The two oldest ruling presidents in Africa are Robert Mugabe Of Zimbabwe and Paul Biya of Cameroun.
Robert Mugabe, Country: Zimbabwe , Age: 91
Born 21 February 1924, is the current President of Zimbabwe, serving since 31 December 1987. As one of the leaders of the rebel groups against white minority rule, he was elected as Prime Minister, head of government, in 1980, and served in that office until 1987, when he became the country’s first executive head of state.
He has led the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front since 1975. Mugabe rose to prominence in the 1960s as the leader of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) during the conflict against the conservative white-minority government of Rhodesia.
Mugabe was a political prisoner in Rhodesia for more than 10 years between 1964 and 1974. Upon release Mugabe, along with Edgar Tekere, immediately left Rhodesia with the assistance of Rekayi Tangwena in 1975 to kick-start the fight during the Rhodesian Bush War from bases in Mozambique.
At the end of the war in 1979, Mugabe emerged as a hero in the minds of many Africans. He won the general elections of 1980 after calling for reconciliation between the former belligerents, including white Zimbabweans and rival political parties, and thereby became Prime Minister on Zimbabwe’s independence in April 1980.
Soon after independence Mugabe set about creating a ZANU–PF-run one-party state, establishing a North Korean-trained security force, the Fifth Brigade, in August 1981 to deal with internal dissidents. Mugabe attacked former allies ZAPU in which the Fifth Brigade crushed an armed rebellion by fighters loyal to his rival Joshua Nkomo, leader of the minority Ndebele tribe, in the province of Matabeleland. Between 1982 and 1985 at least 20,000 people died in ethnic cleansing and were buried in mass graves.
Mugabe consolidated his power in December 1987, when he was declared executive president by parliament, combining the roles of head of state, head of government, and commander-in-chief of the armed forces, with powers to dissolve parliament and declare martial law. In 2008 Mugabe suffered a narrow defeat in the first round of a presidential election but he subsequently won the run-off election in a landslide after his opponent Morga Tsvangirai withdrew; Mugabe then entered a power-sharing deal with Tsvangirai as well as Arthur Mutambara of the MDC-T and MDC-M opposition party.
In 2013, the Election Commission said Mugabe won his seventh term as President, defeating Tsvangirai with 61 percent of the vote in a disputed election in which there were numerous accounts of electoral fraud. Mugabe was elected as the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) on 30 January 2015. He had previously led the AU’s predecessor, the Organization of African Unity in 1997–98. Robert Mugabe attended the university of Fort Hare In 1951, He is married to Grace Mugabe and they have four children.
Paul Biya, Country: Cameroon; Age: 82
Paul Biya was born on the 13th Feb 1933.He is the second president that Cameroon has ever had. Paul has been the President of Cameroon since 6 November 1982. Biya rose rapidly as a bureaucrat under President Ahmadou Ahidjo in the 1960s, serving as Secretary-General of the Presidency from 1968 to 1975 and then as Prime Minister of Cameroon from 1975 to 1982. He succeeded Ahidjo as President upon the latter’s surprise resignation in 1982 and consolidated power in a 1983–1984 power struggle with his predecessor.
Biya introduced political reforms within the context of a single-party system in the 1980s. Under pressure, he accepted the introduction of multiparty politics in the early 1990s. He narrowly won the 1992 presidential election with 40% of the plural, single-ballot vote and was re-elected by large margins in 1997.
He won another seven-year term in the 11 October 2004 presidential election, officially taking 70.92 percent of the votes, although the opposition alleged widespread fraud. Biya was sworn in on 3 November.
After being re-elected in 2004, Biya was barred by a two-term limit in the 1996 Constitution from running for President again in 2011, but he sought to revise this to allow him to run again. In his 2008 New Year’s message, Biya expressed support for revising the Constitution, saying that it was undemocratic to limit the people’s choice. The proposed removal of term limits was among the grievances expressed during violent protests in late February 2008. Nevertheless, on 10 April 2008, the National Assembly voted to change the Constitution to remove term limits. Given the RDPC’s control of the National Assembly, the change was overwhelmingly approved, with 157 votes in favor and five opposed; the 15 deputies of the SDF chose to boycott the vote in protest. The change also provided for the President to enjoy immunity from prosecution for his actions as President after leaving office. He has been consistently re-elected as the National President of the RDPC; he was re-elected at the party’s second extraordinary congress on 7 July 2001 and its third extraordinary congress on 21 July 2006.
In the October 2011 presidential election, Biya secured a sixth term in office, polling 77.9% of votes cast. John Fru Ndi was his nearest rival, polling 10%. Biya’s opponents alleged wide-scale fraud in the election and procedural irregularities were noted by the French and US governments. On the 3rd of November 2011, he was sworn in for another term as President. Biya is sometimes characterized as aloof, making relatively few public appearances.
Since the early 1990s, he has faced his strongest opposition from the Anglophone population of the former Southern Cameroons in the western part of the country. His regime still retains clear authoritarian characteristics and has largely bucked the trend toward democracy in Africa since the 1990s. Under the constitution, Biya has sweeping executive and legislative powers. He even has considerable authority over the judiciary; the courts can only review a law’s constitutionality at his request.
The RDPC continues to dominate the National Assembly, which does little more than approve his policies. “Tyrants, the World’s 20 Worst Living Dictators”, by David Wallechinsky, ranked Biya as a worst dictator. He describes Cameroon’s electoral process in these terms: “Every few years, Biya stages an election to justify his continuing reign, but these elections have no credibility. In fact, Biya is credited with a creative innovation in the world of phony elections. In 2004, annoyed by the criticisms of international vote-monitoring groups, he paid for his own set of international observers, six ex-U.S. congressmen, who certified his election as free and fair.” Biya regularly spends extended periods of time in Switzerland at the Hotel Intercontinental Geneva. These extended stays away from Cameroon while sometimes as short as two weeks are sometimes as long as three months and are almost always referred to as “short stays” in the state-owned press and other media. In February 2008, he passed a bill that allows for having an additional term in office as president which was followed by civil unrests throughout the country. The main violent riots took place in the Western, English-speaking part of the country starting with a “strike” initiated by taxi drivers in Douala, allegedly causing more than 200 casualties in the end. In 2009, his holiday in France allegedly cost $40,000 a day spent on 43 hotel rooms.
In 2009, Biya was ranked 19th in Parade Magazine’s Top 20 list of “The World’s Worst Dictators”. Paul Biya is married to Chantal Vigoroux.
My Two Cents: I don’t know why some people want to die in power. Some African leaders even die in office and a child of theirs takes over in a caricature form of democratic elections. I.e. Benin Rep.
To be in power for decades and have the entire resources of a country as your own personal property to me is the height of greed.