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Published 22nd July 2016

Vol 57 No 15


Zimbabwe

Dollar crisis puts opposition on the streets

Zimbabwe's economic rollercoaster from 1990-2015 – Chart Copyright © Africa Confidential 2016
Zimbabwe's economic rollercoaster from 1990-2015 – Chart Copyright © Africa Confidential 2016

Economic meltdown and political anger raise doubts about the International Monetary Fund debt deal

When the government failed to pay army salaries on time on 14 July, it sparked fresh argument among ministers and ruling party barons about the way out of the economic morass. Army and other public sector salaries were also delayed for two weeks in June. Hostility within the government is mounting towards the plan, which is championed by Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa and Reserve Bank Governor John Mangudya and backed by President Robert Mugabe, for a rapprochement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

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Finally, the AU moves in

Although backed by the UN and regional organisations, AU plans to send an intervention force to Juba are fraught with peril

African leaders' plans to send a rapid intervention force to South Sudan to boost security and protect civilians will put them on a collision course with the government of Presiden...


ANC unruffled by DA surge

Governing party stalwarts are sanguine about their prospects in the local elections but the opposition smells a breakthrough

On a cold July evening, downtown Johannesburg was abuzz with celebrities and African National Congress politicians sporting designer outfits in party colours and drinking Champagne...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma's extended swan song as chairwoman of the African Union Commission has been more productive than the rest her of four-year term. Dlamini-Zuma doesn’t want a second term and will return home to South Africa. There, she’s likely to make a run for the presidency, a position currently occupied by her ex-husband Jacob Zuma.

Dlamini-Zuma...

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma's extended swan song as chairwoman of the African Union Commission has been more productive than the rest her of four-year term. Dlamini-Zuma doesn’t want a second term and will return home to South Africa. There, she’s likely to make a run for the presidency, a position currently occupied by her ex-husband Jacob Zuma.

Dlamini-Zuma initially struggled with the AU bureaucracy and diplomatic in-fighting, but now she has some important achievements to her name. In January, the AU launched its Rapid Reaction Force and at the AU summit this week, Dlamini-Zuma presided over the decision to send a 3,000-strong force to South Sudan to protect civilians. She has also made progress on her pledge to reduce the AU's dependence on Asian and European financial support: the 54 member states agreed to levy a 0.2% tax on specific imports which should raise about US$1.2 billion a year.

But one major piece of business was unfinished: the election of her successor. There was little enthusiasm for the three candidates in the frame: Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi and Agapito Mba Mokuy, foreign ministers respectively of Botswana and Equatorial Guinea, and former Vice-President of Uganda, Specioza Kazibwe. Now the talk is of another three: Tanzania's former President Jakaya Kikwete, Algeria's Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra, and Senegal's Abdoulaye Bathily, currently UN Representative for Central Africa.

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Dos Santos takes stock, shares

As the President plans his succession, he takes a stronger hold of the economy while promoting his daughter to giddy heights

The centre of Angolan politics shifted to Spain this month as President José Eduardo dos Santos arrived for his twice-a-year retreat on 2 July. It is in Barcelona that he takes st...


A gathering storm

President Kabila faces a stronger opposition but it may struggle to stay united  

There have long been heavyweights in the ranks of Congo-Kinshasa's opposition, most enduringly Etienne Tshisekedi wa Mulumba and more recently Moïse Katumbi Chapwe. Yet relations ...


Lungu's media vendetta

The President is determined to keep an opposition-supporting newspaper off the streets, seemingly at any cost

President Edgar Lungu wishes to keep The Post, the newspaper and news website which is his declared opponent, closed until after the 11 August election, say sources close to State ...


Kaiser the kingpin

Presidential advisor Kaiser Zulu is the architect – or is blamed for – a ruthless re-election strategy

Most people in Lusaka see Kaiser Zulu merely as President Edgar Lungu's State House sidekick but as the top aide puts it himself, nobody gets to see his boss without his say-so. He...



Pointers

Saudi wants one too

Saudi Arabia looks certain to join the growing band of nations with military bases in Djibouti, Africa Confidential can reveal. On 12 July, Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Sau...


Another restive region

The recent violent protests in Gondar city would not be so significant if they had happened anywhere else in the country. But Gondar is in the Amhara heartlands, and up to now Amha...


Big win for Vaz

In what most opponents of Guinea-Bissau's corrupt elite view as a serious blow, the Supreme Court ruled on 14 July that the appointment of Baciro Djá as Prime Minister by President...


Trovoada's triumph

The first-round victory of Evaristo Carvalho, 74, candidate of the ruling Acção Democrática Independente (ADI) in the presidential election came as a surprise to most observers. He...