Insiders Insight: The downfall of the Dos Santos family
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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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.
- How the young and restless could change Kenya’s political future(African Arguments)
- In Migori, Kenya, a Chance to Build Credible Elections From the Grassroots Up (Vanguard Africa)
- New twist as candidate pulls out of Migori senatorial by-election(Standard Digital)
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?
- Angola: The fall of the dos Santos clan (DW)
- Angola arrests ex-president’s son over $500 million transfer(Bloomberg)
- Dos Santos steps down as ruler of Angola’s ruling party (Associated Press)
Compiled by @_andrew_green
This week’s editorial team: @PeterDoerrie, @_andrew_green, @jamesjwan
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