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Published 17th March 2000

Vol 41 No 6


Who's next?

The Zanu-PF hierarchy is encouraging President Mugabe to take a dignified retirement. But they can't agree who should take over

Few serious politicians doubt that Zimbabwe is heading for its roughest elections since Independence and the end of the liberation war in 1980. The ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front is more unpopular than it's ever been, the economy is in free-fall and facing a massive currency devaluation in the middle of the year. There's no end in sight to the fuel crisis widely blamed on corruption, mismanagement and the military intervention in Congo-Kinshasa. After the vote against the government in the constitutional referendum (AC Vol 41 No 4), the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) smells victory; not just in the towns which have been getting more disaffected with ZANU-PF over the past decade but also in the countryside, where about 70 per cent of voters live. Rather than change policy now, the circle around President Robert Mugabe believes it can use the state security apparatus to undercut the rural opposition and a militant squad of well-paid war veterans to intimidate opposition supporters in the towns.

Good-relief, debt-relief

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Donors switch money into flood relief, the government is washed off economic course

Five years after having been the world's favourite basket case, Mozambique is trying hard to ensure the floods don't wash it off course (AC Vol 41 No 5). Five years of peace, good ...

Early warning

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President Joaquim Chissano's new government in January included several tried and trusted ministers, whose experience has paid off in the flood disaster. The team at Foreign Affair...

Duet for donors

The World bank is convinced Kenya's reforms are for real; the IMF is less sure

The government convinced itself that, by appointing a dream team of reforming technocrats under the captaincy of Richard Leakey, it had ended its credibility problems with the Inte...

Hope from the north

A new peace plan focuses on civil society but no one agrees how to choose the delegates

Somalis have high hopes of the peace conference scheduled for 20 April to 5 May. It is very much a Djibouti government initiative: it is to be held in the country and the proposals...

All change

A complex row over oil, French troops, and links with rebels has boiled over

For a French ambassador to be expelled from Chad was once unthinkable: Paris was more likely to expel a Chadian president. Changing times were marked on 11 March by the announcemen...


Turning off the taps

Relations between President Jerry Rawlings' government and the World Bank are at their lowest ebb following the Bank's decision to cancel a US$100 million water project loan becaus...

Baker's big idea

A new drive for peace in Western Sahara is signalled by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan's choice of a new Special Envoy. Former United States Secretary of State James B...

Post-poll rumblings

The arrest of dozens of school and college students during demonstrations in the south-east - traditionally a barometer of popular tension - broke the veneer of total calm so energ...