Mandela taught me forgiveness, says Malawi leader: CHRR and CEDEP mourn rights icon

Malawi President Joyce Banda has paid tribute to Nelson Mandela, stating that he was the ‘epitome of showing forgiveness’ which he learnt from him.

Banda said she admired Mandela’s strength of forgiveness and restraint.

“We are all shattered and shocked. My regret at the passing on of one of Africa’s greatest sons who fought against all forms of oppression is so profound,” said President Banda on BBC.

President Banda said all Africans have drawn inspiration from Mandela.

Said Banda: “We have all drawn inspiration from ‘Madiba’. We have learnt that with courage and determination we can overcome all evil.”

When asked what she personally borrowed from Mandela’s life, President Banda said: ‘forgiveness.’

Nelson Mandela: Icon of reconciliation and forgiveness

Banda said she was able to relate her own suffering as Vice President of Malawi under late Bingu wa Mutharika and the DPP cohorts but that she learnt to forgive from Mandela, saying  Malawians are her witnesses on this.

And two leading non-governmental human rights institutions in Malawi Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and Centre for Development of People (CEDEP) have joined the government of Malawi and the entire world in sending condolences to the family of Nelson Mandela and the nation of South Africa over the demise of global iconic symbol of human rights.

The rights groups described the fallen great son of Africa as a self-less human rights defender whose entire life is worth emulating.

In a joint statement released in Lilongwe on 6th December 2013 and made available to Myasa Times, the
rights groups state that while they are greatly shocked over the demise of Africa’s great son they find solace in his remarkable legacy, which all particularly those who are privileged to speak for the voiceless must emulate.

“We at CHRR and CEDEP have learnt with great shock over the death of Nelson Mandela who lived a fulfilled life in selflessly serving the interests of the common man. His bold stance against apartheid in the face of gross human rights violations and his inward resolve towards championing peace, tolerance and love across diversity shall live to
be remembered in all generations as the fundamental pillars on which Mandela’s life was built on,” Reads part of the statement signed by CHRR Acting Executive Director Timothy Mtambo and CEDEP Executive Director Gift Trapence.

CHRR and CEDEP then appeals to all those working in the realm of democratic governance and human rights to emulate Mandela’s life.

“Mandela’s life, provide a good standard for all of us privileged to speak on behalf of the ‘voiceless’ oppressed to do some soul searching on whether we are selflessly standing for the rights of the oppressed, common man or not in the face of human rights violation” reads the statement.

Mandela visited Malawi in 1990 soon after coming out of prison meeting former President late Hastings Kamuzu Banda and also came back to Malawi in 1997 to attend a Sadc meeting in Blantyre and again  2002  to hold talks with former president Bakili Muluzi at the lakeshore resort of Mangochi .

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