President of Equatorial Guinea appoints son as VP

We know one fact about African leaders; they never want to leave office. But as they grow older, they find ways of ensuring political offices remain in the family.

Today, we have a Yoweri Museveni whose wife holds a coveted portfolio in Uganda, minister for education and sports, which takes one of the largest chunks of the annual budget. There is also Jose Eduardo dos Santos who appointed his daughter as the chairwoman of Angola’s state oil company Sonangol. Robert Mugabe’s wife is also rumoured to have presidential ambition as his reign as Zimbabwe’s leader nears end. Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea wants much more; he has, therefore positioned his son to replace him by making him vice president.

Equatoguineans have been led by the Nguema family since the country got independence from Spain in 1968. Teodoro had ousted his uncle, Francisco Macías Nguema, the country’s first president, in an August 1979 military coup. As he advances in age, Africa’s longest serving leader is alleged to be planning to have his son take over.

Although, the country has been under civilian rule since 1982, it remains undemocratic, with little or no tolerance for the opposition. Most domestic and international observers consider Teodoro Nguema’s régime to be one of the most corrupt, ethnocentric, oppressive and undemocratic states in the world. However, he ran for office again in April and won 93.7 percent of the votes. The constitution grants Obiang sweeping powers, including the power to rule by decree; the same power that made it easy for him to elevate his son Teodorin Nguema Obiang to the position of Vice President in charge of defense and security. Teodorin, 47, previously held the position of Second Vice President since 2012.

“In accordance with the Basic Law of Equatorial Guinea, I appoint his Excellency Teodorin Nguema Obiang Mangue Vice President of the Republic,” the decree of President Obiang read.

Teodorin was under trial in France for fraudulently amassing wealth out of Equatorial Guinea’s public purse. He also faces money laundering charges in the United States.