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Published 21st July 2017

Vol 58 No 15


Rwanda

A landslide foretold

Paul Kagame greets his supporters at a presidential campaign rally in Ruhango on July 14, 2017. Pic: Lyu Tianran/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images
Paul Kagame greets his supporters at a presidential campaign rally in Ruhango on July 14, 2017. Pic: Lyu Tianran/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

President Kagame’s victory next month is assured. Of greater interest is how he will achieve it and his policies towards the regional flashpoints

Lest there was any doubt about the outcome of the 4 August presidential election, President Paul Kagame dispelled it himself at a mass rally on 14 July, when official campaigning began. Mocking foreign critics, he declared, 'Some people have said that the result of the election is a foregone conclusion. They are not wrong. Rwandans made their position clear in 2015.' He was referring to the referendum on changing the constitution to allow him a third term in office.

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Losing control in Kasaï

Map Copyright © Africa Confidential 2017

Kabila benefits from a refugee crisis as politicians use militias against each other. But the President could be burned too

This was never a strife-torn region. The Kasaï provinces had long escaped the fate of less fortunate parts of Congo-Kinshasa but in the past year, violence has grown sharply. A lar...


Diezani in their sights

The net tightens around former Oil Minister Allison-Madueke as US prosecutors target her business partners' assets

The filing of a US$144 million assets recovery case in Houston on 14 July points to substantive progress in international investigations into tens of billions of dollars of oil con...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

The list of international companies getting snarled in battles about fraud and politics in Africa has lengthened this year to include hitherto more pristine names, such as McKinsey, KPMG and Germany's SAP software company. They have all been named in the widening probes into the Gupta family's relations with South Africa's President Jacob Zuma.

Remarkably, th...

The list of international companies getting snarled in battles about fraud and politics in Africa has lengthened this year to include hitherto more pristine names, such as McKinsey, KPMG and Germany's SAP software company. They have all been named in the widening probes into the Gupta family's relations with South Africa's President Jacob Zuma.

Remarkably, the companies continued to work on Gupta-linked projects long after the family started attracting intense scrutiny from the media. At a minimum, the companies will have to review their due diligence procedures which seem, in many cases, elaborate box-ticking exercise. All three risk reputational damage, most seriously for McKinseys, which advises companies and governments on how to avoid such problems.

Other companies such as Credit Suisse and Russia's state bank VTB are in denial about corporate failings, such as their role in structuring the notorious tuna bond deals as part of a package of some US$2 billion of secret loans that nearly bankrupted Mozambique.

So what are the prospects of tougher government measures to hold companies to account in Africa and elsewhere? Not high, according to Hui Chen, who has resigned from a top fraud-busting post in the Department of Justice in Washington. She was going, she said, partly because of the 'cognitive dissonance' of 'trying to hold companies to standards that our current administration is not living up to'.

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Magufuli's law

Mining companies hold their breath as the government introduces a radical new legal regime for the industry  

Students at the Law School of Tanzania were presented with two case studies for their commercial law examination last month which illustrate how the government's dispute with minin...


Reforms stall as unrest eases

The wave of revolt has run out of steam and with it the momentum for reform. Yet resentment lingers and political challenges abound

Ten months into the state of emergency declared to help suppress a rash of protests across the country which claimed hundreds of lives, Ethiopia's security apparatus has the upper ...


The high cost of fighting fraud

As the parties enter the last two weeks of an increasingly tense race, accusations of rigging are multiplying

As both the governing Jubilee Party and the opposition National Super Alliance (Nasa) race into the final straight before the general elections on 8 August, both are focusing relen...


Killing fields in the Rift Valley

Pastoralists in cahoots with unscrupulous politicians are invading farms in the Northern Rift, using violence for political gain in the coming elections

Farm invasions led by Samburu herders targeting large farms and conservation projects have killed scores of people and chased some 10,000 people from their homes in Laikipia, accor...


Sanctions test for Trump

The US delays its sanctions decision, handing Khartoum a political defeat and rights activists a moral victory. But for how long?

Washington's deferral for three months of a decision on the 'permanent' lifting of trade sanctions on Sudan was as much about domestic politics and disarray in the White House as a...



Pointers

Nkaissery leaves the stage

Joseph Nkaissery looked hale and hearty at the Labour Day rally at the tourist village Bomas of Kenya, which he attended with President Uhuru Kenyatta just hours before his sudden ...


Bye bye magic money tree

When central bank Governor Valter Filipe da Silva took the platform at a meeting on Angola's financial sector on 5 July, some listened to him describe the government's efforts to r...