Jump to navigation

Published 5th October 2007

Vol 48 No 20


Kenya

The opposition advantage

President Kibaki campaigns on his record but opposition leader Raila Odinga is bolstered by regional discontents

A sense of urgency if not panic has gripped President Mwai Kibaki's camp ahead of the elections due in December. For the first time, opposition leader Raila Odinga beat Kibaki in a national opinion poll, published by the Steadman Group on 29 September. Three more newspaper opinion polls have confirmed the Odinga lead. The following day, after Mass at Nairobi's Holy Family Roman Catholic Cathedral, Kibaki embarked on a whistle-stop tour of the capital's dense slum districts in a presidential motorcade. He took time to address the crowds informally. The tour led on to Nyayo Stadium, south of the business district where Kibaki launched both his presidential election campaign and his new party, the Party of National Unity (PNU).


Doctor, doctor

How healthcare funds went astray just before an election – and the President’s allies are under investigation again

The office of First Lady Janet Museveni is at the centre of a row over the misuse of healthcare funds according to investigators into two financial scandals at the Ministry of Heal...


Exit Pikoli, Chief Prosecutor

Factions in the security services are fighting their own battles as the contest for the national leadership heats up

The suspension by President Thabo Mbeki of the National Director of Public Prosecutions, Vusi Pikoli, may foreshadow a constitutional crisis. At the very least, it embitters the co...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

Anti-corruption campaigners have something to celebrate at last. Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki has rejected a bill that would have blocked the Anti-Corruption Commission from tackling cases prior to 2003. The other main candidate in the December elections, Raila Odinga, has pledged a comprehensive crackdown on graft in Kenya – of whatever vintage. As the former anti-corruption czar, John Githongo, says: ‘Anti-corruption is good politics.’ Behind the posturing, the corrupt networks are tryi...
Anti-corruption campaigners have something to celebrate at last. Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki has rejected a bill that would have blocked the Anti-Corruption Commission from tackling cases prior to 2003. The other main candidate in the December elections, Raila Odinga, has pledged a comprehensive crackdown on graft in Kenya – of whatever vintage. As the former anti-corruption czar, John Githongo, says: ‘Anti-corruption is good politics.’ Behind the posturing, the corrupt networks are trying to conceal their tracks. The spirit of self-interest was evident in the cross-party support for the amended bill that would have barred any prosecutions for the Anglo-Leasing swindle under Kibaki and the Goldenberg scam under his predecessor, Daniel arap Moi. Another key supporter was Kenneth Merende, a strident ally of Odinga, but Kibaki ally Chris Murungaru and Moi’s son Gideon are also backing the bill. Odinga may struggle to explain the match between his political allies and his anti-graft campaign. For now, Kibaki will have to struggle harder. Last week, a parliamentary commission recommended the prosecution of two of his key allies – Security Minister John Michuki and State House advisor Stanley Murage – for links to the mysterious Artur brothers, who have been charged in absentia for drugs and firearms offences.
Read more

A do-it-yourself peace

Our accord is a model for all, President Gbagbo tells the UN – but the hardest test is yet to come as election preparations begin

Both government and rebel politicians extol the virtues of the peace accord which they negotiated in March. Côte d'Ivoire is moving determinedly towards free elections next y...


Ban Ki-moon's people

From the start of his tenure on 1 January, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was determined to make radical changes, install his own people and stamp his own priorities ...


Intelligence in a divided house

South Africa's intelligence services, police and army appear rudderless, with increasingly limited civilian or democratic oversight. Vusi Pikoli is the fifth chief of a security de...


The 'Soro ranks'

When the war broke out in 2002, those soldiers who defected from the national army to the rebels were rewarded by promotion; they now insist they should keep their higher ranks in ...


Le scandale géologique

Under-resourced and under fire - and under investigation again

The government Commission reviewing up to 60 of Congo's mining contracts has quickly come under fire. Politicians, lobbyists and companies question its claims of objectivity, rigou...


Debuts on First Avenue

A new guard at the UN takes over but Africa’s concerns remain peacekeeping, fairer trade and development funding

This year's opening of the United Nations General Assembly on 25 September looked at times like a diplomatic apprenticeship. Freshly-installed Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was pit...



Pointers

That troublesome border

The quarrel between Addis Ababa and Asmara over their common border and the political chaos in Somalia is intensifying. The heat turned up after the Ethiopia Eritrea Boundary Comm...


Healing the rift

Diplomatic relations between France and Rwanda may be on the mend. Rwanda broke them off in November 2006, after a French judge, Jean-Louis Bruguière, issued arrest warrants...


Surfing the surge

The start-up of British Petroleum's 200,000 barrels per day Plutônio deep-water field this week marks the latest of the multi-billion dollar projects that will increase Angol...