Early in Mobutu's long spell in power he instituted a policy of Authenticité, promoting African names over colonial ones. As part of that policy the name of the country was changed from Congo to Zaire. Additionally, the flag was changed radically, from the pre-1971 blue background/yellow star flag (influenced by the earlier Belgian Congo flag) to a predominantly green one.
Flag to 1971 | Mobutu's flag 1971 to 1997 | post-Mobutu 1997 flag
In 1997, Laurent Kabila's AFDL overthrew President Mobuto of Zaire and Kabila was named president.
The name of the country was swiftly changed back from Zaire to Congo and the flag also reverted from Mobutu's authenticity policy flag to a version of the old blue and yellow one.
I assume the reason this happened was that it underscored the break with Mobutu's rule and was intended both domestically and internationally to make exactly that statement.
However, it still seems a curious set of decisions. Horrific and disastrous though Mobutu's rule was, the Zaire name and the updated flag, both of which had been in place years for 26 years aren't obviously terrible. And Mobutu's names for Kinshasa and Kisangani were left alone.
Especially curious is that the Congo name and the reverted flag both hark back to the even more horrific period of Belgian rule.
Simply renaming country and flag isn't the norm, even in Africa, when a terrible dictator is overthrown. Zambia didn't when Kaunda was ousted and Zimbabwe won't when Mugabe goes.
Is there an explanation that goes beyond "breaking with Mobutu"?