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African press review 12 March 2018


Ninety-four-year-old Mugabe braces for one more battle with his successor while ,Jacob Zuma's Nkandla bank goes bankrupt.

Kenyatta-Odinga pact

We begin in Kenya, where the papers continue to monitor reactions of political stakeholders to the unexpected show of unity by President Uhuru Kenyatta and his opposition leader Raila Odinga.

Daily Nation reports that there are fears that the ODM leader’s sudden about-turn to parley with Kenyatta on Friday, without the knowledge or approval of other principals, could have dealt the death blow on opposition National Super Alliance.

According to the paper, cracks in the NASA coalition widened on Sunday following revelations that Odinga will not attend a meeting of co-principals scheduled this Monday.  The publication claims that the turn of events tests the strength of the alliance battered by head winds and storms since Raila Odinga took the controversial ‘oath’ at the end of January.

The Standard speaks to a lawmaker who warns about tough times awaiting the National Assembly Minority Whip Junet Mohammed and Minority Leader John Mbad, since Opposition leader Raila Odinga allegedly betrayed the other NASA co-principals. The MP advises the two dignitaries to just cross the floor and sit on the Jubilee Party side in Parliament.

The pape reads that while some politicians commend the wisdom it takes to defy all odds and sit down with one's nemesis, others urged the President to be cautious while dealing with Raila Odinga. As one of the critics put it, people well versed with Raila Odinga will tell you that this is the same way Odinga joined KANU in 1997 only to implode it from within.

Zuma's Nkandla bank cash trapped

In South Africa, BusinessDay leads with news that a small mutual bank, which loaned out R7.8million to former President Jacob Zuma has been placed under curatorship after running into severe liquidity trouble.

The paper says Zuma took the loan to reimburse state funds spent to upgrade his Nkandla private home in 2017.

BusinessDay says the tiny black-owned VBS Mutual Bank ignored repeated warnings by the Treasury about the illegality of taking deposits from several municipalities.

Mugabe refuses to capitulate

Is deposed Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe plotting to derail the rule of his successor Emmerson Mnangagwa? That is a view upheld by several local newspapers.

DailyNews says the “sulking former leader aided by his restless wife Grace is stepping up efforts to get back at his successor, despite reports that a number of people and organizations are working hard behind the scenes to reconcile the two men.

Zimbabwe’s Independent says a former crony of the 94 year-old Mugabe went public with his refusal to negotiate with Mnangagwa, voicing unhappiness about the way he was toppled.

The former Cabinet minister Ambrose Mutinhiri, who met Mugabe after dumping ZANU/PF membership reportedly told The Standard that he does not see the once bosom buddies smoking the peace pipe.

According to the paper Mutinhiri is leading a ZANU/ PF splinter party that has received an endorsement from Mugabe, much to the chagrin of Mnangagwa.

Meanwhile South Africa’s Times says Mugabe has increasingly been associated with the National Patriotic Front, which registered this week with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

The paper says that Mugabe's trip to South Africa last Wednesday, apparently intended to meet leaders of the Generation 40 faction, which was vanquished in ZANU-PF's internal squabbles last year.

Robbers in week-long bash at victim's home

And a daring robbery in Machakos country is causing a buzz in Kenya. The Nation says a gang of 10 shocked police spent an entire week cooking, watching television, sleeping and taking away the man's property, while he was away.

According to the newspaper, neighbours initially thought the suspects were the man's relatives until they saw them moving goods out at night. Four suspected members of the gang have been taken into police custody, while they others are on the run according to the Nation.

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