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

v20/10 20 May 05

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Congo:Echoes from the past as Katangese 'secessionists' are arrested

Constitution limits Kabila's presidential powers

SA to help rebuild public service

 

Region:

Burundi's post-war election campaign begins

SA, Nigerian rivalry ratcheted up in ADB stalemate

 

Zimbabwe:

Mugabe seeks greater control of patronage system

Coal concessions handed out in 'Look East' policy

 

Zambia:

Opposition demands end to aid as president stalls

 

Region:

Trouble ahead for community split by Zambia-Malawi border

Swaziland:

Church leaders protest against constitution

SA economy:

Moves to integrate diplomacy with business expansion

SA politics:

Factions seen behind official engagement with private grief

Congo:
Echoes from the past as Katangese ‘secessionists’ are arrested
Congo:
Constitution limits Kabila's presidential powers
Congo:
SA to help rebuild public service
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Congo:

Echoes from the past as Katangese ‘secessionists’ are arrested

[© SouthScan v20/10 20 May 05] Concern is rising over the situation in the DR Congo’s Katanga province where since the end of April more than hundred arrests have taken place in Lubumbashi. They include Andre Tshombe, the son of the late leader of the Katangese secession of the 1960s and prime minister of the Congo, Moise Tshombe.

Also arrested was a former dean of Lubumbashi University and now an MP for the Congolese Rally for Democracy, Prof. Jean-Baptiste Kakoma. ...

Plot allegations ...

Mbuji-Mayi demonstration ...

Mbeki visits ... >> Full Report


Congo:

Constitution limits Kabila's presidential powers

[© SouthScan v20/10 20 May 05] The DR Congo’s national assembly has finally approved a draft constitution with a large majority of 348 in favour against five and eight abstentions. Congolese citizens still have to approve it by referendum.

The text, adopted last Friday (May 13), will replace the current transitional constitution adopted in December 2002 by Congolese politicians in Pretoria.The regime is described as “semi-presidential”. The president appoints the prime minister from among the members of the largest party in the parliament and can dismiss him. He can also dissolve the national assembly. The president is supposed to define policy in collaboration with the government....

EU satisfaction

Congo:

SA to help rebuild public service

[© SouthScan v20/10 20 May 05] South African officials are to provide technical and financial aid to public service institutions in the DR Congo over a three-year period.

SA Minister for Public Service and Administration Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi said experts would be sent to the Congo to help rebuild the country’s “nearly non-existent public sector”. ...

Region:

Burundi’s post-war election campaign begins

[© SouthScan v20/10 20 May 05] President Domitien Ndayizeye on Tuesday night signed a decree declaring the election campaign open for five polls, which will begin with local council elections on June 3, and climax with a July 4 parliamentary election and an August 19 presidential poll.

After the signature of a ceasefire deal with the last remaining rebel group, the National Liberation Forces, FNL, a week ago the way is now open for elections (SouthScan v20/09). ...

Truce signed with FNL ...

SA soldier in shoot-out   ...

Region:

SA, Nigerian rivalry ratcheted up in ADB stalemate

[© SouthScan v20/10 20 May 05] Rivalry between South Africa and Nigeria has been ratcheted up by a battle that ended in stalemate this week over the appointment of the new head for the African Development Bank.

A meeting of member countries opened on Wednesday in the Nigerian capital Abuja with six candidates, from Cameroon, Gabon, Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda and Zimbabwe, in the race to replace outgoing Moroccan Omar Kabbaj.He also announced the creation of a committee to investigate and battle corruption....

Zimbabwe:

Mugabe seeks greater control of patronage system

[© SouthScan v20/10 20 May 05] The political patronage system on which the Zimbabwe ruling group depends is being brought under tighter control and extended by President Robert Mugabe.

First he is expanding his ‘anti-corruption’ drive to include the newly released farmlands, formerly the white commercial farms, to better control who benefits.With his economy in dire straits Mugabe has only farmland and state positions of access to hand out, to ensure continued loyalty....

CIO probes land deals ...

Constitutional changesThere is a high likelihood that the bloated new cabinet, which was also not catered for in the last budget, and the senate, will force the ministry of finance to announce a large supplementary budget to offset the extra expenditures....

Succession dynamics ...

Change by diktat? ...

CIO shake-upMutasa, in charge of the 1980s plan to introduce a one party state in Zimbabwe, is a Mugabe loyalist from the eastern Manicaland area....

 

Zimbabwe:

Coal concessions handed out in ‘Look East’ policy

[© SouthScan v20/10 20 May 05] The financially crippled Zimbabwean government is mortgaging its vast coal reserves in return for investment from Asian states in the critical energy sector. It is a move meant to generate foreign direct investment (FDI) and earn credibility for its ‘Look East’ policy, say analysts (SouthScan v20/08).

Preferred investors from China, the world’s fastest growing economies have been in the country to size up coal concessions. ...

Barter deal for equipment ...

Power deals ...

 

Zambia:

Opposition demands end to aid as president stalls

[© SouthScan v20/10 20 May 05] The political opposition has called on Zambia’s main donors to end aid until there is a deal on the new constitution.

Another deadlock has set in on the issue barely a month after President Levy Mwanawasa said he was ready to meet opposition parties and civil society organizations to chart a way forward. ...

 

Region:

Trouble ahead for community split by Zambia-Malawi border

[© SouthScan v20/10 20 May 05] Trouble is looming along the 600-km Zambia-Malawi border despite “emotional” talks this week between the two countries on how to demarcate it.

Settlers who have encroached from both sides are threatening violence if security personnel from either country attempt to draw a line between them. But the area has become notorious for criminal activities and officials say demarcation would help improve security and governance by the two states. ...

Swaziland:

Church leaders protest against constitution

[© SouthScan v20/10 20 May 05] Two hundred and fifty church leaders affiliated with the Swaziland Council of Churches marched to the office of Prime Minister Themba Dlamini this week to deliver a petition protesting the nation’s new draft constitution and escalating the clergy’s involvement in the country’s democratisation process.

“This is a first public display strictly of church leaders to show our commitment to a democratic government in Swaziland,” said Rev. Hanson Ngwenya. ...

SA economy:

Moves to integrate diplomacy with business expansion

[© SouthScan v20/10 20 May 05] Major changes in the organisation of SA government ministries are in the wind. This may mean that SA’s rapid economic expansion into Africa will fit better with its foreign policy, say analysts.

A key part of the new plan is to build a super ministry out of the foreign ministry and trade. Details were leaked to the media in SA earlier this month but a press conference to explain the plans was unexpectedly cancelled, leading to speculation about bloodletting in cabinet as ministers battled over turf. ...

Sensible diplomacy? ...

Centralisation ...

 

SA politics:

Factions seen behind official engagement with private grief

[© SouthScan v20/10 20 May 05] South Africa’s ‘kremlinologists’ have been watching with interest the flurry of official condolences for the death of the mother of Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, noting that rarely are veterans of the liberation struggle accorded similar accolades.

The foreign affairs department issued a statement noting that cabinet ministers streamed to Dlamini-Zuma’s home, while members of the diplomatic corps were allocated last Sunday between 4pm and 6pm to pay their respects.The African National Congress has put an official bar on speculation about the contenders for the presidency when Mbeki leaves the job in 2008, but inevitably political observers have seen signs of favouritism for Dlamini-Zuma....