President Mbeki of South Africa belongs to the generation of leaders who worked with Nelson Mandela to create a democratic nation in which all parties shared common rights of competing in the marketplace of ideas. Mbeki can not plead ignorance of the past nor can he claim lack of knowledge as to what occurs to a society when its leaders use thugs to enforce the laws in order to retain power. Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of Zimbabwe’s Orange Democratic Movement, blasted Mbeki for his failure to aid the oppressed peope of Zimbabwe. He asked Mbeki to step down from the role of serving as a mediator in the political conflicts that have been raging for years. “The reasons are obvious,” said the Zimbabwean leader, “it’s nine years the crisis in Zimbabwe has been going on endlessly, people are dying in Zimbabwe.” Tsvangirai expressed his appreciation to the South African president, but urged new leadership in the effort to restore democracy to his nation.
Tsvangirai was being polite when he noted it was time for Mbeki to get off the stage of politics. President Mbeki had the nerve to claim there were no problems in Zimbabwe and everything was under control by his buddy, President Mugabe. At this moment, hundreds of police and thugs are wandering the countryside of Zimbabwe beating up supporters of Tsvangirai and making it clear to one and all there is only one way to vote-for Mugabe or else. Mbeki’s own party, the African National Congress has attacked his weak stand on the Zimbabwe issue.