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Published 14th December 2007

Vol 48 No 25


Kenya

Closer and closer

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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In this watershed election, a new generation of politicians is challenging an establishment that dates back to the Independence years

With general elections coming up on 27 December, the opinion polls give a slim lead to Raila Amolo Odinga of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM). The incumbent President, Emilio Mwai Kibaki, has cut back Odinga's lead; his campaign started slowly because he could not make up his mind which among the numerous parties courting him he should use as his campaign vehicle. The other prominent candidate, its rival ODM-Kenya's Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, is creeping up into double-digit territory.


Raila and Team Tinga

Odinga's oranges rally round

Raila Odinga's political organisation is much better coordinated and more focused than Mwai Kibaki's divided house. This is surprising given the disparate origins of Odinga's suppo...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

Nigeria’s civic activists are already jubilating at the arrest on 12 December of Nigeria’s former Governor of Delta State, the multi-millionaire James Ibori, on charges of abuse of office, corruption and money laundering. For them, Ibori is the quintessential Nigerian political operator brought to book. It may be no coincidence that Ibori was arrested just as President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was leaving for an official visit to meet United States President George Bush: the move will give some cre...
Nigeria’s civic activists are already jubilating at the arrest on 12 December of Nigeria’s former Governor of Delta State, the multi-millionaire James Ibori, on charges of abuse of office, corruption and money laundering. For them, Ibori is the quintessential Nigerian political operator brought to book. It may be no coincidence that Ibori was arrested just as President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was leaving for an official visit to meet United States President George Bush: the move will give some credence to Yar’Adua’s trumpeted commitment to the rule of law. However, the Ibori affair extends far beyond Nigeria. The British authorities have frozen £17 million (US$34 mn.) of Ibori’s assets, which had been deposited in British High Street banks with no questions asked. Several multinational companies such as the US’s Willbros and Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell are tied into the financial web around Ibori, making the case diplomatically delicate. President Yar’Adua may find it more delicate still to ask President Bush why Washington’s Department of Justice is taking so long to conclude its investigations into claims that Halliburton made illegal payments to politicians and foreign executives working on a $10 billion gas export project in Nigeria. Delicate, because when Halliburton is alleged to have made two of the illegal payments between 1998-2000, Vice-President Dick Cheney was the company’s Chief Executive.
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'Unstoppable tsunami'

Jacob Zuma is set to sweep the ANC presidency in a wave of protest against incumbent Thabo Mbeki

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The oil governor under arrest

Ibori incarcerated after investigation

Former Governor of Delta State James Ibori was arrested in the early hours of 12 December by officials from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) who have been invest...


At last, a possible peace

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A peninsula war

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Copper-clad deals

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See you in court

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Race to the top

Cash, influence and a few policy debates enliven the selection of next year's presidential contenders

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Pointers

Bank blow

A daring raid on two banks in Bata, Equatorial Guinea's commercial capital, on 5 December has prompted a sharp breach in relations with neighbouring Cameroon, an overhaul of nation...


Mnangagwa momentum

Alongside the main business of endorsing President Robert Mugabe as its flagbearer in next year's elections, the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front Congress is ...


Cross patch

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