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Africa Press review

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African press review 8 September 2017


Thousands of Togolese stage giant protest in Lome in a clamour to end the long rule of the Eyadema dynasty while an explosive memo worsens infighting at Kenya's elections body.

We begin with an unprecedented popular uprising in Togo where security forces fired tear gas to disperse an estimated 100,000 protesters staging a second day of marches in the capital against the planned extension of President Faure Gnassingbé's rule after two terms in office.

The demonstrators are clamouring for constitutional reforms, including a two round voting system and limits to the number of terms a President can serve.

Gnassingbé took power in 2005 after the death of his father, General Gnassingbe Eyadema, who had ruled f the tiny West African nation since 1967.

Le Temps reports that the demonstrators were keen on getting Gnassingbe's regime out of their way on Thursday by marching to the Presidential palace where soldiers were brought in to stop them.

According to Ici Lome, the country's citizens were still holding out in the streets as night fell on the capital city.

The Online newspaper Liberté Togo says the people want Gnassingbé to step down after 11 years of foot-dragging.

And for Le Temps du Togo two questions are waiting for answers over the next few days, how Faure Gnassingbé's regime will deal with the demands of the population and how the opposition will manage its new-found popularity.

In Kenya the front pages of the papers are all about the new twist in the turmoil and infighting within the country's Electoral agency.

This is after four IEBC commissioners disowned a memo from Chairman Wafula Chebukati blaming chief executive Ezra Chiloba for the systemic flaws in the August 8 General Election.

Daily Nation reports that in the explosive memo, which was leaked to the media, Chebukati queries Chiloba to explain why some election result forms lacked security features, why satellite phones never worked and why hundreds of polling stations did not send results of the presidential election to the national tallying center.

According to the publication, the latest development was the first public display of disunity at the top of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and appeared to cast doubts on the agency's credibility to organize repeat presidential elections scheduled for October 17.

Meanwhile, Standard reads that amid the looming face-off, the credibility of the IEBC to conduct a credible fresh presidential election as ordered by the Supreme Court has seriously been undermined. 

The paper claims that both sides of the political divide have already taken extreme positions with regard to the Commission as the Supreme Court prepares to deliver additional coal to the fire in its eagerly awaited detailed judgment.

According to the Standard, the National Super Alliance backing Raila Odinga that won the election petition, insists on massive changes in the Commission’s structure, including the removal of a Commissioner, while incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta's Jubilee is against any radical changes at the agency, close to the poll.

In South Africa, the Sowetan relays a red alert issued by wild life experts in KwaZulu-Natal about a young male lion on the loose in Fochville on the West Rand.

The paper reports that the animal‚ has been on the run for the past six weeks and is being tracked down by police and wildlife experts who hope to have him captured and sent to a Free State lion sanctuary within the next 24-hours.