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The End of Impunity: What Lula’s Jailing Means

Brazil’s jailing of its beloved former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Saturday sent a strong signal to all of Latin America that the era of political impunity was over. Some presidents in Brazil and other South American countries have been impeached, but very few politicians have previously been sent to prison, and none … Continue reading

Zuma Goes, Ramaphosa Comes: A Move that Should Save South Africa

  President Jacob Zuma’s ouster and the ANC’s Leader Cyril Ramaphosa’s assumption of power should save South Africa. Mr. Zuma announced he was resigning Wednesday evening. However, what matters more is the fact that South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) dismissed him Sunday as a corrupt embarrassment. The ANC traded Mr. Ramaphosa for Mr. … Continue reading

Africa’s Critical Challenges in 2018

Terrorism, civil conflict, global warming, population growth, urb- anization, education, economic sustainability, managing China, strengthening leadership and improving governance are Africa’s 10 most pressing problems as 2018 unfolds None of these acute challenges is new, but 2018 will see each of them become more central to Africa’s ability to improve the standards of living and … Continue reading

New ANC Leader Could Signal A Return to South Africa’s Glory Days

By choosing Cyril Ramaphosa, 65, as the new head of the African National Congress, South Africa’s dominant political party has its last best chance to return the nation to the glory last experienced under the late president Nelson Mandela. The party congress Monday rejected the current, beleaguered and court-challenged reign of President Jacob Zuma and … Continue reading

Mnangagwa Has the Capacity to Focus on the New Zimbabwe. But Will He?

Emmerson “Crocodile” Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe’s crafty new interim president, is known as a ruthless, deeply unprincipled and a political infighter. He has lost several recent parliamentary elections but retained his party positions over four decades largely because he was ex-President Robert Mugabe’s chief enforcer and tribute collector. But now President Mnangagwa has a golden opportunity to leave that … Continue reading

Could Zimbabwe Break a Recurring Pattern of Corruption?

Even as Zimbabweans took to the streets to celebrate Robert Mugabe’s ouster after 37 years, experienced politicians in the country were wary of what might come next. “We have removed a tyrant,” former minister of education David Coltart said, “but not yet a tyranny.” Mugabe, 93, was recently forced out as president by military commanders … Continue reading

South Africa’s Corruption Embroils China

  South Africa’s massive corruption scandals are now enmeshing China and Chinese corporations. In the latest iteration, an especially created subsidiary of China South Rail is accused of facilitating a multi-million dollar scheme to enrich cabinet ministers and the heads of South African state-owned enterprises. Also benefiting from the arrangement is the shady Gupta family … Continue reading

In Zimbabwe, Mnangagwa’s Rise is Democracy Delayed

Vice-President Emmerson (Crocodile) Mnangagwa, 75, has decisively won the battle to succeed Zimbabwe’s heavy-handed President Robert Mugabe, 93, thanks to a bloodless military coup (the leading generals call it a “correction”). Mr. Mugabe’s resignation on Tuesday seals the seismic shift that has engulfed the southern African country. But Zimbabwe is not about to become a … Continue reading

Grace Mugabe May Spark a Deadly Presidential Succession

When the scheming spouse attempts to take power and prominence away from a long-time heir-apparent, victory is rarely guaranteed in family or corporate struggles. Nor is such a triumph certain in politics. In today’s Zimbabwe, however, Grace Mugabe, President Robert Mugabe’s wife, has prevailed upon her husband to oust his veritable presumed successor, vice-president (until … Continue reading

Roadblocks and Bribes: Zimbabwe is Africa’s Shakedown State

We had just arrived at Harare International Airport from less troubled and far less corrupt parts of Africa when we came face to face with the daily punishments that Zimbabwe’s government metes out to its own hapless citizens. Our local car was a mere 100 metres beyond the terminal when the vehicle, along with many … Continue reading

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