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African press review 27 January 2018


President Kenyatta names his cabinet ending a long suspense. South Africa's tax collector goes to church and Nigeria's President Buhari brands the country's oil refineries a disgrace.

We begin Kenya where President Uhuru Kenyatta President Uhuru Kenyatta announced his nominees for a new 21-member cabinet Friday. Daily Nation says he ended his long delay 59 days after being sworn in, Kenyatta reportedly picked a team of 15 men and six women to drive the four-point agenda he set for his final term: namely to ensure food security, provide affordable housing, universal healthcare and to boost the industrialization of Kenya.

The Standard observes that it was perhaps the longest wait in Kenya’s history adding that in his final term in office, the men and women selected would be critical to his legacy as the fourth President.

Top on Uluru’s concerns as he constitutes his government is how the lives of ordinary Kenyans will be impacted positively by addressing issues already identified as the big four agenda.

Most Kenyans, it says, agree that these priorities rank highly on their immediate needs. According to Standard, with a soaring population, special focus must be placed on employment creation with an estimated one million youth joining the labour market every year.

The Star says President Uhuru Kenyatta nominated six women to his second Cabinet adding only one more to the tally of five in the outgoing Cabinet.

The new entrants include Public Service Commission boss Magaret Kobia, veteran journalist Farida Karoney and former Principal Secretary Monica Juma. The Star holds that Kenyatta still fell short of the two-third gender threshold set by the Constitution.

Another issue raised by the Nation is President Kenyatta’s ending of speculation that he could accommodate the Opposition, whose leaders have been clamouring for dialogue and inclusivity.

According to the paper, the appointments came on a day the Opposition National Super Alliance declared that its leaders, Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka won the August 8 presidential election.

Daily Nation says the announcement was in preparation for their planned swearing-in ceremony, scheduled on Tuesday which the government has reportedly declared to be both illegal and treasonous.

In South Africa, the Times leads with a statement from the Revenues Service known as SARS, that it had decided to send its taxmen to church to investigate religious institutions for possible tax non-compliance.

The move follows findings last year by the country's Commission for the Protection of the Rights of Cultural‚ Religious and Linguistic Communities that the peoples' belief system was being abused by profit-making and tax-evading religious practitioners.

And in Nigeria, ThisDay has a shock announcement by President Muhammadu Buhari about the sorry state of the country’s four refineries in Warri, Port Harcourt and Kaduna, saying it was disgraceful that not even one of them was working optimally.

Buhari reportedly vented his anger during a meeting with a delegation of oil producers in Abuja saying none of Nigeria's refineries was performing up to 50 per cent to satisfy the demand of the local market.

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