Mbanza Kongo — A gala to honor former living and late administrators of the Mbanza Kongo municipality, northern Zaire province, was held Friday evening in the city.
The ceremony marked the closing of the celebrations of the fourth anniversary of the inscription of the historical center of Mbanza Kongo, as world heritage.
Among the honorees, highlight goes to José Aníbal Lopes Rocha, who was the first commissioner (administrator) of this capital of Zaire province, soon after the national independence.
In his brief words, after receiving the award and the certificate of merit for his contribution in the building of this municipality, José Aníbal Rocha summarized his political and life trajectory, which started at the age of 22 in Mbanza Kongo.
The dean of governors in Angola, a position he has held several times in different regions and moments of the country's life, Anibal Rocha said he learned to be a patriot and a good citizen in Mbanza Kongo, where he worked for many years, until being catapulted into the central sphere of the State.
José Aníbal Lopes Rocha, born in Uíge, was also provincial commissioner of Zaire from 1988 to 1991, provincial commissioner of Uíge from 1991 to 1994, minister of Territory Administration from 1994 to 1997, governor of Luanda from 1997 to 2002 and governor of Cabinda from 2002 to 2009.
Another honored was Manuel Cristóvão Paciência, who saw his mandate interrupted due to his premature physical disappearance, in 2007, victim of an aviation accident on the runway of the Mbanza Kongo airport, involving a TAAG aircraft.
In all, 13 former municipal administrators of Mbanza Kongo were honored, including two women, who gave their noble contribution to the aggrandizement of this locality that boasts the category of Cultural Heritage of Humanity, since July 8, 2017.