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Kenya Press review Uganda Tanzania

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African press review 9 October 2017


Ugandans are asked to stop harrassing God and work a bit harder. President Yoweri Museveni may need a spot of divine intervention himself as the proposal to change the presidential age limit goes to a 23-man parliamentary committee. And there's no sign of calm in Kenya, as we count down to this month's presidential election rerun.

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has warned his countrymen to stop troubling God.

According to the top story in today's regional paper the East African, Museveni yesterday urged his people to spend more time working, not praying.

He made the comments, perhaps unfortunately, during yesterday's 19th National Prayer Breakfast, organised by parliament in the capital Kampala with the president's full approval.

The Ugandan leader went on to say that he hates the helpless approach of people, spending days and nights "praying . . . praying and shouting as if God is deaf," while ignoring the fundamental role of man, which is to dominate nature.

For the last 500 years, Museveni said, Africans have absented themselves from the fundamental mission of dominion over other creatures.

The Kampala-based Monitor carries a version of the same story on its front page, with the president warning people against spending a lot of time praying. The Monitor says he advised them to spend more time working and inventing ideas and solutions to current problems.

Ugandan age-limit battle reaches committee stage

Museveni may need to pray for a spot of divine intervention himself as the battle over the removal of presidential age limits now shifts to the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee.

The Daily Monitor says the committee is expected to conduct hearings and consultations and file a report to the rest of parliament within 45 days.

Of the 13 ruling National Resistance Movement members on the 23-man committee, three have voiced their disapproval of the proposal to remove the age limit on the presidency, which would allow Museveni a chance to run again in 2021.

Currently no-one over the age of 75 may stand for election as Uganda's president.

Tanzania to tinker with presidential term limits

The wave of electoral law changes sweeping across east Africa and meant to favour incumbents appears to be gathering speed in Tanzania, according to the East African.

Chemba MP Juma Nkamia is next month expected to table a motion before parliament to extend presidential terms from five to seven years, as is the case in Rwanda.

The amendment is widely seen as a testing ground towards extending President John Magufuli’s tenure. He is currently serving his first term.

A political showdown is looming, says the regional daily, with the opposition Chadema MP John Heche planning to separately table a private motion proposing to reduce the presidential term to four years, as is the case in the United States.

Kenyan candidates continue to clash

There's no sign of calm in Kenya, as we count down to this month's presidential election rerun.

According to this morning's Daily Nation, the two contenders yesterday clashed over what President Uhuru Kenyatta said was opponent Raila Odinga’s plan to precipitate chaos so that foreign powers could step in and force a grand coalition government on Kenya.

With 17 days to the fresh election ordered by the Supreme Court, the Nation has also seen a contingency plan prepared by Western powers before the original election on 8 August and intended to prevent a repeat of the murderous chaos that followed the 2007 election.

According to the plan, Kenya’s international partners will use influential individuals in a two-pronged strategy to exert pressure on the top leaders to resolve any deadlock.

Sacked South Sudan general denies being free

The former chief of staff of South Sudan's army, General Paul Malong Awan, has denied reports claiming that he has been released.

Awan told the Sudan Tribune he was still confined to his home and had no reason to believe he would be released soon because the authorities have not even told him the cause for restricting his movement.

The former chief of staff was forced to return to Juba last May after he was sacked over security reports that he was preparing a coup to overthrow President Salva Kiir.

Since his return to the capital, he has been placed under house arrest.