5 African Presidents Who Died While In Power

Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur with the late President Atta Mills.
Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur with the late President Atta Mills.

Sitting presidents who died in Africa

The African political scene since the attainment of independence from colonial masters has not been extremely positive as most African elections and politics have been characterized by civil wars, electoral wars and coup d’état. However, there were some presidents who weren’t removed from office through coercion but died naturally while in office. Here is a list of African presidents who lost their lives while in office.

Michael Sata, President of Zambia (2014)

Michael Sata
Michael Sata

Zambia former president, Michael Sata is one of the most recent and influential African presidents to have died while in incumbency. Michael Sata died at the age of 77 on October 28th 2014 whiles in the United Kingdom attending to his health. Although the exact cause of his death is yet to be made public, it is believed that after he won the Zambia 2011 general elections, his health began to deteriorate. This made him spend more time outside the country for medical treatments than attending to his health.

Meles Zenawi, Prime Minister of Ethiopia (2012)

Meles Zenawi
Meles Zenawi

Meles Zenawi is probably one of the longest-ruling African presidents in the history of African presidency. He ruled and led Ethiopia for more than two decades, precisely 21 years. Meles Zenawi died in August of 2012 in Belgium at the age of 57 of an undisclosed infection. Although he ruled for 21 years, he is celebrated by the people of Ethiopia for introducing a multi-party system in Ethiopia, especially in the southern part.

John Atta Mills, President of Ghana (2012)

John Atta-Mills
John Atta-Mills

The dead of the 2012 Ghana sitting president, John Atta Mills, was a big blow to the people of Ghana and foreigners alike. Unlike other sitting presidents who died in foreign countries, the former president of Ghana died in his home country Ghana. Although the exact cause of his death is yet to be known, rumours are that John Evans Atta Mills died from stroke and throat cancer at the age of 68. He won the presidential election in 2008 and was in office for only three years.

Bingu wa Mutharika, President of Malawi (2012)

Bingu wa Mutharika
Bingu wa Mutharika

The 2012 president of Malawi was particularly not famous among his people. He was widely criticized for spending a whopping amount of $ 14 million to procure a presidential private jet. Although he was infamous among his people, Bingu wa Mutharika attained success with his food and agricultural policies and initiatives. He ruled Malawi for 8years and died in 2012 two days after suffering a major heart attack.

Malam Bacai Sanha, President of Guinea-Bissau (2012)

Malam Bacai Sanha
Malam Bacai Sanha

The fourth leader to die in 2012 was Malam Bacai Sanha, the president of Guinea-Bissau. It is believed the visionary leader met his untimely demise at the hands of diabetes. Just like most of his colleagues, he died in Paris while attending to his health.