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Press review South Africa Rwanda Kenya

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African press review 8 July 2017


More economic and political worries for South Africa. We now know the final line-up of candidates for Rwanda's presidential election. Who will pay for South Sudan's budgetary overspend? And how will Kenyans vote for their next president?

There's more trouble for South Africa on the economic horizon.

According to Johannesburg-based financial paper BusinessDay, the International Monetary Fund has warned that the South African economy is extremely vulnerable to external shocks and funding shortfalls.

In an executive report following a country visit in the last week of June, the IMF also said policy uncertainty linked to political turbulence would weigh on business and consumer confidence.

South Africa’s economy entered recession in the first quarter of this year and the country is suffering from an unemployment rate of close to 28 percent.

Membership scandal rocks South African ruling party

The South African Mail & Guradian says the ruling ANC is investigating membership fraud in four provinces – just six months before its crucial national elective conference where factions backing president Jacob Zuma and his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, are likely to go head to head.

It is alleged that as many as 200,000 membership forms were forged in KwaZulu-Natal alone. Other allegations of fraud include the use of fake names, cloning bank stamps, buying members and banks colluding with ANC members.

In an interview with the Mail & Guardian, ANC treasurer general Zweli Mkhize confirmed that his office is investigating collusion between bank officials and ANC members, as well as the bulk buying of membership in KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

At stake is the credibility of the December election conference at which the ruling party will choose its next leader.

Two get the green light to face Kagame

There will be three contenders in next month's Rwandan presidential election.

Yesterday, independent candidate Philippe Mpayimana joined Frank Habineza of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda. They will fight it out with the incumbent President Paul Kagame for the top seat.

Three other candidates were rejected for submitting fewer than the 600 voter signatures required, or for failing to provide at least 12 signatories from each of Rwanda's 30 districts.

One candidate failed to provide a certificate of citizenship.

The National Electoral Commission noted the names of several dead voters among those who signed in support of the three rejected contenders.

Rwanda's presidential election takes place on 4 August.

Court puts Kenyan electoral commission in a bind

The presidential poll in Kenya is scheduled to be run four days later, on 8 August. But it's not clear that there'll be any ballot papers.

Yesterday the Kenyan High Court ordered the electoral commission to start a new tendering process for the printing of presidential poll ballots.

The three-judge court ruled that the commission, as an independent arbiter, should have engaged all presidential candidates in the decision leading to the choice of the United Arab Emirates printing company Al-Ghurair through direct procurement.

The opposition National Super Alliance, which was opposed to awarding the tender to Al-Ghurair, claimed that there was publicly available information linking the firm’s directors and shareholders with the incumbent, President Uhuru Kenyatta.

South Sudan needs foreign help with budget shortfall

South Sudan is looking for overseas donors to fund more than one-third of its next budget.

Yesterday, the finance minister Stephen Dhieu Dau presented his 300-million-euro budget to foreign ambassadors, explaining that 135 million euros of that would not be covered by available resources.

US ambassador to the Republic of South Sudan Mary Catherine Phee promised support but warned that Washington was constrained by the ongoing conflict.

The civil war has forced more than a quarter of the country's 12 million people from their homes.

Donors already pay for almost all health and education expenditure in South Sudan. Japanese Ambassador Kiya Masahiko said his government wanted to see more accountability and good financial management.