We begin in Uganda, where the papers are all about three opposition lawmakers charged for treason after their supporters stoned President Yuweri Museveni’s vehicle in Gulu last Monday.
The two MPs are Francis Zaake and Robert Kyagulanyi, a popular musician-turned-politician who goes by the stage name Bobi Wine.
Red Pepper says the incident came after evening clashes between officers and opposition members resulted in multiple arrests.
However, the two lawmakers – both critical of President Museveni -- were not among those brought before a Gulu court on Thursday, according to Kenyan paper the Standard.
The publication claims it was told by a leading opposition figure that images of Zaake brutalised and lying on a bed had emerged on social media.
Uganda’s Daily Monitor leads with news that Tanzanian police on Thursday deployed several vehicles and officers to arrest all the residents of a village in the country's south, after water pipes were destroyed by a mob.
The paper reports that the region's governor ordered the police to pick up the 1,600 residents of Ngolo, regardless of their condition, for deliberately smashing water pipes in an area where resources are scarce.
Stabbing rapist condemned
In South Africa, the story making rounds in the papers is that of the sentencing of a knife-wielding rapist to four life sentences.
Times Live reports 28-year-old Siyabonga Matholenge was found guilty by a Pretoria court of raping at least six women aged between 15 and 21. He has been ordered to spend the rest of his life in prison for a reign of terror he perpetrated on several woman in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga between 2011 and 2014.
RIP Queen of Soul
Several African newspapers pay tribute to Aretha Franklin, the legendary singer known as the "Queen of Soul" who died on Thursday in Detroit at the age of 76.
"Queen of Soul is dead" headlines Nigeria's Premium Times, while the Nigerian Guardian looks back at her scintillating career, noting that she sold 75 million records worldwide during her more than 40 years in music.
Uganda's NewVision describes the power behind her feminist-tinged cover of Otis Redding's "Respect" as an inspiration for two generations of pop divas.
In Kenya, Daily Nation recalls that the 18-time Grammy award winner inspired multiple singers during her five-decade career, from pop diva Mariah Carey and the late Whitney Houston, to Alicia Keys, Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige and the late Amy Winehouse.
Her passing marks the end of an era, mourns South Africa's Sowetan.