Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Keep Mandela's Dream Alive, President Zuma

Keep Mandela’s dream alive, President Zuma

The Uganda Monitor
Apr 27, 2009 - 6:24:29 AM

South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC) has won the country’s election with a decisive 65.9 per cent, making Jacob Zuma the country’s next President.

According to a BBC report, the polls were highly successful and “The excitement and enthusiasm of voters had reminded everyone of the country’s first democratic elections in 1994”. This euphoria has everything do with the background and character of the man who will be sworn in as President in two week’s time.

Zuma undoubtedly has a commanding appeal among the majority poor who identify with his humble background. Having joined the anti-apartheid struggle at a young age and spending 10 years in prison with Nelson Mandela, Zuma is considered one of the faces of the liberation struggle.

The President-elect now has the enormous task of turning this convincing victory into convincing achievement by confronting the daunting challenges he faces courageously.

To achieve this, Zuma has to rise above the persistent allegations of corruption and sex scandals that has tainted his image and also created divisions in the ANC, led to the resignation of Thabo Mbeki as President and consequently split the party.

As President, Zuma must embark on strengthening ANC and tackling the country’s problems such as poverty, crime and a glaring income gap between the haves and have-nots.

Zuma must ensure that the emerging divisions in the ANC does not kill the dream of Nelson Mandela – a man revered worldwide as a self-respecting statesman. Mandela once said that he dreams of a united Africa whose leaders combine their efforts to solve the continent’s problems. That is the same dream he has for South Africa and the fact that Mandela endorsed Zuma was an indication that he trusts Zuma to carry this dream forward.

Zuma says his priority is to unite the country. That is a positive step if he is to build a strong ANC that will outlive Mandela and many future generations.

For most of Africa– where elections are always marred by massive vote rigging should pick a leaf from South Africa and clean up their electoral processes.

If African governments are serious about the need for peaceful, democratic, representative elections, we can all achieve the standards that south Africa has set.

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