Johannesburg — Former President, Dr Jakaya Kikwete, has underscored the role of good governance and rule of law in steering peace and security for an integrated united and sustainable Africa.
Discussing a paper presented here yesterday by former Vice-Chancellor of the University of South Africa, Professor Barney Pityana, on Good Governance and Rule of Law, Dr Kikwete called upon political parties in Africa to co-exist amicably.
According to him, political parties in power should not view opposition parties in the same countries as opponents, but rather as partners in fostering democratic principles based on the rule of law.
Dr Kikwete who has in recent days played a key role in restoring peace in Libya, reminded delegates attending the African Leadership Forum 2017 that most political parties in Africa were still growing.
Citing the example of his home country Tanzania, Dr Kikwete said the multiparty system was restored in 1992 and are currently still building themselves for the people to understand their policies.
He called upon Members of Parliament (MPs) from the ruling party to take to task the government when the ministries are not functioning as per the election manifesto of their political party.
"It is healthy for such MPs to question when there is crisis in a particular party in Africa and this plays a key role in guaranteeing the rule of law that perpetuates good governance.
He called upon opposition parties in Africa to concede defeat after an election has been held fairly, freely and democratic.
According to Dr Kikwete, good governance without strong government is not possible, so the need to have a bold parliament which should offer checks and balances whenever need arises.
To steer peace and security in Africa, retired President Benjamin Mkapa called upon the media in Africa to be patriotic while rendering their services for the betterment of the continent.
Former President Thabo Mbeki called upon African leaders to improve the lives of the people by ensuring that they are protected and taken care of.
Mbeki lamented that most African nations are facing problems of political crisis and insecurity, which, he said, are responsible for the death of many citizens on daily basis.
"The issue of peace and security is an important topic on our continent because of the challenges that we continue to face. Obviously, they are with us.
They are visible, every day... " he said. The veteran politician also told delegates at the conference that the need to address insecurity in African countries can never be overemphasised because "many of us will sense that some of our countries where there is no conflict yet ... it may break out some point."
Mbeki expressed confidence that participants at the meeting have come out with positive ideas and also proffer solutions to the numerous challenges in the continent, not to just address and describe these challenges.