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Africa Press review

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African press review 9 September 2017

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Togo's opposition braces for more protests against President Faure despite a crackdown while Kenya's leaders urge the Election body to stop "sideshows" and focus on the rerun of the annulled Presidential election.


We begin in Togo where the papers continue to monitor the political unrest in the country where the capital Lome remained blocked-off on Friday as security forces used tear gas to keep away anti-government protesters calling for the removal of President Faure Gnassingbe.

Le Correcteur's front page is covered with photographs of the large crowd that have turned out around the country to back the clamour for constitutional reforms.

Their demands include two-term limits to holders of the nation's highest office in a bid to stop the incumbent Gnassingbe from extending his hold on the country after coming to power in a palace coup mounted by cronies on the death of his father who ruled the country for nearly 38 years.

L'Alternance newspaper criticizes the strong headedness of President Faure Gnassingbé in the wake of reports that up to 80 opposition supporters have been arrested by security forces in connection with the giant march on Lome.

Meanwhile Togo Matin insists that despite the crackdown dialogue remains the only way forward to resolve the deep political crisis rocking the country.

Meanwhile, in Kenya where there is mounting pressure being made to bear on the electoral commission to deliver a credible repeat presidential election on October 17.

The Nation reports that incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta, opposition leader Raila Odinga and church leaders on Friday urged the commissioners to stop the “sideshows” and focus on the fresh polls.

The publication says the pressure came as the commission released a timetable showing how it intends to handle the election as ordered by the Supreme Court last week.

The Nation observes that since the nullification of Kenyatta's victory in the August 8 polls by the country's highest court, there has been lack of harmony between the chairman and the chief executive of the Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission with the row between the two top officials splitting election commissioners into two camps.

The Standard digs into the scheming taking place "inside the IEBC's tower of Babel",  with the newspaper asserting that it is house at war with itself.

The investigative report sheds light on what it calls a commission shaken by the Supreme Court decision, infiltrated to the core by insidious operatives and officials pushed to the wall by diverse and competing interests from both sides of the political divide.

Standard says life in the IEBC tower now is the story of a powerful secretariat propped up by a forceful state and opposition machinery, a weak commission working at cross purposes within itself to maintain a semblance of constitutional independence in the face of damning revelations.

And in South Africa, Times leads with the arrest of a Cape Town church leader who allegedly posted pictures online of himself dressed as a scantily-clad woman to entice at least 50 teenage boys to send him explicit photographs.

The paper reports that the 27-year-old pedophile’s business came to an end after the shocked parents of a 14 year-old discovered his photos and text messages on their son’s cellphone and alerted church leaders.

The Times quotes investigators as saying that the suspect threatened his victims aged between 12 and 17 to make their photos public unless they sent him more revealing images.