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'Obama must act against African dictators'

By unknown | Feb 03, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Anna Majavu

Anna Majavu

US President Barack Obama should "come down hard on Africa's dictators" who have disgraced the continent with their "abominable" approach to the Zimbabwean crisis, says Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Tutu was speaking to about 80 military chaplains from 50 countries yesterday at the 20th International Military Chief of Chaplains conference, the first to be held in Cape Town.

In a hard-hitting speech, Tutu lashed out at SADC leaders, saying "the thing that is happening in Zimbabwe, it is abominable and our leaders took so long . how they could have had Mr Mugabe sitting with them as they were discussing [it]? He should have been recused".

Tutu then turned on this country's government, accusing it of "being very loathe to consider things like public works".

"We recommended a once-off wealth tax of 1percent of the stock exchange . it would have made a heck of a difference. But the government was scared at the time that we were going to be accused of being socialists.

"I hope that our government will be a great deal bolder in future because we recommended the basic income grant, which would ensure we wouldn't have people going to bed hungry," he said.

Tutu said he "broke down" in Mpumalanga recently when he saw pupils without school desks. "Sixty years before I sat on benches because we did not have desks - 60 years later our children are still sitting on benches ."


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