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(PHOTOS) The Ruins of Mobutu's Multi-million Mansion That Should Be a Lesson To African Dictators

The ruins of former Zaire President Mobutu Sese Seko's multimillion mansion ( Photo Courtesy)

It was known as the "Versailles of the Jungle". On the hill overlooking the untouched forest stands the ruins of Kawele- a magnificent 15,000 square metres palace complex, once a favourite home of Zaire President Mobutu Sese Seko.

Today, what remains of the palace is just a glimpse of Mobutu's legendary opulence.

At the time of its corruption in Mobutu's home village of Gbadollite, the expensive palace is said to have cost approximately $100 million, making it one of the most expensive presidential palaces in history.

A section of the ruins of Mobutu's palace ( Photo Courtesy)

At the peak of Mobutu's reign, the building was considered the "epitome of decor and elegance" in Zaire and beyond.

The super structure was decorated using italian marble, Katangese gold plated doors and windows, Spanish floor tiles, automatic American air conditioning, Israeli state of the art communication system, king size swimming pool, a private airport control tower, 3-4 inch bulletproof glassware, 5 presidential suites, 6 jacuzzis and surrounded by a mini game park that contained many animals including the Indian tiger.

A section of the ruins of Mobutu's palace ( Photo Courtesy)

Today, the airport control tower is out of service and the once elegant rooms that were reserved for the visiting Heads of State are now occupied by soldier.

In the 1970s, at the peak of the Leopard's reign, Gbadolitte Airport's very long runway could accommodate a concorde.

Former Zaire President Mobutu Sese Seko ( Photo Courtesy)

In May 1997, an alliance of democratic forces, a rebel group led by Laurent Désire Kabila, overthrew a man who came to be known as the Leopard of Zaire.

One morning after 32 years of dictatorship, Mobutu fled the country via Gbadollite Airport. He would never return.

In September 1997, he died after a long battle with cancer. His burial at the Christian cemetery of Rabat, Morocco was a strictly family affair.

For African strongmen and sit-tight dictators, perhaps they should learn from Mobutu's life.

Content created and supplied by: LarryKatana (via Opera News )

Mobutu Mobutu Sese PHOTOS The Ruins of Mobutu Zaire

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