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Published 4th October 1996

Vol 37 No 20


Follow the Guide

Whether or not Mobutu returns to the helm, politicians are now fighting to succeed him

In Zaïre, facts are scarce and often unreliable. The Prime Minister, Léon Lobitsch Kengo wa Dondo, said last month that President Mobutu Sese Seko would come home from Switzerland in October, to start work again after his operation for prostate cancer on 22 August. Many believe this is untrue and the 'Guide' is gone for good. Amid near-panic in early September, it was rumoured the President was dead. One thing at least is clear: things will never be quite the same again. The struggle for the succession is now open. There is bitter disagreement within all major groups over whether the state should be unitary or federal. The vagueness of the constitutional situation and the uncertainty of the political alliances mean almost anything could happen.

Four-wheel drive

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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A border war and a budget deficit are the burdens on Uganda's 'no-party' democracy

The honeymoon is over. The bills are now coming in for President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni' s election campaign and the promises made in the heat of it. And as the army fails to defea...

Bombs and plots

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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Bombs, plots and opposition squabbles may get Moi and his government reelected in 1997

The bomb which exploded off Harambee Avenue, central Nairobi, on 15 September killed one person. It also pulverised the southern part of the Central Bureau of Statistics and got ri...

Have petrol, will travel

Local elections are due this month after President Bongo's three-year delay

The elections due on 20 October are more politically significant than municipal polls usually manage to be. This is because they are seen as completing the process of transition to...

No news, good news

Zimbabwe's economy is pretty healthy but the party still clings to its culture of secrecy

Even when the news is good, the old leadership of the ruling party cannot resist trying to suppress it. Thanks to rain and reforms, the economy is starting to pick up. Tobacco pric...


Standing (by)

United States' plans for a 10,000-strong all-African military force to intervene in regional political crises are winning cautious backing from European and African governments. Mu...

Heave ho

President Issayas Aferworki has decided 'that the time isn't right' for Eritrea to take over Ethiopia's redundant navy. This would be seen as too provocative while Eritrea and Yeme...