Ed's Feed
Dec 9, 2014

Analysis – With or without Mugabe, Zimbabwe still hostage to nationalism

HARARE (Reuters) – When veteran Zimbabwe leader Robert Mugabe sacked his vice-president in front of 12,000 baying party members last week, Emmerson Mnangagwa sat quietly in the crowd, a green baseball cap pulled low over his eyes.

The man who stood to gain most from the departure of Joice Mujuru betrayed nothing by his face and gentle clapping — a survival tactic honed during five decades of service from teenage guerrilla to minister of defence, finance and justice for the mercurial now 90-year-old Mugabe.

Dec 6, 2014

Zimbabwe’s Mugabe promotes wife but leaves successor vacuum

HARARE (Reuters) – Ninety-year-old Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe promoted his wife to the top ranks of his ZANU-PF party on Saturday but delayed filling vacant senior posts, prolonging anxiety over his lack of successor.

Africa’s oldest head of state and the only leader Zimbabwe has known since independence from Britain in 1980 was elected unopposed at the five-yearly ZANU-PF meeting, putting him on track to contest the 2018 presidential elections, when he will be 94.

Dec 4, 2014

Zimbabwe’s Mugabe purges ‘treacherous’ deputy once seen as successor

HARARE (Reuters) – Ninety-year-old Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe purged the deputy seen just months ago as his most likely successor, denouncing her before party loyalists as leader of a “treacherous cabal” bent on removing him from power.

In a thunderous speech to 12,000 cadres of his ZANU-PF party, Mugabe threatened to turn the law on Vice President Joice Mujuru, whose status as presumed successor for Africa’s oldest head of state has evaporated in the past three months since she became the target of attacks in state media.

Nov 27, 2014

Falling oil prices deal bigger economic blow to Africa than Ebola

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 27 (Reuters) – Plunging world oil prices
have dealt a blow to Africa far greater – in purely economic
terms – than Ebola, setting back investment in exploration and
plans to industrialise.

The highest profile victim so far has been Africa’s top
producer, Nigeria, which was forced to devalue its naira
currency by 8 percent this week after the central bank admitted
dwindling reserves were making it hard to defend it.

Nov 21, 2014

Zimbabwe calls South African report on its 2002 election ‘rubbish’

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – A senior Zimbabwean minister on Friday slammed a report by two South African judges that said Zimbabwe’s 2002 elections, won by long-time President Robert Mugabe, were not free and fair.

At the time of the vote, then South African president Thabo Mbeki glossed over observer reports of irregularities, including violence and intimidation, to declare it reflected the legitimate will of the Zimbabwean people.

Nov 14, 2014

Land-grab calls expose South Africa’s broken promises

NELLMAPIUS South Africa (Reuters) – To the squatters marking it up this week with sticks, rocks and strips of plastic, ‘Malema Valley’ is a little slice of South Africa they want to call home.

To many others, including the government, the derelict land on Pretoria’s outskirts handed out by supporters of opposition firebrand Julius Malema is the thin end of a land-grab wedge that could ultimately derail Africa’s most advanced economy.

Nov 5, 2014

Shell pushes South Africa to end four-year shale gas licence delay

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research) pushed South Africa on Wednesday to decide on its application, now nearly four years old, to explore for shale gas in the Karoo, a pristine semi-desert that may contain some of the world’s largest reserves.

Shell’s application in early 2011 for an exploration licence in the Karoo, which the U.S. Energy Information Administration says may hold up to 390 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of technically recoverable reserves, caused an uproar from farmers and green groups, and an 18-month moratorium on the issuing of permits.

Oct 30, 2014

Die at home and cut the health cover-ups, Africans urge leaders

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – When dying Zambian president Michael Sata flew to London last week he was following a long line of African leaders who have sought emergency — and secret — medical treatment in foreign hospitals most of their citizens can only dream of.

With Ebola exposing the poor state of the continent’s healthcare systems, and mobile phones and social media undermining official attempts to control and suppress information, many Africans were unimpressed.

Oct 23, 2014

Pistorius shoves race, crime and punishment in South Africa’s face

PRETORIA (Reuters) – As Oscar Pistorius spent his first day behind bars this week, a suspected child rapist and murderer went on trial at the same Pretoria court in a case that has also provoked fierce debate about crime and punishment in post-apartheid South Africa.

Although the two defendants, one wealthy and white, the other poor and black, are from opposite ends of a still-divided society, both cases have revealed an alarming lack of faith in the justice system of the “Rainbow Nation”.

Oct 15, 2014

S.Africa’s Zuma outlines ambitious oil exploration plans

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 15 (Reuters) – South African President
Jacob Zuma outlined ambitious plans on Wednesday for oil and gas
exploration in coastal waters that he said could contain as much
as 9 billion barrels of crude and vast quantities of natural
gas.

In a speech to senior South African and Malaysian officials
in the port city of Durban, Zuma said the government wanted 30
exploration wells drilled in the next 10 years.