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Published 31st August 2018

Vol 59 No 17


Zimbabwe

The judges join in

President Emmerson Mnangagwa is sworn in by Chief Justice Luke Malaba. (Xinhua/Zhang Yuliang)
President Emmerson Mnangagwa is sworn in by Chief Justice Luke Malaba. (Xinhua/Zhang Yuliang)

The court may have confirmed him in office, but Mnangagwa emerges from the controversial election a weakened President

In what President Emmerson Mnangagwa must reckon is the final piece of theatre after the disputed elections, the Constitutional Court's judgement on the opposition's petition was beamed live by state television on 24 August. To almost no one's surprise Chief Justice Luke Malaba and his panel of judges, all appointed by Mnanagagwa or his predecessor Robert Mugabe, threw out the petition questioning the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission's arithmetic and its adherence to the constitution.

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Blame game scuppers reform

After ten years of drafting, the National Assembly has produced an unworkable bill to restructure the petroleum industry 

Plans to modernise the national oil industry have been derailed again by partisan politics and vested interests in a debacle that could cost Nigeria tens of billions of dollars in ...


Wrath rules

Bouts of 'royal anger' are claiming ministerial heads as the king tries to enforce governmental competence and stem social discontent

Another senior minister – one of the most respected members of the coalition government led by Prime Minister Saad Eddine el Othmani's Islamist Parti de la justice et du d&ea...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

For a few weeks Africa is shrugging off its marginal role in international affairs.

After the tours of Africa by China's President Xi Jinping and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi in mid-year, Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and German...
For a few weeks Africa is shrugging off its marginal role in international affairs.

After the tours of Africa by China's President Xi Jinping and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi in mid-year, Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel criss-crossed the continent in the week ending 2 September. The May and Merkel sojourns will be followed by a raft of Africa meetings at the United Nations General Assembly, a Group of 20 meeting in October in which Germany will push ahead with its Africa compact plan, and an Africa Union-European Union summit in November. But the main event for most African leaders will be the Focus on China-Africa Cooperation in Beijing on 3-5 September.

Of course, trade volumes are not the sole determinant of the diplomatic pecking order – particularly as criticism mounts of the growing debt owed to China – but they are a critical pointer, and China's US$200 billion of trade with Africa compares to the United States' $50 bn. and Britain's $35 bn. Apart from business, Beijing tends the relationships with relentless visits to Africa by presidents and prime ministers. By contrast, May's trip to Kenya is the first by a British prime minister for over 30 years. If President Xi is leading the African tour medals table, France's Emmanuel Macron is running a close second. Britain is still near the back of the pack after India, Japan, Korea, Turkey and Germany.
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The worm turns

The President's moves to reverse policies close to his predecessor's heart have triggered a backlash

After sidelining many party stalwarts and making a unilateral decision to anoint Mokgweetsi Masisi as the new President of Botswana, Ian Khama is now ruing his choice. The men have...


Europe discovers Africa, again

With China making the running in Africa, British and German leaders try to catch up with promises of investment

Facing heavy weather at home, President Cyril Ramaphosa is looking to foreign capitals to boost his country's ailing economy, creating jobs and a sense of progress ahead of next ye...


Abiy dials down Pax Ethiopia

Addis's relations with its neighbours may be changing as radically as those on the domestic front. A new deal with Somalia could be in the offing

As soon as he was appointed Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed was as eager to embrace peace and normalisation with neighbouring states as to reform the regime at home. Somalia, bristling ...


Little growth, less opportunity

The Trump administration’s attitude to anything it sees as standing in the way of US interests leaves sub-Saharan nations in limbo

African countries have been low priority targets for Donald Trump, in his role of great reformer of international trade. But in seeking to remove tariffs, the US has put in a few o...


One province’s perilous poll

Kasaï Central is scarred by famine, militia, cult and government violence, none of which is likely to ease before elections take place

Until the Kamuina Nsapu revolt erupted two years ago, the province of Kasaï Central had been peaceful. All that changed when the Kamuina Nsapu militia, led by a would-be tradi...


President plays by his rules

Opposition leaders accuse Macky Sall of bending the law courts to his advantage as the opposition flounders in the lead-up to elections

With just seven months to go to Senegal's next presidential election, the political mood remains sour as opponents accuse President Macky Sall of manipulating the judicial system t...



Pointers

Whose coup is it anyway?

The government has foiled a plot to kill Prime Minister Patrice Trovoada and kidnap President Evaristo Carvalho and the National Assembly President José Diogo, it claimed on 7 Augu...


Two suitors for the FPI

The political landscape has been in flux ever since Henri Konan Bédié's Parti démocratique de Côte d'Ivoire (PDCI) left the Rassemblement des houphouëtistes pour la démocratie et l...


Putting it to the vote again

All the main opposition groups are set to participate in the legislative, municipal and regional polls set for 1 and 15 September, ending what for many was a lengthy boycott of wha...


No son, you can't run

A nervous Frelimo has been using increasingly blatant manipulation and strongarm tactics to fend off challenges to its candidates in October's local elections, especially in the co...