The resignation of Robert Mugabe as the president of Zimbabwe after 37 years in office has once again brought to fore the leadership problems in Africa, especially as it relates to the desire by some of these leaders to hold on to power in perpetuity.
1. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea
Mbasogo took power in a coup in August 1979, and has ruled for 38 years. He won the last election to extend his mandate for a further seven years till the next elections in 2022. He has also been elected life president of the ruling party in July 2017. He is 74 years old.
2. Paul Biya of Cameroon
Paul Biya took over after resignation of Ahidjo in November 1982 after serving as the country’s prime minister.
3. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda
Museveni became president after his rebel group took power in January 1986 and for the next three decades he has been in charge of Uganda. He won the country’s very heated poll in 2016 to extend his 30 years for a further five years before the next elections in 2021.
4. Omar al-Bashir
Omar al-Bashir was a brigadier in Sudan’s army when he came to power in a 1989 military coup against democratically elected prime minister Sadiq al-Mahdi. He’s has been accused by the International Criminal Court of organising war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur.
5. Idriss Déby of Chad
Idriss took power at the head of a rebellion against President Hissène Habré in December 1990 and has since survived various rebellions against his own rule. He won elections in 1996 and 2001, and after term limits were eliminated he won again.
6. Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea
Since Eritrea’s independence in 1993, President Isaias Afwerki has held on to the top office. Eritrea is a one-party state. Afwerki’s People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ) is the only party allowed to participate in the country’s politics.
7. Denis Sassou Nguesso of Republic of Congo
President Nguesso has had two tenures as head of state in the Republic of Congo. The first one was from 1979 to 1992 where he led the single-party regime of the Congolese Party of Labour (PCT). He returned to power at the end of the 1997 civil war where his forces ousted President Pascal Lissouba.
8. Abedelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria (18 years)
He was minister of Foreign Affairs from 1963 to 1979. As president, he presided over the end of the bloody Algerian Civil War in 2002, and he ended emergency rule in February 2011 amidst regional unrest.
9. Paul Kagame of Rwanda (17 years)
Kagame took office in 2000 when his predecessor, Pasteur Bizimungu, resigned. Kagame previously commanded the rebel force that ended the 1994 Rwandan Genocide.
10. Joseph Kabila (DRC) (16 years)
Kabila has been President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo since January 2001. He took office ten days after the assassination of his father, President Laurent-Désiré Kabila
Meanwhile,it was earlier reported that President Robert Mugabe finally succumbed to pressure to relinquish power on Tuesday, November 21 with a letter to Zimbabwe’s parliament. His resignation has been greeted with wild jubilation across the entire country with many saying they are now free from his 37-year hold on to power and alleged dictatorship.