Will 2012 see more strong men of Africa leave office?

By Isaac Esipisu There are many reasons for being angry with Africa ’s strong men, whose autocratic ways have thrust some African countries back into the eye of the storm and threatened to undo the democratic gains in other parts of the continent of the past decades. For those who made ultimate political capital from opposing strongman rule in their respective countries, it is a chilling commentary of African politics that several leaders now seek to cement their places and refusing to retire and watch the upcoming elections from the sidelines, or refusing to hand over power after losing presidential elections.

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Zambia Days: Michael Sata’s unusual populist presidency

Zambia’s new president, Michael Sata, continues to set a new course for leadership among high elected officials in Africa. Last month he declared he would avoid foreign trips because he did not want to waste the country’s resources on extravagances when the funds could be better used to assist poor Zambians. Now the Africa Works correspondent in Lusaka, Chanda Chisala, explains that even when Sata does travel within the region — he went to Uganda in mid-December to hand over leadership of a sub-regional grouping to Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni — Sata is doing so in an unusual manner.

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