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Book Review: The definitive guide to maddest politicians in Africa

Wed, 3 Dec 2014 Source: Brian OConnell and Norm Chung

The definitive guide to maddest politicians in Africa and the rest of the world

From the continent that brought such 'great' leaders such as Muammar Gaddafi, Jean-Bedel Bokassa, Charles Taylor and Idi Amin Dada, a new book has been released that clearly identifies the craziest politicians in Africa today.

From the megalomaniacs and the ideologues to the downright bloodthirsty, Africa's politicians are prominent and numerous in The Fat Boy with the Bomb and 299 of the World's Craziest Politicians, released in bookstores on the 20th of November, 2014. Equitoreal Guinea's Teodoro Obiang Mbasogo tops the list – followed by South Africa's Julius Malema and Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe. The explosive book has already been referred to by one journalist as 'The Fat Boy and 299 other libel writs'. And among the many politicians from the African continent, American-born author Brian O'Connell's picks for the top ten are:

Teodoro Obiang Mbasogo (Equitorial Guinea), "president for life" referred to by state radio as the "country's god", who regularly receives 103% at elections, accused of torture, kidnapping, solitary detention, murder and arbitrary arrest – as well as the wholesale theft of the country's oil wealth and that runs into the billions which helps to build even more lavish presidential palaces.

Julius Malema (South Africa), rabble-rousing disciple of the Zimbabwean dictatorship, who calls for white farmers to be kicked off their land and also once said "when a woman didn't enjoy it, she leaves early in the morning. Those who had a nice time will wait until the sun comes out, requests breakfast and taxi money".

Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe), who took Africa's breadbasket and turned it into a dictatorial basket-case built on torture and repression. Zimbabwe's biggest export used to be food – now it's people.

Isias Afwerki (Eritrea), the "Kim Jong-un of Africa", quoted by the Los Angeles Times as saying "people may talk about democracy, but even those who pretend to be democratic are not democratic".

Joseph Kabila (Democratic Republic of Congo), the man the Daily Mail called "Everything that's wrong with Africa rolled up into one evil package".

Ayo Fayose (Nigeria), current governor of Ekiti State in Nigeria, who personally led a gang of thugs that beat up judges.

Epafras Mukwiilongo (Namibia), who hates gays, whites and the Chinese in equal measure and has self-proclaimed himself "Commander in Chief" of his red beret-wearing "Namibian Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF)".

Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), Africa's most famous homophobe, who said of homosexuals that 'They're disgusting... I've been told recently that what they do is terrible" – and enacted the continent's strictest anti-gay laws as a result.

Goodluck Jonathan (Nigeria), who pledged to do "everything humanly possible to contain the Ebola virus", then made the decision to sack 16,000 resident doctors at the same time the country could potentially face a horrific epidemic.

Victoria Hamah (Ghana), the former Deputy Minister of Communications who wanted to bag $1 million in salary before leaving her job, who is now better known as a sex commentator and host of a show called "Chocolate Factory".

The book identifies the downright dangerous leaders, as well as the just plain stupid lawmakers from around the world, bringing together Bible-belt Americans, African dictators and neo-Nazi Europeans among the 300 in the book. The book has angered the 'Supreme Leader' of North Korea, Kim Jong-un. The cover image depicts the North Korean leader as a chubby child holding a nuclear weapon and mercilessly pokes fun at the dictator and other international leaders.

The top ten are joined by many other European and especially UK politicians profiled in the book, including French far-right politicians Jean-Marie Le Pen and Bruno Gollnisch, head of the UK Independence Party, Nigel Farage, Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, neo-nazi German Udo Voigt, Hungarian far-right MEP Krisztina Morvai, Italy's Alessandra Mussolini and Latvia's Tatyana Zhdanok, as well as plenty of politicians from the Americas, Africa, Asia and Australia.

Notes for editors

You can find more about the book on http://www.and299.com/, as well as checking out the Facebook page and Twitter feed. The Fat Boy with the Bomb and 299 of the World's Craziest Politicians by Brian O'Connell and Norm Chung is published by Myrmidon on 5th November 2014.

ISBN 9781910183090

Priced £12.99

Brian O'Connell and Norm Chung are based in Oxford and are available for interview.

High quality illustrations of politicians in the book are available.

Press contact: Kate 07973 218434

Review copies: publicity@myrmidonbooks.com

Columnist: Brian OConnell and Norm Chung