THE Young African leaders Initiative (YALI) has called on African politicians to emulate the spirit of Nelson Mandela who embraced everyone despite his many years of persecution.

The late South African leader is fondly remembered by many for his persistent fight for freedom and peace.

YALI will on Tuesday July 18, 2017 commemorate Mandela Day, a programme aimed at helping and visiting people who are incarcerated regardless of their political affiliations.

YALI Governance Advisor Isaac Mwanza said Mandela Day should be treated as a reminder to political leaders that politics were about a service to people.

Mr Mwanza said in an interview that politicians should keep the dialogue open and embrace values and virtues that Mandela espoused.

He said one could still be politically active and debate issues without sending others to prison just like Mandela embraced those who were against and persecuted him.

He said African politicians must avoid at all costs persecuting one another but instead interact with those who opposed them and be open to criticism.

Mr Mwanza also advised young people who wished to join politics that politics were not about having power but service to mankind and being patriotic to the nation.

He encouraged young people to positively debate issues that affected national development as compared to throwing stones and being used as agents of violence.

“Our modern politics require that our youth should be able to fight using their mouths and convince the people using their brains and paper to debate ideas,” Mr Mwanza said.

He appealed to the public to join YALI in observing Mandela Day as they will also be donating assorted goods to various prisons around the country.

He said it was the responsibility of every citizen to ensure that those who were incarcerated either waiting for trial or convicted felt that outside society still remembered them and that being in prison was not the end of life.

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