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African press review 27 February 2013

The ICC may put off the Kenyatta/Ruto trial. Is Uhuru's family to land-rich to institute land owneship reform? Do South Africans have donkey in their sausage? Or horse in their teriyaki? And why shouldn't we speculate about Rwanda's reshuffle?


The main story in Kenya this morning concerns the possibility of a postponement in the trial of the four Kenyans accused of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court.

According to the Daily Nation, Jubilee presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta and his running mate, William Ruto, can now focus on the final days of the presidential campaign after The Hague prosecutor said their cases could be deferred until August. The trials were originally scheduled to start in early April.

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The Standard is more cautious, saying that Hague prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, is not opposed to the application for a three-month delay.

But at the same time she insists she is ready to prosecute the four accused on 10-11 April, if the judges do not grant the request by the Kenyans.

The four suspects argue that they need more time to prepare their cases because of the late disclosure of prosecution materials, the revision of charges and the removal or addition of witnesses.

The Daily Nation says the postponement could significantly influence the Kenyan presidential campaign.

In case there is no clear winner next Monday between Uhuru and his main opponent, Raila Odinga, a run-off election is scheduled in one month's time, which would coincide with the start of The Hague trials against the two if the original date is maintained.

On the actual campaign front, the Standard reports that Uhuru has another fight on his hands as both he and his toughest rival, Raila Odinga, strive to answer thorny questions about land and property.

Martha Karua, the leader of the National Rainbow Coalition, says she stands by her campaign attack on Uhuru as unable to champion land reforms given that his family owns "half the country” when many Kenyans are landless.

Uhuru’s team has challenged Raila to come clean over his family’s acquisition of the Kisumu Molasses plant, alleging that the deal was less than transparent.

In a separate story in the Standard, we learn that Uhuru's admission that his family owns about 30,000 acres of land in Taita Taveta County has elicited angry reactions from residents.

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The residents accuse the deputy prime minister of being insincere on the controversial land question and said 80 per cent of the population in Challa Division where the Kenyatta land is located were squatters.

Two Taveta parliamentary hopefuls claim that the Kenyatta family irregularly acquired the most productive land in the area.

While European consumers worry about the amount of horsemeat in the average "pure beef" hamburger, South Africans face a different range of culinary surprises.

According to University of Stellenbosch research published yesterday, South African sausages, mince and deli meats contain undeclared products ranging from soya to donkey. The article is headlined "Sausages make asses of South African shoppers".

The study used DNA analysis to test for 14 species of animals in 139 processed-meat products, sourced from large and small retailers in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

It found widespread "meat fraud", with raw sausages the worst culprits: pork was found in half of the sausages supposed to be pork-free and chicken in two-fifths.

The research highlights the department of health’s failure to enforce laws, requiring food products to carry labels declaring exactly what is in them, that came into effect last year.

Meanwhile global frozen-food brand Findus, which sells 17 products via retail outlets in South Africa, has defended its products, following the discovery of horsemeat in its packaged frozen lasagnes, among other companies’ products, in UK supermarkets.

Consumers can rest assured that South African Findus beef teriyaki ready-made meal contains no horsemeat, the company announced yesterday. They said nothing about pork, kangaroo, soya or chicken.

According to regional paper, the East African, Rwanda's President Paul Kagame on Monday made changes in the country’s cabinet bringing in new faces in a reshuffle which saw the governor of the central bank swap positions with the minister of finance and economic planning.

John Rwangombwa who has been at the finance ministry for about two years was moved to the National Bank of Rwanda while his predecessor, Ambassador Claver Gatete, was named the new minister of finance.

The reshuffle also saw the naming of a new minister of infrastructure. Oda Gasinzigwa was named minister of family and gender promotion.

According to the minister of cabinet affairs, the reshuffle is nothing to "speculate about", being a strategic move by the head of state to move individuals to different duties in the interests of national development.

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