By Nangayi Guyson
Kampala, Uganda- One of the Longest serving African presidents, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe secured his deal to lead the South African nation and possibly die in office after he was sworn in as the country’s president for the next coming five years.
Zimbabwe hosted elections this year amidst criticisms from western nations and majorly from the country’s colonial masters “the British” who had earlier imposed heavy sanctions on the nation after president Robert Mugabe confiscated privately owned white farms which led to Zimbabwe’s Hyperinflation in 2008 to 2009. President Robert Mugabe won Zimbabwe’s elections with 61% of the presidential vote against 34% for Mr Tsvangirai on 31 July which was almost half win.
President Mugabe now 89 years , his term will end when his 95 years old, the age which is always delicate for old people like him and everyone will be expecting him to die any time as it is with his counterpart former president Nelson Mandela 95 who is lying on his bed in Hospital in Pretoria .
Though Mugabe has been quick to say that he is still fit to lead Zimbabweans for more years to come, the fact is, he may not even end his term because such years are associated with many health problems and even understanding of a person in the same age diminishes and starts to think like a baby. Last year, there were reports that he was seriously ill and his condition may start to deteriorate after he settles in office.
President Robert Mugabe is one of the longest serving African presidents to have been continuously in power since his country’s independence; Mugabe became prime minister in April 1980 and president in 1987 and he has ruled up to date despite criticisms from his rivals internationally and at home.
Among other longest serving African presidents is president Yoweri Museveni of Uganda who also Came to power in January 1986 after winning the war which ousted the brutal regime of Idi Amin Dada, with help from neighbouring Tanzania and has ruled up to date .
President Robert Mugabe seems to have secured his deal to die in office but the question is will other long serving leaders like president Museveni secure theirs?
Just like Robert Mugabe, Ugandan president Museveni has also been on the list of African leaders who have handled human rights badly and has also faced criticisms internationally.
Robert Mugabe has been largely criticized for his ways of suppressing his opponents brutally, His rival Mr Tsvangirai and other opposition members has been beaten several times and exposed to torture and harassments.
In Uganda, it has been the same case, President Museveni’s former comrade and now rival, Doctor Kizza Besigye has been Beaten, brutally arrested and Humiliated by Uganda Security Operatives on many accusations in the Capital Kampala. There was a time when Doctor Kizza Besigye was harassed, beaten and even his eyes sprayed with red pepper until he was taken to Nairobi for treatment.
Following the recent political activities in Uganda, there is a possibility that Uganda’s president Museveni is also trying to secure his way to stay in power from years to come.
President Museveni has shown no interest of leaving power and has always bragged that there is no one in Uganda being in his NRM ruling party or the oppositions who is fit to replace him. Robert Mugabe has used police as his political weapon to stay in power and the same to president Museveni.
The parliament in Uganda, this year passed “Public Order Management Bill” that imposes wide ranging restrictions on public meetings and gives the police unprecedented powers to even use guns when prohibiting and dispersing public gatherings of any political nature. More than three people discussing political issues without police’s permission is an offense. This means that someone to criticize the government on certain issues should seek permission which may not even be granted to that person if police thinks it is against government.
The passing of the Bill means that political gatherings like protests, meetings, and political programs on Televisions or radios that have been conducted by opposition leaders are no more without police permission. Discussing on political issues with friends in bars, hotels, salons and other public places and even discussing on an article in the newspaper, radio and TV without permission is also against this bill.
The secret source in the government said that the Public Order Management Bill that was passed in parliament last month was aimed at preventing Egypt like Uprising in Uganda.
The source explained that because opposition had plans since the time after 2011 elections to disrupt peace in Uganda and topple the current regime, the government had only one way to prevent this by passing bill that prohibit public gatherings . “Government looked at the main aims of opposition during protests conducted across the Country and discovered that they are aiming at causing Egypt like uprising in Uganda” the sourced said.
Uganda’s president Museveni now 69 years will have to forge so hard to remain in power for more 24 years to reach the age of President Robert Mugabe in office.
Yoweri Museveni and Robert Mugabe almost became presidents at the same year, Museveni became president in January 1986 and Mugabe became the president a year later in 1987 but he had first ruled as the prime Minister since 1980. These two men are looked at as the longest serving African leaders who have apparently violated human rights.