Zuma is right: African leaders must rise to the challenges

I am very sure that many Africans, especially those affected by the South African xenophobia and afrophobia would not want to be told that President Jacob Zuma of South Africa could be right on something, at least not now.



However, having gone through the speech President Zuma gave during the commemoration of South Africa’s Freedom Day on April 27 2015, I am compelled to applaud him for acknowledging the need for the African Union to live up to its mandate and “promote peace, stability and democracy…to reduce the need for people to migrate to the South.”

Zuma also called for “the promotion of intra-Africa trade, regional integration, infrastructure and other economic interventions” to improve African economic status and politics.

I believe it is high time that Africans brought their leaderships, especially the African Union to book. When you spread your eyes across the African continent, you will understand that the South African xenophobia is not the problem, on the contrary, it is only a result of the problem.

The African continent is rocked from coast to coast with a pandemic of uncontrollable and illegal migration of thousands of African economic migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. While South Africa is struggling to cope with the influx of migrants down South, Italy and the European Union are struggling with same up North, along the shores of the Mediterranean.

With Libya politically and economically destabilized after the death of Muammar Gaddaffi in 2011, the Libyan shore along the Mediterranean has become a very porous border through which poverty and war-stricken Libyans and several African migrants from Eritrea, Ghana, Nigeria, Gambia, Mali and other African countries have been fleeing to Europe through the Mediterranean waters. Unfortunately, the Mediterranean has become a death trap for the migrants, as thousands continue to drown especially since last year causing a serious humanitarian crisis, which the European Union (EU) is struggling to handle.

Recently, the EU held an emergency summit in Brussels on April 23, where they agreed upon a ten-point action plan to contain the Mediterranean crisis. But when one analyses the points, and the words of the leaders of the EU countries like the British Prime Minister David Cameron, who did not hesitate to hint that the rescued migrants do not have guaranteed asylum and stay beyond the European borders, it is easy to notice that the EU is mainly interested in protecting its borders and destroy the migrants smuggling network on the Mediterranean waters.

Therefore, the real solution lies within African leadership. After all, the perishing migrants are Africans that are escaping from problems created by African leadership. The migration crisis is rooted in the very failure of African governments to bring political stability and economic opportunities to the African people.

Africans have only reaped from the democracy they had so much idealised, chronic poverty, institutionalized corruption, political instability and civil wars. And even when they have had enough, and begin to run away from their homes in search of greener pastures in the better South Africa and across the Mediterranean, to the better Europe, the very leaders that have failed them don’t really care that thousands are drowning up North, and some are butchering each other down South.

There is no bold and policy-based action taken on national, regional, and continental levels of African leadership, to curb the migration crisis, pacify the war-stricken nations, and economically empower the African people.

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28 thoughts on “Zuma is right: African leaders must rise to the challenges”

  1. cash gate says:

    Koma Ine Ndikuganiza Kuti A Zuma Anena Zowona, Vuto Tilinalo Ku Malawi Ndi Atsogoleri Athu Ndi A Nkhanza, Alibe Maganizo Ofuna Kutukula Anthu Awo, Amangokhala Busy Kudzikundikira Chuma Basi

  2. MELINDA says:


  3. oneil says:

    african leaders won’t change, opp parties, rights bodies, ngos cant stop these arrogant leaders. so the citizenry must act fast be4 it gets worse. but zuma is not very wrong, let mw govt authorize ur stay in jonz as wel as the SA govt or u wil always be culprits there hence the xenos

  4. kambuku says:

    xenophobia simaona kuti uli ndi zoenereza,kaya uli ndi mkazi ndi ana,if you are a foreghnr umenyedwa basi .ID , permit, marriege certficate etc sizigwira ntchito. a Joza umbuli bwanji?

  5. Chris luka says:

    Mukunena kuti wacita zolondola bcoz inuyo muli passport komanso simungakwanitse ,ndiye zimene mukunenanzo ndi zopusa bwanji sanje ndi azanu amene amakwanitsa maloto awo zopusa basi

  6. Moses E kakhobwe says:

    That’s true Mr Zuma

  7. Jozza says:

    Zuma is rt take his point, he says the xenophobic attack was bad but that was not a problem but a result of some problems in Africa, let’s wake up and deal with the problem ‘root cause analysis theory’ can assist. Let Mw b habitable for all then the poor will not go out, note most of the victims r poor mwians. The rule is go to a foreign country with all needed documents, not wat we do just going to Jon without MW knowledge or SA

  8. torilo says:

    Zuma is true

  9. George Lihoma. says:

    Zuma is right but not too right. WHY? Timing. Mtsogoleri siumadikila kuti ena afe kaye nde uzilankhula zokonza koma kali kachipongwenso pang’ono. Zuma and even Malema(though they parted)are too happy with all these coz they had planned it long time back koma amasowa wolimba mtima kuyambitsa ngati Zwelithini. Zuma as President hasn’t done enough to curb this violence but has the powers. Zwelithini wasanduka president wa one party state of RSA to dictate government business, and the foreign Ambassadors will have no time for Trade+Industry relations. Azipititsa fans ku Hq kwake akawaone+kuwavomereza. What a waste of time. Remember Inkatha? It was started and based in his jurisdiction. Now is black foreigners, next six months will be Indians, next year June will be Afrikaners, lastly Xhosas versus Zulus. South Africa yatha baasi.Watch this space.Hahahahahaha!

  10. The Truthful One from the West says:

    Malawi’s major problem is government failure to promote non partisan debate on how to take the country forward. It is really unfortunate that the DPP regimes have promoted and nursed nepotism and tribalism in appointments in the public service.

  11. Sayimoni bayisikolo says:

    So you mean South Africa only need light skinned immigrants not their fellow blacks?So South Africa do not have immigration dept to deal with illegal issues instead the Zulu thugs should be going into streets sinking knives into helpless illegal immigrants.For your information didn’t you know Europe benefitted alot from Africa from all sorts of resources and its even benefitting alot from the Africa?For your information Gadaffi was killed by the west.The whole move was organised by the west to kill Gadaffi.Libya was not poor to compare with some countries in the west.The west wants Africans to be crawling to them like they are small gods looking into the stupidity of most african leaders.Its time all African countries became united for one cause of ending poverty.As the great Mandela used to say that Poverty is not disease by its a social injustice systemically perpetrated by a certain class of people in a society.

  12. K k k says:

    Zuma is completely wrong that’s not the way to defend himself ok if such is a case y do we have law enforcers,courts en home affairs ? Should we feel something bad then take the law into our hands? Y did the police on the day of demos were deployed all over? Every1 has right to have life regardless a foregner or a citizen so Mr zuma you are stupid we have your people here in malawi should we kill them ? Guys the problem also lies in the has of our greedy politicians who just use our tax money in making themselves rich!infact on our own we can’t make something here in malawi ntchito nzosowa,geni kuchuluka misonkho akuba mkati.now u zuma u should not comparing this xeno with immigrants flock to Italy. See here it was America that fought with Gaddafi then people are helpless there that’s y they are seeking greener pastures had it been our hero was not killed Libya would hav been the richest african country but see what obama en his friend did to our hero

  13. Dr Moo Tha Leeker says:

    First and foremost we need forward looking and selfless leadership to govern malawi with some doses of dictatorship. You see we are failing to develop coz we interpret wrongly the word democracy. To some democracy is free to loot, free not to work, free not to think, free to fuck and die of STIs, free to oppress or marginalize other tribes (tribalism like being practiced by Pita), etc In the process Malawi is a disorderly nation and the system is rotten from head to tail. We spent millions on pettiest issues that do not add value to the country. Yes am talking of issuez like graffit, forming cultural groups which later on turn into employment bureaus like Mulhakho wa Alhomwe, lying and ruling the nation with impunity. Appointing headless chickens to run affairz of this country. The end result is the chaos we are seeing. No direction

  14. johnM says:

    We have no right to tell the South African Government what to do. Especially when our Governments are giving away K 6 billion to their fellow cronies (the likes of Mulli). That is why the country never develops

  15. nsonga ciswe says:

    Sakunama ngakhale nayeso amawabera ndlama za ma mansion azikazake.sikisi ngacani osewo? EE NDE nciunotu. It looks dirty

  16. chejali says:

    Amalawi kusakonda anthu awo ndiye vuto sibwezi titaphedwa ichikkhalaa kuti malaawi immaalemmeza anthu awo

  17. Dr Mbewe says:

    The gentleman is right. African leaders should do more to create conducive environment that promote generation of employment in African countries. Look at Malawi leadership involved in plunder of public funds in cash gate. Zuma is right.

  18. Achimidzimidzi says:

    You Sibande, you are as stupid as Zuma.

    Be it illegal or legal no one can just kill a person because he/she is found in your country.

    In Malawi being a poorest country in the world but we still get illegal immigrants doing businesses. Chinese being richest country in the world has citizens in Africa and Malawi in particular.
    After all South Africans have the final say when employing people. Let them employ no foreigners.

    Just compensate the victims. It seems Zuma wants to push the blame on us. The bottom line is that our people were killed by the government of South Africa.

  19. zoona says:

    Truth hurts!!

  20. ujeni says:

    Zuma is absolutely right, after all he is first and foremost President of South Africa not Malawi and he was elected by South Africans and he was speaking to his fellow countrymen and not Malawi. Get angry with your elected leaders in your country not Zuma. Zuma is not elected to create jobs for Malawians, no.

  21. Vyanje says:

    South Africa has the right to grant or deny entry to visitors and job / opportunity seekers just like any other sovereign state. It has to guard jealously its security on behalf of its future generations…for whom it had to fight apartheid with, of cause, the help from its African brothers and sisters.
    Zimbabwe did it in 1980, 81, 82. While Harare encountered massive exodus from hardcore Rhodesians, it welcomed services of experienced manpower from other countries to impart skills to upcoming Zimbabweans. They also sent back migrants that did not comply to the rules. Harare nipped the problem in the bud at its tender stage of independence unlike South Africa whose rainbow honeymoon nurtured illegal practices.
    You just don’t wake up in Blantyre one morning and dream of freely walking down the streets of New York job hunting without ‘papers’…America, the biggest democracy in the world with our Obama at the helm, will throw you out!
    Back home, what are all these bigbrains…village elders, chiefs, inkosis, councillors, MPs, PhDs. prophets and professors doing to curb migration of these youngsters to foreign lands where they end up brutalised and murdered by Zulu impis?
    The cost of repatriation, administration of the repatriation and more so our dignity is higher that any envisaged reparation. As to date not a single penny has yet been received from the ex-Wenela miners éxgratia claims from SA.
    I overhead some Israeli tourists lamenting…’ If only Malawi were Israel ‘.

  22. Kulibe kantu says:

    Sibande, migration is a universal phenomenon. Migration is as old as man himself. Do you know that people started to be controlled in terms of their movements when countries got independence? That is when many governments came up with IDs and passports. before that, people were just moving freely in search of greener pastures. That is why many Malawians left to look for jobs in other countries such as Zambia, Zimbabawe and South Africa.
    Migration whether illegal or legal will NEVER STOP. Even here in Malawi will have foreign nationals who have made Malawi their home. The reality is that it is difficult to control migration no matter how strict you may be. The US government has failed to control the mexicians. They just enter in their hundreds.
    People choose where they want to live.

    In Economics we say countries that pay well will attract labour. Hence, the pull of people to RSA. Whether you like it or not RSA has money. Cleaners, cooks and gardeners can eran as much as K120 000 (about R3000). How many Malawians earn this money?
    Go to Mzimba and see how people working n RSA have built houses or bought vehicles.

  23. Nyirongo Batwell says:

    And what are the South Africans doing in Malawi? Ku illovo, ku G4S etc. Sakufuna ntchito. If our poor countries are useless what are the shoprites, game etc doing here. Who killed Gadaffi and brought instability in Libya, Syria, Iraq etc. Low self esteem id killing Malawians they even blame themselves when they are the victims. Low self esteem. Migration did not start today. How many amwenyes from India do we have in African countries if Africa is useless. Nanga ma Chinese amadzatani kuno if we are not useful.

  24. lesta says:

    You really can’t fix stupid ,this is a good peace with good points,but other people still cling to pointing fingers at zuma,south Africa can’t take care of the whole Africa,do you take care of all poor families around you in a compound just because you are better to do? People use your heads to reason,

  25. Mjonanje says:

    The author is very right. Our leaders should stop kuba ndalama zathu instead they should concentrate on mapolicies obweretsa economic development. Those of you against what Zuma said ndi amene mukuba ndalama zathu kufuna kuti inuyo muzinjoya nokha enafe ndiye tizikafera ku joni. Demeeti zanu.

  26. Real African can not blame migretion, whats new to migrants? Zuma is stupid enough and he never learn the world. Look at Americans worthy people leaving own continent to Africa for work, holding big position like CEOs so ife amphawi tokhatokha tilozane dzala, kuti tisamatuluke mu maiko athu kukafuna ntchito think 2 b4 commenting nyas. Ku Joni kuli cash osati tidzaze M’malawi muno tizithyola ma nyumba mu m’ma areamu kuthandizana ndi a police.

  27. honourable says:

    For Libya i blame Americans and ally. For zuma i don’t think is sincere,

  28. Yemane says:

    Zuma is in no position to lecture African or any other leaders about the promotion of democracy or good governance. His policies of aliening his government with BRICS policies and not with the interest of Africans has promoted discord and tyranny in Africa. Case in point, his lack of leadership as Chairman of AU in resolving Gadhafi’s departure peacefully insisting that the aging dictator should remain in power indefinitely without any guarantee of reform instead of pushing the tyrant to relinquish power was the main reason for today’s crisis in LybiaHis diplomatic andeconomic support of the tyrannical regime in Eritrea has also contributed to the entrenchment of the regime resulting in a disproportionate number of Eritreans fleeing tyranny to Europe and all over the region seeking refuge. So, tell Zuma that he does not have the moral authority to advise others about the promotion of “peace, stability, and democracy”.

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