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Africa

African press review 06 January 2014

media

Corruption in Malawi, poor food production in Zimbabwe and Kenyan teachers are among today's stories in Africa ...

There's lots of foreign news on the front page of this morning's South African financial paper, BusinessDay.

There's an article headlined "No use blaming Banda for Malawi’s systemic corruption," in which Greg Mills says nearly everyone in Malawi has had their fingers in the public cookie jar, partly because it is the only jar on the shelf. As much as 200 million euro may be missing from the national coffers in what is rated the third poorest country in the world.

But it's not Joyce Banda's fault, says Mills; the problem is the system that has been created and refined in Malawi over decades, to profit from the 40% of the budget that is donor- funded.

Then there's Zimbabwe, reported by BusinessDay to be importing 150,000 tons of maize from South Africa to guarantee food supplies before the April harvest, with an estimated 2.2-million people at risk.

Poor food production has been blamed on land reforms that saw the seizure of white-owned commercial farms under President Robert Mugabe’s land reforms for redistribution to landless blacks.

The government says insufficient rainfall in recent years is to blame for the drop in food production.

The man who was last seen with the Rwandan ex-spymaster killed in a South African hotel last week, was a Rwandan businessman who befriended the victim in jail.

Police say former Colonel Patrick Karegeya’s body, apparently strangled, was found last Wednesday in the Michelangelo Towers hotel in the Johannesburg suburb of Sandton, along with a bloodied towel and rope.

Former Rwandan army chief-of-staff Lt-Gen Kayumba Nyamwasa and others accuse Rwandan President Paul Kagame of ordering Karegeya’s assassination and two 2010 attempts on Nyamwasa’s life in Johannesburg. Officials in Kigali, the Rwandan capital, have made no comment since Karegeya’s death but have previously vehemently denied charges that they target opponents of the government.

Several Rwandan critics-in-exile of the Kagame regime have died violently: the former interior minister, Seth Sendashonga, was gunned down in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1998. In October 2012 the body of Theogene Turatsinze, the former managing director of the Rwandan Development Bank, was found tied up and floating in the sea off Mozambique.

The party of Madagascar’s ousted president Marc Ravalomanana at the weekend warned the electoral panel it would face "the people’s wrath" if it declares electoral victory for the rival camp.

The outgoing leadership’s candidate, Hery Rajao-narimampianina, won 53.5% of the vote in a December 20 presidential runoff, according to official results.

But his rival, Robinson Jean Louis, filed several challenges with the Special Electoral Court , claiming the ballot was rigged in favour of strongman Andry Rajoelina’s candidate.

The island’s two main political players — Rajoelina and Marc Ravalomanana — were barred from running in the December poll.

The Standard in Kenya gives pride of place to the news that opposition leader Raila Odinga’s announcement that he is ready to give up the leadership of the Orange Democratic Movement party, has thrown members and supporters into a spin. While some have welcomed the move, saying such a move would give younger members a chance to lead, others fear it could spell doom for the Orange party.

On Saturday, Raila said he was ready to step down to enable youthful leaders take the party helm. He said history had shown that the youth in South Africa were the ones who helped the ruling party Africa National Congress rise to power.

But the former prime minister added that he would hand over leadership only if most party members believed it was the right thing to do.

Sister paper The Daily Nation warns that a new strike is looming in the education sector.

As the nation's schools reopen today, the Kenya National Union of Teachers plans to call its 278,000 members out on strike to demand promotions for those who have attained higher academic qualifications.

Contacted by the Nation on Sunday, union secretary-general Wilson Sossion said the National Executive Council would meet this morning at union headquarters in Nairobi to announce a date for the commencement of the strike.

 

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