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African press review 13 March 2017
Hard times for whistle-blowers in Nigeria. Did married South African woman connive with secret lover to kidnap her baby? Kenya and the ravges of sexting among young people and Zambia's "Young Chipolopolo" win U-20 AFCOM to become kings of African football.
We start in Nigeria where Premium Times leads with a campaign by civic society groups to secure the reinstatement of a whistle-blower fired by the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs in February, after exposing a suspected fraud scandal in the tune of more than 200,000 euros.
One of the groups, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, said it is giving the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, a seven-day ultimatum to recall Ntia Thompson who was dismissed after reporting the case to the Economic and Financial Crimes Unit.
Premium Times says SERAP warned the foreign minister that failure to reinstate Ntia would not just be a breach of President Buhari's whistle-blowing policy but a wrong message to all potential whistle-blowers in the graft-ravaged country.
And in South Africa, the papers are buzzing with the dramatic and staged hijacking of a month-old toddler born in a secret love affair in Durban. Baby Siwaphiwe Mbambo's mother had earlier told police that the baby was taken out her car at gunpoint by two "hijackers" near the City on Friday.
The Times says it is able to report that the missing baby had actually been hidden at a house in central KwaZulu-Natal for nearly 48 hours after a deal with the married woman's lover.
According to the paper, police officers involved in the search operation found the baby inside a suspected car driven by the married woman's lover as he and his friend tried to take the baby to a safer place.
The Times says the detained accomplices were to be charged for kidnapping this Monday and baby placed under the care of social workers.
Meanwhile Mercury newspaper reports that police have opened investigations to uncover the truth and to "end to the madness” about the child's disputed paternity.
And from Kenya, Daily Nation publishes the findings of a study showing that Sexting has pushed risky sexual behaviour to an all-time high among students.
According to the paper, psychologists at Catholic University of Eastern Africa claim that the craze has made it more challenging to contain adolescent pregnancies, HIV/Aids and sexually transmitted diseases.
The Nation describes "sexting" as sending, receiving, or forwarding sexually explicit messages, photographs or images, primarily between mobile phones.
Stephen Asatsa, the principal investigator, told the newspaper that 98 per cent of secondary school students in Nairobi County are into sexting, with 62 per cent of daily “sexters” having multiple sex partners.
And in Zambia, the papers are full of praise for the country's Under 20 National football team after their 2-nil triumph over Senegal in Lusaka on Sunday. "Football fans in a frenzy throughout the country to celebrate Under 20 AFCON historic win", crows Lusaka Times.
According to the Times of Zambia, the juju-believing Senegal side was easily beaten in a physically charged match played before a capacity crowd.
The Zambian Observer posts a video gone viral in the country showing a Senegalese player "caught on camera trying to use "juju" to win the game". And the Zambian Eye says it is thanks to vociferous home support, that the "Junior Chipolopolo have written their names in the history books".