We start with reactions in Zimbabwe to President Robert Mugabe’s stunning depiction of his his African peers as cowards because they didn’t back his push to reform the United Nations.
He was addressing supporters of his party’s supporters as he arrived Harare International Airport after attending the UN General Assembly in New York. Mugabe said if the reforms were not forthcoming, Africa, alongside countries like Russia, China and India, would pull out of the United Nations.
The publication reports that political analysts and local opposition leaders wasted no time to dismiss the threats as “the unrealistic utterances of an abnormal old man which risked isolating Zimbabwe further”.
“He forgets that charity begins at home” reacted MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu in a comment carried by the Standard. According to the newspaper, the MDC-T official, urged Mugabe to “start by reforming his governance and avoid being a tyrant and despot”.
In Nigeria, the papers are monitoring the value of the Naira amid reports that lingering foreign exchange scarcity had increased to a new level, down by 3.4 per cent from a month ago, its lowest level in more than 11 years, according to the latest data posted on the website of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
This after news that the Naira sold at the parallel market for 440 per dollar on Sunday.
Punch, reports that the latest declines in the naira value started on Wednesday, a day after the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Monetary Policy Committee retained the benchmark lending rate at 14 per cent. The paper says the development came amid depleting external reserves, which stood at 24.8 billion dollars last Monday. Punch quotes economic and currency analysts as saying that there had been no significant policy response to the fall in the reserves, further fuelling the concerns.
The daily highlights President Muhammadu Buhari’s clarification of his government’s position on the clamor by ethnic Igbo activists for an independent Biafra state. According to the Nation, Buhari was speaking on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. He reportedly advised Biafra activists calling for the holding of a referendum on self determination to toe the path of democracy by joining a political party to advance their interest within a united Nigeria. “You cannot practice democracy by creating a state within Nigeria,” Buhari is quoted by the Nation as saying.
The Ugandan newspaper takes up news just in that the government has approved a plan to import Chinese teachers to train Ugandan teachers in Chinese language. The paper says the project is part of the country’s new school curriculum which provides secondary school students with the choice of studying Chinese as a language option. A senior official working with the project says 20 schools have been short listed to welcome the Chinese teachers.
The South African publication takes up the launch in Cape Town this weekend of a campaign by the country’s Medical Association (Sama) to raise awareness about over fatigued doctors and understaffed hospitals.
The Times reports that medics have given colored armbands to show the public the dangerously long hours they have put in. This was after revelations that South African doctors work more than 30 consecutive hours.
Cape Times says the campaign was launched after it exposed the death of a 25-year old medical intern killed in a car crash after she allegedly fell asleep behind the wheel as she returned home from a very long shift.
And the Johannesburg Star breaks the ordeal of a Grade 8 teacher who was allegedly locked up in a classroom by pupils complaining that the maths test she had set was too difficult. The paper reports that the teacher has been at the Sandown High School for about two months and this was one of her first exams.