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Published 21st November 1997

Vol 38 No 23


Forgotten fighters

President Mugabe's government faces a budgetary crisis after conceding to the war veterans' demands for compensation

War veterans are proving the most potent political and financial force in Zimbabwe this year. Their success, after one of the most strident political campaigns since Independence, in negotiating compensation packages of Z$50,000 (between US$ 3-4,000) each, has brought into question the government's ability to finance its 18-month budget reduction programme. The World Bank's withdrawal of a US$62.5 million balance of payments credit in October, mainly because of concerns over the financing of a potential Z$4 billion payments' package for the veterans, seems to have precipitated a broader crisis of confidence in the economic strategy. On 14 November the Zimbabwe dollar went into free-fall against the US dollar; at one point the exchange rate fell as low as US$1= Z$25 before recovering to US$1=Z$12-13 by 17 November. Bankers in Harare feared an Asian- style meltdown.

Who is Hunzvi?

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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The irresistible rise of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans' Association's leader, Chenjerai 'Hitler' Hunzvi, to political stardom this year was achieved by his intellig...

The border war

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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The rebellion in the north damages President Museveni's reputation and his budget

In Africa, President Yoweri Museveni's stock runs high, some argue it's second only to Nelson Mandela's. Triumphantly and genuinely elected last year, Museveni's reputation is base...

Cracking Koroma

The Freetown junta starts playing for time and recruits more fighters

The much-trumpeted Conakry peace accord of 23 October is already falling apart at the seams. Under the accord, Major Johnny Paul Koroma's Armed Forces Revolutionary Council underto...

Pax Nigeriana

Seven years of regional policing in Liberia and Sierra Leone is under scrutiny

Crisis-by-crisis, month-by-month the Nigerian-dominated West African Peacekeeping Force (Ecomog) is becoming a sub-regional police force. Together with its parent organisation, the...

Mini-Mobutu okay?

Western donors are doing business with Eyadèma and are likely to accept his election

Africa's strongmen are finding that disapproval from Western donors does not hurt them much. Denis Sassou-Nguesso is once more the ruler of Congo-Brazzaville by force of arms. In C...


Voting for Driss

The big winner in the 14 November general election was Interior Minister Driss Basri. Following some way behind were the biggest opposition party, the Union Socialiste des Forces P...

Bongo's beanfeast

It was an achievement, of a kind, that the first- ever European Union Afro-Caribbean Pacific Group summit meeting was held at all. Gabon's President Omar Bongo had invited to Libre...

Richard Hall

We are sad to report the death on 14 November of Richard Hall, the publisher of the newsletter Africa Analysis which he founded in 1985. His friendly manner won him many friends ac...