British peer says the prize of new leadership in Zimbabwe and South Africa is enormous


0

A British peer says President Robert Mugabe has stayed in power too long and the prize of a new leadership in Zimbabwe as well as South Africa where President Jacob Zuma is the most disastrous and destructive president is enormous.

Speaking in the House of Lords in a debate on the recent Commonwealth Summit Lord St John Blesto said he hoped that Zimbabwe would rejoin the Commonwealth, from which it pulled out more than a decade ago, once there is a new leadership.

Mugabe turns 92 in two months and has been in power since 1980, first as Prime Minister and then as President.

His Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front party has just endorsed him as the presidential candidate for 2018 when he will be 94, though he is already showing signs that age is fast catching up with him.

The British peer also lamented what was happening in South Africa describing President Jacob Zuma  as the most disastrous and destructive president.

“We all had great expectations for the rainbow nation under the admirable leadership of Nelson Mandela but, sadly, Jacob Zuma has been the most disastrous and destructive President,” he said.

“His move last week to remove the Finance Minister, who rightly vetoed yet another of his extravagances, is typical of his autocratic and irresponsible leadership. This has not just led to a dramatic collapse in the South African rand; over the last five years, we have seen a huge drop in inward investment into that country, which relies on foreign direct investment to promote sustainable development.

“President Zuma’s poor governance has given the country an uncertain future. Equally, Robert Mugabe, who is now well into his 90s, has been clinging to power in Zimbabwe for far too long. The prize of new leadership in Zimbabwe and South Africa is enormous. When this happens, I hope that Zimbabwe will rejoin the Commonwealth.”

 

Full contribution:

 

Lord St John of Bletso Crossbench– My Lords, I join in thanking my noble friend Lord Luce for taking this opportunity yet again to discuss the value of the Commonwealth and the outcome of the recent CHOGM. That meeting had many successes and certainly raised many challenges. One of the great successes was the establishment of the Commonwealth climate finance access hub, which was timely ahead of the COP 21 meeting in Paris. The CHOGM was also timely because it was ahead of this week’s WTO meeting in Nairobi, where the Commonwealth Secretariat and the United Nations conference on trade met to address trade and development issues.

In my limited time I want to touch on two issues: good governance and trade. Some 60% of the members of the Commonwealth are made up of young people, and the biggest challenge many of those people will face is spiralling unemployment in their countries of origin and the desperate need for foreign direct investment. To quote from one of the many press releases:

“The global community is now tasked with translating the aspirations”, of the SDGs, “into practical action, including within the realm of … policymaking”.

On the issue of good governance, I have become increasingly alarmed by current developments in South Africa, which has for many years been a key member of the Commonwealth. We all had great expectations for the rainbow nation under the admirable leadership of Nelson Mandela but, sadly, Jacob Zuma has been the most disastrous and destructive President. His move last week to remove the Finance Minister, who rightly vetoed yet another of his extravagances, is typical of his autocratic and irresponsible leadership. This has not just led to a dramatic collapse in the South African rand; over the last five years, we have seen a huge drop in inward investment into that country, which relies on foreign direct investment to promote sustainable development. President Zuma’s poor governance has given the country an uncertain future. Equally, Robert Mugabe, who is now well into his 90s, has been clinging to power in Zimbabwe for far too long. The prize of new leadership in Zimbabwe and South Africa is enormous. When this happens, I hope that Zimbabwe will rejoin the Commonwealth.

Finally, I hope that progress can be achieved on removing trade barriers in Africa to create a truly African continental free-trade area. This would be a catalyst to boost trade substantially between African countries, of which 17 are members of the Commonwealth. The value and future of Commonwealth trade is well documented in the secretariat’s trade report. I have always been a great and firm supporter of the value of the Commonwealth in jointly tackling all the challenges as one big family. In this respect I am glad that in her inspired new appointment, the noble and learned Baroness, Lady Scotland, can now drive these initiatives forward.

(181 VIEWS)

Don't be shellfish... Please SHARETweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Email this to someone
email
Print this page
Print

Like it? Share with your friends!

0
Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

0 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *