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Published 14th September 2018

Vol 59 No 18


Uganda

Wave of protests rattles Museveni

Protest outside Uganda House in Trafalgar Square, London, August 2018. Pic: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire/PA Images.
Protest outside Uganda House in Trafalgar Square, London, August 2018. Pic: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire/PA Images.

The Bobi Wine protests are growing into demonstrations against autocracy and impunity as the veteran President's grip falters

Ever since President Yoweri Museveni's personal guards beat up and almost killed the popular musician-turned-politician Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, on 14 August, the normally effective mixture of security force brutality and mass detentions has failed to quell growing protest. What began as popular outrage at the treatment of Bobi Wine in detention, including savage beatings and torture, has become a general protest against the impunity of Museveni, his family, the security forces, and their arbitrary exercise of power.

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Turning down the volume

Washington’s new man in Africa is trying to relaunch his country’s diplomatic efforts in a much more crowded field

When Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta asked for advice about how to handle United States President Donald Trump during his state visit to Washington DC on 27 August, a lobbyist tol...


The house of hunger revisited

Power struggles behind the scenes are going to shape national politics as the two main party leaders try to consolidate

Both of them fought the 30 July election for the first time as party leader. Both lost personal authority in the process: Emmerson Mnangagwa, because his party did so much better i...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

In time for the start of the election campaign season, Matthew Page of Chatham House has produced a compelling analysis of the 'Taxonomy for Corruption in Nigeria' for the Carnegie Foundation. Page offers a detailed guide to the types and mechanics of corruption in Nigeria whose common feature is the theft of public resources. It is a useful corrective to the blaming and shaming between rival parties ahead of next February's elections.

Page's taxonomy starts with a claim that 75...

In time for the start of the election campaign season, Matthew Page of Chatham House has produced a compelling analysis of the 'Taxonomy for Corruption in Nigeria' for the Carnegie Foundation. Page offers a detailed guide to the types and mechanics of corruption in Nigeria whose common feature is the theft of public resources. It is a useful corrective to the blaming and shaming between rival parties ahead of next February's elections.

Page's taxonomy starts with a claim that 75% of journalists have accepted 'financial gifts' and that some media companies have received millions of dollars from ruling parties. It reports that the 2015 elections cost US$550 million to organise and the rival parties spent $2 billion. Almost all of that, most via criminal means, came from the public purse. Within government, corruption takes money from social investments, with the country's health and education services in continuing decline.

At the heart of the system is the oil and gas industry which generates most of the revenues that are stolen. The taxonomy also looks at trade-related corruption, how tariffs and import bans can benefit local monopolists. It has less to say about deliberate trade mispricing though which the experts at Global Financial Integrity reckon that Nigeria loses several billion dollars each year. Alongside sections on judicial and police corruption, the taxonomy refers to anti-corruption corruption; how the country's anti-graft agencies have served the ends of their political masters.

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Open for negotiations

The President’s new cabinet includes some younger loyalists and a core of economic technocrats to bring in capital

After his inauguration on 26 August, President Emmerson Mnangagwa made it clear there would be no power-sharing and few outsiders in his cabinet. True to his word, the vast majorit...


Another trade muddle

The marriage between the EU and the continent’s 48 ACP members will rumble on amid talk of a grandiose free trade pact

Formal talks on the successor to the 2000 Cotonou Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the 79-nation African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) community – which in...


Graft worsens cash squeeze

Fears that embezzlement has hit government departments have caused donors to suspend payments

Western donor governments have placed key assistance programmes under heavy scrutiny as evidence emerges of wide-scale corruption in three important government departments, Africa ...


Fuelling a debt crisis

Deadlock over plans to raise fuel taxes to satisfy the IMF risks derailing the President’s economic plans

Kenya's debt burden has been growing rapidly for the past four years, rising from 45% of GDP to near 60% now. Solid growth rates have given leaders freedom to ignore the warnings o...


Deep waters

Abiy is distancing himself from the troubled dam project, which some political opponents are trying to use against him

The death of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project manager, Simegnew Bekele, was ruled a suicide by authorities last week, but the announcement has done little to damp...


Bonds, bills and ever bigger debts

The government has all but expelled an IMF official, as the debt continues to spiral and the role of Chinese projects in it raises more concern

Having allocated US$500 million to external debt service this year, the government's liquidity crisis drags on as relations with donors and international financial institutions plu...



Pointers

Terrain trial

The conviction of 10 of the 12 soldiers accused of the July 2016 Terrain Hotel attack in Juba has had a lukewarm response from human rights organisations. They say it is only a sta...


Says no to computer

Ending weeks of controversy, President Mokgweetsi Masisi announced that the government was rowing back on a scheme to introduce electronic voting machines in next year's general el...