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African press review 31 May 2018


Kenya issues a stark warning on corruption. Foreign diplomats in Nairobi applaud. The media regulator in South Sudan bars journalists from a UN-run radio station from attending government events. Is there going to be an early election in South Africa?

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has warned all government officials implicated in graft that they'll have to carry their own cross.

A visibly angry Kenyatta, who has been getting frequent updates on the ongoing investigations into various financial scandals, said that he will not allow corrupt government officials to sabotage his agenda.

He said the government will spare no effort to recover all resources stolen from Kenyans through corruption.

The head of state also warned Kenyans to stop using tribal loyalties to defend individuals caught in the web of corruption. He said all corrupt Kenyans must be prosecuted as individuals, irrespective of the tribe they come from.

Ambassadors think it's a good idea, too

Western diplomats in Kenya have meanwhile condemned corruption and have called for decisive action.

In a joint statement issued yesterday in Nairobi, the 18 envoys said graft had undermined Kenya's prosperity, security and democracy.

The envoys said they are providing wide-ranging assistance and support to help Kenyans fight corruption and were pleased by Kenyatta’s commitment to address the scourge.

UN radio sanctioned in South Sudan

The South Sudan Media Authority has banned reporters from a United Nations' radio station from all government events and ordered their arrest if they show up.

The media authority claims that Radio Miraya has refused to register with the regulator.

On Tuesday Radio Miraya reporter Martin Sani was arrested in Juba by the National Security Service at the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs while attending a news briefing.

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan, which runs Radio Miraya, claims that the station's operation is covered by an agreement signed between the UN and the Juba government in August 2011.

That deal obliged the South Sudan government to grant privileges and immunities to all UN staff.

The South Sudan media regulator has recently been under criticism for a crackdown on press freedom.

Divorce on rise in South Africa

Is there a marriage crisis in South Africa? That question is suggested by a report in this morning's Johannesburg-based BusinessDay.

The report says many couples in South Africa are not making their 10th wedding anniversary. And it’s mostly wives who are calling time on the relationships. Black families in particular are fracturing‚ as the number of divorces climbs.

Statistics South Africa said on yesterday that 25‚326 divorces were granted in 2016.

More wives than husbands – 50 percent‚ compared to 34 percent   initiated divorce in 2016 while 1‚868 divorces were initiated by both husband and wife.

A total of 48 divorces were granted for same-sex couples, of which 38 were female couples and 10 were male.

Divorces mainly concerned people who had married for the first time. Four out of 10 South African marriages do not last a decade.

Ramaphosa sitting tight

The Mail & Guardian reports that there's no hint of early elections in South Africa.

President Cyril Ramaphosa met members of the Electoral Commission yesterday to receive an update on preparations for the next elections, which are due in 2019.

Rumours of early elections started in March, following an ANC national executive committee meeting that debated the possibility of bringing the national vote forward.

The Electoral Commission spokesman says Ramaphosa had not raised the issue of potential early elections in their meetings with him and declined to speculate on whether the commission would be ready if early elections were called.

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