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Published 30th March 2007

Vol 48 No 7


Zimbabwe

Trouble in the neighbourhood

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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Most countries in the region now want to see President Mugabe's early departure and will start to say so loudly

The timing could hardly be better or the message clearer. Just as President Robert Mugabe touched down at Dar es Salaam airport for the Extraordinary Summit of the Southern African Development Community, the Harare police were arresting Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai and ten other activists. He was later released, this time unscarred. The present flurry of activity started after Tsvangirai was badly beaten when police broke up an opposition demonstration on 11 March (AC Vol 48 No 6). If any of Mugabe's fellow Presidents had harboured illusions about his willingness to vacate State House, they were quickly disabused.


First murder, now money

Politicians are in the frame amid the financial fallout from Brett Kebble's murder

Police say they know who killed Brett Kebble, but not why. The answer may be found among his political and business friends. Kebble, a fraudster, mining magnate and political patro...


Claims on Kebble's gold

The main claimant against Brett Kebble's assets is Randgold & Exploration Company, which is claiming R5.8 billion (US$801 million) from Johannesburg Consolidated Investments (J...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

Africa is about to enter a heavy voting season with elections due over the next two months in Nigeria, Mali, Chad, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Congo-Brazzaville and Lesotho. The opposition parties are already crying foul in all the voting countries, save perhaps Mali. In many cases, complaints about irregularities in voter registration, distribution of voting cards and state media bias in favour of the ruling parties are justified. It is progress of a sort that civic groups and opposition parties ha...
Africa is about to enter a heavy voting season with elections due over the next two months in Nigeria, Mali, Chad, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Congo-Brazzaville and Lesotho. The opposition parties are already crying foul in all the voting countries, save perhaps Mali. In many cases, complaints about irregularities in voter registration, distribution of voting cards and state media bias in favour of the ruling parties are justified. It is progress of a sort that civic groups and opposition parties have enough monitors on the ground to make these complaints and that generally the press have been free to report them. Technology – cellphones, the internet and local language FM stations – helps too. Africa's political culture is diversifying. The multiparty tradition is becoming entrenched in countries such as Senegal, Ghana and Botswana. In Kenya, where the unwieldy ruling coalition has split, people speak of a no-party government. Mali, which has had a consensual multiparty system under a president who doesn't have a party behind him, will move into full multiparty mode after next month's presidentials. Nigeria's elections have so far confounded the doomsayers but there are still three very important weeks ahead.
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No-party politics rule

A failed London fund-raiser exposes the money wrangles behind the opposition's usual splits

Kenya, with neither a governing coalition nor an effective opposition, has become a democratic no-party state. The opposition alliance of convenience, the Orange Democratic Movemen...


How to put it together again - as the Mugabe regime totters

When the reign of President Mugabe and his henchmen comes to an end, Zimbabwe will have much to do to recover from the damage to its economy – and to its people

Change is in the air and people are starting to think hard about how Zimbabwe can recover its wasted political and economic impetus. If the transition after President Robert Mugabe...


A frontier affair

Old allies in Luanda and Kinshasa are at odds over their border in diamond country

A high-powered Angolan delegation visited Kinshasa on 14 March. It included Foreign Minister João Bernado de Miranda, Interior Minister Leal Monteiro 'Ngongo', Chief-of-Staf...


Coming to the aid of the parties

Much of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) strife is caused by money wars. The Secretariat was run on voluntary contributions from ODM members of parliament, whose remittances dr...


Rough justice

The government raids the courts, punishes the media and buys friendship with Washington

The high drama of the military raid on the High Court in Kampala and the subsequent judges' strike is beginning to die down. On 16 March, President Yoweri Museveni hosted a meeting...


Oil's new power

Economy

Angola's oil-backed rulers are standing proud on the international scene. In the last three months, Angola has joined the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC); pull...


Regional ructions

Dealing with King Cobra and issuing arrest warrants for Congolese Governors signal a new activist foreign policy from Lusaka

Lusaka has been off the diplomatic radar for years. That is about to change. In August, President Levy Mwanawasa is due to take over the Chairmanship of the Southern African Develo...


The wealth in common

Roads and street lights are being repaired and buildings painted in Kampala for November's Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). Bigger potholes might be left by jostli...



Pointers

Deadly collaboration

As British Premier Tony Blair calls for a 'no fly zone' against the Sudanese regime, his government is flying victims of that regime's murderous policy in Darfur back to Khartoum. ...


A blow-up blows over

Congo has its uranium scandal, and the International Atomic Energy Agency is investigating. New Minister for Scientific Research Sylvanus Mushi Bonane opened up the affair on 15 Ma...


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