Mugabe five years short of record


Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe may be the oldest leader in Africa but he is still five years short of clinching the record as the longest serving leader in Africa and the world and might not break that record even if he is elected.

Mugabe has been in power since 1980 but as Prime Minister for the first seven years. He is 89.

Cameroon President Paul Biya was elected president in 1982 but was Prime Minister from 1975, which means he has been in power for 38 years, and is currently the world’s longest serving leader excluding monarchs. Biya is 80 years old.

Closely behind Biya is Mohamed Abdelaziz of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic who has been in power for 37 years. He is only 66.

Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasongo of Equatorial Guinea in 71 but has been in power for 34 years and got into power only a few months before Angolan President Eduardo dos Santos, also 71.

Mugabe currently occupies fifth place.

He will not be able to beat Biya’s record even if he is re-elected at the end of this month because Biya was re-elected for another seven-year term in 2011 which means that if both serve their full terms Mugabe will not be able to close the five-year gap.


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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