Editor’s Note: December 17, 2018

Where is the ‘new’ Zimbabwe?

Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF party has endorsed president Emmerson Mnangagwa as its candidate for presidential elections in 2023, during its first annual congress since the ousting of longtime ruler Robert Mugabe.

The decision seems premature, coming less than five months since the country’s first, disputed post-Mugabe election, in which Mnangagwa was narrowly declared the winner with 50.8% of the vote.

It also seems oblivious to his government’s record during this short time. 

A promised economic revival has given way to austerity and Zimbabwe’s worst crisis in a decade. Meanwhile U.S. sanctions on Mnangagwa and other officials remain in place, with Washington citing insufficient evidence of reform, including on human rights, under his government.

The odds of these being lifted won’t be helped by reports that the party has also backed a plan to increase the minimum age to contest the presidency to 50. It’s hard not to see this as a bid to bar main opposition leader Nelson Chamisa, 40, from contesting the 2023 poll.

This comes as the government prepares to release a report into post-election violence that left 6 people dead.

All of this is feels a lot like the Mugabe days, not the ‘new’ Zimbabwe Mnangagwa pledged during his inauguration.

From The Continent

Ethiopia has jailed 66 soldiers who participated in a march on prime minister’s Abiy Ahmed's palace in October, which the country’s leader has since alleged was an effort to stop his reform agenda. Ahmed has upended Ethiopia’s establishment with sweeping political, social and economic change since taking office in April. More: CGTN


Canadian miner First Quantum Minerals is reportedly planning to cut 1,000 jobs in Zambia following the implementation of a royalty hike in January. This comes less than a week after the country’s Chamber of Mines warned that the plan, aimed a shoring up struggling public finances, could cost up to 21,000 jobs. More: Reuters

The Daily Stat

$209.6m

The amount by which foreign direct investment into South Africa dropped in the third quarter. More: Reuters

The Global Perspective

Saudi Arabia is looking to forge a new economic bloc among countries on the Red Seas including Egypt, Djibouti, Somalia and Sudan according to state media. This comes amid growing trade and investment between the Gulf states and Africa. More: Trade Arabia

Talks have reportedly broken down between Egypt and Chinese real estate firm CFLD over a $20bn investment into a planned $45bn new administrative capital in the North African country. This is part of a series of ‘mega projects’ under president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi aimed at driving economic development. More: Bloomberg

The Daily Follow

@PresJGZuma: South Africa’s divisive former president Jacob Zuma