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Africa press review 19 April 2018


Thugs creating chaos in the Nigerian Senate, bus strikes in South Africa and Zimbabwe candidates pledging "Women Cigarettes and Beer" are some of the stories making it into Africa's papers today.

The unrest that occurred yesterday in Nigeria's Senate chamber made it into many papers across the continent. "Shock, anger as thugs invade Senate, escape with mace" headlines The Punch before describing how "three invaders entered the chamber at the same time that Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, who was suspended by the Senate last week, walked into the chamber" and as "senators were presenting petitions from their constituents."

Somehow these men managed to overpower the senate's security. And yes fisticuffs did occur although the men are reported to have been armed.

Over in South Africa, The Sowetan has gone for the headline 'Hoodlums' steal mace from Nigerian Senate" and quotes Senate media and public affairs chairman Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi “This action is an act of treason, as it is an attempt to overthrow a branch of the federal government of Nigeria by force and it must be treated as such”. The paper goes on to explain that Nigeria's "Parliament cannot convene without the mace, a metre-long metal rod traditionally carried by the Senate speaker upon entering and leaving the chamber."

The act of seizing the mace in Nigeria has been a long-established tactic to express discontent with parliamentary proceedings in the Senate and the lower House of Representatives, as well as state legislatures.

Another Mace was brought out so the senate's activities resumed pretty quickly.

Nigeria's The Guardian looks at how people reacted on social media to this "show of shame" with some twitter users saying " National Assembly chamber has turned [in] to Nollywood Movie Location." while others were less amused saying "No one is really safe in a country where the leaders pay lip service to the security of citizens!"

Over in Kenya, The Daily Nation continues to follow President Uhuru Kenyatta's five day visit to the United-Kingdom in a bid to reveal his true agenda, amongst others trade and health.

"Kenya has had a rocky relationship with key Commonwealth countries and President Kenyatta’s administration says it is keen to recast those relations, especially with Britain." writes the paper who further notes that "Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is seen in Nairobi as an opportunity to renew trade and investment relations."

Kenyatta promised that all Kenyans in the diaspora could vote in the 2022 General Election once the sufficient legal framework is in place.

"In return, the President got more support from UK for prevention of malaria" Some 14.28 billion shillings" the Daily Nation ads

The money is to be matched with equivalent funding from private sector organisations.

The article also looks at trading agreements with Europe but also other African nations pointing that African countries trade more with Europe and than with each other.

Over in South Africa, the Mail & Guardian looks at how the Golden Arrow Bus Strike is affecting commuters. The Strike is due to "wage talks" between the unions and employer associations which have come to a standstill.

Those hit hardest, says the paper are the working class in big cities like Cape Town. Cosatu has accused Golden Arrow in particular of failing commuters and in a statement, said that the company is obliged to provide transport services to weekly ticket holders – even in the event of strike action.

“The company has the ability to arrange for Metrorail to accept the bus tickets on their trains, the same way that Metrorail arranges for the company to accept their train tickets on their buses."

Staying in South Africa, The Sowetan is very interested in political candidates in neighbouring Zimbabwe which writes the paper, is "basking in new-found freedoms that have accompanied the end of Robert Mugabe's rule."

The paper is exploring the idea that " In a democracy‚ nearly anyone can run for office" and draws the portrait of 2018 hopeful Arnold Mhazo whose main campaign promise is "women‚ cigarettes and beer".

His Zimbabwe National Union (ZNU) party campaign tag line is after all "Zimbabwe will never be a boring place again. Never!"

Well what isn't boring is this article which looks at various characters from the 115 political parties and hundreds of individuals who intend to take part as election candidates.

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