Good lesson for Africa

History has a strange way of issuing timeous lessons.

History has a strange way of issuing timeous lessons.

This week it was in its element sending a succinct message to political processes in our region.

First, there was that curious idea of having that beacon of feudalism, Swaziland, as the venue where discussions pertaining to returning Zimbabwe to a democracy took place.

Even the arch despot, King Mswati III, found a moment from his busy schedule of shopping or finding young brides to lecture the Zimbabweans about how they should go about finding national peace and stability.

How rich, coming as it did from a man with a penchant for looking the other way as his own subjects die of hunger and Aids while he and his wives frolic merrily in the shopping capitals of the world.

But history can be kind too.

It sent former Botswana president Festus Mogae as an example the likes of Robert Mugabe and Mswati could and should emulate if Africa, and Southern Africa in particular, is to escape that albatross of being misgoverned.

Mogae was this week awarded $5 million (about R50 million) in the Mo Ibrahim Prize for African Leadership for no other reason than ensuring "stability and prosperity" in his country. Need we say more, Bob?