Our hats off to the administration of South Africa for the manner which they have handled the medical challenges of their President, Jacob Zuma.

The Government of South Africa has been open about the health challenges of their President and did not wait for speculation before informing its citizens about the health status Mr Zuma.

If anything senior cabinet colleagues, upon noticing the condition of Mr Zuma asked him to to take a rest and he obliged by seeking medical attention subsequently, President Zuma was admitted to hospital.

 Jeff Radebe, the minister in the presidency, has always been in the news updating South Africans on what was happening to Mr Zuma.

In one of the updates, after Mr Zuma was discharged, Mr Radebe said; “The President will continue to rest for a few days and will work mainly from home during the rest period. We thank the public for the messages of support and good wishes that have been received since the news of the hospitalisation of the president was made public.”

Doctors hospitalised Mr Zuma, 72, for a thorough checkup following a demanding and streneous schedule which involved election campaigns and transition procedures.

The South African government has not shied away from the scrutiny of the public eye over the health problems of their Head of State.

This is because the Government knows that it is difficult to hide information about how their President was fairing medically people know.

They also know that leaving the medical problems of the Head of State to speculations had negative consequences for the country.

South Africa is the second biggest economy in Africa after Nigeria and any negative speculation about the Head of State had dire economic consequences.

It is not in dispute that when investors have half truths about the medical state of the President of a country, they tend to withhold funding to their investment or begin shipping their profits to their accounts in their respective countries.

In some countries, speculation about the unsound health of the President has led to unstable currency performace against other convertable currencies.  

It should be noted that  State Presidents are public figures and are owned by the people who put them in power.

This is pehaps the reason why South African Government came in the open to inform the public about the medical challenges Mr Zuma was going through.

And this has worked well for South Africans, Government and Mr Zuma himself.

On his part, Mr Zuma has since transfered most of his presidential duties to his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa who is now handling most of the funstions that could ordinarily be discharged by the President.

This could not have been easy had the office of the Presidency hidden the medical challenges of Mr Zuma.

With lack of a credible explanation, people could have been speculating about what was happening to Mr Zuma and the transfer of presidential duties to the deputy.

Africa should run away from the culture of secrecy and start facing the medical problems afflicting their Heads of State with the boldness they deserve.

Otherwise, for now, we wish to commend the steps the South Africans have taken to ensure that the medical challenges President Zuma is experiencing are not left to speculation.   


Categorized | Editorial

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