Leaving Fire in His Wake: MOBUTU SESE SEKO

As anarchy grows around him, Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire serenely enjoys lobster and champagne in his jungle paradise

Shafts of equatorial sunshine pierce the jungle canopy and stained-glass windows of a tiny chapel, capturing the dictator's head in a halo of multicolored light. An imposing man in a gray sharkskin suit and shiny black shoes, he clasps his large hands and kneels in prayer, silently reciting the Eucharist service.

Zaire's President Mobutu Sese Seko seldom misses Sunday Mass. It is a ritual he has faithfully observed during his nearly 30 years of absolute power, a tenure marked by the torture and killing of his opponents and corruption that has funneled much of his nation's wealth into his private pocket....