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Published 2nd December 2005

Vol 46 No 24


Smashing the fruit bowl

The people's rejection of the president's draft constitution has killed the Rainbow coalition

To make sense of his defeat in the constitutional referendum on 21 November, President Mwai Kibaki must choose between crushing his opponents or coopting them. The referendum campaign sharpened old political and ethnic grudges between the 'Yes' campaigners (symbolised by a Banana) and the 'Noes' (an Orange). The Orange victory prompted Kibaki to sack his entire cabinet and prorogue parliament on 25 November; the Orange campaigners, led by Raila Odinga, called for new national elections (AC Vol 46 Nos 21 & 23).

A good week for Mbeki

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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The ANC's internal battles don't worry the country's foreign economic backers

Angry National Party politicians used to say, when the African National Congress won power in 1994, that the definition of a South African optimist was 'someone not in possession o...

Tummy tuck, bellyache

The dramatic farce in Bayelsa State is about money, not local patriotism

'Thank heaven for the return of our father,' sang several thousand supporters of the Bayelsa State Governor, Diepreye Solomon Alamieyeseigha, on 21 November, the morning of his ret...

Privatisation flood

The ideology that has taken over Western utilities spreads in Africa

In Africa, as across the world, water is a hot topic. The hottest current debate is about whether its supply should be organised by private companies or, as has been the case, by g...

Five years

The election was not democratic but the President's allies go on backing him

After 18 years in charge of one of the world's poorest countries, President Blaise Compaoré has won five more, with a declared 80.35 per cent of the vote. His closest rival,...


Counting on oil

Donors pledged upwards of US$800 million in reconstruction aid over the next three years at the Sierra Leone Consultative Group in London on 30 November. This far exceeded the $360...

Senate subterfuge

President Robert Mugabe's plan is well on track for Senate elections to add to his political patronage and weaken the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. Although turnout fo...

On the runway

The oil on which President Omar Bongo built his power is starting to run out but he carries on as usual after 38 years in the job (AC Vol 46 No 21). After the poll on 27 November, ...

Talking up trade

Secretary General Don McKinnon's lobbying for trade reform at the Commonwealth summit in Malta (25-27 November) produced waves in the European Union, which he challenged to meet th...