24 March 2023

Congo-Kinshasa: Jean Pierre Bemba has been appointed as defence minister. Even if his ICC sentence to 18 years in prison for war crimes and crimes against humanity was overturned in appeal (by a narrow majority of three of five judges) because he could not be held responsible for the actions of his men (who committed rape and other atrocities), this seems a bizarre choice of Tshisekedi’s, to say the least. Tshisekedi is no doubt trying to broaden his base for re-election end 2023.
BBC Africa Live 24 March 2023. 4:34

South Africa: A motion for an enquiry into Eskom tabled by the opposition Democratic Alliance has been turned down in parliament by the ANC who argued that “the parliament's oversight mechanism and the appointment of an electricity minister were enough to address all the issues”. Is that so?
BBC Africa Live 24 March 2023. 8:32

Mozambique: Peaceful demonstrations following the death of protest rapper Azagaia on Saturday in Maputo and other cities were brutally dealt with by police using tear gas, rubber bullets and dog units. Dozens of protesters were allegedly severely injured and over 100 arrested. Now the president “has ordered a probe into reports of abuses by the police units”.
BBC Africa Live 24 March 2023. 9:12

Chad: Unhappy with Exxon’s terms in its sale of Chadian assets to Savannah Energy of GB in 2022, Chadian authorities said they would take the case to court to block the sale. Instead, they have now nationalised Exxon’s assets – “a move which could potentially spook foreign investors” and Savannah Energy will challenge it in court.
BBC Africa Live 24 March 2023. 16:29

Mozambique: With its cane plantations flooded, Açucareira de Xinavane, the country’s largest sugar company, is suspending exports for two months. This will “guarantee the availability of sugar in the local market.”
BBC Africa Live 24 March 2023. 14:48

23 March 2023

Kenya: Is the country’s police more of a problem than a solution, making people feel less safe? As “extortion and extrajudicial killings by the police are rampant”, shouldn’t police be abolished altogether? Since 2008, serious efforts have been undertaken to reform police, but they have failed. Alternatives already exist. “To provide for their own safety, residents increasingly organise themselves into networks of friends, family and neighbours for basic safety.” In richer environments, private security firms are paid to do police work. The only police function that may prove difficult to replace is the protection of “the state against society. Officers uphold and protect a rarefied governing class and political elite against the population.”

Ethiopia/Tigray: Continuing to implement the peace agreement, Addis has appointed TPLF-nominated Getachew Reda as head of the interim administration of Tigray which will be in place until regional elections – it is not yet known when these will be held.
BBC Africa Live 23 March 2023. 10:20

South Africa: Noni Jabavu, 1919 to 2008, was a far-travelled writer known for her memoirs and also for her “witty, insightful and politically charged columns (…) for the Daily Dispatch newspaper”. Now “writer and academic Makhosazana Xaba and historian Athambile Masola” have published a book about her: “Noni Jabavu: A Stranger at Home”.