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Published 15th June 2018

Vol 59 No 12


Zimbabwe

How to fix a coalition

Nelson Chamisa at the funeral of Morgan Tsvangirai in Harare, 19 February 2018. (Pic: Xinhua/Shaun Jusa)
Nelson Chamisa at the funeral of Morgan Tsvangirai in Harare, 19 February 2018. (Pic: Xinhua/Shaun Jusa)

With an independent opinion poll forecasting a surprisingly close result, talk of a power-sharing deal gains ground

Many questions that could determine the credibility of the national elections, now due on 30 July, remain unresolved in what is set to be the most important vote in a generation. Confident predictions within the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front that it would sweep the board have given way to talk about the possibility of a national – or power-sharing – government after the elections. Some insist that talks between ZANU-PF and its opponents have already started.

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The tail that wags the dog

In KwaZulu-Natal and other key provinces, the ANC’s divisions are deepening ahead of the 2019 elections

Making his second appearance in a KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) court at a short hearing on 8 June to face 16 charges of fraud and corruption, former President Jacob Zuma looked a grim and i...


Making the miners sweat

Big mining companies loudly rejected the new mining code. They don’t know if they’ll sue, shut their mines in protest, or lump it

Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala Nzenze signed into law regulations which overhaul the regime governing the mining sector on 9 June, making real the worst fears of Glencore, Randgold ...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

How seriously to take the 12 June statement by Bruno Tshibala, Congo-Kinshasa's Prime Minister, that President Joseph Kabila will not seek a third term in elections due in December? Such announcements might deflect foreign pressure on Kabila to leave power in December.

Unfortunately for Monsieur Tshibala, his word is not law in Kinshasa. He serves at the plea...

How seriously to take the 12 June statement by Bruno Tshibala, Congo-Kinshasa's Prime Minister, that President Joseph Kabila will not seek a third term in elections due in December? Such announcements might deflect foreign pressure on Kabila to leave power in December.

Unfortunately for Monsieur Tshibala, his word is not law in Kinshasa. He serves at the pleasure of President Kabila but now wants to run for the top job.

Kabila may have promised Tshibala that he won't stand but his actions indicate otherwise. His own ruling alliance in parliament has named Kabila as its 'moral authority' which suggests that he will either be its candidate in the elections or decide who is. Across the country, posters appear lauding Kabila's achievements: they look suspiciously like election posters.

The Kabila government's success in pushing through higher taxes and royalties on the mining companies (see Feature, Making the miners sweat) has boosted its popularity. Some in Kinshasa say that Kabila will back his close ally, Albert Yuma, Chairman of the state mining company Gécamines, for the presidency but retain heavy political influence.

Kabila may be encouraged by the state of the opposition. The release of veteran politician Jean-Pierre Bemba by the International Criminal Court on 13 June allows him to run for the presidency, further dividing an opposition torn between support for Félix Tshisekedi and the former governor of Katanga, Moïse Katumbi.

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Pushback peril for Abiy

Addis’s radical offer to implement the UN’s ruling on the border is meeting resistance at home and silence in Asmara

The Ethiopian government's announcement that it was ready to implement the 2002 border ruling to try and resolve the freeze in relations with Eritrea has met with worrying silence ...


Offensives and reshuffles

A new cabinet is appointed in the midst of an economic meltdown as the army plans to wipe out the rebels in Darfur

The proposal by Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the United Nations head of Peacekeeping Operations, on 11 June to halve the UN-African Union peacekeeping force to 4,050 soldiers over the next...


Militants pick their party

In the oil-rich south-east, new wars are being swapped for old as politics gets murky in the run-up to the election

Oil industry sources murmur that President Muhammadu Buhari's initiatives to sustain peace in the restive Niger Delta may not prevail as political dirty tricks accelerate in the ru...


A radical bid for peace and economic change 

Abiy Ahmed will need strong backing from the party as well as his new security chiefs to make his new policies work

A credible offer to end the war with Eritrea and the opening up of state companies to private capital are Ethiopia's biggest strategic shifts in over a decade. Premier Abiy Ahmed's...


Monrovia questions UN record

The snubbing of the former head of the UN mission by President Johnson Sirleaf prompts an evaluation of its mixed record

Shortly before she retired in January, former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf held a ceremony to thank Liberia's international friends for their support through her 12-year rule. S...



Pointers

Squeaking in and cutting back

The Patriotic Front is crowing over its narrow defeat of the United Party for National Development (UPND) in a by-election in the swing constituency of Chilanga, just outside Lusak...


Threats to peaceful poll

Only four days after UN Secretary General António Guterres left Bamako with the government's promises to promote peace and stability in his pocket, he was sounding his concern abo...


Weah scores away

Liberian President George Weah was one of only four African heads of state to attend the European Commission's showcase for its overseas development aid programme, 'European Develo...