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African press review 5 February 2018


Jacob Zuma defies ANC chiefs calling for his resignation, but for how long, and what next for Kenya, if Raila Odinga is arrested for proclaiming himself President?

We begin in Kenya where the papers anticipate a new twist in the political crisis rocking the country amid reports that opposition leader Raila Odinga who took an oath of office as the people's President could be picked up by police.

Daily Nation quotes some ruling Jubilee party leaders as saying that it is just a matter of time before Odinga is arrested “for inciting people against the government of the day”.

But according to the newspaper, opinion is divided on whether the arrest of the National Super Alliance boss would be the best way of dealing with an insurgent opposition.

The publication holds that while the government has gone for Odinga’s allies, there is concern that such a decision may lead to unprecedented chaos.

Meanwhile, the Star says it is able to report that the NASA leader Raila Odinga is  operating from a city hotel, crafting his Cabinet. He has reportedly avoided his Capital Hill office, since his swearing-in as the “People's President” at Uhuru Park last Tuesday, according to the newspaper

The Standard relays a statement from the opposition National Super Alliance warning the Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i to stop intimidating its leaders. This, after the Minister called on their supporters who attended the inauguration of Raila Odinga as the “people's president” to surrender to officers at Central Police Station latest on Monday.

The Standard claims that senior NASA official Miguna Miguna who was arrested on Friday over his role in Odinga's oath remains in police custody despite a court order for his release. The Standard says he is set to be charged in court today.

In South Africa, the papers are watching the steps of President Jacob Zuma amid mounting pressure on him to step down, before Thursday's State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Mail and Guardian says it is able to report that the 20 members of the ANC’s national working committee (NWC) have been summoned to a special meeting on Monday afternoon. This after the ANC’s new top six leaders failed to persuade him to step down during a meeting on Sunday night at the presidential guesthouse in Pretoria.

The publication carried a comment EFF leader Julius Malema tweeted after Sunday night’s meeting: “He refused to resign and he told them to take a decision to remove him if they so wish, Malema wrote.

The Star says that Zuma’s determination to deliver the SONA could cause a constitutional crisis, as opposition parties have made know plans to seek a court interdict blocking the reopening of parliament. It would be the first such action in the country’s history, according to the newspaper.

Business Day says a special sitting of the ANC's National Working Committee would probably recommend the meeting of a special ANC National Executive Council which would give Jacob a hard choice –either to resign or face a recall from office by the party.

Cape Times holds that hundreds of ANC members from at least six provinces were expected to descend on Luthuli House, the ANC party’s headquarters in Johannesburg, on Monday to demand that President Jacob Zuma step down as head of state.

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