SIGNPOSTS

The Africa Report - - CONTENTS -

The legacy of the strong men lead­ing lib­er­a­tion par­ties in South­ern Africa is be­ing tested by Pres­i­dent Robert Mu­gabe’s suc­ces­sion quan­daries and Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s strug­gles to bal­ance per­sonal and na­tional pri­or­i­ties. As hopes dim of Harare eras­ing its debts to in­ter­na­tional cred­i­tors, the suc­ces­sion is suck­ing more and more air out of Zim­babwe’s po­lit­i­cal sphere. In June, First Lady Grace Mu­gabe was fight­ing a war of words with the war veter­ans and mil­i­tary brass, who favour deputy pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa and have warned of po­lit­i­cal in­sta­bil­ity. Mean­while, leaked emails about the Gupta fam­ily’s ties and the sack­ing, reap­point­ing and sack­ing of Eskom chief ex­ec­u­tive Brief Molefe show that Zuma and those close to him are los­ing the pub­lic per­cep­tions bat­tle in South Africa. The fight for Zuma’s suc­ces­sion, too (see page 36), is eat­ing into the brief time left for him to turn a page on his con­tro­versy-filled legacy and stop the slide in the ANC’S pop­u­lar­ity. And while Zam­bia is no longer run by the lib­er­a­tion-era sin­gle party, Pres­i­dent Edgar Lungu is ex­per­i­ment­ing in the strong man’s dark arts. Op­po­si­tion leader Hakainde Hichilema re­mains in jail on trea­son charges and the na­tional as­sem­bly has im­posed a 30-day ban on MPS who boy­cotted Lungu’s state of the na­tion ad­dress.

Sit-tight pres­i­dents unite: Ja­cob Zuma and Robert Mu­gabe

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