New President, Joao Lourenco, attempts to assert himself
By Nsikan Ikpe
If you thought the Zimbabwe coup drama and next month’s frenetic contest to pick Jacob Zuma’s successor as leader of the ruling ANC were all of the hot political issues that are presently emanating from the Southern African region, then you have missed out on one.
Mid-week, the newly elected President of the Portuguese speaking Southern African nation of Angola, Joao Lourenco did what many would have previously considered to be plainly unthinkable: he fired the very powerful Isabel dos Santos, daughter of his benefactor and Africa’s richest woman, from her perch on the board of the State oil company, SONANGOL.
And as if to confirm that this was not an isolated incident, on that same day, the state television station terminated contracts for the management of a local and an international state-owned channel with two of Dos Santos’ younger children.
And everyone is now waiting for the reaction of the elder dos Santos who had tactically inserted clauses in the transition arrangements to ensure that he would, for a while, yet remain leader of the party, as well as retain the right to nominate a substantial number of the members of the nation’s national assembly!
Africa’s richest woman, Isabel dos Santos