African press review 30 October 2017


In Kenya the Daily Nation reports that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission is expected to announce later today that President Uhuru Kenyatta has been reelected with 98 percent of valid votes cast in last week’s repeat poll.

However, the same paper separately reports that the opposition National Super Alliance yesterday called for a new presidential election to be held within 90 days.

The opposition boycotted last week’s rerun of the annulled vote.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga yesterday told supporters that Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto had lost their mandate because of the low turnout in the repeat election.

Yesterday William Ruto told the international news network Al Jazeera that the ruling coalition is open for dialogue with Raila Odinga but insisted that the question of fresh elections would not be on the agenda were such talks to happen.

“Our position on the matter is that Kenya is a constitutional democracy,” he said. “We respect the rule of law. Every situation has been provided for under the constitution and Mr Odinga’s call for fresh elections within 90 days is not constitutional.”

Odinga says he will not resign

Raila Odinga dominates the front page of sister paper the Standard where he is reported as yesterday condemning the violence that led to deaths and destruction of property in Dagoretti North constituency.

Speaking at a rally in Kawangware, Nairobi, after attending a church service, Raila claimed their Jubilee rivals had hired goons from an outlawed sect to cause violence in the area.

The opposition leader also dismissed calls by his rivals in the Jubilee Party for him to retire from politics, saying he would not be forced out by his political opponents.

Zuma investigated by the FBI

South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma and his ex-wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma are being investigated by both the US’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the UK’s Serious Fraud Office for allegedly looting billions of dollars from public coffers, the Nairobi-based Daily Nation reports.

The report says Dlamini-Zuma is one of the front-runners in the succession race to replace Zuma as the leader of the governing African National Congress.

The FBI and UK criminal investigators are looking into Zuma’s and Dlamini-Zuma’s alleged participation in an international crime syndicate and associated transnational money laundering schemes.

This comes on the back of revelations in South Africa of widespread corruption and the illegal control of state-owned enterprises by parties closely connected with Zuma, his family and the wealthy Indian-origin Gupta family.

Somali police and intelligence chiefs fired

Regional newspaper the East African looks at the decision by the Somali government to sack the national police and intelligence chiefs.

The dismissals come in the wake of Saturday’s coordinated bomb atttacks in Mogadishu, in which at least 27 people lost their lives.

The attacks have been claimed by the Al Shebaab group.

At a cabinet meeting yesterday, ministers approved the dismissal of intelligence agency boss Abdillahi Mohamed Sanbalooshe and police chief Abdihakim Dahir Said.

They were fired for failures of accountability, according to a government statement which also said police were interrogating three gunmen captured in the course of Saturday’s attack.

The sackings come in the wake of the abrupt resignation of Somalia’s Defence minister and army chief, both of whom quit without explanation on 12 October.

Besigye out on bail after a week as a ‘political scoundrel’

Ugandan opposition leader Kizza Besigye and other Forum for Democratic Change leaders, who were arrested at rallies against the plan to change the age limit for presidential candidates, say they were treated like ‘political scoundrels’ while detained for nearly a week by the police.

They were arrested and taken to Rukungiri Chief Magistrates Court where they were charged with inciting violence, destruction of property and disobeying statutory orders.

Besigye and those arrested with him have now been freed on bail.

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