Issued on • Modified
African press review 8 February 2017
A public campaign alleging that the opposition was in bed with drug dealers has been launched in Kenya, while South Sudan makes the headlines, as well as Somalia, since it's holding its presidential elections today.
Both Kenya’s Standard and Daily Nation lead today with Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, who has dared President Uhuru Kenyatta to arrest and prosecute him if he has any evidence linking him to the narcotics trade.
The Standard reports that Joho has opened up about the pain of being linked to the illegal drugs trade and blamed the allegations on political rivals seeking to block him from defending his seat.
“No one has ever accused me of drug trade or summoned me over the same," he said yesterday. "These are fabricated lies to block me from defending my seat."
The Daily Nation says leaders of the ruling Jubilee coalition have waged a campaign alleging that the opposition was in bed with drug dealers and warning of more arrests.
But yesterday an angry Joho asked why the government had failed to prosecute him if it had any evidence linking him to drugs.
Mogadishu under lockdown ahead of presidential poll
The East African reports that Somalia’s capital Mogadishu was under security lockdown yesterday, with roads and schools closed and residents urged to remain indoors a day before the country holds a long-delayed presidential election.
Fears are high that the al-Qaeda linked Shebab group will seek to disrupt the election by carrying out an attack on the capital.
Heavily armed security personnel patrolled the streets of the capital, while several main roads were blocked off with sand berms and residents of the capital were urged by mayor Yusuf Hussein Jimale to stay indoors.
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is seeking reelection against 21 other candidates, after another dropped out yesterday.
The troubled Horn of Africa nation, which has not had an effective central government in three decades, had been promised a one-person, one-vote election in 2016, an election that has already been delayed four times since last August.
Kiir to stand again
The lead story on The East African’s website is that South Sudanese President Salva Kiir has announced that he will seek a new term in next year's election.
The poll, said the president, would determine the future of the troubled nation as the people would make a free choice.
Kiir challenged his opponents, including rebel leader Riek Machar, to prepare for the elections and called upon armed groups to stop the war and return home to participate in the democratic exercise.
We can find more on South Sudan today on South Africa’s Mail & Guardian, the paper leading with “the country’s crisis is complex but there's a way out of war and fragility”.
The article lays out several issues that need to be addressed:
- First, without a ceasefire, it says, rebuilding South Sudan will be impossible.
- Second, peace can probably only be reached in conjunction with the implementation of national dialogue.
- Third, aid and peacekeeping support is vital. South Sudan is unlikely to recover without considerable donor funding and aid can promote economic recovery.
- Lastly, the risk factors at the heart of South Sudan’s vulnerability to conflict need to be addressed. Chief among them are security and economic threats.
The article ends by concluding that - given the incidence of ethnic-based violence - truth, justice and reconciliation programmes will likely be needed at community level.
This should be planned for in the eventuality of peace as it would enable the people of South Sudan to address what has happened and get some resolution.
Graft costs Nigeria billions
Nigeria’s Vanguard leads with the results of a report issued yesterday saying that “Corruption deprives Nigeria 500bn dollars [470 billion euros] revenue.”
Economists at the multinational accounting and management firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) have also stated that a more efficient tax system would boost the economy with annual non-oil revenue of about 104 billion dollars (98 billion euros).
The PwC report released yesterday outlined five ways Nigeria could drive inclusive economic growth.
These, according to the report, include improving tax collection, economic diversification, eliminating corruption, easing the constraints to business and increasing labour productivity.