Analysis and reporting on key policy issues from Southern and Central Africa

v21/06 24 March 06

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CONTENTS

Angola:
Purge of external security services opens a Pandora's Box

Angola:
French newspaper takeover may sink 'Angolagate' probe

Congo:
EU force gets the political go-ahead amidst concern about exit strategy

Congo:
Attempts grow desperate to ensure main parties participate in election

Region:
Bad news for Zambia if fugitive rises in DRC poll

Region:
Congolese and Swazi aircraft banned from EU skies

Zimbabwe:
Tsvangirai demonstrates popularity at MDC meeting

Zimbabwe:
Charges dropped as judge castigates CIO, police

Region:
Zambia spells out its antagonism to Tsvangirai

SA economy:
Largest recorded capital inflow in booming economy


Angola:

Purge of external security services opens a Pandora’s Box

[© SouthScan v21/06 24 Mar 06] President José Eduardo dos Santos’ decision to sack the boss of the external security service, Gen. Fernando Garcia Miala, on February 24 has shocked the political elite. Last week eight opposition parties, including Unita, asked the president to call a meeting of the consultative Council of the Republic to explain his action.
A number of reasons, both official and unofficial, have been given. The official justification for Miala’s sacking, provided by the official ANGOP news agency, is that the decision was made because of “violations of working and discipline procedures by members of the external security”.
... French relations strained
...
Diamond industry
...
Cross-border tensions
...
Involvement in DRC
... >>> Full report


Angola:

French newspaper takeover may sink ‘Angolagate’ probe

[© SouthScan v21/06 24 Mar 06] A close business partner of the Angolan President José Eduardo Dos Santos, the Russian-Israeli tycoon, Arkady Gaydamak has announced he has taken over the Paris daily France-Soir.
The Russian media group Moscow News, owned by Gaydamak, said it bought the French newspaper in order to turn around the newspaper’s troubled finances and to project a more balanced view of Russia in the West. But there is little doubt that it will also beat the drum for Angola and Dos Santos, and will make it more difficult for the judicial authorities in Paris to continue their corruption investigation against Gaydamak. Two French judges have issued a international arrest warrant because of his alleged involvement in the ‘Angolagate’ oil for arms deal (SouthScan v16/01;06;11 et seq).
... Tarnished reputations
...

>>> Full report


Congo:

EU force gets the political go-ahead amidst concern about exit strategy

[© SouthScan v21/06 24 Mar 06] European Union heads of states and governments on Thursday approved formally the concept of a support force to back up MONUC, the UN Mission in the DR Congo, during the electoral process. They agreed to start military planning and preparation. Planning for police support will also be pursued.
The European Parliament voted through a fairly restrictive resolution agreeing to the mission. It urged the EU Council to present a clear proposal and to limit the duration of the mission very clearly to the duration of the parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for June, amid concerns about an overall lack of clarity about its function.
...
Restricted action
...

>>> Full report


Congo:

Attempts grow desperate to ensure main parties participate in election

[© SouthScan v21/06 24 Mar 06] Three months before the scheduled date for the first round of the elections on June 18 uncertainty is growing about the confirmation of the date and about the participation of the main political stakeholders.
On Thursday (March 23), on the eve of the deadline for the registration of candidates for the legislative and presidential elections, nobody had registered officially for the main opposition party, the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDSP). Neither did the UDSP organise or even announce a congress to appoint its candidates. Even the visiting UN Secretary General Kofi Annan could not convince UDSP leader Etienne Tshisekedi at a meeting at his hotel in Kinshasa on Wednesday (March 22) to do so. Observers were left guessing the reasons.
...
Demonstrations reveal weakness
...
Banyamulenge representation
... Kabila spurns Annan
...
Security front
...

>>> Full report



Region:
Bad news for Zambia if fugitive rises in DRC poll

[© SouthScan v21/06 24 Mar 06] Relations between the neighbouring DR Congo and Zambia are sure to freeze over in the unlikely event that presidential hopeful Katebe Katoto, wanted in Zambia for the alleged theft of millions of dollars in an abortive arms deal, wins in the June DRC presidential.
DRC Independent Electoral Commission Rev. Apollinaire Malu Malu confirmed this week that the candidates’ list includes Katoto. He was declared a prohibited immigrant by Zambia’s President Levy Mwanawasa in 2002 because of his alleged corrupt dealings with former Zambian president Frederick Chiluba, currently facing several charges in the Zambian courts. Katoto is on the wanted list of the Zambian task force on corruption instituted by Mwanawasa four years ago.
... Congolese refugees for the UK
...

>>> Full report


Region:
Congolese and Swazi aircraft banned from EU skies

[© SouthScan v21/06 24 Mar 06] The European Union’s new blacklist of unsafe airlines includes nearly all the 50 DR Congolese airlines and seven Swazi companies.
EU Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot announced on Wednesday (March 22) that for safety reasons 92 air carriers would be banned from flying over EU territory. All but seven are African companies and includes all DRC airlines except Hewa Bora.
...
Swazi failures
...

>>> Full report


Zimbabwe:
Tsvangirai demonstrates popularity at MDC meeting

[© SouthScan v21/06 24 Mar 06] The Morgan Tsvangirai wing of the Movement for Democratic Change clearly holds the lead if the numbers of delegates attending its congress this week was anything to judge by. More than 15,000 accredited delegates packed the City Sports Centre in Harare for the two-day congress and even Zanu-PF strongholds such as Mashonaland Central, East, West, the Midlands and Masvingo had large delegations, according to local reports.
Tsvangirai appeared relieved that the large turn-out was confirmation of his popularity with the grassroots, according to the independent Standard newspaper. He was conciliatory to those who had split from the party, but at the same time has taken steps to centralise and increase his power to prevent future division. He will appoint a chief executive officer who will be responsible for appointing staff.
...

>>> Full report


Zimbabwe:
Charges dropped as judge castigates CIO, police

[© SouthScan v21/06 24 Mar 06] The state last week dropped charges against six people arrested in connection with the discovery of an arms cache in Mutare. The judge said they were being held illegally and accused Central Intelligence Organisation agents of threatening the prosecution.
The high court decision confirmed the view of local observers that the arrests had been made to coincide with and destabilise the congress of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (SouthScan v21/05).
...
Laws on foreign media
...

>>> Full report



Region:
Zambia spells out its antagonism to Tsvangirai

[© SouthScan v21/06 24 Mar 06] Zimbabwe’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change president Morgan Tsvangirai may have confirmed his party presidency at its congress this month but his relationship with neighbouring Zambia remains bad after his expulsion from that country last month.
Zambia is aware that the MDC leader wants to use “shortcuts” to get into government and if he had been allowed to finish his meetings in Zambia the country’s image and its relationship with Zimbabwe would have been dented, government chief spokesman Vernon Mwaanga told SouthScan this week. He was referring to Tsvangirai’s secret meeting in Zambia that resulted in his expulsion
...

Sugar import wrangle
...
Power supply contract
...

>>> Full report


SA economy:
Largest recorded capital inflow in booming economy

[© SouthScan v21/06 24 Mar 06] South Africa recorded its largest ever capital inflow in 2005, the South African Reserve Bank said in its Quarterly Bulletin released on Thursday.
“Sound macroeconomic policies in South Africa and continued positive investor sentiment towards emerging markets in general gave rise to sizeable capital inflows in the country in 2005,” the bank said.
...
Social changes
...

>>> Full report