Jump to navigation

Published 15th March 2013

Vol 54 No 6


Kenya

The closest of shaves

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures
Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

View site

Prime Minister Raila Odinga is challenging Uhuru Kenyatta’s narrow win in court after a spate of technical failures at the electoral commission

Uhuru Kenyatta’s presidential victory leaves Kenya still a divided nation. He achieved it by engineering a partnership between his fellow Kikuyu and the Kalenjin of his running mate, William Ruto, in the Jubilee Alliance. Locally, the big losers are the rival candidates, Raila Odinga and Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka. Those Western countries which opposed the candidacies of Kenyatta and Ruto now face the problems of dealing with a President and Deputy who are charged with crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court (ICC).


Credibility of the IEBC under fire

A detailed report claiming widespread incompetence and corruption at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission may prove another blow to its standing as it seeks to defen...


A very British coup

The Jubilee Alliance plays the conspiracy card on the old colonial power and turns up trumps

It was a warning shot from the usually emollient Charity Kaluki Ngilu when she read a statement in Nairobi on 6 March claiming that Britain’s envoy Christian Turner was plotting wi...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

Take your choice: hi-tech or low-tech elections; fast or slow courts. All are on tap in Africa’s election season, which started in Ghana last December, continued in Kenya on 4 March and moving to Zimbabwe this month with a referendum on a new constitution, to be followed in mid-year by national elections.

Judicial reforms in Ghana and Kenya encourag...

Take your choice: hi-tech or low-tech elections; fast or slow courts. All are on tap in Africa’s election season, which started in Ghana last December, continued in Kenya on 4 March and moving to Zimbabwe this month with a referendum on a new constitution, to be followed in mid-year by national elections.

Judicial reforms in Ghana and Kenya encouraged politicians to trust the courts. All judges in Zimbabwe have long been appointed by President Robert Mugabe and his adherents. Yet he and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai agreed on Judge Rita Makarau to head the electoral commisson.

Ghana and Kenya experimented with technology, but failures in the biometric registration systems suggested conspiracy to some, mismanagement to others. The instant transmission of polling station results to the national tallying centre – tested in Kenya but not in Ghana – had offered a safeguard against tampering. When it failed, Raila Odinga’s supporters cried foul.

The announced losers – Odinga and, in Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo – are disputing the results. Kenya’s Supreme Court will have just two weeks to adjudicate; Ghana’s may take months. This has not tempered political mistrust or partisan rhetoric. But with these reforms, more fraudsters can be exposed and the system is becoming more accountable. However, the credibility of the vote is down to the political will of the participants. That question looms largest in Zimbabwe.

Read more

Taking the hostage road

Kidnapping is on the increase as Nigeria’s two main Islamist terrorist groups follow different paths

Claims are bitterly disputed that seven hostages have been murdered by their jihadist captors in the north after a rescue attempt by Nigerian and British forces. Abuja and London a...


Groans about growth

The increasing flow of ore exports is good for foreign companies and GDP figures but government revenue from mining is low and poorly handled

Last year was not the year it was meant to be for Sierra Leone’s economy. The International Monetary Fund initially predicted growth at a staggering 51.4%. As the months passed, th...


Secrecy mars ballot deal

Confusion surrounds when, or even if, elections can be held this year but nobody doubts that the public yearns for an end to the political vacuum

Malagasy have been waiting a long time to have their electoral say but on 5 February, the electoral commission postponed the long-awaited presidential election from 8 May to 24 Jul...


Condé’s rainbow fades away

His election brought expectations of an end to impunity, corruption and poverty but support has leached away and now civil unrest is taking hold

Two years after President Alpha Condé came to office, the promise of a new era of accountability and transparency now lies in the ruins of police shootings, arson and ethnic violen...


Trouble in the hills

Social tension has twice erupted into violence around African Minerals Limited’s Tonkolili mine. In late 2010, AML caused alarm when it started to build a dam on a plot of land out...


M23 may be close to a deal

Moves are afoot to reintegrate the rebels, ending the revolt by agreeing to their demands and putting Jean-Bosco Ntaganda out in the cold

The Mouvement du 23 mars appears close to a peace agreement with President Joseph Kabila, Africa Confidential has learned. A violent split in M23 at the end of February saw serious...


Shocks and ore bodies

This year, President Alpha Condé has consistently attempted to reassure investors that major projects, especially in mining, will go ahead as planned. ‘We are doing our best to hel...


Vote now, pay later

All parties want the same result in the 16 March referendum but it holds dangers, especially concerning the presidential succession

The referendum on 16 March takes place less than a month after the starting gun was fired. No one doubts a favourable result but only the turnout will indicate the level of enthusi...



Pointers

Unhealthy finances

The Anti-Corruption Commission charged 29 officials, most of them in connection with over US$1 million from the Global Alliance for Vaccinations and Immunisations that went missing...


Stay on, moi?

After he made a host of startling coup plot accusations, some worry that President Thomas Yayi Boni may be displaying signs of paranoia. Since 2006, Benin has an enviable reputati...


'Cruel and inhumane'

Khartoum has reacted angrily to criticism of the cross-amputation of Adam el Muthna, 30, who had his right hand and left foot cut off last month after being convicted of armed robb...


Tap dancing

There is widespread optimism that oil will soon again flow from South Sudan to Sudan after a 14-month break since Juba turned off the tap. The two governments agreed on 12 March o...