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African Press Review 6 July 2018


Unregulated imports in east Africa, Zulu kings opposing land reforms, lions dealing with poachers in South Africa, and dodgy charms against bullets in Nigeria are some of the stories that have made it into the papers across the continent today.

Kenya’s Daily Nation sheds light on the meeting that was set to take place today in Migori between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Tanzanian counterpart John Magufuli. It has apparently been postponed to accommodate all the guests’ diaries.

The paper notes that they “could face the challenge of increased smuggling of contraband goods and illegal substances across the border when they tour MigoriCounty later this month".

Among the smuggled commodities is sugar, which is repackaged into bags bearing brand names to mislead customers.

“Officially," writes the Daily Nation, “the declining trade volumes between Kenya and its east African neighbours like Tanzania and Uganda has been blamed on occasional trade tariff wars.”

According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, Tanzania registered the biggest decline in imports from Kenya, from Sh34.8 billion in 2016 to Sh28.5 billion in 2017.

Nigerian passport changes

Talking of borders, Nigeria’s Punch looks at the country's passports, which are to be given new security features. The Nigeria Immigration Service “was worried by the rising cases of tampering and cloning of the passport, hence the decision to fortify it with new security chips”. However, the paper’s correspondent in Abuja could not ascertain whether this would lead to an increase in the price of passports.

Zulu king wants to hang on to land

Over in South Africa one story that’s been making headlines is the new alliance between Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini’s and civil rights organisation AfriForum over land reform. Both oppose the government expropriating land without compensation. The Sowetan writes that “Zwelithini on Wednesday warned of a clash of nations should the government make good on moves to dissolve the Ingonyama Trust Board and cede thousands of hectares of traditional land to the state.”

Zwelithini said that he‚ like his forefathers‚ would be resilient and rebuff any attempt to “take” the land.

According to South Africa's Mail & Guardian, the ruling ANC is treading carefully on the matter. It says it is being “misconstrued as anti-Zulu monarch” as it had “not formulated a view that is either in favour of or against calls for the Ingonyama Trust Act to be repealed.“

The act was signed into law just days before the country’s first democratic elections in 1994.

Lion pride

Another South African story that has achieved worldwide coverage is that of “two alleged poachers‚ maybe even three‚ [who were killed by a pride of lions on the Sibuya Game Reserve outside Kenton-on-Sea in the Eastern Cape this week.”

“The remains were scattered over a very wide area making it difficult to comb the scene and get all the evidence,” reserve Owner Nick Fox tells the Sowetan.

Kenya’s Standard also covers the story, noting “There has been a rise in poaching in Africa in recent years, to feed growing demand for rhino horn in parts of Asia. In China, Vietnam and elsewhere, rhino horn is believed to have aphrodisiac qualities (…) Nine rhinos were killed by poachers in Eastern Cape province, where the reserve is located, this year alone.”

Not so bullet-proof

Meanwhile a Nigerian healer could have done with lions to protect him.

He died during a 'bullet-proof' charm test.

“Chinaka Adoezuwe, 26, was killed after instructing [a] man to shoot him as he was wearing the charms around his neck.” writes the Standard.

There have been several reports recently of people being killed while testing "bullet-proof" charms and medicines.

In January a traditional medicine seller was arrested after a man drank a "bullet-repelling" liquid and was shot dead.

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