Throughout the annals of history, humanity has always tried to free itself. Africa has an eternal dance of people who revolutionary freed their people, those that became the modern-day messiah’s only to enslave the very people that they were bound to save. Here is a list of 10 saviours who eventually turned into tyrants.
10. Charles Taylor
The first of many is Charles Taylor. Charles’s full name is Charles McArthur Ghankay Taylor and he was the 22nd president of Liberia. Charles ruled for eight years from 1997-2003. Taylor was born on January 28 1948 in a small town near Monrovia Liberia. Before he became the president of Liberia, Charles was a leader of a rebel group known as The National Patriotic Front of Liberia. Charles Taylor was accused of being a war-time criminal who committed several atrocities and crimes against humanity, this is due to his involvement in the Sierra Leone Civil War that occurred between 1991 and 2002, Charles Taylor was eventually found guilty at the International criminal court of justice, The Hague in 2012 for all eleven charges ranging from terror, Conscripting or enlisting children under the age of 15 years into armed forces or groups, or using them to participate actively in hostilities, Violence to life, health and physical or mental well-being of persons, in particular cruel treatment and in May of that year, he was sentenced to 50 years in prison. He is regarded as one of the worst dictators of Africa of the 21st century
9. Paul Biya
Paul hails from Cameroon and was born in February 13 1933. Politics was always in Biya’s blood, and he has managed to be president for several terms, he has been the President of Cameroon since 6 November 1982. Biya has many critics for his lack of public appearances, but Biya wields his sweeping powers like a tyrant. He rules with his authoritarian fist that lets him essentially push any policies that he deems necessary. Though not the worst of the worst, Biya is one of the best known examples of authoritarianism. “Tyrants, the World’s 20 Worst Living Dictators”, by David Wallechinsky, ranked Biya together with three others mainly in sub-Saharan Africa: Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea, and King Mswati of Swaziland. He was also ranked 19th in Parade Magazine’s Top 20 list of “The World’s Worst Dictators”.
8. Robert Mugabe
Uncle Roo is the quintessential hero to tyrant, the modern-day messiah that helped bring freedom to Zimbabweans only to get himself power drunk, he has been in power since 1980. Robert Gabriel Mugabe is a man who needs no introduction. Mugabe is an odd man when it comes to dictators. He has the illusion of democracy on one hand while he oppresses the white Zimbabwe people with the other, Robert Mugabe has been viewed as being racist towards white people, targeting white citizens in various ways. To make him even more confusing, a number of Africans consider Mugabe a hero in their eyes. Mugabe has committed many crimes against human rights according to news sources. In Mugabe’s words he has referred to lesbians and gays as being “worse than dogs and pigs”. Though his worst crimes are wielding his authoritarian power to strip white people of their wealth and property. In the international scene, he is regarded by many, especially the white folks as one of the worst dictators of Africa ever.
7. General Sani Abacha
Abacha hails from Nigeria and though he only retained power for a scant five years, he managed to commit a lifetime of crimes in this time period. He declared his government to be above the law and he essentially did whatever he wanted. Sanni Abacha has been described by political pundits as “the most brutal dictator of the west African powerhouse”. He ruled his nation with impunity. Though unconfirmed, rumours emanating from official circles has it that the senior military officer died in sexual bouts with Indian prostitutes. He will always be remembered for the 1995 killing of the political and environmental activist, Ken Saro Wiwa. He was also responsible for 5 billion dollars in stolen funds. It is believed that his family still holds a significant amount of these ill-gotten gains. General Sani Abacha is one of the worst dictators of Africa.
6. Sekou Toure
Sekou Toure was only to be president of Guinea for four years. He managed to rule it for three decades from 1958-1984. He declared Guinea a one party state. Toure was another typical case of someone that was initially seen as the ‘Guinean Messiah’, but later became a pain to his people. Toure who was one time leader of the Pan-Africanist movement consistently spoke out against colonial powers, he befriended African-American activists that includes the like of Malcolm X and Stokely Carmichael, to whom he offered asylum. He is survived through the Guineans who fled the country to avoid the death camps that were enacted under his watch. Many of his political opponents were executed in these camps.