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Sunday, 7 January, 2001, 16:32 GMT
African leaders: Who should quit?
This weekend Ghana's JJ Rawlings will be stepping down after 19 years in power.
And as we start a new year, which other leaders in Africa would you like to see follow his example by leaving office? Whose time, do you think, is up?
This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
Barnabas Otish, Ugandan, Ontario, Canada
Personally I think all African presidents should stay in office for not more than four years because that's the only time a president needs to prove to his people what he can do for the country instead of what the country can do for him.
All presidents and so-called leaders who do not have the best interests of Africa and her people in mind and heart should go. They know who they are!
Europe has formed a union that seems to do very well. Why can't Africa do the same?
M. Mabengano, Italy
Thabo Mbeki must go. As head of government of the "economic powerhouse of Africa", he is a leader who doesn't want to lead.
He simply gets dragged along by Southern Africa's de facto leader, Robert Mugabe.
I can't think of anyone other than our own Yaya Jammeh. I believe it's time for him to leave after failing to fulfil the promises he made to the Gambian people. The unemployment rate is high, people are hungry and above all, many have been innocently tortured and murdered.
I really believe it is time for Mugabe of Zimbabwe to go. The people of that country should take a lesson from the Serbians and kick that devil out.
How about all of them???
N. Friend, Ghana
If only these so-called Heads of State could hear our voices. But they never learn, do they? They just age in their presidential seats and wait for nothing short of a coup d'etat in order to be uprooted.
It is interesting how we Africans blame the western society for having this mess while African leaders by far has yet to achieved something tangible for his/ her people. Some one needs to step down willingly or show a true democracy work its way in to Africa.
As I read through the views of my respected fellow BBC readers, one thing is for sure. Most African countries are led through dictatorship. You all know whom I'm talking about. These leaders know who they are and they must go. All of them.
I think you are all talking nonsense. The question in my opinion is not who should or shouldn't go. The real question is whether any elected African president will be accepted by the so-called Western powers. Whoever serves their interests is likely to be supported and assisted financially.
I believe the question of which leader should go next is not all that easy because who knows what the next leader will be like? We, as Africans in general, should consider what we can do individually to help our respective countries. We always blame our leaders but we do nothing to help. I congratulate J.J Rawlings for his good intentions and hard work to help Ghana.
Because he is bereft of any plausible ideas, morally bankrupt, corrupt to the core, suffering from chronic megalomania and has turned a stable and decent country into the scourge of the earth, President Paul Biya of Cameroon has outlived his usefulness and should do mankind a favour and go immediately.
Kagame should most definitely go. All he has done is endanger the very existence of his Tutsi people. In a very short time, he has managed to turn practically all Africans against them - even his former allies, the Ugandans and Congolese. He needs to leave the office to someone who will withdraw from Congo and try to reconcile the peoples of the region. This will be the only way to avoid future genocide.
Unfortunately, almost all African leaders are there by the bullet and not by the ballot. If they were to appear in a US court, they would be found guilty of murder of one degree or another.
There must be a "term limit" for all African leaders.
The time is up for General Omar al-Bashir. It's New Year in a New Millennium and all Africa's dictator leaders must go. We need democratic, peaceful administration in the region for the new century.
There are so many that ought to quit that it is better summarised this way:
All African leaders, quit and make way for the UK Tories led by Hague. That will result in great improvements both in Africa and the UK.
Museveni should be the next one to go followed by Kagame next year. For the sake of peace in Africa and the Great Lakes region they should be removed by all means. We are just fed-up with the war they are waging in the Congo
Anthony Musonda, Zambian student in Germany
Robert Mugabe of the Republic of Zimbabwe definitely should get the gold medal in the departure olympics. Charles Taylor Liberia should get the silver. Daniel Arap Moi of Kenya should get the bronze. Dishonourable mention also goes to Enyadema of Togo, Jammeh of Gambia and Kabila of Congo (D.R.).
I agree that the question is not who should go, but who should stay? Across Africa there is a litany of maladministration and corruption by leaders of almost every country on the continent. The problem with getting rid of any of them is that you just get another lot who proceed to behave in exactly the same way - I am reminded of the French saying, which translates to "the more things change, the more they remain the same" - alas, it remains consistently true in Africa. But I'd like to see the back of Mugabe sooner than any other.
Mr. Charles Taylor should definitely get out. It is clear that he is playing president. His lack of social, economical or infrastructure agenda is a clear indication of his inability to govern the struggling masses of Liberia. Mr. Taylor is more of a hindrance to Liberia's development. Mr. Taylor destabilisation of the West African region and his greed for the region's natural resources speaks for itself.
Robert Mugabe should be the next one to go. He has over twenty years turned a once promising country based on non-racism and equality to one based on the ethnic hatred and corruption of the worst order. The ideals fought for during the Smith regime days have been abandoned for greed and power. Mugabe came with the overwhelming goodwill of the whole world and has totally abused it. He should go now.
Prospa, Canada/ Togo
José Eduardo Dos Santos is one of the most corrupt leaders of Africa. It is a shame the international community seems willing to support his petty dictatorship for the sake of oil supplies. Were Angola a poor country José Eduardo should have been ousted a long time ago.
Robert Gabriel Mugabe has outstayed his welcome. He's a huge threat and liability to the integrity of the Zimbabwean people and Southern Africa
He must go even before the 2002 presidential elections
Muluzi will be remembered in history books as the first president in democratic Malawi. If rumours are true that he wants to change the constitution and seek a third term, he will end up becoming another Mugabe. It is time for him to go too. Malawi has about 9 million people and surely we can find somebody to rule us after him. I am counting the years......
I nominate Isayas Afeworki of Eritrea for a graceful exit. His track record as leader of the new nation of Eritrea has so far been shameful. He has, so far, managed to alienate this poor small nation from all its neighbours and has been responsible for a disastrous war with Ethiopia causing thousands of youths to perish for a senseless cause. Unfortunately, there is no opposition party to challenge this mad man of the Horn.
E. Kuwanda, USA
President Rawlings has proved to be Ghana's most outstanding ruler, second only to Dr Kwame Nkrumah. Africa needs more leaders of this calibre.
I think about 90% of all African leaders should resign. Rawlings has set a good example for others to follow. Until dictators are wiped out from Africa, the continent will still remain very poor.
As a West African from Ghana, I think President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah of Sierra Leone should be the next to go. West African leaders have spent too much money and have lost too many soldiers trying to prop up the man's presidency. He should go and allow someone with backbone and vision to deal with that country's problems.
I think president Obasanjo of Nigeria should go. He has done absolutely nothing to alleviate the suffering of Nigerians or meet 10 percent of his campaign promises. I don't even think he has a clue as to what he is supposed to do besides corruptly enriching his family, friends and people of his ethnic group, the Yorubas.
I think Robert Mugabe should go! He has long overstayed his welcome. In my opinion he stands in the company of Mobuto and Amin... the worst leaders the continent has seen.
Arap Moi, Mugabe, Eyadema - these old hands have overstayed their welcome. They have brought down their countries with them. Not only economically but with their citizens tolerating their leadership they have also depreciated the esteem and honour with which their citizens are held.
I wish President Rawlings well after January 7. We should give the devil his due. The leaders of Zimbabwe, Kenya, Namibia, Togo, Libya, Zambia and Burkina Faso should emulate President Rawlings' example and give way to new faces on the political scene in Africa.
I think Charles Taylor should be
next to exit the political scene. This
man is a menace to the entire sub-region of West Africa.
There will never be any peace, as
long as this man is president of that
country; The unrest will keep on circulating
around the sub-region.
Ephraim Noble Banadda, Ugandan studying in Belgium
My humble suggestion is for the President of Sierra Leone to step down next month when his democratic mandate ends. Any attempt by him or his rubber stamping parliament to extend their mandate will lead to bloodshed in the city next month. These people must go and allow a transitional government to run the country.
Definitely, the next person who needs
to leave office is Yaya Jammeh, the
current president of The Gambia. Not only
did he come to power by the gun, he has
also greatly diminished the freedoms of
Gambians who, until his advent to power, have never known intimidation
from their government.
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