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Egypt Ethiopia Kenya Kenya elections 2017 Press review South Africa

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African press review 20 October 2017

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In the latest twist to the Kenya election rerun saga, Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga faces jail for alleged contempt of court. And he says he might return to the race under certain conditions. Kids could soon be taking their parents to court in South Africa. And Egypt is worried about the delay in completing two studies of the impact of the Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia.


Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga faces jail for alleged contempt of court.

That's the latest twist to the presidential election rerun saga and it's the top story in this morning's Nairobi-based Daily Nation.

The report says that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s ruling Jubilee Party has sued opposition leader Raila Odinga and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka at the Supreme Court, accusing them of disobeying court orders by planning to disrupt the 26 October election.

The party wants the two found in contempt of court, an offence punishable by six months in jail.

The ruling party claims that the opposition pair disobeyed a court order, which directed the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to conduct fresh elections within 60 days after the court’s 1 September judgment, which declared the original election result invalid.

Jubilee accuses the opposition coalition, which successfully petitioned the Supreme Court to nullify the August election, of embarking on a calculated scheme, including the use of violence, to sabotage the elections.

Doubts persist as to whether the election rerun can proceed over at sister paper the Standard.

Their main story notes that two more cases were filed in the High Court this week, bringing to five the number of petitions whose determination will have an impact on next week's repeat presidential election.

Three of the cases call for the abandonment of the 26 October elections. If successful, they could lead to the relaunching of the entire election procedure and thus prolong the political crisis.

The two other petitions want the elections to proceed as scheduled, irrespective of whether or not opposition leader Raila Odinga and five other presidential candidates are on the ballot.

One of the petitions seeks to have the electoral commission directed to declare President Uhuru Kenyatta president-elect in the event he is the sole nominated candidate.

Yesterday former Kilome MP Harun Mwau added a new twist to the push-and-pull with an urgent petition at the High Court to stop the 26 October poll on the grounds that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has failed to comply with constitutional provisions for a fresh election.

And, as if all that wasn't already sufficiently complicated, a front-page story in regional paper the East African quotes Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga as saying yesterday that he could reconsider his decision to quit the country’s troubled election race, provided there was proper progress on electoral reform.

Odinga made the remarks after meeting electoral agency chairman Wafula Chebukati yesterday.

If you hit me, I'll sue

Kids could soon be taking their parents to court in South Africa, according to the top story in this morning's Mail & Guardian newspaper.

As of yesterday morning, the paper reports, the “reasonable chastisement” of a child by a parent is no longer a valid shield against a charge of common assault. Instead, any parent who hits a child faces the same potentially criminal treatment as if the victim was an adult, whatever the family’s beliefs or religion.

A judge in Johannesburg high court yesterday decided that the common law defence of reasonable chastisement is unconstitutional and no longer applies under South African law.

Corporal punishment has previously been outlawed as a punishment in the justice system or in schools but courts have scrupulously steered clear of pronouncing on smacking within the family.

Studies of impact of Ethiopian dam still blocked

Egypt is worried about the delay in completing two studies of the impact of the Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia.

The water ministers of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia are currently meeting in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, attempting to resolve disputes over the project.

Construction of the dam is now 60 percent complete.

Yesterday, according to the Cairo-based Egypt Independent, Egypt’s Minister of Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Aaty expressed concern about the delay in completing two studies recommended in the original report on the project.

Cairo is concerned that the dam will limit water supplies downstream, to the detriment of Egyptian agriculture.