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How to repeat the Mugabe mantra

Jacob Zuma. Pic: (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas
Jacob Zuma. Pic: (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

By calling for land redistribution without compensation, Zuma is following his Zimbabwean counterpart and throwing his foes into confusion

Just as mounting political crises again threatened to overwhelm President Jacob Zuma, he pulled out the land card to buy himself breathing space before the African National Congress's elective conference in nine months' time. The beleaguered ANC leader demonstrated his capacity for coming back against all the odds when he endorsed the idea of a 'pre-colonial land audit', followed by 'a single law to address the issue of land restitution without compensation'. This gambit could restore his political fortunes by winning new allies on the left. It would require abandoning the existing constitutional mechanisms for land reform and compensation, and moving to a more radical, expropriatory model.

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Nyusi celebrates Exxon's entry

Bringing in the US oil giant was a personal triumph for the President but it won't raise as much tax as he hopes

President Filipe Nyusi felt the political ground underneath him get firmer when news of the Exxon-ENI deal came through. The United States oil giant ExxonMobil is buying 25% of the...


Poll calendar under pressure

Against a stream of disputes and delays, doubts are growing that the elections will be peaceful, credible or on schedule

For a candidate who is way ahead of his rivals in the opinion polls, President Uhuru Kenyatta strikes the pose of a surprisingly angry and intemperate man. On 7 March at Lodwar in ...


More progress, less movement

The governing party is disappointing many with its response to mounting insecurity in the north

There was an air of festive predictability about the Second National Congress of the governing Mouvement du peuple pour le progrès, held in Ouagadougou on 10-12 March. Among...


Peace moves stumble

Séléka feels short-changed and distrust may be reaching the point where armed conflict could start again

The African Union has launched its initiative to mediate between armed groups and the government, and to convince the militia to implement disarmament, demobilisation and reintegra...


Mega-projects await reforms

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With President Buhari back from sick leave, questions multiply about the timing and content of the economic rescue plan

Hopes for Africa’s biggest economy are yo-yoing as policy-makers argue over radical reform of the naira exchange rate and the sale of government stakes in oil and gas assets....


Squaring the triangle

Momentum is building behind General Haftar but the UN-supported government in Tripoli still has strong advocates

International support for General Khalifa Haftar and his Libyan National Army (LNA), based in the east, is growing beyond his core base of external supporters of Egypt, Russia and ...


Mutharika's woes look terminal

The cabinet is shedding ministers tainted by Cashgate and related scandals as the government's authority dwindles

President Peter Mutharika is becoming increasingly isolated as a succession of ministers are forced out of office. This makes him more dependent on alliances with largely discredit...


Standoff in the Sahara

Moroccan forces have withdrawn behind their defensive wall at Guerguerat in Western Sahara after months of rising tension on the disputed territory's southern border with Mauritani...


Broken China

Urbino Botelho, Foreign Minister of São Tomé and Príncipe, has made his bid for posterity by breaking off diplomatic relations with Taiwan and restoring relations with the People's...


Pariahs united

A United Nations report provides evidence that outcasts stick together, if not always honourably. North Korea has been providing military radios to Eritrea, in violation of UN sanc...


Lungu’s terms and conditions

The President is confident that judges will rubber-stamp his eligibility to stand again in 2021. If not, a two-thirds majority in Parliament is within easy reach

President Edgar Lungu had barely begun his second term of office this year when he declared himself ready for another. Although the constitution states that no president who has he...


A racing start in spite of the rocky finances

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Several hefty economic obstacles will test the government's determination to push ahead with education and health reforms

Harsh financial realities are starting to impinge on the bold programme to modernise the economy, and boost education and health, which swept the new government to power after Dece...

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Whose judge is it anyway?

A battle royal is in progress over selecting the new Chief Justice; he or she could end up deciding who becomes the next president


Museveni goes for gold

The official launch of African Gold Refinery comes amid concerns that its raw material comes from neighbouring conflict zones


Bouteflika unbowed

Could Algeria's power-brokers really be serious about engineering a fifth term for their infirm and wheelchair-bound President? 


Health checks

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More flexibility on the exchange rate could bring down the cost of borrowing


Aides with agendas

The influence of President Lungu's staff worries many. Business deals and dirty tricks against the opposition are multiplying