DINNER PARTY INTEL: Missing president
Topics to impress this week
1. Missing president
It has been two full months since Nigeria’s ailing president, Muhammadu Buhari, has made an appearance in public. Buhari has also now spent over a third of the year abroad, receiving medical treatment.
The reluctance to reveal the truth of his condition — rumoured to be cancer — has fuelled uncertainty and behind-the-scenes power plays. The country is dogged by suspicion over the fight for control over his successor.
Buhari’s illness is likened to that of former president Umaru Yar’Adua, who was absent for months until he died in 2010.
2. Sucking up diamonds
In a partnership with Namibia, De Beers has unveiled a U$157m exploration vessel that will pick up high-value diamonds off the ocean floor. The diamonds, which have been washed down the Orange River from SA over millions of years and deposited on the ocean floor, are in demand for their high quality.
The state-of-the-art vessel will scan and draw samples from the seabed, and suck up diamond-bearing gravel before the stones are separated and flown by helicopter to shore. The gems are small, but have few flaws, making them a valuable source of carats for the diamond miner.
3. Out-of-luck TV viewers
A Zimbabwean bank has suspended payments to MultiChoice, saying the shortage of foreign currency has forced its hand, Reuters reports. The country’s dollar shortage has led to the imposition of cash withdrawal limits at ATMs, and importers have to wait to be paid for the goods they bring into the country.
Zimbabweans spent U$45m on DStv payments in the second half of last year. The government believes this money should be better spent on imported raw materials.