Saturday, August 09, 2008

Mtesa salutes Levy's stance on human rights

Mtesa salutes Levy's stance on human rights
By Mutuna Chanda in Kitwe
Saturday August 09, 2008 [04:01]

Mwanawasa has left a legacy of upholding human rights in his tenure as chairperson of SADC. In an interview on Thursday, Ambassador Mtesa said President Mwanawasa emphasised on human rights not only for Zambia but the southern African region. Zambia hands over the leadership of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to South Africa at the annual heads of state and government summit scheduled for August 16.

"As a result of President Mwanawasa's emphasis on human rights, he convened an extraordinary summit on Zimbabwe on April 11 this year," Ambassador Mtesa said. "This was preventive diplomacy at its best."

Ambassador Mtesa said had President Mwanawasa fully attended the African Union heads of state and government summit in Egypt, he would have further stood for the human rights cause.

"He would have championed the cause of the people of Zimbabwe and the region as a whole," Ambassador Mtesa said. "The people of Zimbabwe fought for independence with our help which they got in 1980 but the democracy that they fought for has been lost."

Ambassador Mtesa said South Africa which was taking over from Zambia was faced with a huge challenge of ensuring that the negotiations over the political settlement that were underway between President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) factions of Morgan Tsvangirai and Professor Arthur Mutambara were successful.

South African President Thabo Mbeki has been leading negotiations on Zimbabwe since being tasked by SADC during an extra-ordinary summit in Dar es Salaam in March last year

"President Thabo Mbeki is involved in quiet diplomacy and sometimes it may be successful or may not be successful," said Ambassador Mtesa.

"The problem with quiet diplomacy is that people out there may not know where the negotiations are going, whereas with open diplomacy people get to know...the challenge that South Africa has as it takes over the leadership of SADC from Zambia is to ensure that SADC continues to work as one as unity is very important for the regional body."

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home