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Throwing a Lavish Party for the Dead
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Politics and Society Throwing a Lavish Party for the Dead

I have said this before: one of the hardest tasks is to predict how Nigerians would react in any given situation. We are a perplexing bunch, able to defy the most skilled pontificator. Imagine, then, my constant frustration. As one who has written for years on Nigerian affairs, I am often asked—both by audiences in Nigeria and abroad—to pronounce on the likely turn of events in my country of birth.

A debate rages in Nigeria about “Stomach infrastructure”
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Politics and Society A debate rages in Nigeria about “Stomach infrastructure”

What are the limits of what politicians can give to the people to entice them to vote in their favour? Money is considered unacceptable by almost everyone but what about foodstuffs? Many Nigerians say it is okay for a politician to give food donations to voters in return for votes. In fact, a term has been coined to describe that exact arrangement: “Stomach infrastructure”. Some Nigerians though say the practice corrupts the concept of a fair vote and makes politicians less receptive to the people when they are in power. Not everyone is convinced.

Zimbabwe: Drought kills over 19 300 cattle
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Politics and Society Zimbabwe: Drought kills over 19 300 cattle

Zimbabwe is grappling with a crisis and 19 300 cattle have died due to the prevailing drought. The government, which is unable to assist cattle owners has advised farmers to sell the cattle but few people are prepared to buy livestock on the verge of death. Southern Africa faces a crisis with reports that 14 million people are facing hunger due to poor rains.