president mugabe 25.08.10.jpgHead of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, President Robert  Mugabe, says Africans should not forget the history of the liberation movements in the continent and the critical role played by the founding fathers for the independence of their individual countries and Africa as a whole.

He was speaking at a symposium marking the centenary of the African National Congress on the sidelines of the AU summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The history of Africa can never be complete without chronicling the founding fathers of the African Unity such as Cde Julius Nyerere and Kwame Nkrumah and pan-Africanists such as Nelson Mandela of South Africa, who worked tirelessly for the independence of their countries and Africa as a whole.

Cde Mugabe said the revolutionary cadres such as Cde Julius Nyerere of Tanzania and Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana were eager to see African countries achieve self rule and self determination.

He said the popular statement by Nkrumah that the independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is linked up to the total liberation of Africa is true as he was instrumental in the liberation of fellow African countries through engineering support in the establishment of bases and military assistance.

Turning to the relationship between the ANC and Zanu PF, Cde Mugabe said there are stronger ties between the parties and personal relationships with the then ANC President, Cde Nelson Mandela. He praised the country for the role played by Cdes Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma in mediation efforts in Zimbabwe that led to the signing of the Global Political Agreement on the 15th of September in 2008.

Cde Mugabe also spoke on the formation of the Organisation of African Unity in 1963 in Ethiopia, saying the founding fathers had clear principles on the need for Africa to be united but differed on the strategies as Kwame Nkrumah was eager to see the formation of the United States of Africa immediately, while Cde Nyerere proposed a systematic and step by step process.


Cde Mugabe bemoaned the loss of focus and deviation from the founding principles of the then OAU, saying some member states are now working with their erstwhile colonisers which is detrimental to stability and peace on the continent.


The symposium ran under the theme “The Liberation Struggle and Shared Values: Achievements, Lessons and the Future.”


South African President, Jacob Zuma, said the great statesman of Africa should ensure that the rich history of the liberation struggle is recorded for the benefit of future generation.


The ANC, which is the oldest liberation movement in the continent, has had 12 Presidents since 1912.


The longest serving ANC President, Comrade Oliver Tambo, emphasised international solidarity and laid the foundation for the post-apartheid South African foreign policy.


List of ANC presidents…..
They were: John Langalibalele Dube from 1912-1917, Sefako Makgatho from 1917 to 1924, ZR Mahabane served his first term from 1924 to 1927, Josiah Gumede from 1927 to 1930, Pixley ka Isaka Seme from 1930 t0 1936; ZR Mahabane’s second term from 1937 to  1940, AB Xuma from 1940 to 1949, James Moroka from 1949 to 1952, Albert Luthuli from 1952 to 1967, Oliver Reginald Tambo from 1967 to 1991, Nelson Mandela from 1991 to 1997, Thabo Mbeki from 1997 to 2007 to date Jacob Zuma.


Meanwhile, the 16th Ordinary Session of the African Union General Assembly entered its second and final day today, with the UN and African Union leaders discussing post-referendum Sudan and the future of Somalia following the expiry of the transitional government’s role  last August.


The discussion was chaired by UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-moon and in attendance was Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, South Sudan leader Salva Kiir, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and African Union Commission Chief Jean Ping.


The Summit of the Heads of State and Government which ends today will agree on the venue and dates of the next summit expected to be held during the second half of the year.


A communiqué is expected to be issued and will highlight the major highlights of the deliberations.