’s so crazy to me.’

“And what’s most striking, I can’t even tell you how much I loved you or even just talk about everything we had to talk about, but I still had so many questions to ask you. I love daddy forever.’

Gunshots rang out around 4 a.m. in the capital Kinshasa, a Reuters journalist said. Armed men attacked the presidency in the city center, according to spokesperson Sylvain Ekenge.

Another attack took place at the nearby home of Vital Kamerhe, an MP tipped to become parliament speaker, Kamerhe’s spokesperson Michel Moto Muhima and the Japanese ambassador said in messages on X.

Moto Muhima said two guards and an attacker were killed in the incident. Ekenge also said an attacker was killed there.

A shell fired from Kinshasa hit the town of Brazzaville, in the neighboring Republic of Congo, injuring several people, the country’s government said in a statement, adding that one person had been hospitalized.

He said Malanga first attempted and aborted a coup in 2017 and that one of the US citizens arrested was Malanga’s son.

A Facebook page appearing to belong to Malanga posted live-streamed video of what appears to be the attack.

“We, the activists, are tired. We cannot linger on with Tshisekedi and Kamerhe, they have done too many stupid things in this country,” Malanga said in Lingala in the video.

US Ambassador Lucy Tamlyn said in a social media post that she was “very concerned” by reports that US citizens were involved in the events.

“Rest assured that we will fully cooperate with DRC authorities as they investigate these criminal acts and will hold accountable any U.S. citizen involved in criminal acts,” she said.

The US Embassy previously issued a security alert warning of “ongoing activity by DRC security elements” and reports of gunfire in the area.

The United Nations stabilization mission in the DRC said its head, Bintou Keita, condemned the incidents in the strongest terms and offered support to Congolese authorities in a message on X.

Tshisekedi was re-elected for a second presidential term in December, but has yet to name a government, six weeks after appointing a prime minister.

Kamerhe was a candidate for president of Parliament in elections scheduled for Saturday but delayed by Tshisekedi.

dailymail us

Back to top button