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Africa

Africa press review 19 May 2017

media

Naturally, France's recent Presidential election has interested us Europeans and Francophones Africa alike.

Understandably, there's been less interest in Anglophone Africa.

So, this morning's editorial in the Guardian in Nigeria, headlined "Lessons from Macron’s election", caught my eye.

"For Nigeria, the most obvious lesson from the May 7 election of Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frederic Macron as President of France is that the youth too can do it, if the conditions are right," the paper says.

For those who didn't know, Macron is 39 years old.

"It must be recalled," says the Guardian, "that Nigeria once had courageous and capable young people in leadership positions. General Yakubu Gowon at age 32, led this country through its most difficult times."

"It is a mark of Nigeria’s regression that, decades later, the older ones are snatching back what they should let go to the terrible detriment of the growth and development of the nation," it adds.

"Nigeria is blessed with a large number of young people waiting for just the opportunity to excel," the Guardian believes.

But, the paper says, and it's a big but, too many of the older generations are too deeply sunk in all types of delinquency to either show good example, or create an environment conducive for achievement.

In the Guardian's view, the lessons of Macron's victory is clear. Out with the old in with the young. Is it likely to be mirrored in Nigeria ?

Evidently, the paper hopes so. But, don't hold your breath.

*******

Staying with elderly African leaders, the Zimbabwean, the country's newspaper in exile, reports that sources close to the First Family have told the weekly newspaper that the 93-year-old President now has “worsening health problems” and his wife Grace is getting worried.

“Grace is in a quandary; she has to deal with Mugabe’s health challenges and political issues as well… she is scared of a future without him,” an unnamed official told the paper.

Mugabe was in Singapore last week for another medical check-up, the paper says.

Seriously ill or not, one thing is certain; Mugabe is not getting any younger. And speculation over what happens when he goes is not going to die down.

Just so. Is there a Zimbabwean Macron waiting in the wing ? Not that we know of.

The country's two government owned papers, the Herald and the Chronicle, carry reports that President Mugabe yesterday officially launched the US$1 billion highway project, before commissioning a US$250 million Dam later in the day.

Evidently, there's life in the old dog yet.

*******

In Zambia, whose President Edgar Lungu is a youthful 60 years old, the Daily Mail picks up on an issue that will be as familiar to many elsewhere in Africa as geriatric leaders.

"For a long time now Government has been grappling with a high number of ghost workers on its payroll.

This has led to Government losing millions of Kwacha by paying workers who had left employment through either dismissal, retirement or death
.
The nation was recently treated to some shocking news when a teacher was arrested for allegedly drawing her dead husband’s salary for seven years, the paper recalls.

Grappling with ghost workers unsuccessfully it seems.

"The case of the hospital in Northern Province which employed a nutritionist to run a mortuary is a typical example of intentions to manipulate the system for corrupt purposes. Where on earth have nutritionists ever been employed to man bodies in a mortuary?," asks the Mail.

"This is absurd and a clear indication of high levels of greed and corruption among some public service officers" it says.

For now, Government needs an urgent and thorough audit of the civil service payroll to rid it of ghost workers, the paper urges.

A ghost story with a happy ending? We shall see.

 

 
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