Insiders Insight: The downfall of the Dos Santos family

Insiders Insight: The downfall of the Dos Santos family

Angola’s former president José Eduardo dos Santos (right) meeting his South African counterpart. Credit: GCIS.

This week, we have a couple of free preview sections (scroll down), the first an update on a fresh young campaigner in Kenya, the other about a political earthquake in Angola.

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The follow-up: Ebola spreads

The months-long Ebola outbreak in eastern Congo is likely to spread to neighbouring Uganda…

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Hear this Word! #TheSheWord

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Tweet of the week: Counting South Sudan’s dead

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ELECTION WATCH: Keep up to date with all Africa’s elections

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Follow up: A new hope for Eddy Oketch?

During Kenya’s 2017 elections, I reported on young and interesting candidates throughout the country. Unfortunately, all of them were defeated at the polls, though their activism has continued since then.

Now, one of them gets a second shot. Due to the death of the incumbent Senator, Eddy Oketch has another shot at representing Migori county. And this time he has secured the endorsement of the county’s popular governor and is running under the banner of the Federal Party of Kenya instead of an independent, maybe giving him better chances to prevail against the candidate of the ODM, the traditional party of choice in Migori.

As was the case in 2017, Oketch’s bid can be seen as an example of a new generation of young activists trying their hand at infiltrating the institutions they have become effective at criticising. With one failed attempt to learn from, Oketch’s second try will be interesting to follow.

Compiled by @PeterDoerrie

The downfall of the dos Santos clan

It was only a year ago that the dos Santos clan dominated Angolan politics.

The patriarch, José Eduardo stepped down as president of the country last year after 38 years in power, but analysts fully expected he would remain powerful. After all, his children Isabel and José Filomeno continued to hold critical economic positions and José Eduardo remained president of the ruling People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA).

What a difference a year makes. Casting the dos Santos family as the face of persistent corruption, new President Joao Lourenco has been chipping away at their power base.

Immediately after taking office, he dismissed Isabel dos Santos – once Africa’s wealthiest woman – as head of the state oil company. At the same time, his administration launched inquiries into her time running the business. Lourenco also fired José Eduardo from his perch atop the Sovereign Wealth Fund. In September, he dethroned José Eduardo as MPLA president.

And now, the country’s state prosecutor has arrested José Filomeno over the alleged transfer of $500 million of state money to a private account in the UK. He had already been charged in March and vowed to cooperate. Officials said last week’s arrest was preventive.

With much of the money recouped, the arrest serves more as a high-profile signal that Lourenco is serious about reversing Angola’s long-standing environment of corruption. The country ranked 167 out of 180 on Transparency International’s 2017 Corruption Perceptions Index.

With the dos Santos’ out of the way, the question becomes: Can Angola overcome its legacy of corruption or will someone step in to replace them?

Compiled by @_andrew_green

This week’s editorial team: @PeterDoerrie, @_andrew_green@jamesjwan

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Author : Insiders' Newsletter
Publish date : 2018-10-03 10:53:05
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