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Published 7th November 2003

Vol 44 No 22


No chance, Mr President

Party officials and military commanders are ignoring President Mugabe's orders to surrender their farms

Several government ministers and senior military officers accused of grabbing farms are refusing to hand them back to the state, according to a new report on land reform ordered by President Robert Mugabe. Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo and 13 other ministers have secured several farms in violation of the government's 'one man, one farm' rule, the report says. Details of ministers' and officers' holdings are contained in a confidential annexe to the main report, which has been discussed in cabinet. Mugabe asked former Secretary to the Government Charles Utete to investigate the findings of an earlier land audit by the Minister of State in Deputy President Joseph Msika's office, Flora Buka. This had found major abuses of the land resettlement programme by senior officials (AC Vol 44 No 4). Buka's audit reported that some of the worst violations of the land reform policy were perpetrated by Mugabe's closest political allies, such as Air Vice-Marshal Perence Shiri, Minister Moyo and Mugabe's sister, Sabina Mugabe.

The best money can buy

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Kibaki's reformers are purging the judges – to much applause

'Why hire a lawyer when you can buy a judge?' runs a well-worn Kenyan joke. It's a joke that reformers in President Mwai Kibaki's government want to make redundant. The younger int...

Politics get crude

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Money, oil and scandals are the key to pre-election politics

The row over crude oil supplies to the state-owned Volta River Authority is turning into a full-scale political battle in the run up to next year's general elections. The key figur...

Gaius says goodbye

The sacking of Jackson Gaius Obaseki, Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, on 3 November, is linked to the growing problems with well connected firm Sa...

Al Qaida warning

Usama bin Laden's Al Qaida network could be preparing to attack Western targets in Africa for a third time, a panel of experts warned the United Nations Security Council last week....

Taylor's shadow

There is a new government but no real peace and far too few peacekeepers

Renewed fighting in Liberia's north-east Nimba County rings alarm bells across the region. Fingers are pointing at ousted President Charles Ghankay Taylor, now exiled in south-east...

New hopes, new dangers

Politicians try to fill the expanding power vacuum as faction alliances collapse

Somalia's peace process is close to collapse, according to regional leaders meeting in Kampala, Uganda, on 25 October. After the signing of the ceasefire a year ago in Eldoret, cur...


Money, perhaps

The European Commission proposes to spend 250 million euros to back peacekeeping operations in Africa and European Union ministers will soon decide whether to go ahead. This was fo...

Polio politics

There is growing frustration that a boycott of an immunisation campaign in northern Nigeria may be leading to a resurgence of poliomyelitis in the region. This would thwart interna...

A coup that wasn't

We hear there's some substance to speculation in Equatorial Guinea's capital of Malabo that the authorities foiled a coup attempt in late October. The government on 30 October furi...