The health of several African leaders is causing concern this morning.
Zimbabwe’s 93-year-old president Robert Mugabe is in Singapore for a “routine medical checkup”, according to state media.
Mugabe left the country on Friday and is expected to return by midweek.
Mugabe’s medical trips to the south-east Asian city state have become more frequent in recent years. His most recent visit was in May, also said to be for a “routine medical checkup”.
Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari has been in London since 7 May and his lengthy absence has caused political uncertainty in Africa’s most populous nation.
Angola’s President Jose Eduardo dos Santos recently spent a month in Spain for medical treatment and last week he returned for what was officially described as a “private visit”.
Two opposition groups attack Jacob Zuma in court
South Africa’s Jacob Zuma has a different kind of health problem.
According to the top story in this morning’s Mail & Guardian, while Zuma was busy last week debating ANC policy, the opposition Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) were pushing in two different courts to ensure that the president is held to account.
Each party separately argued that it was vital that an example be made of Zuma.
The EFF want the Constitutional Court to force parliament to convene an inquiry into whether Zuma lied to it during the course of the Nkandla scandal, a process that could lead to his impeachment.
The Democratic Alliance, in a separate case, is opposing bids by Zuma and the National Prosecuting Authority to overturn a high court order that could see Zuma prosecuted for corruption in the latest instalment in the “spy tapes” case concerning a 2009 decision to drop corruption charges against the South African leader.
South Sudan’s independence day celebrations cancelled
South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir announced yesterday that his administration was forced to call off the sixth Independence Day celebrations because of the economic crisis that the country has been battling since the eruption of armed conflict between troops loyal to Kiir and those supporting rebel leader Riek Machar in December 2013.
According to the Sudan Tribune, in a message marking the sixth anniversary of independence from Sudan Kiir said it would have been inappropriate to waste money on celebrations while many South Sudanese are finding it difficult to afford even one meal per day.
There was no military parade or other public event to mark independence.
The young nation is struggling to stop rising inflation – currently at 300 percent – caused by the war, rampant corruption and the near collapse of the oil industry, which accounts for 98 percent of government revenue.
Kenyatta warns against postponing Kenya’s presidential poll
Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta has warned the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission against any attempt to postpone next month’s presidential election.
Responding to the recent High Court ruling that barred the commission from honouring a contract with the Dubai-based Al Ghurair company to print the presidential ballot papers, the president said it was puzzling that the electoral agency had been allowed to go ahead with printing ballot papers for the other polls.
Opposition figures claim that there are close links between the president and the Dubai-based printing company and that this could lead to fraud.
The Nairobi-based Standard reports that the opposition National Super Alliance has lodged another onslaught against the electoral commission.
This time the tussle is about the complementary system for voter identification and the transmission of results.
The opposition coalition complains that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission had not put the backup system in place and also claims that there was no public participation in the whole process.