Global News Journal
Beyond the World news headlines
A little while back, we asked who is and isn’t fighting corruption effectively in Africa. This week, a number of examples bring us back to the subject.
In Tanzania, two former ministers have been charged with flouting procurement rules over the award of a tender for auditing gold mining back in 2002. The pair, who deny wrongdoing, served in the government of President Jakaya Kikwete’s predecessor Benjamin Mkapa. One of them also served under Kikwete himself.
Tanzania’s pledge to fight corruption is under close donor scrutiny and given the level of aid that Tanzania gets – more than one tenth of GDP by 2005 figures – it has little choice but to show willing. There have been doubts in the past, however, about how serious the government really was about going after the most senior and the best connected.
“By hauling the long-serving politicians to court, the Government has dispelled the rumour that some influential personalities are being shielded,” commented The Citizen newspaper of the charges against the former ministers.
By the standards of other recent African elections, the aftermath of Angola’s parliamentary ballot at the weekend has been fairly tame.
But polling station chaos that led to an extra day of voting and accusations of cheating from the opposition badly undermined Angola’s hope that the ballot would set a example for the continent after elections in Kenya and Zimbabwe.
******Angola’s last election led to the resumption of civil war that took another decade to end and cost countless lives.******This time the atmosphere around the election is very different, despite some initial problems at voting stations – scores failed to open on time in Luanda, which could lead to an extension of voting.******The ruling MPLA won the war in 2002 when UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi was killed. His former rebel group has now been transformed into a political party, but it is given little chance of electoral success and is unable to do much but complain the campaign has been unfair.************Angola is one of the world’s fastest growing economies thanks to booming oil production – not that much of the wealth has trickled down to the two-thirds of Angolans who live on less than $2 a day.******The election is being touted by Angola’s government as a demonstration of how far the country has come from the civil war and an example in Africa after flawed elections elsewhere.************But the MPLA’s electoral dominance meant the contest was very one-sided and there appears little chance of a dispute on the scale of those that led to the troubles in Kenya and Zimbabwe, where election results were close.******The election is undoubtedly a big step for Angola. How significant will it prove for Africa as a whole?
Kenya’s parliament and critics are calling loudly for Finance Minister Amos Kimunya to be fired for his role in the secretive government sale of a luxury hotel under murky circumstances. Pressure is mounting for Kimunya to resign or for his political patron, President Mwai Kibaki, to fire him over the sale of the Grand Regency hotel to a company that includes Libyan investors and at least one senior Kenya Central Bank employee.
The matter has tested the government set up in a power-sharing deal to end a bloody post election crisis