Barack Obama blasts dictators

via Barack Obama blasts dictators – DailyNews Live 11 DECEMBER 2013

US president Barack Obama yesterday admonished world leaders co-opting Nelson Mandela’s struggle against oppression yet suppressing opposition and critics in their own countries.

In a powerful and personal speech — clearly acknowledging the links between the struggle against apartheid in South Africa and the struggle against segregation in the United States — Obama, the first black US President, said Mandela was evidence that if politicians truly wish to be remembered by history, they first need to simply be good people.

Obama received a massive standing ovation, in sharp contrast to the opprobrium that greeted South African President Jacob Zuma, currently mired in a housing scandal and whose problems have been cast into sharp relief by Mandela’s death.

Zuma was greeted by boos every time his image appeared on the screens in the stadium, with ANC deputy chairman Cyril Ramaphosa, acting as master of ceremonies, appealing to the crowd to show discipline.

In what has been billed as one of the largest gatherings of global leaders in recent history, the US President spoke on how Mandela’s example had inspired him in his own life and career.

Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe was applauded by the vociferous crowd in the half-filled 95 000-seat stadium.

Obama slammed those who embraced Mandela’s struggle against repression yet quashed the opposition and critics in their own countries.

“There are too many of us who happily embrace Madiba’s legacy of racial reconciliation, but passionately resist even modest reforms that would challenge chronic poverty and growing inequality,” Obama said.

“There are too many leaders who claim solidarity with Madiba’s struggle for freedom but do not tolerate dissent from their own people,” he said.

Obama delivered an emotion-laden tribute to Mandela.

“While I will always fall short of Madiba’s example, he makes me want to be a better man,” Obama said.

Obama said Mandela emerged as the last great liberator of the 20th Century.

Over the past decade, Mandela has stolen the limelight from Mugabe as an anti-apartheid icon in the region. Reports of a feud between Mandela and Mugabe — two of the continent’s best-known leaders of liberation movements against white domination — have long been whispered.

Jonathan Moyo, Zimbabwe’s Information, Media and Broadcasting Services minister, this week rebuked the media for making “gratuitous comparisons” between the life of Mandela and other African leaders, in particular Mugabe.

Earlier this week, Mugabe paid tribute to Mandela, describing the South African liberation icon as “a champion of the oppressed”.

“Mr Mandela’s renowned political life will forever remain a beacon of excellence,” Mugabe, Africa’s oldest ruler at 89, said in his first official reaction.

Mandela, the founding father of modern South Africa and its first black leader, died late on Thursday aged 95.

“Not only was he a great champion of the emancipation of the oppressed, but he was also a humble and compassionate leader who showed selfless dedication to the service of his people,” Mugabe said.

“The late Nelson Mandela will forever remain in our minds as an unflinching fighter for justice,” said Mugabe, who early this year criticised Mandela for being too soft on whites after the end of apartheid.

Mugabe’s remarks in a documentary filmed in May confirmed the rift given that he so openly criticised the revered 95-year-old South African leader.

For Mandela, Mugabe represented a type of African independence leader who fought successfully for independence, then drifted toward tyranny by clinging to power.

Mandela did the opposite, assuming the leadership of his nation and then stepping down after one term in office.

Political analysts say Mugabe has been driven into a permanent rage by the adulation heaped internationally on Mandela, an accolade of praise and recognition that he felt was more properly due to him.

Mandela once described Mugabe’s rule as “tragic failure of leadership.”

Coinciding with UN Human Rights Day, the memorial in FNB Stadium was the  main scene of a week of mourning for Mandela, revered across the world as a symbol of reconciliation and forgiveness.

“He was more than one of the greatest leaders of our time. He was one of our greatest teachers,” United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told the crowd. “His baobab tree has left deep roots that reach across the planet.”

Obama made history by shaking hands with the Cuban leader Raul Castro ahead of his speech.

He also put aside diplomatic tensions with Brazil over spying allegations by greeting president Dilma Rousseff with a kiss.


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39 comments on “Barack Obama blasts dictators
  1. Ephrain Gumbo says:

    The Americans have no right to judge anyone. They just cannot stand on any high moral ground and criticize anyone but especially after their slavery track record and the fact that they wiped out their own natives almost to the very last man. Nobody, least of all Africa, trusts or respects America anymore. Awarding Mugabe with honorary doctorates at some of their finest academic institutions with all the pomp and ceremony to go with it, after he had committed a clear act of genocide against the Ndebele people is something we will never ever forget. America address your own issues before pointing a finger at anyone.

    • jim says:

      The University of Massachusetts REVOKED Bob’s doctorate in 2009. Had the Internet been a factor, UMass never would have given him one in 1986 or whenever it was. Every nation and person has things in our history we are sorry about. The true test of a nation is: OPEN THE BORDERS and see which way the people go. As of now, humanity continues to stream INTO my beloved America–the freest nation on earth.

    • Difference being the Americans do learn from their mistakes and admitted the evils of slavery. The powers that be in Zim don’t except responsibility for anything . The man won’t even apologize about the Matabeleland massacres.

    • adam jones says:

      Obama represents the America of today. Not the slave drivers of yester year. This is the problem with some who write here without thinking. Indeed, gukurahundi should have been condemned by all – but that wasn’t Obama’s America. His speech applies just as well to American leaders who embrace the ideals of Madiba yet suppressing their own people. Its just that that list includes Mugabe – which is why it may have touched a row nerve. Aluta Obama and all who think and act like him.

  2. Peter tosh says:

    Ephraim, what you are saying will never erase the fact that Mugabe is s tyrant.

    • munzwa says:

      And Ephraim,the American have and are addressing these past inequalities…Mugabe!!!!well need we say any more?

    • munzwa says:

      And Ephraim,the Americans have and are addressing these past inequalities…Mugabe!!!!well need we say any more other than he perpetuates division and hatred!!

  3. Jogo Bonita says:

    If i read right obama was speaking in his personal capacity not on behalf of americans.

  4. Ha says:

    I liked the speech of Obama when he said the former South African president Nelson Mandela was not power hungry hence stepped down. In fact he was saying African leaders must do the same as Mandela did stepping down and the power to other people.

    Well done Mr president for your well prepared speech but what really disturbes me is he himself is not following the legacy of Mandela, he should step down as the US president and show the world that he is not power hungry so that African presidents will follow suit rather than preaching politics.

    • INJAYINJA says:

      This is Obama’s last term, as per their constitution. Two terms acceptable, but not life Presidents.

    • adam jones says:

      People must think before they comment. Why must Obama step down when the constitution of his country allows for a maximum of two terms? The people of America voted him back into power a couple of years ago without NIKOV assistance – unlike bob. Lets not forget that Obama achieves this against the odds. The man is the first ever black American president and he has won without rigging. Mandela left after saving one term, not because he was not power hungry because the question of hunger for power when it comes to Mandela does not even arise. He left because he had done his bit and wanted younger leaders to take the nation to higher levels. I personally thin that Tata left too early – but also understand his position. I think if he had, the likes of Mugabe may have had someone to challenge their looting for instance. As it happened, Mbeki had his quiet diplomacy – and as they say – the rest is now history. We all know that Bob and his zanu are power drunk now while others are hung over. Leave Obama to rule democratically.

  5. mugoni says:

    Gumbo you are mad

  6. Kayz says:

    Silly Ha. This is Obama’s second and last term in office.

    • Ha says:

      @kayz l don’t care if it is Obamas second and last term in office, he must step down before his term to show the world that he does what he preaches. There is a difference between stepping down and expiry of term office. So never call me a fool otherwise you are the fool yourself.

      Nelson Mandela did not wait for his term office to end he stepped down. So Obama must do the same or else he must shut his mouth about African leaders.

  7. easily fooled says:

    Obama stood up to speak on behalf of Americas, equating challenges in America to those encountered by mandela. He also enumerated his personal lessons he learnt from Mr Mandela. Hence, he spoke on behalf of America and on his behalf

    • adam jones says:

      You may say that but he speaks for the America of today. Not the slave drivers of yester year. In any case how does oppression in America justify oppression in Zimbabwe? Are you saying because America suppresses its black people, Black Mugabe is justified in suppressing fellow blacks?

  8. wasu wemanyika says:

    Obama cant tell Africans what to do. Why did nt he step down after his first term ? He is also power hungry hence he is clinging to power as Mugabe

  9. says:


    • There was a time in Zim where many people could not afford to give their little children a glass of milk in the morning. Egg and bacon were so scarce and a lot of children were having maize meal porridge in the morning. These children were growing up not knowing what a breakfast was. My point is some people like the above brother know nothing else but ZPF and the way they rule. To them anything different is not right. The have been fed with this way of life for so long that they are afraid to try anything different.

  10. I very much appreciate the fact that, as one of the mankind who is working in the devil’s rebellious Political system of Government, Obama made some very positive points, which can be quiet helpful to the nationhood of mankind; particularly under the oppressive circumstances of a world which the Lord temporarily gave to the devil.

    I sincerely hope that those Dictators who listened to this speech, did take to heart the good points.

    Hilton Tamangani OCOG
    For God Approved Lifestyle.

  11. Taneta naye says:

    Obama was better.dectator mugabe is 2much.7 terms its not a joke.since i was born i no only mugabe making hard things to us.people are suffering,dying,school fees are hard to pay,each and everylife are very high.police in roads,to pay vihecle licence 4 discs in 1 vihecle.because of our president.ha guys lets think about our country.

  12. jo-o says:

    Guys I personally believe in change of leadership, yes that is great but give me any four African countries where there have been constant change of leadership and tell me the plight of the majority of the people there. THE INTERNATIONAL MEDIA WILL ALWAYS SHOWER PRAISES FOR SUCH COUNTRIES WITH SWEET TERMS SUCH AS THE FASTEST GROWING ECONOMY, DEMOCRATIC COUNTRY, BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY THE MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE REMAIN POOR. WHAT DOES IT HELP ME TO BE CURED LIKE TOBACCO IN A BUN IN MY TIN HOUSE

  13. tino says:

    The problem of being oppressed is that you start oppressing your ability to think right.Thats the likes of Ephraim.He has passed the stage of being oppressed.He is oppressing himself now.Wake up.Americans might have had a bad history ,but for a country which is more than a rainbow nation, it is doing well to uphold human rights.Every year Mexicans flock into America illegally,America does not deal heavy handedly with them.Actually those Mexicans end up being naturalised Americans.Malawians,Zambians who aborted their journey to the South in Zim are regretting now.
    Dictators always chase shadows of themselves.Mugabe always talk of enermies,an illusion with old age.There is work to do in Zim , malnutrition,cholera, starvation.And your energy must be directed at that ,not to a non existing enermy, who even feed your own people through NGOs.Mugabe was a dictator to Zimbabwe, now he has gone a step further.He is a dictator to his own soul, which he has a chance to salvage when the inevitable heavenly bell rings

  14. Mutongi Gava says:

    Ha, you are a fool. Mandela stepped down because of age and wanted the younger men to do the running around. This is why people retire from employment at 60. Would you retire at 30, just to make way for younger employees?

    Mandela needed time to rest after all that time in Prison. If he was selfish he would would have clinged to power into his 80s.

    • The American system will not allow Obama at his young age to continue more than his two terms no mater how well or how bad he performs. They believe in renewal of Presidents.Can you imagine what would have happened if George W Bush would have been allowed to continue for say five terms in office or until he turned 89.Tony Blair at the start of his term was looking like a shinning star but at the end of his career people did not like him so his peers asked him to leave. That will not happen in Zimbabwe.

  15. Nomsa Chiga says:

    He should have told UK, about their Queen of UK she is a Dictor , bcoz she is the leader of UK, and if she dies her children will take over.

    • Johnx says:

      Are you seriously saying this or you are dull? Wat is a dictor anyway?????

    • eraizo says:

      @nones the britain is a monarch that is why u hv a queen but she is only a ceremonial head who is not involved in the day to day running of the government that is done by the prime minister who is elected & can b removed even b4 his term is over

  16. After reading all the comments here i can say well done to everyone. with the exception of people like. HA these are the people in the likes of the ZBC boss muchechetere Philip chiyangwa Obert mpofu saviour kasukuwere the list is endless who have been milking our nation for personal gain. like i always say anyone who praises Robert Mugabe is bent to benefit somehow in an evil manner that doest benefit the nation .Zimbabwe has been hijacked by gangsters. A few people have condemned the whole nation into poverty and hopelessness. THE LIKES OF HA

  17. Wilbert Mukori says:

    “There are too many of us who happily embrace Madiba’s legacy of racial reconciliation, but passionately resist even modest reforms that would challenge chronic poverty and growing inequality,” President Obama said.

    “There are too many leaders who claim solidarity with Madiba’s struggle for freedom but do not tolerate dissent from their own people,” he said

    Yes! We in Zimbabwe have waited now for over 33 years for the first free, fair and credible election to be held! 33 years!

  18. mutetwa says:

    I wonder which leadership is worse? one who has the aptitude to stand-up to conquerors and demand retribution in a way that allows him to stay in power? or one destroys well developed countries ie Libya and Syria and then demands for taxpayers in his country to donate to the consequent refugee crises whilst their citizens are tormented by cuts and fluctuating costs of unaffordable living?

  19. Zeezee says:

    That speech from Obama was the highlight of the memorial! African leaders need to take heed and step aside graciously when their term is over. How many Africans have done that?

  20. Zeezee says:

    Besides the false interpreter the speech from Obama was the highlight of the memorial! African leaders need to take heed and step aside graciously when their term is over. How many Africans have done that?

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