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African press review 2 June 2014
Nigeria and Boko Haram, politics in Malawi and South Africa's government reshuffle are among the topics in the papers today ..
The Nigerian Punch newspaper reports that members of the Boko Haram Islamist sect yesterday bombed a bar and a brothel located near a major military base in Mubi, Adamawa State, killing more than 60 people.
Sources told the news agency Sahara Reporters that the explosion rocked the popular bar located at Kaban, a few kilometres from the headquarters of the Special Operations Battalion of the Nigerian army in Mubi.
The Special Operations Battalion is at the centre of the Nigerian government’s counter-offensive against Boko Haram’s increasingly daring attacks on military and civilian targets in the north-east of the country.
According to the same report, security forces in Cameroon claim to have killed about 40 Boko Haram militants in clashes in the country’s far north on Sunday.
The front page of the Nigerian Champion carries harsh criticism of President Goodluck Jonathan.
According to the Lagos-based daily, leaders of the opposition All Progressive Congress yesterday condemned the president and the Federal Government for their inability to end the Boko Haram insurgency.
The party leaders, who were in Ado Ekiti to launch the campaign of Governor Kayode Fayemi for the June 21 governorship election, said it was rather sad that the blood of innocent Nigerians is being shed by insurgents.
Among those attending the event were former president Major-General Mohammadu Buhari, who spoke against the rising wave of killings in Nigeria, saying that the All Progressive Congress has competent hands to turn around the fortunes of the country, particularly at this critical period when the nation is at a crossroads.
Punch reports that some of the 219 schoolgirls kidnapped in April by Boko Haram are now seriously ill, according to a prominent Australian cleric, Dr. Stephen Davis.
Davis was hired by President Goodluck Jonathan to broker the release of the girls. He has been in Nigeria working secretly on the release of the girls for almost a month now.
He says the girls ar being held in separate small groups across the border in Cameroon, Chad and Niger.
Stephen Davis helped broker the truce between the Federal Government and Niger Delta militants in 2004.
The Nation in Blantyre is torn between stories welcoming the new administration, and angry yells from the opposition saying the government sworn-in at the weekend is illegal.
The Malawi Congress Party says the presidential, parliamentary and local elections held on May 20 were a fraud, and they're refusing to recognise the new team installed by the rival Democratic Progressive Party.
The Congress Party has been leading calls for a re-count, saying the swearing-in of Peter Mutharika as president is illegitimate.
According to the Nyasa Times, Peter Mutharika's election will save him from prosecution on treason charges, since he now benefits from presidential immunity.
The 74-year-old brother of former Malawian president Bingu Wa Mutharika is accused of having concealed his brother's death two years ago, in order to prevent vice-president Joyce Banda from assuming power. He was also accused of incitation to mutiny and conspiracy to commit a felony. He denies all the charges.
Peter Mutharika is due to be inaugurated as Malawi's fifth president in Blantyre later today.
BusinessDay in South Africa continues to analyse last week's cabinet reshuffle.
President Zuma’s massive shake-up of the so-called security cluster ministers came as a major surprise, given their spirited defence of his role in the scandal surrounding spending on his private home in Nkandla.
The security cluster (Justice, Defence, Police, State Security and Prisons) was poised to launch a court challenge to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s damning report on the so-called security upgrades at Nkandla so it could have been expected that it would remain intact. Madonsela found that Zuma and his family had benefited from spending on non-security items at Nkandla and that he should pay the money back.
Despite their support, Zuma fired or moved four of the five ministers in the cluster.
Former justice minister Jeff Radebe is the only one to get a promotion, with his move to the Presidency.