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

v21/20 6 October 06

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CONTENTS

Congo:

Political and military actors prepare for worst-case scenario

    

Region:

Benguela line to reopen next year

    

Region:

Cut in DRC's power lines may hit Zimbabwe hardest 

 

Region:

Implementation of Burundi truce moves ahead   

 

Region:

Mbeki's Cote d'Ivoire mediation runs onto the rocks    

 

Zambia:

Changed deal on copper mining promised

    

Zambia:

Dust settles on turbulent aftermath of election

 

Zambia:

Sata plans to build on local government majority

    

International:

SA is high on bribe payers' index

    

SA politics:

Vulnerable Mbeki becomes target for factions

 

SA development:

Business group warns on crime threat  


Congo:

Political and military actors prepare for worst-case scenario

[(c) SouthScan v21/20 6 Oct 06] On the surface the tension in the DR Congo has been defused over the last two weeks. Underneath, however, the main contenders are making military preparations and there are sporadic outbreaks of violence in different regions as campaigning heats up for the provincial and presidential election on October 29.

President Joseph Kabila's special adviser on security, Guillaume Samba Kaputo, and Francois Mwamba, the secretary general of Jean-Pierre Bemba's 'Movement for the Liberation of Congo' (MLC) signed a pact on September 23 to transform Kinshasa into "a weaponless city" ahead of the forthcoming second round of the  election. Both sides agreed that joint patrols including police, the national army FARDC's military police, who are theoretically neutral, and UN troops would check the implementation of the weapons ban in the coming days. ...

MONUC to continue but not Eufor ...

Game of pretence ...

Clashes among Kabila's supporters ...

Party dissent ... >>> Full report


Region:

Benguela line to reopen next year

[(c) SouthScan v21/20 6 Oct 06] The Benguela rail line will be reopened in the middle of next year after the route has been de-mined and track has been re-laid by Chinese workers. Thousands of Chinese workers are currently deployed at camps along the line.

The date was announced in Luanda last week by the DR Congo's incumbent President Joseph Kabila and Angola's President Jose Eduardo dos Santos. ...

>>> Full report


Region:

Cut in DRC's power lines may hit Zimbabwe hardest

[(c) SouthScan v21/20 6 Oct 06] The power interconnection between the DR Congo and Southern Africa will be interrupted for more than two months because of the theft of copper wire, the Congolese electricity parastatal Societe Nationale d'Electricite (SNEL) has announced.

The cuts are bound to exacerbate further the blackouts being experienced throughout Zimbabwe - it currently imports 30 per cent of its electrical energy requirements from the DR Congo as well as South Africa and Mozambique. ...

SNEL's crisis ...

>>> Full report


Region:

Implementation of Burundi truce moves ahead

[(c) SouthScan v21/20 6 Oct 06] The delayed implementation of the truce between the Burundi government and the country's last active rebel group is to begin next week. A joint verification and follow-up committee has been set up to oversee the enforcement of the September 7 ceasefire deal.

The committee comprises representatives of the Burundi government, the National Liberation Forces (FNL), the African Union and the UN said Kingsley Mamabulo, SA's special envoy to the Great Lakes region. ...

>>> Full report


Region:

Mbeki's Cote d'Ivoire mediation runs onto the rocks

[(c) SouthScan v21/20 6 Oct 06] SA President Thabo Mbeki is under attack from West African leaders for his failure thus far   in the mediation effort in Cote d'Ivoire.

A mini-summit was held in Ouagadougou on September 27 between the presidents of Cote d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso and South Africa, and this week a meeting of the West African regional organisation ECOWAS (Economic Commmunity of West African States) was planned in Abuja. ...

Conflict diamonds ...

>>> Full report


Zambia:

Changed deal on copper mining promised

[(c) SouthScan v21/20 6 Oct 06] The re-elected government of President Levy Mwanawasa has immediately announced that it will seek to win better royalties from copper sales and will increase wages for copper miners, two measures that are likely to gain it more popular support.

The increase in the royalties has been on the table for six months, according to finance minister Ng'andu Magande, who gave no indication why it and the mining sector wages did not feature larger in the government's election campaigning. Zambia's investor policy has been criticised as too friendly and neither government nor workers have benefited much from the massive and sustained rise in copper prices. ...

>>> Full report


Zambia:

Dust settles on turbulent aftermath of election

[(c) SouthScan v21/20 6 Oct 06] Zambia came back from the brink after political turbulence in the presidential and general elections last week. Many in the main cities believed the poll was rigged although international observers called the vote transparent, free and fair, and there were two days of rioting in Lusaka's townships and on the Copperbelt.

The police and the army revealed they had defied orders from their superiors to shoot at protesters. Results from polling stations at many barracks and police camps indicated that most soldiers and police officers, including at State House, had voted for the main opposition leader Michael Sata, himself a former police officer. ...

ECZ director detained ...

>>> Full report


Zambia:

Sata plans to build on local government majority

[(c) SouthScan v21/20 6 Oct 06] The losing opposition Patriotic Front president Michael Sata has announced he will seek to collect funds independently of the central government and run local projects in areas where he overwhelmingly won.

He also promised at a press conference in Lusaka on Wednesday (October 4) to review the tenancy agreement signed between President Levy Mwanawasa's government and the Chinese Traders at Kamwala and Lubama Markets. The government leased the markets in question two years ago Chinese traders for 60 years and Zambian traders  there were displaced. Sata said that if central government did not release money within 90 days for projects, his party would start collecting fuel levies directly from filling stations and the Energy Regulation Board through the councils it controls. ...

>>> Full report


International:

SA is high on bribe payers' index

[(c) SouthScan v21/20 6 Oct 06] South Africa ranks seventh in Transparency International's 'world bribe payers index', which looks at the bribing record of companies from 30 leading exporting countries. Its reputation is even worse in the rest of Africa.

With 5.61 points on a scale from zero to ten, South Africa scores behind India (4.62), China (4.94) and Russia (5.16) which were perceived as the top bribers by the 11,000 business leaders from 125 countries polled in the World Economic Forum's Executive Forum Survey for 2006, TI announced at press conferences in Brussels and Berlin on Wednesday (October 4). ...

Manuel helps bury Bank plan ...

>>> Full report


SA politics:

Vulnerable Mbeki becomes target for factions

[(c) SouthScan v21/20 6 Oct 06] As division s deepen between the African National Congress as an organisation and the government, the ANC's National Executive Committee is holding a key meeting this weekend that observers say is likely to paper over the cracks.

The meeting will also present an occasion for different factions to home in on SA's President Thabo Mbeki, bruised and vulnerable from his infighting with former deputy Jacob Zuma. ...

Autocracy charges ...

Centralised government ...

Kitchen cabinet ...

Parliament loses outBut none of Mbeki's ANC critics have focused on unpicking this mechanism of 'joined up government' that he has created; they appear instead keen to hold the levers of power themselves....

>>> Full report


SA development:

Business group warns on crime threat

[(c) SouthScan v21/20 6 Oct 06] A "breakdown in law and order" in South Africa could have a serious impact on business confidence, as it dropped to its lowest level this year, the SA Chamber of Business (Sacob) said on Thursday.

The statement came after the police announcement that there had been a dramatic rise in heists of cash in transit, which particularly affects business. ...

>>> Full report