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African press review 13 October 2018


France offers Rwanda's Louise Mushikiwabo the Francophonie's top job in a diplomatic trade-off.

We begin with reactions to the election of Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo as head of the world organization of French-speaking nations.

She defeated incumbent Canadian politician Michaelle Jean who ran for re-election without her country's endorsement.

The South Africa's Times says Mushikiwabo won the  suspense-free vote on the last day of the Francophonie summit in the Armenian capital Yerevan on Friday despite her country's shift to English a decade ago and controversy over its rights record.

According to the newspaper, the election of the 57-year-old is a victory for both Rwanda's Paul Kagame and France's Emmanuel Macron.

Times reports that both leaders have sought to improve relations, long fraught due to Kigali's accusations of French complicity in the 1994 genocide that killed at least 800,000, mostly Tutsis.

In an editorial titled “How Kagame Cashed A Large Genocide Cheque From France”, the Rwandan newspaper claims that to Kagame, genocide is a powerful weapon with which he extracts favors from donors by intimidating them using guilt.

This time around, it says he just used genocide to extract from France the post of the head of the Francophonie. In the Rwandan's view, "to France and its clever head of state Emmanuel Macron, this is a rather cheap bargain".

In Nigeria the papers are all about the profile of the opposition PDP party's Presidential running mate.  PDP candidate Atiku Abubakar announced on Friday that he had picked former Anambra State Governor and banker Peter Obi to partner with him in the ticket.

Punch reports that Obi who aged 57 is “Peter Obi is the Chairman, of the powerful Board of Security and Exchange Commission.

ThisDay quotes the PDP Presidential Candidate Atiku as saying that his choice was largely influenced by Obi's youthfulness, his vast knowledge of global and local economies, and his vast experience in the corporate world which he said Nigeria was in need of at this point in time.

Daily Post has excerpts of Obi's acceptance statement. He speaks about the honour to serve Nigeria by working with the former Vice President who he said had all it takes to restore the nation’s glory.

In an editorial Vanguard explores the battles the PDP Presidential candidate has to fight before the 2019 election war. 

The margin of victory it argues shut some mouths and left others agape and licking their wounds.  Atiku must now know that his first battle is to soothe frayed nerves and mend a cracking party.

Neither Atiku nor the party can afford to suffer further losses and defections concludes the publication.

In Kenya, Standard Digital leads with an intense lobbying that has kicked off over who will replace Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet as the expiry of his term fast approaches.

According to the newspaper, the police boss, a career spy turned cop who was sworn in on March 11, 2015 to rein in on terror attacks that had gripped the country, is set to retire in slightly less than three months after a single 4-year term , as outlined by the Constitution.

But as the paper reports even with such time left on Boinnet’s clock, insiders at State House have intimated a cut-throat competition by power players keen on influencing President Uhuru Kenyatta’s next choice of police boss to their favour.

According to the Standard those in the know say that with the country approaching a transfer of presidential power in less than four years, the selection of the next IG will not just be about who will be in charge of the police but it would be heavily influenced by politics.


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