As fashionable as it is to see President Robert Mugabe as asserting African independence, pride and ability, against perceived Western interference and arrogance, "Baffour's Beefs: Surgery Below The Waist, Part I" (NA March), where he quotes approvingly at length from President Thabo Mbeki's dressing down letter of 22 November 2008 to the MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, the truth still remains that Africa cannot afford to have the likes of Mugabe, that is, a president-in-self-perpetuity.
New African may not be aware that Mbeki's fear and loathing of the MDC began with his political trend analysis in the region, beginning with Zambia's Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD), which emerged from a labour union to agitate for democracy and eventually ousted President Kenneth Kaunda from power; then the MDC in Zimbabwe, which also emerged from a labour union to agitate for change.
When he saw this regional trend, Mbeki, showing signs of deep insecurity domestically, began lambasting what he saw as "ultra-leftists" in Southern Africa, and especially reserved his bile for the ANC's tripartite allies composed of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the South African Communist Party (SACP), to the extent that a breakdown of the alliance was mooted several times.
It is within this insecurity and disdain that Mbeki treated the now Zimbabwean prime minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, and the entire MDC. It was no...