Tuesday, September 23, 2008
President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa offered to step down as the President of South Africa on 21/09/2008. The events surrounding his resignation are not the purpose of this post. Rather, I would like to pay tribute to President Mbeki for his outstanding performance as a true African statesman, visionary and an intellectual.
To me, President Mbeki shall remain a true African statesman who not just wanted to please the West in his foreign policy but instead spearheaded “African solutions to African problems”. The formation of a unity government in Zimbabwe by Comrade Mugabe and Mr Tsvangirai bears testimony to the resilience and patience of President Mbeki. When some were proposing that sanctions and diplomatic isolation were a ‘solution’ to the problems of Zimbabwe, Mr Mbeki and other African patriots saw the need for continued diplomacy which eventually paid dividends. In addition to this, to show his true statesmanship, President Thabo Mbeki has ‘without any qualms’ offered to step down when others would have not done so.
I also salute Mr Mbeki for his vision of an African Renaissance. Through this vision, the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) was formed. Moreover, Mr Mbeki has also persistently advocated for the transformation of Africa. He has always advocated for Africans to be proud of who we are as a people. His poems such as "I am an African" are testimony to this. I for one am a proud Malawian who is also very proud to be African. Mr Mbeki’s writings always give me inspiration.
We love you, Thabo Mbeki. You are a true African statesman and you are my hero! Do not worry, Mr Mbeki, for we surely know that those that have plotted your 'fall' shall surely fall by the same sword they have used.