African press review 25 October 2017


We begin in Kenya where the papers set the stage for eleventh-hour court battles which they say may yet derail Thursday’s presidential election rerun ordered by the Supreme Court nearly two months ago.

Daily Nation reports on a case filed by three civil society activists who want a cancellation or rescheduling of the October 26 poll.

The paper says that there is  growing concern that deep divisions at the country’s elections body could play against the poll.

The Nation says it was told by an official of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission that their legal team was ready for court, but could not coordinate strategy with Chairman Wafula Chebukati’s lawyers.

Standard says it’s all depends now to Kenya’s Chief Justice David Kenani Maraga to decide whether Kenyans will queue up again tomorrow for the vote he cancelled.

The publication also reports that opposition leader Raila Odinga looked more confident than ever before that the poll will not be held as long as the conditions he set to participate in the election are not met.

Meanwhile, South Africa’s Times has an update on the controversial appointment of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe as goodwill ambassador of the World Health Organization rescinded after an international uproar.

The paper quotes a spokesman of the 93-year-old leader as saying that Mugabe would have rejected the WHO role had he been aware of the appointment.

In Zimbabwe the state-owned Herald newspaper quotes Mugabe aide George Charamba as saying that he president was quite surprised by the appointment.

The paper quotes Charamba as saying that there was nothing, either verbal or written, from the WHO intimating that the UN agency wished to make the president a goodwill ambassador in respect of non-communicable diseases.

In Nigeria, Vanguard leads with news that the embattled ex-chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina, accused of complicity in a N2bn (4.7 million-euro) fraud, has gone into hiding.

According to the paper, Maina has not been seen since President Muhammadu Buhari ordered for his immediate disengagement from the Federal Civil Service.

The country’s anti-graft agency launched a manhunt for him, according to Vanguard.

In related news, the Tribune says that the Senate, on Tuesday, set up an ad hoc committee to probe the recall and reinstatement saga around the former chairman of the Presidential Task Team on Pension Reforms.

Abdulrasheed Maina was Assistant Director in the office and ruled as too inexperienced to hold the senior position.

Meanwhile the Daily Sun says more trouble awaits Maina, after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Tuesday sealed off six buildings in Kaduna State, allegedly belonging to him.

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