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Africa

African press review 16 February 2016

media DR

Today's African press focuses on a Niqab ban in Egypt and how counties are spending their money in Kenya. Plus, The Daily Monitor has more on the Police officer who arrested Ugandan Presidential hopeful Kizza Besigye.

The Egypt Independent reports on Cairo University banning nurses and doctors from wearing the Niqab. The decision was taken by University President Gaber Nassar and will has been applied in the University Medical School as well as its affiliated teaching hospitals.

According to the paper the number of female doctors and nurses wearing the Niqab is “limited”". The decision, according to a University official, was taken so "patients would know their doctor's identity".

It's not the first time Nassar took a decision that concerns the full face veil.

"In September 2015, [he] decided to ban female academic staff and their assistants from wearing Niqab in classrooms" explains The Egypt Independent.

The decision proved controversial with some staff members describing it as "racist". But "Nassar claims that only 10 professors at Cairo University wear the Niqab, a claim that has been disputed by staff members".The move was upheld last month by a Cairo court.

The Daily Monitor says the police officer who arrested Ugandan Presidential hopeful Kizza Besigye yesterday is a murder suspect. Kizza Besigye was briefly arrested by police on Monday as he was getting ready to host his last rally in the Ugandan elections.

According to today's Daily Monitor, the man who commanded and executed the arrest of Besigye, "Superintendent of Police Aaron Baguma at the Central Police Station Commander, is accused of murder".

He and another suspect "are accused of taking the life of Dona Katushabe through torture" in October 2015 in Kampala before reportedly robbing her of a mobile phone. This information came from Uganda's Directorate of Public Prosecutions, which explained to the paper it was waiting for Police to arrest the man and proceed him to court.

What's more, it seems "police promoted Baguma [...] despite the DPP’s sanction for the alleged murder". .

Now to Kenya, where salaries are eating up the counties' budgets.

"The high cost of paying county government officials’ salaries is eroding the gains of devolution as well as "laying the foundation for a future debt burden for the country’s 47 counties, explains this morning's Standard.

The comments came from the latest report from the Office of the Controller of Budget.

This, three year after Kenya started establishing semi-autonomous county governments, "in a bid to decentralise political and economic power" explains the paper.

Now it appears that "salaries and allowances took up 56 per cent of county government resources", up from 51% last year. In some counties that number is as high as 86% - and of course, it means that local governments are not investing as much as they should be.

"The new figures paint a grim picture of the state of devolution in a week the President and Council of Governors sought to present devolution as being a fully functional system" concludes the paper.
 

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