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Chissano Urges African Leaders Not to Overstay in Power

Former Mozambican president Joachim Chissano

Former Mozambican president Joachim Chissano says African leaders should not overstay in office as this compromises good governance and democratic reforms in most nations.

Mr. Chissano told more than 600 delegates Friday attending the Annual General Meeting and Conference of the Southern African Development Community Lawyers Association that some African leaders want to die in office once they are elected by the people.

He said this resulted in serious corruption in other countries and lack of transparency in running governments.

Mr. Chissano, who was the Mozambican president from 1986 to 2005, is credited with transforming the war-torn country into one of the most successful African democracies.

He is a recipient of the Mo Ibrahim Award for promoting good governance in Africa. His former counterpart, President Robert Mugabe, has been in power for more than 34 years.

The overall meeting and conference theme is “Strengthening the Rule of Law and Good Governance in the SADC Region: A Call for Transparent Government and Accountable Leadership”.

One of the delegates, Zimbabwe Chimbga of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, said Chissano’s remarks were warmly welcomed by the SADC lawyers at the conference, which ends Saturday.