Mobutu Sese Seko Biography
(President of Zaire (1965 - 1997))
Birthday: October 14, 1930 (Libra)
Born In: Lisala, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Mobutu Sese Seko was the military dictator who presided over the Democratic Republic of the Congo for over three decades after seizing power in 1965. His rule is best described as 'kleptocracy' with rampant corruption and nepotism plaguing all sectors. During his reign, Congo also suffered from widespread human rights violations. Mobutu’s military career began when his mischievous behaviour as a student landed him there as a punishment. In his spare time in the army, he started developing his writing skills, which soon paved the way for him to reach politically impactful position by climbing ranks. From a sergeant, he became Patrice Lumumba's secretary, and then the Army Chief of Staff. He executed two coups, which changed the political landscape of Congo with him becoming the head of the state. He changed Congo's name to Zaire, and started calling himself Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga. He accumulated vast personal wealth, estimated between $4 billion and $15 billion, to support his extravagant lifestyle while the country faced a severe economic crisis and extreme poverty. He had considerable support from the west and China. After his rule was uprooted, he fled to Morocco where he succumbed to prostate cancer. According to Transparency International, he is ranked as the most corrupt African leader and the third-most corrupt leader in the world since 1984.