I'm looking forward to stepping down - Tanzanian leader

2015-04-08 16:31
Jakaya Kikwete. (AFP: File)

Jakaya Kikwete. (AFP: File)

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Cape Town – Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete has reportedly described his presidential job as "stressful and thankless", saying he can't wait to step down when his tenure comes to an end in October.

According to The Telegraph, Kikwete said two terms were enough for him and that he was looking forward to stepping down.

"After 10 years, you need to move on. It's been 10 years since I came to this high profile office... I was very young, just 55. But what I can tell you about this job is that it is stressful and thankless," Kikwete was quoted as saying during a speech at the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars in Washington DC.

Kikwete, 64, became Tanzania's fourth president in 2005 and his second and final term is scheduled to end in October.

Kikwete's ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party has been in power since independence in 1961, and holds two-thirds of seats in the assembly.

Deadly protests

Having served two terms in power, Kikwete cannot run again, according to the country's constitution.

Kikwete's remarks come at a time when a number of African leaders are making moves to cling to power, with some trying to extend their tenures beyond constitutional limits.  

Deadly protests broke out in the Democratic Republic of Congo in January over opposition fears that President Joseph Kabila was trying to extend his stay in power.

Reports in February also indicated that Burundi's president Pierre Nkurunziza would  bid for a third term in June elections if selected by his party, defying campaigners who said such a move would violate the country's constitution and risk violence.

Other African leaders like Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and Guinea's Teodoro Obiang Nguema have ruled for decades.

Mugabe is the only leader that Zimbabweans have known since the country’s independence from Britain 35 years ago.

Angola’s Eduardo dos Santos has been in power since 1979, whilst Uganda’s Yoweri Musaveni has been in office since 1986.

However, Nigeria's Goodluck Jonathan set a strong example to Africa when he conceded defeat to his rival Muhammadu Buhari following a hotly contested presidential election.

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