By Jim Shepherd
For those who just came in, the rise to power of Kigali Lubanga commenced in the story Election in Bengali, Frew number 1079 published in 1994.
In that story, Lubanga was described as a ‘successful scientist and wealthy businessman’ who headed a company known as Lubanga Electronics. He was originally written into the story as the son of a Llongo chief and raised in the jungle.
Lubanga set his sights on becoming President of Bengali and reasoned that a number of scandals had weakened Lamanda Luaga’s public standing. Alerted to the threat of Lubanga, President Luaga carried out his own research and discovered that Libanga was a very shady character with apparent links to Rodia.
In Frew number 1080, The Loser (1994), we learn that Lubanga grew up with Luaga’s Llongo tribe, but that he wasn’t born a Llongo. Lubanga had mysteriously wandered into the Llongo village when still a young boy and never revealed anything about his background. As a youngster, Lubanga was a loner in the tribe and widely suspected of many minor crimes. As an adult, Lubanga moved into business in the city and tricked a partner out of his share of their electronics company.
At the end of Frew number 1080, Lubanga does become President and Luaga is uncertain of his own future.
Lubanga next appeared in Frew number 1084, Hunted! The Fugitive (1994), when he attempted to have Luaga deported. When this failed, he had Luaga sent to prison for life on a trumped-up charge. Luaga escaped from Boomsby Gaol and met up with the Phantom, but the old friends has a falling out and the Phantom walked out of Luaga’s life, leaving him to fend for himself in the jungle.
In the following stories, Lubanga bobbed up in:
- The Evil Game – Frew number 1088
- Caught in the Crossfire – Frew number 1102
- The Secret Agent – Frew number 1111
- Duel on Destiny Top – Part 2 – Frew number 1119
- Jungle Bait – Frew number 1124
- The Suicide Mission – Frew number 1129
- Fire in the Blood – Frew number 1134
- The Snake Cult – Part 1 & 2 – Frew number 1136 and 1137
- Operation Hades – Frew number 1151
The writing was on the wall for Lubanga in Blood Brother, Frew number 1152, when the Phantom was reunited with Lamanda Luaga.
It seems hard to believe now that Lubanga had been plaguing the Phantom (and Luaga) since 1994!