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Africa

African press review 20 September 2017

media

The Kenyan Supreme Court has been explaining why it annulled the second round of last August's presidential election. MPs in Uganda haver come to blows over the move to change the constitutional rule limiting the maximum age of a presidential candidate to 75. And there's more bad new for the South African economy.

Last August's Kenyan presidential election was clearly marred by irregularities, according to Daily Nation reports on the findings of a random survey carried out by a team of experts appointed by the Supreme Court.

Of the 30 constituencies selected, several tally sheets used to transmit the presidential results were clearly photocopies. Others had not been signed as required by law. And still others did not bear the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s stamp.

There were nearly 700 more tally sheets than the total number of polling stations open on election day.

Ugandan opponents are fighting fit

The plan to change Uganda's constitution to lift the presidential age limit has got some people hot under the collar.

According to this morning's Daily Monitor, police officers had to intervene to separate two members of parliament who were yesterday involved in a physical scuffle outside government buildings in Kampala.

Last week 240 MPs aligned to the ruling National Resistance Movement endorsed a proposal to repeal the restriction of the age of any presidential candidate to between 35 and 75 years.

The move is aimed at paving way for President Yoweri Museveni to seek another term of office since he will have passed the 75-year limit by the time of the next elections in 2021.

Parliament will discuss a motion on the presidential age limit tomorrow.

Identity politics hampering South Sudan

The same Yoweri Museveni is on the front page of this morning's Sudan Tribune. The Ugandan leader has been blaming South Sudanese politicians for pushing forward identity politics while forgetting the interests of the people.

Museveni, in New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly, held a meeting on Monday with US UN ambassador Nikki Haley, whom he briefed on the security situation in South Sudan, Burundi and Somalia.

During the meeting, the Ugandan president stressed the need to unite the various factions of the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement, saying that he was mediating the talks aimed at uniting the SPLM as the Ethiopian Prime Minister tries to unite the other political parties.

Jonathan criticises army efforts in Nigeria

There's a row in progress between the Nigerian federal government and former President Goodluck Jonathan. According to the daily paper Punch, the disagreement centres on the recent deployment of soldiers to the south-west, intended to counter the separatist efforts of the group calling itself the Indigenous People of Biafra.

Jonathan believes it is an anomaly for soldiers to be deployed for internal security, a responsibility normally taken by the police. The former president says the deployment of troops internally is intended to intimidate citizens.

South African growth prospects diminish

There's more bad new for the South African economy.

Basically, economic growth looks set to remain behind the rate of population growth for the four years ending in 2018, ensuring that more people will be poor.

As things stand 40 percent of South Africans are chronically poor and a further 40 percent are what economists call the "transient" poor, sometimes getting their heads above water only to sink again as seasonal or part-time jobs dry up. That means only one in five South Africans are completely untouched by poverty.

According to today's Johannesburg-based financial paper BusinessDay, the World Bank has halved its growth outlook for South Africa and has flagged dwindling productivity as the major threat to growth.

In its latest economic update published yesterday, the World Bank revised growth prospects down to 0.6 percent for 2017. In January, the same organisation forecast that Gross Domestic Product would grow by 1.1 percent.

The downward projection follows several credit rating downgrades earlier in the year.

Growth has been hampered by lost productivity. Private investment in research and development has declined 40 percent in South Africa since 2008.

There has been almost no export diversification over the last seven years, reflecting the country's inability to break into new markets with innovation.

Only seven percent of South African exports are high-tech.

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