Sese-Seko-Kuku-Ngbeandu-Wa-Za-Banga Mobutu (1930-1997) assumed the presidency by coup, and created a unitary state under his centralized government.
He abolished secret voting in elections in 1976 in favour of a system of acclamation at mass rallies. His personal wealth is estimated at $3-4 billion, and more money is spent on the presidency than on the entire social-services budget. The harshness of some of his policies has attracted widespread international criticism.
In 1991 opposition leaders forced Mobutu to agree formally to give up some of his powers, but the president continued to oppose constitutional reform initiated by his prime minister, Etienne Tshisekedi.
His decision in January 1993 to pay his regular army with near worthless banknotes resulted in mutiny and widespread rioting in the capital, causing French and Belgium governments to intervene to protect their civilians.
Why is Mobutu Sese Seko famous?
Mobutu Sese Seko was a Zairean president from 1965.