Found this article on the web ...thought it was interesting. Our African leaders. If it's a duplication, Moderator please add it to similar threads. Article By:Hadlee SImons The fleet of luxury VIP vehicles; the fat bank accounts; and, of course, the expensive clothes African presidents aren't exactly the poorest people on the block. Join us as we take a look at some of Africa's longest serving leaders. Omar Bongo (Gabon) Assumed office: April 1967 Years in power: 42 years Political affiliation: Gabonese Democratic Party Rapsheet/Allegations: Corruption, bribery, fraud, murder, money laundering I bet you didn't know that: According to a 2004 NY Times report, Miss Peru Ivette Santa Maria was lured to Gabon to be a beauty pageant host, or so the official line went. Things took a turn for the worse when she was taken to Bongo's palace, allegedly to be his lover. After fleeing the palace, Santa Maria was stranded for 12 days until women's aid groups came to save her. The recently deceased president of Gabon was one of the world's longest serving rulers. Bongo's wealth was due to Gabon's oil fields and (allegedly) corruption. Bongo preferred to bribe his opponents instead of killing them as so many other African dictators did. The diminutive dictator is survived by over 30 children, according to the BBC. Bongo was estimated to have a wealth of over $130-million according to a 1999 US Senate report. Muammar al-Gaddafi (Libya) Assumed office: 1969 Years in power: 40 Political affiliation: none, runs military dictatorship Rapsheet/Allegations: sponsor of terrorism, murder, bombings, kidnapping Lebanese Shia leader Musa al-Sadr I bet you didn't know that: Gaddafi also goes by the titles "Guide of the First of September Great Revolution of the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya" and "Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Revolution". Gaddafi is one of the world's most infamous leaders. Militancy was a hallmark during the early days of the Gaddafi regime, with the leader being connected to the Lockerbie bombing among other acts. In recent years, Gaddafi has adopted a moderate approach to politics as well as the West, even going so far as to pay compensation to victims of the Lockerbie bombing and inviting inspectors to observe and dismantle the country's weapons of mass destruction programme. Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe) Assumed office: April 1980 Years in power: 29 years Political affiliation: Zanu-PF Rapsheet/Allegations: land expropriation, election fraud, assault, murder, mass murder, money laundering, corruption I bet you didn't know that: The UK once compared his policies and actions to that of Hitler. In reply, Mugabe said: "I'm still the Hitler of the times....This Hitler had only one objective: justice for his people, sovereignty for his people, recognition of the independence of his people and their rights over their resources...If that is what Hitler is right? Then let me be a Hitler tenfold." Robert Mugabe took the reins of Zimbabwe in 1980 and set about transforming it through education. He succeeded at first, with a 90% literacy rate. And then came the landgrabs. Zimbabwe's economy started to free-fall faster than an elephant ejected from a plane. Trillions of dollars were printed due to hyperinflation and severe shortages of all commodities and food meant that emigration was often the only option. It didn't help that Mugabe sought to quell resistance and opposition supporters by means of the military and police, with hundreds, if not thousands dead. One of the most infamous moments in Zimbabwe's history was the Matabeleland massacre where Mugabe's military crushed armed resistance in the provinces of Matabeleland and the Midlands by killing tens of thousands. Isaias Afewerki (Eritrea) Assumed office: 1993 Years in power: 16 years Political affiliation: People's Front for Democracy and Justice (the only party allowed in Eritrea, ironically) Rapsheet/Allegations: sponsor of terrorism, human rights violations I bet you didn't know that: Upon heading the state, Afewerki postponed the constitution, a situation which still persists to this day. Another African struggle veteran that continues to strangle their country, Afewerki was recently ranked eighth on the list of the world's worst dictators in Parade magazine. Under Afewerki's rule, Eritrea has gained a reputation as the country with the world's worst rating of press freedom. A war with Ethiopia from 1998-2000 that claimed tens of thousands of Eritrean lives did no favours for the economy.