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Africa Press review

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African press review 1 September 2017


The usual suspects are back in the African newspapers, as Jacob Zuma has some difficult questions to ask in parliament and Grace Mugabe attempts to empower women with chickens. Meanwhile in Kenya, the fate of newly reelected President Uhuru Kenyatta is about to be decided by the Supreme Court.

“Judgement Day” - that’s a rather dramatic headline.

But it’s a rather fitting one, too, given the amount of post-electoral intrigue and speculation we’ve been seeing in Kenya.

Today, seven Supreme Court judges will decide whether to uphold President Uhuru Kenyatta’s reelection or order a fresh election within 60 days, as Standard Media explains.

Following his defeat in the presidential election on 8 August, opposition leader Raila Odinga filed a petition at the Supreme Court.

For the past two days the seven judges have been considering the tonnes of documents presented to them, in some undisclosed, secluded hide-out.

Standard Media says their landmark decision will not only change the country’s political destiny but could also set a precedent in determining election disputes.

The Daily Nation says Odinga and Kenyatta have a “date with destiny”.

One of the key issues will be to determine whether some 11,000 electoral forms were in fact missing, as Odinga’s side argues, and whether some were fake.

The judges will also have to decide whether the servers used by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission were manipulated or not, and whether the election was purely electronic, in compliance with Kenyan law.

Zuma grilled in parliament

Jacob Zuma is the focal point of South African newspapers.

Business Day says the atmosphere was heated in parliament yesterday, as the president faced tough questions from opposition MPs.

He was being asked about allegations that he was complicit in the looting and mismanagement of state-owned entities.

He  stands accused of fostering relationships between cabinet ministers and his relatives to secure government contracts for himself and his family.

In his first parliamentary appearance since surviving a motion of no confidence earlier this month, Zuma denied everything.

Business Day says the opposition grew particularly irate when he refused to say whether he was prepared to take legal action against the ANC member who formally made the allegations.

The paper says he dodged the question.

The Mail and Guardian says he was “evasive” in his answers.

Dr Mugabe’s chickens

Grace Mugabe is forever in the headlines in Zimbabwe.

The state-owned Herald newspaper makes no mention of the recent scandal in which she was accused of assaulting a young woman in Johannesburg.

This time it’s all about her new idea to empower women … with chickens.

The "First Shopper”, as some of her critics call her, will gracefully donate 30,000 chicks to the Women’s League of the ruling Zanu-PF party, so they can be allocated to women across 10 provinces.

She is also making sure the women receive training in chicken rearing, to curb losses.

The idea seems prophetic, if we’re to go by this article, which includes a lot of flattering quotes by her admirers and kindly refers to the president’s wife as “Dr Mugabe”.

That in itself is a whole other story.

In case you didn’t know, she was awarded a PhD in sociology from the University of Zimbabwe three years ago.

Other faculty members say it only took her a few months to get a degree which normally takes years.

So, if that doesn't make her an authority on women’s empowerment and chicken farming, what does?

HIV on the rise in eastern Uganda

In Uganda the Daily Monitor says new cases of HIV infections are on the rise in 11 districts in the east of the country and that the trend could jeopardise Uganda’s goals to eliminate the epidemic by 2030.

In its report the Uganda Aids Commission say it has registered a 1.3 percent decline in new infections nationwide, but in 11 districts in Bugisu, Bukedi and Sebei sub-regions, new infections have increased by 0.3 percent.

According to the paper, the UAC couldn’t identify the cause of the increase.

But one man has an idea.

The Reverend Simon Lokodo, the State Minister for Ethics and Integrity, has put the increase in HIV cases down to pornography.

“We have plans to import a server to detect and control pornography,” he says.

“This will prevent youth from accessing pornography that influences their sexual desires.”

Meanwhile, the director general of the Ministry of Health told the Daily Monitor that another study would be carried out to establish the reasons for the rise of new infections.