Policy issues from South Africa and its neighbours. Reports every two weeks.

v19/11 28 May 04

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CONTENTS

Malawi:

Opposition unites against new government

Congo:

Turmoil in Katanga after governor's appointment

Gecamines' decline

Boost to gold production

UN reinforces troops

Region:

African Union launches security council

SA think-tank corners Ugandan ex-intelligence chief

Zambia:

Ex-military chiefs on corruption charges

Rwandans told to leave

Namibia:

Tensions in Swapo

International:

As trade booms China is seen as a new model

Finding ways to boost Russia's image in Africa

Israel to close trade office in Johannesburg

SA politics:

Intelligence services being boosted

SA economy:

Growth figures may be amended upwards


Malawi:

Opposition unites against new government

SouthScan v19/11 28 May 04] The way ahead remains unclear after Malawi's controversial general elections and the violence that followed. The opposition parties are formulating a working relationship in parliament and at the same time they are challenging the election results in the High Court.

Sporadic chaos and violence erupted in the cities of Blantyre and Mzuzu following announcement of results of the May 20 election. Many business premises belonging to ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) politicians were burnt and looted. Three people died of gunshot wounds, with dozens seriously injured as police fired live bullets to quell unrest....

Election irregularities...

Cutting spending... >>>Full Report


Congo:

Turmoil in Katanga after governor's appointment

SouthScan v19/11 28 May 04] The appointment of new governors by President Joseph Kabila on May 16 (SouthScan v19/10) has sparked a wave of violence in Lubumbashi, centre of the country's copperbelt. During the three days following there were violent demonstrations against the appointee, Kisula Ngoy, a Gecamines medical doctor who became involved in politics during the Mobutu years as a member of the Union of Federalist and Independent Republicans (UFERI) and later as a member of Joseph Kabila's Party for Reconciliation and Development (PPRD).

The demonstrations, during which barricades were erected, were organised by the leader of the Union of Nationalist Federalists of Congo (UNAFEC), Gabriel Kyungu wa Kumwanza, who sought the job for himself....

Promoting non-Katangese...

Gecamines' decline...>>>Full Report


Congo:

Boost to gold production

SouthScan v19/11 28 May 04] The DR Congo could become a significant gold producer as new production kicks in. Production fell from over two tons in 1986 to only 112 kg in 2000, when the gold mines came under rebel control, but is rising fast.

The Office des mines d'or de Kilo-Moto parastatal (OKIMO) expects to produce at its Watsa plant two tons of gold by the end of September and gold mining activities have been resumed in Southern Kivu by the Canadian company Banro....>>>Full Report


Congo:

UN reinforces troops in South Kivu fighting

SouthScan v19/11 28 May 04] Fighting intensified this week around Bukavu in South Kivu with the UN mounting helicopter attacks and some of its peacekeepers being killed. It is now reinforcing its force there.

Around 2,000 Banyamulenge refugees have fled into neighbouring Rwanda to a camp near the town of Cyangugu....

Deal on demobilisation money...>>>Full Report


Region:

African Union launches security council

SouthScan v19/11 28 May 04] The African Union on Tuesday (May 25) launched a new Peace and Security Council (PSC), on the model of the UN Security Council.

It has the power to send peacekeeping troops to conflict areas where ceasefires have been signed and to recommend to heads of state to deploy intervention forces in the case of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity....>>>Full Report


Region:

Ugandan ex-intelligence chief for SA think-tank

SouthScan v19/11 28 May 04] The Pretoria-based South African Institute for Security Studies has contracted the influential former director-general of Uganda's External Security Organisation (ESO) to write a thesis on the viability of states in the Great Lakes region.

"I will be able to make projections about whether, for instance, the DRC will be a viable state by 2020", David Pulkol said....>>>Full Report


Zambia:

Ex-military chiefs on corruption charges

SouthScan v19/11 28 May 04] A Zambian former military commander has been charged with corruption while serving under ex-president Frederick Chiluba.

His arrest came as Zambian authorities said this week they would charge Chiluba for revealing details of secret tunnels leading from the state house to other parts of the capital Lusaka. Chiluba in 1995 revealed that underground tunnels built by his predecessor Kenneth Kaunda ran from the state house complex, where the president's office and official residence are located, to various parts of the city (SouthScan v10/34)....

IMF policies attacked...>>>Full Report


Zambia:

Rwandans told to leave

SouthScan v19/11 28 May 04] The Zambian government last week demanded that nearly 6,000 Rwandan refugees should return to their country because the political situation in that country had normalised....>>>Full Report


Namibia:

Tensions revealed in Swapo

SouthScan v19/11 28 May 04] The behind-the-scenes tensions in the ruling party Swapo were bared after President Sam Nujoma sacked his long time foreign minister Hidipo Hamutenya on Monday ahead of the party's extraordinary congress this weekend. His replacement was Marco Hausiku, former labour minister.

Hamutenya was making a bid for the nomination as president to follow Nujoma when he retires after presidential elections later this year. The party congress was scheduled for Friday and Saturday as we went to press. There were concerns in the party that if elected Hamutenya would boost the dominant Kwanyama sub-group in the Ovambo, who make up the majority of the population and of Swapo. Opposition parties are also primarily mobilised on ethnic lines....>>>Full Report


International:

As trade booms China is seen as a new model

SouthScan v19/11 28 May 04] Delegates from African countries to the World Bank's conference on poverty alleviation in China this week have been admiring the apparent success of China's anti-poverty programme in contrast with their own. China has cut the number of people living in poverty from 490 million in 1981 to 88m today.

The beginnings of a 'Beijing consensus' as opposed to the tired Washington Consensus of the '90s are being struck, say some analysts. This may involve at root a more phased and thought-through opening to global trade and money flows, and more attention to home-grown institutions....

Feeding growth...>>>Full Report


International:

Finding ways to boost Russia's image in Africa

SouthScan v19/11 28 May 04] After the 'lost decade' under Boris Yeltsin there are tentative attempts to revive relations between Russia and African states.

Last month more than 100 members of the political and business elites gathered at the Council on Foreign and Defence Policy's annual retreat and formulated preliminary plans to create something parallel to the Alliance Francaise or the British Council as a way to promote better understanding of Russia abroad....>>>Full Report


International:

Israel to close trade office in Johannesburg

[© SouthScan v19/11 28 May 04] Israel is to shut down its trade office in Johannesburg, the only one in Africa. The decision came amid a flurry of diplomatic activity by SA against Israel, the latest a condemnation of the house demolitions and military incursions by the Israeli Defence Forces in the Rafah refugee camp in Gaza.

But Israeli officials deny the impending closure is a political act or the first move to severing diplomatic ties. The decision has nothing to do with politics," said Daniel Pinhasi, the acting Israeli ambassador to South Africa. The trade ministry took the decision about a month ago after reviewing the progress of trade between Tel Aviv and Pretoria - trade between South Africa and Israel has remained unchanged over the past 10 years, and his country decided to close the office as it was costly to maintain, he said....>>>Full Report


SA politics:

Intelligence services are being boosted

SouthScan v19/11 28 May 04] South Africa's intelligence services are being boosted to enable them to anticipate rather than just describe threats, Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula said this week.

The statement came just ahead of an announcement by police chief Jackie Selebi that a terrorist attack linked to al-Qaeda on the eve of the April election had been foiled. Terrorism was added as a special focus area for the National Intelligence Service in January last year, and the announcement that SA will host the football World Cup in 2010 is likely to have added urgency....

Border security...>>>Full Report


SA economy:

Growth figures may be amended upwards

SouthScan v19/11 28 May 04] South Africa's real economic growth may be higher than official figures till now have stated. Growth doubled from an average annual rate of 1.5 percent during the 1980s to about three percent between 1994 and 2003, said Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni at a Euromoney conference in Cape Town last week.

But these figures may be understated, according to a report from Statistics SA, the official data service, last week. It amended figures to show that manufacturing had risen by 17 percent more than previously reported last year. On this figure, the result of registering previously unregistered companies, the calculation for GDP could also be higher, StatsSA said. On current figures the economy grew by 3.1 percent in the first quarter of the year compared to 1.3 percent in the fourth quarter of last year....

Expanded register...

Successful bond launch...

BEE 'urgent'...

Fuel price rise...>>>Full Report