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7 prominent African political figures implicated in sleazy scandals

Some African politicians are far from the epitome of morality and can be downright crass in their sexual behaviour. South Africa’s Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is feeling the heat after emails were leaked which allege extramarital affairs with several women. Let’s look at some of the more glaring public showcases of this on the continent.



Leaders worldwide seem to have a penchant for deviant behaviour despite their duty to uphold the moral standards of the societies they represent. Some African politicians however are a breed all on their own. With a blatant disregard for the law, which their positions afford they get implicated in morally corrupt conduct and heinous cases of sexual assault.

South Africa’s Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is feeling the heat after emails were leaked, which allege extramarital affairs with several women. As Ramaphosa’s scandal unfolds, we look at some prominent political figures across the continent caught in sleazy scandals.

Here are some African politicians that show how power can be misused:

1.) Following the death of then Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s first wife Susan in a car accident in 2009, Tsvangirai got entangled in numerous controversial love affairs . Tsvangirai rode out a disorienting storm prompted by his estranged “wife” Locardia Karimatsenga Tembo in her bid to stop his wedding to Elizabeth Macheka (daughter of Zanu PF central committee member and former Chitungwiza mayor Joseph Macheka). Reports that he allegedly fathered a child with Loreta Nyathi also made headlines.


A South African woman, Nosipho Regina Shilubane, popped up from out of the blue, claiming she had also been promised marriage by the prime minister; hence wanting his wedding to Macheka stopped until the air was cleared.

2.) South African President Jacob Zuma, is one of those politicians always in the headlines for one scandal or the other. In 2006 he was acquitted by the Johannesburg High Court after rape accusations. President Zuma was accused of raping the now late Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo, known to the public as Khwezi. This is the case that earned Zuma his nickname “shower head” as he claimed that he had taken a shower after having “sex” with Kuzwayo.

Read: TIA room for debate: “Corrupt of not, paint Zuma with his clothes on” Vs. “Zuma deserves to be painted naked!”

The president again made headlines in 2011 after reports that he had impregnated his friend and Orlando Pirates boss Irvin Khoza’s daughter. In a statement, he confirmed the relationship with Sonono Khoza. He said he had taken responsibility for his actions by doing “the necessary cultural imperatives in a situation of this nature, for example the formal acknowledgment of paternity and responsibility, including the payment of inhlawulo to the family.”

President Jacob Zuma in the National Assembly at the State of the Nation Debate in 2016. Photo: Ashraf Hendricks/GroundUp

3.) It might come as a surprise but Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe makes it on to our list. President Mugabe is reported to have had an illicit relationship with then Secretary Grace Mugabe (née Marufu) while Sally Mugabe lay on her deathbed. Mugabe then married her at a lavish ceremony in 1996. Grace was previously married to Stanley Goreraza — an ex-Air Force pilot-cum-intelligence officer. Grace and Goreraza had a son Russel — before her official marriage to Mugabe. Mugabe and Grace have three children — Bona, named after Mugabe’s mother, Robert Junior and Chatunga Bellarmine. Bona was born when Sally was still alive but battling with a kidney problem before succumbing to the ailment in January 1992.

Read: Zimbabwe’s First Lady Grace Mugabe to appear in court for assaulting a model in South Africa


4.) Kenyan Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho kept sultry KTN news anchor Betty Kyalo as his mistress despite her marriage to Nation TV’s Dennis Okari. Due to all the parties being high profile and prominent individuals the scandal raged on for quite some time. It is even rumoured that the politician paid for the couple’s one month honeymoon to Dubai without the grooms knowledge.

5.) Ugandan Oyam north county representative, Ayena Odongo was caught-up in a sex-scandal. A sex-tape which is allegedly his, was spread all over the media and still shoots from the tape printed in the “Red Pepper” a Ugandan tabloid.

6.) Nigerian Senator Bukar Ibrahim was caught on camera with two women after introducing Sharia law in his region. Ibrahim, who represents Yobe East Senatorial District was seen in the scandalous video getting dressing in the presence of two women, presumably after sex. Ibrahim, a Muslim, is married to three wives: Hajiya (Dr) Maryam Abba Ibrahim, Hajiya Aishatu Ibrahim and Hajiya Khadijat Ibrahim.

7.) President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) reportedly fired then deputy minister of posts, telecommunications and information technology Enock Ruberangabo Sebineza, 54, after a video of him masturbating in his office went viral. Sebineza was captured in a nearly five minute video in his office, prompting national outrage in the hugely Christian country.