Africa – 19 August 2016

SA won’t interfere in Zimbabwe’s affairs: minister

South Africa shouldn’t get involved in Zimbabwe’s affairs — unless it’s asked to. That’s according to International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. She made the remarks during an interview with eNCA’s Thulasizwe Simelane.

The minister was responding to calls by Zimbabwean activists for South Africa to pressure President Robert Mugabe’s government. But, Nkoana-Mashabane argues that President Mugabe was lawfully re-elected in 2013.

She says the only way Zimbabweans can effect change is through voting.

“It’s going to take Zimbabweans to do what they think is good for themselves through the polls, because in SADC we believe in democracy,” she said.

Nkoana-Mashabane also defended SADC’s decision to allow Africa’s last absolute monarch, King Mswati the third, to chair the regional body.

“It is the people of Swaziland who would say we would want to move to a situation like Lesotho, where the King reigns but not necessarily governs, and then SADC sees how they support that.”



Absolute King Takes Chair of SADC

Swaziland assumes the chairmanship of the Southern African Development Community for the first time ever on Wednesday, despite protests from Swaziland and abroad that the small absolute monarchy is not fit to chair the organisation, writes Kenworthy News Media.

The charter of the Southern African Development Country (SADC) clearly states that member states should observe basic human rights such as the right to strike and gender equality, and one of the main objectives of SADC is to support “regional integration, built on democratic principles,” something that SADC’s new chair Swaziland clearly does not.

In fact, American research NGO Freedom House ranks Swaziland as the least free country of the 15 members of SADC, in regard to political rights and civil liberties, below countries such as DRC Congo, Angola and Zimbabwe.


President Edgar Lungu elected in disputed vote

Opposition party challenges result of presidential election, claiming the electoral commission colluded to rig the vote.

Zambia’s incumbent President Edgar Lungu has been declared the winner of a closely fought presidential election, but the result was immediately challenged by his main opponent Hakainde Hichilema.

Lungu, leader of the Patriotic Front (PF), won 50.35 percent of Thursday’s vote, against 47.67 percent for Hichilema, of the United Party for National Development (UPND), the Electoral Commission of Zambia said on Monday.



Zambia’s Lungu Says to Cut Spending, Boost Growth

Zambia will control expenditure and take measures to boost economic growth, President Edgar Lungu who was re-elected to the helm of Africa’s second-largest copper producer at a vote on 11 August, said on Thursday.

“I have five years now which is sufficient time to take more decisive action. I will take measures to grow the economy and control expenditure,” Lungu said in a statement after a meeting with business leaders.

The recent election was fought around the issues of rising unemployment, mine closures, power shortages and soaring food prices which Hichilema, an economist and businessman, blamed on Lungu’s mismanagement.