Policy issues from South Africa and its neighbours. Reports every two weeks.
v20/07 8 April 05
SADC and SA enthusiastic, AU muted, West antagonistic P.3
SA business concerned about economic crisis P.4
Brain drain is fatal flaw in plans for economic recovery P.4
Campaign begins to re-open Commonwealth doors P.5
Hutu rebels still far from effective disarmament P.5
Belgian and SA defence ministers visit P.6
Kabila's security police accused of rights abuses P.6
Mwanawasa changes adamant stance on constitution P.7
Chissano to join UN reform promotion tour P.7
SA tightens links with Sahara P.7
Sudanese training starts P.7
Military offsets fail to materialise P.8
SA failing in AIDS treatment P.8
Papal obstacles to AIDS prevention attacked P.8
Ethnic and class divisions exacerbated by election
[(c) SouthScan v20/07 8 Apr 05] Unease is mounting in the aftermath of the Zimbabwe election last week, in spite of declarations of support from the region and a seal of approval from the Southern African Development Community.
Many analysts, domestic and regional, foresee a period of instability in a society now sharply divided between urban and rural communities and between ethnic groups, with popular legitimacy still evading the government after the parliamentary election. ...
SADC approval ...
Tribal politics ...
Mugabe's choices ...
Manyika promotion? ...
Mnangagwa's chances ...
MDC's future ...
Constitutional changes ... >>>Full report
SADC and SA enthusiastic, AU muted, West antagonistic
[(c) SouthScan v20/07 8 Apr 05] The result of Zimbabwe's parliamentary poll last week (March 31) was no surprise - the election resulted as expected in a victory for the ruling party Zanu-PF. The result was - also as expected - welcomed by the official 55-member Southern African Development Community mission, which congratulated Zimbabwe on "peaceful, transparent, credible and well managed elections, which reflect the will of the people."
Similar approval came from the South African Observer Mission (SAOM), which said the parliamentary elections were conducted in line with the laws of the country which "by and large conform to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) guidelines governing the elections". ...>>>Full report
SA business concerned about economic crisis
[(c) SouthScan v20/07 8 Apr 05] South Africa business leaders have expressed anxiety about the state of the Zimbabwean economy, and the way it is impinging on South Africa's. The business association 'Business Unity South Africa' (Busa) this week urged President Thabo Mbeki to discuss Zimbabwe's economic crisis with South African business, saying it had a vital stake in seeing Zimbabwe resolve its economic problems.
Busa cited a 2003 study that estimated that the Zimbabwean crisis at that stage had already cost the Southern African region R17 billion since 2000 and could have shaved about 1.3 percent off SA's gross domestic product at the time. ...>>>Full report
Brain drain is fatal flaw in plans for economic recovery
[(c) SouthScan v20/07 8 Apr 05] With the dust settling on the parliamentary election many Zimbabweans are now considering what can be done to resurrect their crashed economy.
Zimbabwe's economy has shrunk 50 percent during the past five years, and the unemployment rate is at least 70 percent. Agriculture - the country's economic base - has collapsed, and at least 70 percent of the population live in poverty. ...
Most graduates leave ...>>>Full report
Campaign begins to re-open Commonwealth doors
[(c) SouthScan v20/07 8 Apr 05] The first signs of an African campaign to bring Zimbabwe back in from the cold were seen this week when Kenyan's President Mwai Kibaki called for patience in dealing with members of the Commonwealth as they move toward full democracy.
Opening a Commonwealth forum on the separation of powers within government on Monday, Kibaki said that stability, and not just the realization of democratic principles, must be a prime goal of the 53-nation bloc. ...>>>Full report
Hutu rebels still far from effective disarmament
[(c) SouthScan v20/07 8 Apr 05] There is increasing scepticism about the widely publicised announcement by former Hutu Interahamwe forces in the DR Congo that they will disarm and return to Rwanda. Instead some observers believe they are playing for time.
On March 31, after several days of discussions in Rome with the Congolese authorities under the auspices of the Sant'Egidio community, the chairman of the Hutu 'Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda' (DFLR), Ignace Murwanashyaka, announced that they would stop fighting or launching attacks on Rwanda. ...
France gives a welcome ...
Rwanda prosecutions ...>>>Full report
Belgian and SA defence ministers visit
[(c) SouthScan v20/07 8 Apr 05] The defence ministers of Belgium and South Africa last week flew to the DR Congo to assess progress in the formation of the new joint army.
Andre Flahaut and Patrick Lekota went to the Kamina base, where the new army's 2nd Integrated Brigade is being formed.The 1st Integrated Division was set up in Kisangani, a wartime RCD stronghold, in March 2004 with support from Belgium....>>>Full report
Kabila's security police accused of rights abuses
[(c) SouthScan v20/07 8 Apr 05] Allegations of serious human rights abuses have been made against the DR Congo President Joseph Kabila and his security police.
The chairman of the 'Voice of the Voiceless' human rights organization (VSV), Floribert Chebeya told a press conference on Thursday (April 7) in Brussels that "methods have not changed" since the Mobutu Sese Seko period. He referred to harassment and intimidation by the Congolese security service against human rights activists and his organization. ...
Asia trip ...
Military court ...>>>Full report
Mwanawasa changes adamant stance on constitution
[(c) SouthScan v20/07 8 Apr 05] Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa has met leaders of civic and religious groups to discuss the possibility of passing a new constitution before next year's general elections.
The move seems a capitulation following countrywide demonstrations in January organised by the opposition and civic groups who are demanding a new and democratic constitution before the 2006 ballot (SouthScan v20/04). Opposition and civic groups wants the new constitution to be enacted before the 2006 elections so that a winning presidential candidate is declared the victor only after attaining more than 50 percent of the ballots cast. ...>>>Full report
Chissano to join UN reform promotion tour
[(c) SouthScan v20/07 8 Apr 05] Mozambique's former president Joaquim Chissano is one of the figures appointed by Secretary-General Kofi Annan to help promote the reform of the UN.
Other leading political figures are from Ireland, Indonesia, and Mexico. ...>>>Full report
SA tightens links with Sahara
[(c) SouthScan v20/07 8 Apr 05] SA's Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma was this week visiting the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic in the first high level contact following recognition of SADR by South Africa in September last year.
The contentious issue has been muted in South Africa and in the wider region but it represents a critical drag on President Thabo Mbeki's hopes for wider African unity. ...>>>Full report
Sudanese training starts
[(c) SouthScan v20/07 8 Apr 05] South Africa has started up a training programme in the country in for representatives of the leadership from southern Sudan.
The group is preparing itself to assume government positions both in the south and in Sudan as a whole. ...>>>Full report
Military offsets fail to materialise
[(c) SouthScan v20/07 8 Apr 05] Three of the military contractors for the giant R30 billion 1999 armaments refurbishment deal - the German Submarine Consortium Ferrostaal, BAE/SAAB and Thales - have failed to meet their offset targets. The news will buttress the sentiment in military circles that the deals were wrong-headed and are now making it harder to boost the military budget for peace-keeping (SouthScan v19/17).
The arms companies have fallen short by R4 billion, R845 million and R263 million respectively, the opposition Democratic Alliance said. This represents 22 percent of all commitments required by the first milestone. ...>>>Full report
SA failing in AIDS treatment
[(c) SouthScan v20/07 8 Apr 05] Of the 20 countries that have the highest antiretroviral need, only Botswana and Brazil have met targets of getting three million people on treatment drugs by 2005, with South Africa faring the worst.
This was revealed at the seventh international AIDS Impact conference in Cape Town this week. ...>>>Full report
Papal obstacles to AIDS prevention attacked
[(c) SouthScan v20/07 8 Apr 05] Reaction in Africa to the death of the Roman Catholic Pope has been varied. While Zambia hung its flag at half mast and declared two days of mourning, many commentators deplored the obstacles the pope placed in the way of preventing AIDS.
The late pontiff in a landmark message in 1988 said that use of contraception was "intrinsically illicit" and that "no personal or social circumstances could ever, can now, or will ever, render such an act lawful in itself".