Saturday, June 30, 2007

Archbishop Tutu sets his sights on poverty and corruption

First, Tutu blasts the Mbeki government of South Africa for not keeping the AND promise of reducing economic inequality:

"Most [people] are languishing in the wilderness," the archbishop said of the slow pace of wealth redistribution since the end of white rule 13 years ago. Using a Biblical analogy, he said South Africans had crossed the Red Sea in their struggle against apartheid but that very few had reached the promised land.

The archbishop, one of the most inspirational leaders of the anti-apartheid movement, was, not for the first time in the eight-year-old presidency of Thabo Mbeki, wading into an acutely sensitive political debate. His warning came as the ruling African National Congress held its five-yearly policy conference against the backdrop of savage criticism from the left, which argues the government's pro-business policies have not helped the poor.

In the past, almost all the affluent were white, now they had been joined by a few black people, Archbishop Tutu said. But most of the people living in shacks before the end of white rule were still living in shacks.

"I'm really very surprised by the remarkable patience of people," he told the Financial Times at the launchof the Tutu Foundation in London on Wednesday. It was hard "to explain why they don't say to hell with Tutu, [Nelson] Mandela and the rest and go on the rampage."
Second, Tutu goes after liberation here-turned-tyrant Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe again:
South African Nobel peace prize laureate Desmond Tutu said on Wednesday Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe needed face-saving options for there to be a chance of him stepping aside.

Tutu said the replacement of Tony Blair by Gordon Brown as prime minister of Britain, Zimbabwe's former colonial ruler, could help the situation but much depended on negotiations to resolve the crisis being mediated by South Africa.

"A change of cast might have an important bearing on how things develop," Tutu told Reuters in an interview.

"I would hope that there might just be a way of providing face-savers that would enable people to exit without feeling that they had lost a great deal of personal stature," he said.

"We need to provide that for the sake of the people and it may be that [Britain's] new prime minister just might have a way of saying things that would be slightly more acceptable."
The man (Tutu) is a light in the dark, telling it like it is with dignity.