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Published 1st August 2008

Vol 49 No 16


Arms and the men

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures
Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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Investigators are probing multimillion pound payments from Britain through secret accounts to a key ally of President Robert Mugabe

Britain’s BAE Systems, one of the world’s biggest arms companies, has paid over £25 million (US$49.5 mn.) to a company whose majority Zimbabwean shareholder is a long-time business ally of President Robert Mugabe’s regime. The multiple investigations into BAE’s role in the affair, which appear to be nearing conclusion, are likely to have serious political repercussions in Britain and South Africa.

Yar'Adua's judges on trial

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Justice and politics are uneasy bedfellows under the hesitant President's new regime

Since President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua came to power after a widely-criticised election and started extolling the rule of law much has changed. Yar Adua's own electoral case will be h...

A sick man's contest

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The President is probably unfit to continue and his main opponents are either ill or accused of corruption

Everyone seems convinced that President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, who suffered a stroke a month ago, will not resume his duties. Inside his Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) th...

Saving Omer

An international court accuses President Omer el Beshir but he has some unlikely defenders

The International Criminal Court's bid to put President Omer Hassan Ahmed el Beshir on trial for genocide is the sternest test yet for the emerging system of international justice....

Blame the judges

It is a testing time for the judiciary as it prepares for the trial of African National Congress President Jacob Zuma. His supporters say the trial is politically motivated and want the charges of corruption, money laundering and racketeering thrown out. Obstacles to the prosecution are being sought and threats issued to those judges pressing ahead with the trial. The outcome will determine who in the ANC will stand for election as the next President of South Africa.

Jacob Zuma, having won the election for the presidency of the ruling African National Congress, wants to win next year's election for the presidency of South Africa. He would almos...

Presidents and lawyers

The tortuous prosecution of a former state oil company boss raises questions about the independence of the judiciary

Even his opponents concede that Tsatsu Tsikata is a gifted lawyer, whose ties with ex-President Jerry John Rawlings have kept him at the centre of Ghana's bitter political battles....

Taking positions

There has been a strong international reaction to the ICC's application for an arrest warrant for Sudan's President Omer el Beshir for genocide, war crimes and crimes against human...

Judges of the Constitutional Court

Chief Justice Pius Langa: The head of the Constitutional Court and of the Judicial Commission from rural Limpopo Province worked as a labourer in a shirt factory and studied law by...


Oil-fired growth is uncomfortable, and benefits only a few

The ports, the roads and the telephone networks are jammed full. Angola's economy is speeding ahead. Some experts think a slowdown is coming, but the price of oil keeps rising, inv...

Coalition under strain

There are tremors within the power-sharing grand coalition that ended the post-election mayhem

A day after the no-confidence vote in Parliament against ex-Finance Minister Amos Kimunya, the Deputy Prime Minister, Uhuru Kenyatta, called a press conference. He was belligerent,...


The real deal

The three negotiating teams are to resume talks in South Africa on 3 August after a break to discuss progress with their respective parties. The original deadline for the installat...

Fourth for M7

Having amended the constitution to allow him to run for a third consecutive term in 2006, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni intends to run for a fourth five-year term. His critics c...

Fru Ndi's trial

The 19 August murder trial of veteran oppositionist John Fru Ndi and 22 of his Social Democratic Front members will further sideline the leader of the SDF, Cameroon's last major op...

Bogged down

Cameroonian security forces in the disputed oil-rich Bakassi peninsula are on maximum alert after fatal attacks by the Niger Delta Defence and Security Council. The NDDSC, a little...