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Published 25th August 2017

Vol 58 No 17


Kenya

New elections, old battles

Map Copyright © Africa Confidential 2017
Map Copyright © Africa Confidential 2017

After losing the war of words over the vote, the opposition has changed tactics and is taking its case to court

Raila Odinga's last bid for the presidency crashed days after the general elections on 8 August, leaving oppositionists facing hard choices about their political survival. Doubts about the viability of a continuing confrontation with the Jubilee Party government seem to have persuaded opposition leaders to change tack and take their grievances to the Supreme Court. It will be a highly complex case, turning on evidence produced by myriad computer experts.


A technical knock-out

Political gambles and technological questions haunt the declaration of the presidential election result

The general elections started well but went downhill fast. Early reports showed that the technology was working and that voters were enduring long queues and occasional organisatio...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

After three months' medical leave, President Muhammadu Buhari's return to Abuja on 19 August has failed to inject a new spirit of dynamism into government business.

A cabinet meeting planned for 23 August was cancelled at short notice. That was, we were told, to allow Buhari and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo to discuss investigations into two suspended officials, Secretary to the Government of the ...

After three months' medical leave, President Muhammadu Buhari's return to Abuja on 19 August has failed to inject a new spirit of dynamism into government business.

A cabinet meeting planned for 23 August was cancelled at short notice. That was, we were told, to allow Buhari and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo to discuss investigations into two suspended officials, Secretary to the Government of the Federation Babachir Lawal, and Director General of the National Intelligence Agency Ayodele Oke.

Another reason, still less plausible, for the cancelled cabinet was the need for renovations at the Presidential offices. 'There are rats in the building,' said an official wryly, unclear whether the rodents were metaphorical ones. The inertia over the cases of Lawal and Oke shows the strict limits of Osinbajo's power as acting President in Buhari's absence. Although Osinbajo said he consulted regularly with Buhari, he was unable to sack either Lawal or Oke, let alone name replacements.

Osinbajo, who insists that substantive progress has been made on economic restructuring and security reform, admits to frustration at the pace of the promised fight against corruption. Not only have cases against officials from the previous government dragged on but there are signs of a new wave of crooked foreign exchange and oil deals. Sceptical about the executive's political will, senior politicians in the National Assembly claim to be amassing evidence on these cases.

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The state stays captured

The end of Tebboune's short premiership underlines who holds real influence in Algiers and could mark a deeper shift in the power structure

A respected senior technocrat who dared to take on the 'oligarchs' making huge fortunes in alliance with the head of state and his family has met his political end. There was priva...


Hacks against facts

As President Kenyatta heads for victory, the opposition claims skulduggery in the country’s high-tech election

After preliminary results had given President Uhuru Kenyatta 54.2% of votes, 1.4 million more than challenger Raila Odinga on 44.9%, in the 8 August presidential election, final re...


Trovoada's Chinese gamble

The country's leaders hope their switch in support from Taiwan to mainland China will trigger an avalanche of cash and investment

Patrice Trovoada is a confident man these days. The Gabonese-born Prime Minister of São Tomé e Príncipe jokes, in private, about Donald Trump's slim chances of re-election as Unite...


All at sea over migration

A row over a deal between Rome and Tripoli to police the Mediterranean points to deepening divisions on migration in Africa and Europe

An Italian operation backing efforts by the Libyan coastguard to intercept ships carrying migrants across the Mediterranean risks widening the political fight between the country's...


Can the usurpers unite?

After failing in a no-confidence vote, Jacob Zuma's opponents are lobbying for his impeachment

Twenty minutes after Speaker Baleka Mbete had announced on 8 August that the President had survived yet another confidence vote, a beaming Jacob Zuma, surrounded by bodyguards, swe...


Desperate for a diamond fix

After three years outside the international market, the government is anxious to return, even though the gems could be profiting the militias

Diamond exports from Central African Republic totalled $60 million in 2012, close to 20% of the government's entire revenue of $335 mn., and half its total exports. This is the pri...



Pointers

Sugar loaf sell-out

Freetown politicians, Western embassies and property speculators face some tough questions about responsibility for the Mount Sugar Loaf landslide on 14 August in which more than 5...


No news from Kinshasa

Reuters correspondent Aaron Ross became the latest journalist to be forced out of Kinshasa on 4 August. The authorities refused to renew his visa after the agency had enraged Presi...


Abdel Aziz way

President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz has secured a 'Yes' vote in a referendum on abolishing the upper chamber of the country's parliament and changing the national flag. It also had t...