POLITICAL DICTATORS IN AFRICA – IS THIS DEMOCRACY?
Teodoro Obiang (Equatorial Guinea-38 years in power), Paul Biya (Cameroon- 37 years), Yoweri Museveni (Uganda- 35 years), Omar Al-Bashir (Sudan- 29 years), Isaias Afewerki (Eritrea- 25 years in power) Denis Sassou Nguesso* (Congo- 33 years in power), Abdelaziz Bouteflika (Algeria- 20 years), Ismaïl Omar Guelleh (Djibouti- 20 years), Paul Kagame (Rwanda-19 years in power), Joseph Kabila (DRC), Idris Derby of Chad (29 years in power), Mswati of Swaziland (32 years), Joseph Eduardo Santos of Angola (38 years): late Haile Selassie of Ethiopia (44 years- Their leader who showed them the way to sit- tight), Muammar Ghadaffi (42 years)
THE FACE OF AFRICA
The likes of late Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Kwame Nkruma of Ghana and Keneth Kaunda of Zambia would have fallen into this list because of the role they played in bringing independence to their countries, but they derailed as a result of their intention to become life presidents until they were butted out of office. But for Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, 18 July 1918- 5 Dec., 2013, became a role model not only that he fought for the freedom of his people, rather, he knew when to go or step aside.
He had the opportunity to become life president of South Africa when he was elected to rule his people in 1994-1999. He chose the part of honour and ruled for one tenure- five years and handed over power to his successor, Thabo Mbeki. This is rare among African leaders as many of them will like to stay and die in office. They often lead their countries to internal crisis, civil wars and poverty as a result of their bad leadership, corruption and mismanagement of power.