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Africa

African press review 5 February 2014

media

Police examine what they seized in Mombasa mosque raid. Kenya's Anglican archbishop is worried about gays. Kenyatta's ICC case takes a new turn. A Ugandan judge lashes the attorney general. And is SA's minerals minister in touch with mining reality?

The Standard in Kenya reports that police in the coastal city of Mombasa say it may take them two months to sift through the information seized from the controversial Masjid Musa mosque after Sunday’s violent clashes.

One hundred and twenty-five arrests were made after police stormed the mosque, claiming that shots were fired at officers from inside the compound. The authorities allege that a jihadist conference was being held at the time and that it involved individuals suspected of having fought against Kenyan troops in Somalia.

The official death toll remains two, although sources at the mosque claim that six people died in Sunday's raid.

Al-Shebab - who are they?

The Standard reports that investigators are now sifting through documents and electronic information seized from the mosque.

Besides an AK-47 rifle, machetes and other weapons, police siezed jihadist flags, stun guns and hundreds of textbooks, as well as maps, registers, pictures and information on alleged spies and “Muslim traitors” and terrorist training manuals. One document reportedly contains names of militants across east Africa, even as far as Burundi, while one audiotape allegedly calls on Muslims to volunteer to attack countries contributing peacekeeping troops to Somalia.

Sister paper the Daily Nation says leaflets distributed last week around Mombasa invited the faithful to discuss jihad and martyrdom.

The main story in the Daily Nation says the Anglican Church of Kenya Archbishop Eliud Wabukala has expressed reservations about remarks made recently by his colleagues of Canterbury and York about gay relationships. The Kenyan prelate says comments by his English peers will impact negatively on society.

He said their intervention has served to encourage those who want to normalise homosexual lifestyles in Africa and has fuelled prejudice against African Anglicans.

Archbishops Justin Welby of Canterbury and John Sentamu of York recently said homosexual people were loved and valued by God and should not be victimised or diminished. They were responding to questions about recently passed laws in Nigeria and Uganda penalising gay people.

Archbishop Wabukala said that, while Christians should always show particular care for those who are vulnerable, this cannot be separated from the whole fabric of Biblical moral teaching in which marriage and the family occupy a central place.

He said the Anglican Church of Kenya is committed to Biblical sexual morality and Biblical pastoral care.

The stage is set for a major legal duel later today between President Uhuru Kenyatta and International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.

Kenyatta faces charges of complicity in the violence which followed the presidential election in December 2007.

The president’s lawyers are expected to argue for the charges against him to be dropped for lack of evidence. The prosecutor will be asking for more time to get fresh witnesses and evidence.

Kenya's post-election violence 2007-8

Bensouda says she needs extra time to carry out further investigations since her case has been weakened by the withdrawal of key witnesses.

That story is in the Standard. Across the city at the Daily Nation, we learn that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s case in The Hague has taken a new twist after the ICC prosecutor alleged that some of the evidence the defence intends to use had been forged.

Fatou Bensouda says the president’s defence team in April last year provided them with telephone records that they claimed contain "incontrovertible evidence" that the prosecution witnesses were liars.

However, according to Bensouda, it has since been established by a joint expert - instructed by both her office and Kenyatta’s defence team - that the records had been falsified.

According to the Ugandan Daily Monitor, a high court judge yesterday told the country's attorney general that he didn't know the law.

High Court Judge Nyanzi yesterday lashed out at Peter Nyombi, saying he is “engulfed in group legal darkness”.

Justice Yasin Nyanzi unleashed his scathing attack against the attorney general while he delivered a ruling in which he refused to disqualify himself from hearing the court case in which Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago is challenging his controversial impeachment late last year.

In his ruling, Nyanzi held that the attorney general had not supported his allegations with any evidence that the judge would be biased while handling the Lukwago case.

Nyanzi also accused the attorney general of changing his reasons for disqualification, saying his conduct was “embarrassing”.

The attorney general is to appeal yesterday's decision.

And the main story in South Africa's BusinessDay reports that Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu’s opening address to Africa’s premier mining conference yesterday has been dismissed as out of touch with the realities confronting the embattled sector. Her claims of consensus on sweeping changes to South Africa’s mining laws were broadly rejected.

The annual Mining Indaba in Cape Town involves local and international mining executives, financiers, lawyers and suppliers and Shabangu painted a too rosy picture of the sector in South Africa and upcoming changes to laws, according to commentators.

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