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African press review 3 November 2017


Kenya braces for more court battles over President Kenyatta's re-election in the boycotted repeat poll.

We begin in Kenya, where the battle over President Uhuru Kenyatta's re-election heads to the Supreme Court this Friday.

Standard reports that on Thursday, Jubilee Party filed a pre-emptive petition seeking a declaration to uphold Uhuru's election in the October 26 repeat election.

Uhuru got 7.4 million votes (98 per cent) in the vote boycotted by the main opposition candidate Raila Odinga and in 25 constituencies which are opposition strongholds.

According to the paper, on the eve of the October 26 vote, a petition was tabled at the Supreme Court by Odinga's legal team, seeking to block the poll but it was not heard as the jurisdiction could not hear it because it lacked a quorum.

Meanwhile the Standard reports that former Ethics permanent secretary, John Githongo, has written to Supreme Court judges demanding an explanation their whereabouts last week.

In his letter to all Supreme Court judges, including Chief Justice David Maraga, Githongo wants to know why the court could lack a quorum a day to the repeat election.

The Kenyan Star reports that Justice Maraga had informed lawyers that it was a lack of a quorum to meet, which indirectly cleared the electoral commission to continue with the election.

The law requires that the court should have at least five judges to conduct its business, according to the publication.

Meanwhile, Kenya's Daily Nation, is monitoring developments in Uganda where some lawmakers have rejected the cash released by Parliament to facilitate consultations on a bill seeking to scrap presidential age limit.

The paper says so far, 10 MPs have rejected the so-called millions of shillings of bribe including the leader of the opposition in Parliament Winnie Kiiza who has returned her share of the money amounting to 6.800 euros each.

According to the Nation, the money is part of three million euros released by Parliament last month to facilitate consultations on the bill initiated by ruling party MP Raphael Magyezi seeking among others the repeal Article 120(b) of the Ugandan Constitution to lift the presidential age limit.

The proposed change has been widely criticized as a move to pave way for President Museveni's ascendency to a life president.

Back in Uganda, the Daily Monitor, says that a leading ruling party lawmaker has branded the Constitution Amendment Bill on the age limit as a hot potato that cannot be sold to the population. 

Michael Kamugisha Timuzigu who is a member of President Museveni's National Resistance Movement reportedly told journalists in Kampala that it is only when you gather about 100 people and give them money that they will pretend to support the bill".

In South Africa, disgraced Paralympic star Oscar Pristorius is once again in the news as the country's Supreme Court begins hearing this Friday on a petition seeking to extend his 6-year jail term for the murder four years ago of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

The Times says judges at the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein are expected to hold a one-day hearing on the petition tabled by the National Prosecuting Authority for a re-examination of the case file.

The Paralympic athlete shot Steenkamp dead on Valentine's Day in 2013, when he fired four times through the door of his toilet - an act, he says, that came from mistaking her for a burglar.

Mail and Guardian says that the State is expected to argue that the six years’ imprisonment on the murder charge is “shockingly”, “startlingly” and “disturbingly inappropriate” and does not reflect the seriousness of the crime.

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