Raila asks South African leaders to end xenophobic attacks

Saturday, September 21st, 2019 00:00 |
Former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga. Photo/Courtesy

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga Friday asked South African leaders to end the current xenophobic attacks in the country. 

He said it was a shame that Africans were attacking each other instead of working together to push for development.

In his closing remarks during the 42nd Organisation of Africa Trade Unions Unity (OATUU) general conference, Raila said by just condemning the incident, the South Africa leaders were not helping as more action is required to arrest the situation and restore peace and order.

He said Africa should be able to come up with solutions whenever challenges arise instead of resorting to violence.

“We urge leaders in South Africa to rise up to the occasion and walk the talk; condemning the incident is not just enough, we need more action. It’s a shame that Africans are attacking each other,” he said.

Raila’s statement came after South Africa conveyed its apology to Ghana over the xenophobic attacks that resulted in the deaths and injuries of several African nationals, and the looting of their businesses.

Jeffrey Thamsanqa Radebe, Minister of State at the Office of the South African Presidency, expressed the abhorrence of the country's President Cyril Ramaphosa at the turn of events during a closed-door meeting with Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in Accra on Tuesday.

According to Radebe, Ramaphosa has condemned the violence, and instructed security agencies to leave no stone unturned in bringing all the perpetrators to book.

On development in Africa, Raila said Africa must provide its own solutions and stop being so dependent on western countries. He said Africa must stop exporting, gold, diamond, and aluminum and instead process them locally and export end products.

The former premier said there is a need for Africa to open itself to the world for business so that its citizens can benefit.

Areas that need to be explored, he said, include having fiber optic cables that connect Africa to the world, opening of air space and water ways to make it easier for movement of people and goods.

“I am optimistic that Africa is going places; I believe in the power of developing Africa. All we need to do is open Africa to be able to fully benefit from this,” he said.

Raila said economic empowerment cannot be realised if workers are not given the attention they deserve.

“It is sad that a number of skilled workers find it easier to work in other parts of the world and only come home to retire. We must reverse this and the only way is to provide better working conditions,” he said.

Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) secretary general Francis Atwoli asked  Raila not to relent in his fight against corruption.

He asked him to remain firm and not bow to unnecessary political pressure meant to derail him from performing his duties.

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