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Published 9th March 2001

Vol 42 No 5


Kenya

Cat and mouse

Constitutionally President Moi must step down from office but he may still hold onto the levers of power

When President Daniel arap Moi met the President of the World Bank, James Wolfensohn, and the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Horst Köhler, Kenya's stalled economic reform programme (see Box) was not the first thing on his mind. Moi's main worries were about his own exit from the presidency, due in December 2002. He had spent the morning of that Sunday, 25 February, and all the previous week, meeting tribal leaders from the poor regions that back him and his Kenya African National Union - Luhya of Western Province, Kalenjin and Maasai from the Rift Valley, Kamba from Eastern Province, and people from the Coast. They have recently, and surprisingly, found themselves in alliance with the National Development Party, led by the hereditary Luo leader, Raila Amolo Odinga, formerly Moi's implacable foe. The President and his political cronies - Tourism Minister Nicholas Biwott, presidential aide Joshua Kulei, his nephew Hosea Kiplagat (Chairman, Cooperative Bank of Kenya) and Mark Too (a nominated KANU member of parliament) - have been working out how to give up office yet keep control. They differ on details but seem poised to succeed, just as they succeeded in winning the 1992 and 1997 elections. Their main assets are the always divided opposition, plus support from the police and organized KANU youth. Their main problems are KANU's own divisions, which Moi has been trying to patch up with his usual tools of cajolery, inducements and threats.


Party games

President Wade has sacked his main ally and needs to acquire some new ones

President Abdoulaye Wade has shuffled the deck ahead of the legislative election that is due on 29 April. On 3 March, he sacked his Premier, Moustapha Niasse, whose support won him...


Catching the boat

In Senegal's troubled southern region, the pro-independence Mouvement des Forces Démocratiques de la Casamance (MFDC) is deeply split it and its veteran leader, the Abb&eacu...


The cost of Kabbah

Putting off elections for six months is delaying the evil day

That consummate survivor President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah has done it again. He has persuaded parliament, if not the voters, that his increasingly unpopular government should be given ...


Market failure

Liberal economies aren't producing jobs or growth

Market economics is failing in South Africa. It's not producing jobs, investment or the high growth needed to finance more spending on education and health. Moreover, South Africa ...


Even more intelligent

The National Intelligence Agency (NIA, for domestic intelligence) is training a special investigations unit which, its critics say, could become the political police of the African...



Pointers

Question of survival

The arrest of Colonel Eddy Kapend on 24 February disturbs the uneasy transition of power in Kinshasa. This is the man who shot the man who shot dead President Laurent-Désir&...


Acts of God

Rain, like drought, respects no frontiers. Downpours starting in Namibia fill Zimbabwe's Kariba Dam, which spills over and fills Mozambique's Cahora Bassa Dam, which spills over on...


Against Arusha

Rebel militias are stepping up the pressure as Burundi mediator Nelson Mandela drives the peace talks forward. Some 40,000 people have fled the fighting in northern Bujumbura since...