African press review 28 August 2017


We begin with a side attraction to the judicial battle underway in Kenya as the country’s Supreme Court is expected to give its verdict on ruling on whether it will allow the National Super Alliance of Raila Odinga to audit electoral materials.

Four days from a deadline to deliver its verdict on the August 8 elections, Standard reports that police were brought into the Court’s premises on Sunday to disperse NASA leaders and supporters who had gathered there for a ‘prayer vigil.

The move by supporters of the opposition alliance got social media trending with reactions. In a post on the newspaper’s website, one Kenyan urges his countrymen to let the court do its work without intimidation.

Another points out that the Supreme Court does not need divine intervention to reach a decision stating that “only cold hard facts will guide their hand”.

In Nigeria, an open letter from the country’s most powerful citizens’ group urging President Muhammadu Buhari to stop the monitoring of Nigerians on social media attracts a flurry of reactions from the papers.

Premium Times says the admonition from the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP followed an announcement by Defence Headquarters that citizens are being monitored for “hate speech, anti-government and anti-security information” on social media.

Several papers report that at least 20 Nigerians have been arrested within the past year for their activities on social media, a situation that could get worse should military continue its surveillance activities

Vanguard underlines paragraphs of the letter warning that military authorities were directly violating the constitutionally and internationally guaranteed rights to freedom of expression and privacy online.

The paper says that SERAP insisted on the risks that the measures could backfire and portray the Buhari administration as working to control the political and social media space.

Also in Nigeria, the AREWA Youths Consultative Forum, which had set an ultimatum for ethnic Igbos to leave the north or face expulsion has reportedly changed its mind and withdrawn their quit message.

This is according to Punch which carried an interview of the organization’s leader Yerima Shettima. The paper reports that the AREWA chief assured the Igbos there was no need for them to anywhere, adding that when they reach a decision they stand by it.

In South Africa, Times sets the stage for the trial due to open this Monday of a handfull of cannibals arrested in possession of human body parts in KwaZulu-Natal last week.

The paper reports that the locality of Estcourt is expected to come to a standstill on Monday with thousands of people expected to descend on the small Midlands town of eSigodlweni.

The Times says the “stomach-churning practice” was learned about in a grisly fashion, when one of the community members‚ – with part of a leg and arm in his arms – rocked up at a local police station last week and told an officer‚ he was tired of eating human flesh.”

The Times quotes a police officer involved in the investigations as saying that they had been led to believe there are more people implicated‚ either by close association with the suspects‚ or directly.

 

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