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Published 20th December 2002

Vol 43 No 25


The big men look to the future

As President Moi prepares to retire, his fello septuagenarian President Mugabe continues the battle for power

Holding their collective breath, Kenyans expect a new government by the new year and the peaceable retirement of their leader of 24 years, 78-year-old Daniel arap Toroitich Moi. Zimbabweans are in the midst of their country's worst economic crisis since the liberation war and face the determination of another 78-year-old, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, to remain in power until the third chimurenga (the war against invaders) has been completed. A decade ago, the possibility that Moi would hand over power to an opposition leader after multi-party elections looked remote. Zimbabwe has proved more predictable: few doubted that Mugabe would seize white farms and ruthlessly suppress dissent if an opposition party gained political ground. Economic collapse and corruption may prove to be the most dangerous of Moi's legacies, storing up mass social unrest as his successors battle to reform the threadbare public services and create jobs. Much will depend on the energy of Kenya's business class, increasingly marginalised during the Moi years by a cabal of commission agents which drove productive investment away.

A flood of mud

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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The President's son is not on trial but he's on the spot

The trial of those accused of killing crusading journalist Carlos Cardoso (AC Vol 41 No 24), broadcast live and likely to last at least until the New Year, is followed avidly throu...

A new front opens

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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France is determined to enforce the peace but may find the latest rebels hard to handle

The images of frightened Ivorian people with bundles of possessions on their heads are even more shocking because the refugees are fleeing down well maintained tarmac roads with a ...

Son of Sam

Nujoma's fourth term bid could at last split his party

It's getting to be a habit. President Sam Nujoma, who said last year he would stand down at the end of his current term, has changed his mind and wants to stand again. The constitu...

Diamond poker

The concentration of decision-making in the presidency was shown by the spectacular offer made by Maurice Tempelsman, a United States' diamond dealer, to President Sam Nujoma. To b...

Hear those drums

For want of opposition, President Bongo can plan to rule until 2012

After three decades at the head of one of Africa's worst managed and most corrupt oil economies, President Omar Bongo might well expect some political trouble. Quite the opposite. ...


Two helpings of peace

Peace deals for both Congo-Kinshasa and Burundi, brokered by South Africa, will be tested early in 2003. The Congo deal, signed in Pretoria on 17 December, proposes a government of...

Election year

The main milestone in preparations for the 2003 elections will be the Nominating Convention of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on 3-5 January, probably at Eagle Square, A...