The Independent, headlines on the arrest, detention and release of opposition politician Norbert Mao over the protest against spiralling high food and fuel prices
The Daily Monitor reports that a lawyers’ strike brought the Kampala courts to a standstill.for second consecutive day, Thursday
Government arrogance is fuelling rage, according to The Independent. The paper urges officials to eat some humble pie and act quickly to ease the suffering of ordinary people
The newspaper points out that president Yoweri Museveni is compelled to fix the economy by June when an IMF review is due. The Bretton Woods institution blames the crisis on reduced foreign reserves, high election spending, jets purchase.
The newspapers in neighbouring Kenya take up failed government talks to end a fuel crisis that is strangling the economy. President Mwai Kibaki called the talks amid government claims that oil marketers are plotting to blackmail the state into scrapping price controls in the industry.
The Standard reports scenes of chaos as motorists queued up at petrol stations for the fourth consecutive day, blocking roads and creating long traffic jams.
The Nation says petrol station owners are now rationing fuel, in many places selling no more than 500 shillings-worth of fuel to one motorist.
The Standard blames the crisis on Soviet-style over-regulation by the government and excessive profiteering by oil companies.
The big story in South Africa, is an intelligence report accusing Human Settlements minister Tokyo Sexwale of plotting to overthrow president Jacob Zuma.
The alleged plot was to have Sexwale replace Zuma at the next election congress of the ruling African National Congress in 2012. Business Day stresses that the purported plotters include: Kwazulu-Natal premier Zweli Mkhize, ANC Youth League president Julius Malema, Gauteng ANC chief Paul Mashatile and former MP Tony Yengeni.
Pretoria News reports that Sexwale is furious and plans to take legal action. He plans to go for the top job, if he's nominated, and told a press conference that the report is a frabrication.
The other story making the front pages in South Africa is the indictment of the wife of the country’s security minister for drug trafficking.
The Cape Times comments that the outcome of the trial hung heavily on the submission of intercepted text messages and phone calls made by Mrs Kwele, a coaccused Nigerian and a suspected accomplice jailed in Brazil for cocaine trafficking
The Port Elizabeth Herald notes that defence teams for both accused had separately attacked the veracity of the transcripts during the trial.
The Mail and Guardian argues that attorneys for the accused are challenging the procedures and functionality of the equipment used to record and transcribe the communications could not be authenticated.