Five Presidents who employed their children to work for them
Being president of a country is the peak aspiration for many politicians across the world.
For its attached power and influence, many politicians seek this role to have a substantial impact on policy decisions and shape the nation’s future.
Some politicians seek to serve their country and believe that becoming president is the highest form of public service and leadership; while for others, seeking the presidency is driven by personal ambition or the desire for recognition.
In many countries across the world, many presidents have battled accusations of nepotism – hiring their children and relatives- to work for them.
For some leaders, they believe that family members are more loyal and trustworthy compared to strangers while for others, its simple favoritism at the expense of more qualified candidates for government positions.
However, this is not a legal issue in many countries, it is an ethics issue. If the relative is found to be qualified for the position and went through due process, then they are allowed to carry out their duties but in some countries, simply being a child of the president, a cousin to his spouse, an in-law to their children or even distant cousins is the only qualifying factor needed to secure top government positions.
Nairobi News brings you five presidents who were known to hire their children to work for them in their offices:
- Rwanda President Paul Kagame- In 2023, President Kagame’s son joined his Presidential Guard in the Rwanda Defense Force, three months after joining the army. He now protects his father as a bodyguard. Earlier this week, President Kagame appointed his daughter, Ange, as the Deputy Executive Director, Strategy and Policy Council at the Office of the President.
- Uganda President Yoweri Museveni- President Museveni appointed his son, Muhoozi Kainerugaba as the General of the Land Forces. This is in addition to his son’s role as the Senior Presidential Advisor for Special Operations.
- Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera- In 2021, President Chakwera appointed his daughter, Violet, as his Personal Assistant in the Office of the President and then forwarded her to work with her mother, First Lady Monica Chakwera.
- Gabon President Ali Bongo Ondimba- In 2019, President Bongo appointed his eldest son, Noureddin Bongo Valentin, as the Coordinator of Presidential Affairs, a specially created position for him. This caused uproar in the country, forcing the President to defend his son as a competent aide.
- Former America president Donald Trump- The one time President (2017-2021) unofficially appointed his daughter, Ivanka Trump, as a Presidential Advisor focusing on education and economic empowerment of women and their families. Alongside her husband, Jared Kushner, they carried out roles within the West Wing to the chagrin of Americans and Democrats. Eventually, interventions had to be undertaken to stop President Trump from making the appointments official.