Leader Of Attempted Coup In The Congo Was Once A Used Car Salesman In Utah


Car dealers are known for their shady sales tactics, embezzling skills and occasional kidnappings, but heading up a coup in an African nation? Apparently that was the career path of one Christian Malanga, a former used car salesman out of Utah who was recently killed trying to lead a coup against the Congolese government.

Automotive News reports that Malanga was born in Zaire — now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo — in the 1990s before coming to the U.S. as a teenager. According to the bio on his website, where he also described himself as President of Zaire, he started a few businesses over the years, one of which was a used car lot in Utah.

He started Malanga Auto Sales, a used car lot in Salt Lake City that he claimed was “the first African/Black American in the State of Utah to register as a car dealer.” Malanga later returned to the Congo and became a military officer. Eventually, he became a key opposition figure against Congo president Felix Tshisekedi. This eventually turned into public threats that were posted on social media according to AP.


His site reads just as you’d expect a site made by someone attmepting a coup to read. His detailed plans for running Congo — or New Zaire as he called it — seemed to be extensive according to his site. There’s plans and initiatives for everything from economic development, security reform and even women’s empowerment.

None of this mattered though by May 19, according to AP, Malanga was one of 50 people who attempted to storm the presidential palace in an attempted coup. Guards at the palace killed him in the attempted attack. Malanga’s son was there and was one of three Americans detained for the attack. In a Facebook post, Malanga’s wife called her son “an innocent boy following his father.”

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