Country Listing

Zaire Table of Contents


Other High-Status Groups

Ranking military officers, Zairian university staff, and clergy all enjoy high social status in Zaire but have developed quite different profiles. Officers have received rewards from the president for their loyalty and have been given wide leeway to develop lucrative outside businesses. They are, however, in much the same position as members of the politico-commercial class in that they are frequently promoted and demoted at the president's whim and have little security of tenure. Staff at the main Kinshasa campus of the National University of Zaire (UniversitÚ Nationale du Za´re--UNAZA) have tended to be absorbed into the politicocommercial class; this is particularly the case with those faculty in fields such as economics, commerce, and law. They have served as appointees in high government posts or have found lucrative consultancy opportunities. Kinshasa campus staff not in these fields and university staff outside the capital have had an increasingly marginalized economic position but have nevertheless retained considerable social prestige. In general, the clergy have retained much of the status and security they enjoyed before independence. For example, in the transition from single-party rule beginning in 1990, Monsignor Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, archbishop of Kisangani, played a major role, reflecting the continuing prestige of the Roman Catholic clergy.

Data as of December 1993