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

v21/15 28 July 06

For subscription details ...

 


CONTENTS

Zimbabwe:

Mugabe backs Gono in anti-corruption drive and economic revival plan

Congo:

Declaration of legitimacy a foregone conclusion in historic election    

Congo:

Survey shows armed groups remain a threat    

Congo:

Anti-fraud body set up own tax on Zambia trade    

Region:

Loss of Congo coffee resources hits Uganda’s economy    

Region:

US aids regional military standardisation    

Zambia:

Divisions grow in opposition ahead of election    

Malawi:

Former president briefly arrested    

SA politics:

Zuma supporters use trial as a mobilisation tool    

SA development:

Black empowerment may take back seat to economic delivery    

SA development:

Cabinet prepares fresh strategy as crime surges again    


Zimbabwe:

Mugabe backs Gono in anti-corruption drive and economic revival plan

[© SouthScan v21/15 28 July 06] Zimbabwe is on the brink of a fresh policy shift that will involve a new currency and the arrest of top government officials for corruption.

The drive is being headed by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono, who received President Robert Mugabe’s public backing earlier this week. But the upcoming arrests are likely to exacerbate divisions inside the ruling Zanu-PF party, say analysts. The decision now to move against some members of the elite indicates that Mugabe is confident he can control the potentially warring factions, loosely based round former military chief Solomon Majuru and acting parliamentary speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa. ...

Reducing inflation ...

Assassination attempt....

Not personal....

Budget supplement ... >>> Full report


Congo:

Declaration of legitimacy a foregone conclusion in historic election

[© SouthScan v21/15 28 July 06] Whatever the outcome of Sunday’s historic Congolese election it was already apparent that it would be declared a success and the harbinger of a legitimate government.

But at the same time domestic political opposition is growing to a victory for the incumbent president Joseph Kabila, and few believe the country will soon become stable. ...

>>> Full report


Congo:

Survey shows armed groups remain a threat

[© SouthScan v21/15 28 July 06] On the eve of the elections a significant number of combatants from the various conflicts in Congo since 1996 have still not disarmed and many continue to destabilise the country.

The worst violence in recent months took place in the northeastern district of Ituri where militias continue to fight for territory although, on Wednesday, a coalition of armed groups, the Mouvement revolutionnaire congolais, agreed to stop fighting during the elections, according to the UN agency IRIN. ...

>>> Full report


Congo:

Anti-fraud body set up own tax on Zambia trade

[© SouthScan v21/15 28 July 06] A commission set up to combat customs fraud in the DR Congo has been disbanded after it was discovered charging an illegal tax on all traffic passing across the border with Zambia.

The governor of Katanga, whose copper and cobalt mining industry generates huge revenues, ordered the commission wound up after visiting the Kasumbelesa border post, officials and a UN-sponsored radio said last week. ...

SA firm accused ...

>>> Full report


Region:

Loss of Congo coffee resources hits Uganda’s economy

[© SouthScan v21/15 28 July 06] Ever since Uganda withdrew from the DR Congo, coffee, earlier the country’s top export commodity crop, has been declining. Now specialists fear it could in four years be written off as a strategic export commodity.

The decline is another way in which the strengthening of Kinshasa’s control of the Eastern Congo will impact on its neighbours’ economies, which have battened mainly on its mineral resources. ...

>>> Full report


Region:

US aids regional military standardisation

[© SouthScan v21/15 28 July 06] Despite cuts in its military budgets to many African states the US is moving ahead with a programme to standardise communications equipment of African forces. This is a key element in its African training programme and is vital for forces using different equipment, such as those in the regional Southern African Development Community Brigade. The move comes in anticipation of a continued and developing need for peace forces from different African countries to be able to communicate.

SA officers at a course headed by the US at the Wonderboom base north of Pretoria last week said that interoperability problems were the first difficulties they had experienced in sending peace forces to African conflict zones. ...

Military aid cut ...

>>> Full report


Zambia:

Divisions grow in opposition ahead of election

[© SouthScan v21/15 28 July 06] Deep cracks has developed in the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) following the resignation of the party’s heavyweight Sakwiba Sikota after losing an election for the party leadership.

Sikota, a lawyer who was UPND’s vice president for political affairs acted as the party president following the death of Anderson Mazoka two months ago. Mazoka’s death saw the appearance of his childhood friend, businessman Hakainde Hichilema on the political scene to take over the party leadership (SouthScan v21/13). ...

Poll date ...

>>> Full report


Malawi:

Former president briefly arrested

[© SouthScan v21/15 28 July 06] Former president Bakili Muluzi was arrested on corruption charges this week. Then, just hours later, the director of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), Gustav Kaliwo, was fired. A statement from the office of President Bingu wa Mutharika said Kaliwo was suspended on Thursday “for not following the right procedures”.

Muluzi was called in to answer questions on the disappearance of US$9.5 million of donor money between April 1999 and November 2004. Muluzi still has commercial interests in real estate, transport, media and retailing ...

>>> Full report


SA politics:

Zuma supporters use trial as a mobilisation tool

[© SouthScan v21/15 28 July 06] The corruption trial of former vice president Jacob Zuma was due to open Monday in Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal province and is being used to propel a massive mobilisation of his supporters. Thousands of were this week descending on the town, where the SA Communist Party was also holding its 85th anniversary celebrations.

Zuma was set to address the SACP’s anniversary rally on behalf of the African National Congress with SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande the main speaker. ...

Mbeki in ‘arms meetings’ ...

SACP distanceMeanwhile the political tenor in the country seems to be growing increasingly populist as the government seeks to overtake on the Left the pro-Zuma swing. Over the past weeks its has initiated a number of historical place names changes, erasing old Boer names and replacing them with those of ‘struggle’ and mostly ANC popular heroes. This has predictably angered white Afrikaners while recalling for the marginalized black youth a racialised past and a racial enemy. Less predictably the name changes have also angered the tiny Pan-Africanist Party because of what it sees as ANC partisanship....

Cosatu viewsCosatu’s membership has shown a steady decline in unskilled workers and an increase in the skilled and supervisory category. In recent years its public sector membership has grown to constitute a third of the total membership....

>>> Full report


SA development:

Black empowerment may take back seat to economic delivery

[© SouthScan v21/15 28 July 06] In the first hint that the government is rethinking its Black Economic Empowerment programme, a key minister has said that BEE cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the government’s planned infrastructure roll-out.

This is a massive programme that will involve R320-340bn being spent over the next five years in new transport and power development. The policy shift indicates that economic delivery is now trumping the development of black businesses as a strategic aim. ...

Government departments ...

>>> Full report


SA development:

Cabinet prepares fresh strategy as crime surges again

[© SouthScan v21/15 28 July 06] Cabinet ministers were this week in retreat to discuss rising crime rates and the prospect of going into the football World Cup in 2010 unprepared. Already a group of South Africans have been actively seeking to dissuade tourists from visiting the country and are offering, ironically no doubt, to help with their funeral expenses if they do.

The spike in violent crime may be the result of the 11-week private security strike, but since the police remain coy about delivering crime statistics local analysts have been left to speculate on the causes. ...

>>> Full report