Mbeki’s Resignation: Lessons for African Leaders
The outgoing South African President Thabo Mbeki succumbed to pressure from the ruling party’s National Executive Committee to step down. Mbeki's willingness to give up the reins without a fight is not only a demonstration of putting national interest before personal gain but also a sign of his maturity as an African leader.
His resignation highlights the political system in South Africa where institutions are independent and respected. African leaders must respect institutions without influencing their decisions. They ought to respect the voters since they are the givers of power. This is the only way democracy will flourish in the continent.
Mbeki’s belief in homegrown solutions to African problems was demonstrated through his participation in Zimbabwe, Sudan, Burundi, the DRC and Liberia crises. African leaders should follow suit and moderate in crisis hit areas in the continent until amicable resolutions are reached.
Mbeki's departure as South Africa's president however might stall or delay power sharing talks between Zimbabwe’s political opponents, weakening the power-sharing momentum. It is upon another African leader to pick up from where Mbeki left for long lasting peace to be realised in Zimbabwe.
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