In Africa south of the Sahara, the despots know how to remain in power: arrest anyone who washes videos of the protests in Tunisia and Egypt; rig the elections: or if you lose, refuse to give up the office of “President for Life.”
In Zimbabwe, several people, students, trade unionists, and political activists gathered to watch videos of the protests going on in Africa north of the Sahara were arrested by President Mugabe’s police. The meeting was illegal because apparently the videos might have motivated the participants to overthrow the legal government of Zimbabwe (in other words, no body was gonna get rid of Mugabe like they got rid of the tyrants in Tunisia and Egypt). A law professor at the University of Zimbabwe who was arrested with his students alleged he was tortured.
In Uganda, the ruler for 25 years, President Museveni, won another five year term. How does he do it? Buy votes, establish personal patronage networks, and make sure you reward the military officers, cabinet members, and ministers in your government so that will not kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. In other words, keep enough people happy and they won’t see you as a tyrant but as a benefactor.
If all else fails, do as the president of the Ivory Coast in West Africa is doing: if you loose the presidential election, simply refuse to give up the presidency.
The dudes in North Africa could take a few lessons from those south of the Sahara.