The Africa Report: 6 August

EWN’s Africa Correspondent Jean-Jacques Cornish reports on the day’s top African news.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and President Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS.


Having sent its own monitoring group to Wednesday's elections, Botswana have called on the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to conduct an independent audit into Zimbabwe's presidential elections that see veteran president, Robert Mugabe, continue his 33-year incumbency.

The request from Botswana follows just a day after Namibian president, Hifikepunye Pohamba, and South Africa's President Jacob Zuma endorsed the fairness of the election and congratulated the 89 year-old president.

This is not the first time the Gaborone government rejects the validity of a Zimbabwean election; they too rejected the elections in 2008 that saw a bloody second round with the eventual withdrawal of Morgan Tsvangirai.

Botswana's Foreign Affairs Minister, Phandu Skelemani, has called on SADC to conduct the independent audit into what he argues was not a free and fair election.

SADC, who are due to meet in Malawi later this month, were present at the elections with a 600-strong observer mission.

They found the election "free and peaceful" but stopped short of calling it fair.

The delegation's election observer chairman, Tanzania's Bernard Membe, had expressed grave concern on the eve of the elections because of the absence of a voter's roll on day before the elections.

Meanwhile, Tsvangirai is due to approach the constitutional court to challenge the election outcome and must do so by Friday.

The court then has 14 days to make a judgement, leaving just two days between the finding and the swearing in of the president.

Zanu-PF has welcomed the challenge from the Movement for Democratic Change, arguing that this is the correct way to challenge the outcome as opposed to taking to the streets.


The leader of the ruling Ennahda party, Rachid Ghannouchi, has offered a referendum for citizens to vote on changes in some of the country's institutions in a hope to end the political turmoil in Tunisia - but warns they must not try to unseat Ennahda.

Tunisia, the cradle of the 2011 Arab Spring, faces its worst turmoil since the fall of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

This year, two assassinations - one in February and another in July - of opposition leaders, Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi, sparked renewed protests


In an important move that sees Kenya gaining a bigger share of the profits of its mineral resources, all mining licences granted in the period of January until May this year have been revoked.

Royalties paid by companies have also been hiked up.

Approximately 300 companies are engaged in mining in Kenya, ten times more than there were 30 years ago.

It is a nascent industry and this move by the mining ministry, set up by President Uhuru Kenyatta, is now making its stamp on the industry