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Africa

Africa Press Review

media

A wish list for Kenya's re-elected President. The pitfalls of worshipping political leaders. Jacob Zuma changes tack. And, Miss South Africa gladdens the nation's hearts.

Kenya first,  where the papers reflect on the swearing in yesterday for a second term in office of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

If you recall, Kenyatta was officially re-elected with 98% of the vote on 26 October when the Opposition boycotted the poll and only 39% of voters cast their ballots.

The original election on 8 August was annulled by the Supreme Court on grounds of irregularities.

In its editorial, the Daily Nation explores the challenges facing Kenyatta.

"President Uhuru Kenyatta has a golden opportunity to secure his legacy if he can live to the commitment he made to Kenyans on Tuesday," the paper says.

"His repeated call for the respect of law, national unity and peaceful co-existence are fine texts that lift the spirits of a nation so polarised along ethnic lines.

However, the challenge is turning them into reality."

The Nation offers an exhaustive list of what it calls "glaring examples."

It begins with the Police.

"While he was spelling out his priorities and rooting for national healing, the police were ruthlessly beating up opposition supporters and tear-gassing leaders.

The brutality increasingly displayed by the police when handling the opposition paints the picture of an antagonistic and vengeful government.

The President must rein in the police," the Nation says.

Next up Corruption. "Political leaders make lofty pledges, but do the exact opposite," the paper laments.

"Past experience has taught us to be cynical."

Public Service. "Public officials caught stealing from national coffers or engaging in unorthodox practises must not only be sacked, but also face the law."

Health Care -  "Plans to provide universal health care, offer free day secondary education from January and enhance infrastructure development are quite progressive," the paper says. "But he must tell us how they will be funded."

Last but not least there's reconciliation. "His success will depend on his ability to bridge the ethnic divide, weed out corruption, transform public management and entrench the rule of the law."

A perfectly reasonable wish list, you might say.

But how reasonable are Kenya's politicians? Opposition leader Raila Odinga has announced plans to be sworn in himself as President next month.

We'll see how that unfolds.

*******

The papers in Zimbabwe are still preoccupied with the country's geriatric former leader Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace.

In an opinion column headlined "Worshipping of leaders - an evil that must go" the privately owned daily NewsDay asks "How did Mugabe become the untouchable ?

"There can be no secret," the paper says.

"Zanu PF and a mass of bootlickers created Mugabe the god. They intoxicated Mugabe and ultimately Grace with power.

"While sycophants enjoyed the perks that came with bootlicking, they struggled along with everybody else to remove the creature they had created. No one could have overpowered this all-powerful creature save for the army.

"It is imperative," says NewsDay' "that we all understand that the President is a man or woman chosen among us. He is human with weaknesses too. He should be a servant and not a master of the people."

*******

In South Africa, Business Day says "The tight battle for the leadership of the ANC has taken yet another unexpected turn, with President Jacob Zuma now positioning himself as a unifying force out of concern that the December conference might collapse.

"The change from being an explicit backer of his former wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s bid comes against a backdrop of unexpected strength in financial markets on the questionable assumption that the race has been all but won by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa."

*******

The Star, meanwhile, delivers uplifting news and dazzling glamour.

"South Africans started their work week on a high note with the news that our very own beauty queen was bringing home a top international pageant title," the paper crows.

"Miss South African 2017, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, was crowned Miss Universe at a glittering ceremony in the US during the early hours of yesterday."

"Nel-Peters, a BCom graduate from the Western Cape, thanked South Africans for their support."

Bravo !

 

 
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