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Leaders must learn from Mandela


In his decades spent fighting for freedom and equality, Nelson Mandela inspired and challenged the world to stand up for others.

NewsDay Editorial

His passing on Thursday led to an outpouring of mourning and praise from politicians across parties and across the country.

We believe those same people would do well to study Mandela’s life and career to understand some deep truths about the art of politics.

An inspiration to many, Mandela was a man of many achievements — from the creation of Umkhonto we Sizwe to winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

He was a father not only to South Africa, a hero to politicians and everything to black people.

We wish our political leaders could borrow a leaf from the legacy that Mandela has left.

In particular, President Robert Mugabe (89) and many others in Africa should emulate Mandela, a leader who was peerless in his sacrifice, courage and commitment to changing not only a nation, but the world.

There is no doubt that the former President of post-apartheid South Africa transcended himself for the sake of those around him.

It is his deep wisdom and selflessness, yet humaneness that will continue to inspire the world, not less Zimbabwe.

Mugabe in his condolence message to South Africa President Jacob Zuma described Mandela as a great icon of African liberation, freedom fighter and that his renowned and illustrious political life, would forever remain a beacon of excellence.

We believe Mugabe should think seriously about the legacy that he will leave after his departure if he does not play ball and allow the country to move on during his lifetime.

Zimbabwe is currently going through a rough economic patch that has a potential to reverse the gains brought about by the inclusive government.

But with his recent electoral victory over the MDC-T’s Morgan Tsvangirai, he does not seem to realise the country simply requires leadership renewal for economic progress.

Yet it is about time to ease the financial crunch aggravated by his continued hold on power.

We believe it is time like these that astute leaders must take stock and look back to see whether it is still necessary for them to remain in power.

If a leader cannot be inspired by Mandela’s experience what else will? The man spent 27 years in jail, but when he was released, he was to rule his country for just one five-year term and handed over power even though he could seek another term.

After 33 years in power, Mugabe should put mechanisms in place to ensure the void that he will leave will not create chaos in the country.

At least Mandela was humble enough to see his country prosper under other’s leadership.

Will Mugabe and his Zanu PF learn a thing or two from the selfless Mandela for the good of the country?

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