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Published 10th June 2021

Vol 62 No 12


Zimbabwe

Tagwirei's pipeline under threat

Pic: covenenergy.com
Pic: covenenergy.com

President Mnangagwa is backing a new oil company against a fuel cartel run by the generals' favourite businessman

A company registered in the United Kingdom with strong South African links has signed an agreement that could give it dominance over Zimbabwe's more than US$1 billion fuel import market, according to sources familiar with the deal. If seen through, the arrangement would end the long-standing control of the fuel market by Kudakwashe Tagwirei, a businessman long close to major commodities trader Trafigura and under United States sanctions for alleged corruption since last year.


Apology but no reparations

Namibia Genocide Memorial, Windhoek. Pic: Zoonar GmbH / Alamy
Namibia Genocide Memorial, Windhoek. Pic: Zoonar GmbH / Alamy

Berlin's belated offer of compensation for colonial atrocities won’t end the matter and is proving politically divisive

Germany has finally acknowledged that its colonial forces committed genocide against the Ovaherero and Nama and agreed to pay compensation, but these communities of central-eastern...


Betting the farm on winning

Pic: Ahmed / stock.adobe.com
Pic: Ahmed / stock.adobe.com

As defaults continue and debts pile up, the President reckons his bonanza payment to farmers will win him re-election in August

Just before the start of the three-month election campaign on 12 May, the Patriotic Front (PF) government rushed through at least US$145 million of new loans to fund early procurem...

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BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

Wealthy governments have been promising to donate surplus Covid vaccine doses to Africa and other developing regions since the start of the year. The fact that very few of those jabs have arrived – only 1% of Africans have received at least one jab – has not stopped Western leaders from congratulating themselves on their generosity.

There is a strong likelihood that this pattern will be repeated at the Group of 7 summit on 11 June hosted by United Kingdom Prime Minister Bo...

Wealthy governments have been promising to donate surplus Covid vaccine doses to Africa and other developing regions since the start of the year. The fact that very few of those jabs have arrived – only 1% of Africans have received at least one jab – has not stopped Western leaders from congratulating themselves on their generosity.

There is a strong likelihood that this pattern will be repeated at the Group of 7 summit on 11 June hosted by United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson, with a new series of promised vaccines on an ad hoc basis that will not arrive in Africa until towards the end of the year, after countries such as South Africa and Uganda have been hit by another wave.

As former UK premier Gordon Brown puts it, 'a promise is not a plan'. Nor is it really generosity.

The costs of global vaccination, which Brown estimates at US$50 billion between now and the end of next year, is a fraction of the additional economic output generated. The IMF reckons economies would grow an extra $5 trillion between now and 2025.

After securing an accord on international corporate tax rates on 4 June, the G7 could reinforce its return to cooperation by sharing the costs of a global vaccination campaign. The G7 Club could pay two-thirds while the bigger economies of the G20, such as China, Russia and the Gulf States, could fund the rest. It would be an insurance policy with universal benefits.

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More time for the truth

Three years of testimony on a decade of political and corporate crime are to be followed by a wave of prosecutions

Few countries have had more thoroughgoing probes of their business and political classes but a bigger test is coming next. Can the governing African National Congress shut out the...


Muddled meddling by the UAE

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed and one of his top advisors are rethinking the United Arab Emirates' policy in the Horn

As Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's government complains about United States 'interference' in the Tigray conflict, there are signs that Washington's stance has caused some go...


Spain feels M6's fury

Using migrants to pressurise Spain underlines the Saharan conflict's central position in Palace thinking

Rabat's 'encouragement' last month for a wave of migrants who, freed of Moroccan policing, promptly descended on the Spanish-ruled enclave of Ceuta, blew Saharan sands to a most se...


Motorbike killers strike again

The attempted killing of one of Museveni’s most valued officers and ministers focuses attention on his cabinet appointments

The 1 June attempt to assassinate Katumba Wamala in his car, which wounded him and claimed the lives of his daughter and his driver, is being seen in Kampala as a political act, ev...


Nnamdi Kanu celebrates

A government social media ban has handed secessionists a propaganda win and fired up other opponents of the President

'Backfire' doesn't quite cover the effects of the government's national ban on the Twitter micro-blogging site announced on 5 June, the day after the platform deleted a tweet from ...



Pointers

Controversial delta drilling

Canada's Reconnaissance Energy Africa (ReconAfrica) is convinced it has hit paydirt in the Kavango basin of north-eastern Namibia/north-western Botswana, which extends under part o...


A new Danelaw

Denmark last week passed an unprecedented law permitting the government to send asylum-seekers to a third country to have their claims processed. If successful, they would only gai...


Cracking down on the Hirak

While Algeria's establishment seeks new legitimacy from Assemblée populaire nationale elections set for 12 June, opponents are coming under a wave of suppression and elite f...