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Africa Press review

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Africa Press Review 2nd December, 2017


Today's papers have stories on migrants throughout the continent, but also how some countries will see changes in their border policies.

In Nigeria, Punch headlines with a story on migrants returning from Libya with an article explaining they drank urine and fuel to survive on their journey.

Over the past two weeks, Nigerians have added their voices to the global uproar over the exposed tales of slave trade, torture and killings of migrants in Libya.

Over 5 000 Nigerians have been repatriated from Libya by the International Organisation for Migration since the beginning of 2017.

Each time a new batch of returnees arrive, they bring with them tales of horror from the transit country, where they hoped to take the treacherous journey through the Mediterranean Sea.

Saturday Punch spoke with many of the returnees as they landed back. They told the tales of man’s inhumanity to man.

Speaking of migration, Kenya’s Daily Nation leads this morning with an article that says there have been “Mixed reactions to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s open borders directive”.

Analysts, bureaucrats and business leaders are taking stock of the full implications of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s unprecedented move to open up borders to Africans.

If implemented, the directive means that Africans wishing to visit Kenya will be eligible to receive a visa at the port of entry, unlike in the past when many had to go through a rigorous, often expensive process to secure a visa in Kenyan embassies abroad.

This move, however, has raised security concerns with one expert warning that it will present a logistical nightmare because the security agencies will be required to mount more robust surveillance at all border points.

It will also mean that the country will face a significant increase in the number of Africans seeking to enter, and this will severely test immigration services.

Another article “Lessons for Kenya from Europe” echoes this headline.

In his inauguration speech, the president said that East Africans with identity cards from their home countries would be treated as Kenyans.

The open invitation instantly raises the question of whether the children of East Africans will enjoy free primary and free day secondary education if their parents move to Kenya.

It could also mean that they will be entitled to enjoy other benefits, such as being signed up with National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), which means that they will enjoy all the benefits that the scheme offers its Kenyan members.

These and other services have been made possible for the taxes that Kenyans pay.

The article beggars the question: How will they feel when they are asked to share them with other East Africans?

The East African leads with a story on “Suicide soaring among Ugandans working in the Gulf”.

A growing number of Ugandans are returning home from Oman with tales of abuse, such as employers confiscating their passports and phones, denying them food and working long hours without receiving their full salaries.

Uganda banned its nationals in 2016 from working in Oman. But a parliamentary report documenting the deaths of 48 Ugandans in the Middle East since January - 34 by committing suicide - shows the ban is being flouted, sparking calls for more effective action.

Some 80,000 Ugandans work in the Middle East, according to the Uganda Association of External Recruitment Agencies, an umbrella body of licensed firms.

The Mail & Guardian headlines with the ANC in the North West nominating Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as its preferred successor to President Jacob Zuma.

The nomination was announced at the ANC North West provincial general council (PGC) in Bojanalo in the North West. After proceedings were delayed the PGC announced that Dlamini-Zuma received 291 nominations while her main rival Cyril Ramaphosa received only 45 nominations.

Business Day echoes that article by having one on “ANC delegates vote with their abstentions for ‘unity’ in Mpumalanga”

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma received the majority of the nominations in the province with 123, followed closely by Cyril Ramaphosa with 117 nominations for the position of president

However, there were 223 abstentions. Mabuza asked The Elexions Agency, running the process for the ANC, to clarify what was written in the nomination forms of those that were abstentions, and the agency’s Dren Nupen replied that "unity" was written on the nomination forms.