The Bad, The Good, the Fake…
President Charles King Of Liberia
The beleaguered country of Liberia has had more than its fair share of tyrants and Charles Taylor was not the first of the tyrannical Charlies.
In the Guinness Book of World Records is listed, President Charles King of Liberia, for conducting what has been termed the most fraudulent election ever, in history, having won the 1927 election with an earth-shaking 234,000 votes in a country with 15,000 registered voters!
Thomas Faulkner, who ‘lost’ the elections, polled 9,000 votes, according to the results. However, President King was forced to resign three years later, when impeachment proceedings against him, began.
The Overthrow Of Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah
February 24, 1966
Ghanaian legend and that country’s founding father, Osagyefo, Kwame Nkrumah, received news of his overthrow by soldiers, in faraway China. He was playing the role of world statesman and was in that country on the invitation of its leader, Chairman Mao Tse Tung, in an effort to resolve the Vietnamese crisis.
Dr. Kwame Nkrumah had a big dream for his country, Ghana and particularly, for a united, strong and prosperous Africa, which he worked tirelessly towards, alongside other progressive African leaders, before his great dream was cut short by reactionary soldiers that overthrew him in a military coup.
President Jimmy Carter of the United States
1977 – 1981
James Earl Carter Jr. was the 39th president of the United States of America and is highly regarded as a global statesman, role model and one of the world’s most decent, most respected and most loved politicians. He has held every enviable political position, from senator of his home state of Georgia, (1963 – 1967) to the 76th Governor of Georgia, (1971 –1975) before becoming president. But it is for his philanthropy that he is most noted.
Born on October 1, 1924, Jimmy Carter would be 95 years old within the next few days. But each day, with his wife, Rosalynn Carter, 91, they still build homes for people through Habitat for Humanity – among his several other charities, like the guinea worm eradication programme – which they have personally travelled the world, especially Africa, to deliver.
Since leaving office almost 40 years ago, the former president has been more concerned about the plight of the poor, rather than enjoying his well-deserved retirement. He has never been a man concerned with amassing, or building wealth.
President Jose Mujica Of Uruguay
2010 – 2015
Jose Alberto ‘Pepe’ Mujica Cordano, served his country, Uruguay, as its 40th president, but was known and widely regarded as the ‘world’s poorest president’, for his spartan lifestyle, yet Mujica, a former guerrilla of the Tupamaros, had been Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries, from 2005 to 2008 and a senator, afterwards, before winning the 2009 presidential election.
Pictured (above) with his world-famous, 1987 Volkswagen Beetle car, which also served as his official car and, indeed, only means of transportation, Jose Mujica declared, “I am called the world’s poorest president, but I don’t feel poor. Poor people are those who only work to try to keep an expensive lifestyle and always want more.”
In 2010, when Mujica was sworn in as president, his Beetle car represented, for him, “the entirety of the mandatory, annual personal wealth declaration”. At the time, the car was worth just a paltry $1,800. He was offered a million dollars for it, according to ‘Busqueda’, a Uruguayan newspaper. But Mujica declared that even if he accepted the money, he would commit it to housing the homeless, a charity programme that he supports.
As head of state, he donated as much as 90 per cent of his $12,000 monthly salary to charities that benefit the poor and small entrepreneurs. Now 84, Jose Mujica lives with his wife, Lucia Topolansky, on the outskirts of Montivideo, along with his three-legged dog. They have no children and interestingly, the man is an atheist.
Photo Credits: Charles King, PhotoGrid; Kwame Nkrumah Nkrumah, think.com.gh; Jimmy Carter, Courtesy, Paul May; Jose Mujica, voanews.com; Jose Mujica and Lucia Topolansky, Courtesy, wikipedia.org