Africa update

There’s been some trouble in East and West Africa this week. 

🔹In Malawi, President Lazarus Chakwera appointed new leaders today after dissolving his ENTIRE cabinet in a surprise move on Monday. Chakwere said he’d axed the previous lot because of corruption charges against three politicians, but that doesn’t quite add up. 🧐 It sounds like he’s trying to shore up his support in the coalition government. Reuters reports he was facing increasing rebellion from within the coalition, with many of its members accusing his party of corruption, nepotism and pushing Malawi to the brink of an economic crisis. Also, two politicians touted to challenge him in the 2025 elections were arrested. 

🔹Meanwhile, the West African nation of Burkina Faso has no president. President Roch Kaboré was overthrown by dissident forces on Monday. The unrest this week followed months of protests and calls for Kaboré to resign, citing his failure to quell an insurgency from militants linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group. In 2015, when he was elected as president, the UN estimates that more than 2 000 people were killed and 1.5 million people were displaced from their homes. 

🔹Meanwhile, a stampede outside Olembe Stadium in Cameroon left eight dead and 38 injured on Monday. It’s reminiscent of the 2001 Ellis Park Stadium stampede that claimed 43 lives in SA. Fans were trying to enter the stadium to watch the Africa Cup of Nations match between Cameroon and Comoros. Fans needed to be vaccinated to be able to enter the stadiums, however many refused and tried to force their way in. President Paul Biya and the Confederation of African Football have ordered separate investigations to determine the cause of the stampede. 

This article appeared as part of The Wrap, 27 January 2022. Sign up to receive our weekly updates.