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Published 15th September 2000

Vol 41 No 18


Kenya

A soldier's story

Political risk and ethnic balance weigh heavily as President Moi decides whether the army chief should go

His close friends wouldn't claim that Lieutenant General Daudi Tonje is a popular head of the armed forces but they insist he's a good one. Few in the elite ranks of the ruling Kenya African National Union agree. One of Tonje's achievements has been to cut political interference, particularly in the lucrative business of procurement. A news report last month that his tenure as Chief of General Staff (CGS) would be extended for a further three years was followed by a quickfire official denial. One Nairobi business source claims Tonje has cut corruption in procurement by 90 per cent since he took over as CGS in November 1996 (mostly because the forces have been buying much less kit and making older equipment last longer). Anyway, the military budget has shrunk as the economy flags. We hear that the military cuts, and possible effects on stability, were raised in this year's negotiations with the International Monetary Fund. President Daniel arap Moi, who survived a coup attempt in August 1982, doesn't want to take risks with the army ahead of the elections that are due by the end of 2002. If Moi intends to serve one more term, as ultra-loyalists such as Mombasa's Sherriff Nassir demand, the constitution will have to be changed, probably amid mass protests. Even if Moi goes promptly, he is determined to choose his successor as KANU leader, if not as national president. The next two years are sure to trouble the country. The loyalty of the armed forces is crucial.


Breakfast at the bank

The Moi government had to beg and now cannot choose

The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund wanted to keep secret their breakfast meeting with President Daniel arap Moi on 7 September in New York. It was meant to be a dis...


Heavy commitments

No African government has faced stricter conditions than those approved for Kenya by the International Monetary Fund board in late July, in its Memorandum of Economic and Financial...


Disproportional

A quirky election result brings back old faces back to power again

This was not what was supposed to happen. The last-minute opposition alliance of the Mouvement Socialiste Militant (MSM) and the Mouvement Militant Mauricien (MMM) won three-quarte...


Playing the offside rule

The football cup, botched polls and graft threaten Konaré's political legacy

In 18 months' time, Mali is supposed to run two big events almost simultaneously - the African Nations' Cup and a presidential election. Malians may find the football more interest...


Soldiers of misfortune

Mercenaries and miners will play a key role in President Kabila's latest offensive

President Laurent-Désiré Kabila is increasingly relying on mercenary soldiers and bomber pilots as he prepares for a new round of fighting with the disparate rebel fa...



Pointers

A bell rings

A multinational part-owned by the World Bank's International Finance Corporation is making a deal with Sudan Telecom (Sudatel), a majority of whose shares are controlled by the Nat...


Murderous border

The new chief of the Namibia Defence Force is Major General Solomon 'Jesus' Hawala, which worries many Namibians (AC Vol 31 Nos 19 & 20). In the undeclared war along the north-...


Social oil

Government officials unofficially promise to spend at least US$16 million of new oil money on social projects. This may be a first tangible sign of the state oil company Sonangol's...