African press review 2 September 2013
The holidays might end sooner than expected for Kenyan Members of Parliament, if a story on this morning's front page of the Nairobi Standard is to be believed.
There we learn that the Kenyan parliament is set for an early reopening to discuss the International Criminal Court cases against President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto.
Also on the list of urgent business planned by the Leader of Majority in Parliament is the tabling of a bill which would remove Kenya from the Rome Statute. That would mean reversing the original 1999 decision to recognise the International Criminal Court and to abide by its decisions.
The Standard also says the majority is to press for the ratification by Parliament of the African Union resolution that urged the ICC to cede jurisdiction in the cases against Kenyatta and Ruto to Kenyan courts.
The two men face charges of crimes against humanity for their alleged roles in the 2008 post-election violence.
There's a worrying story on the front page of Uganda's Daily Monitor.
The headline reads "50 female MPs spoke five times in two years". The small print explains that a Daily Monitor study of the Parliamentary recorrd that keeps track of all MPs’ contributions to debates also shows that 34 MPs have spoken less than 15 times in a House dominated by male lawmakers. There are 134 women MPs in the Kenyan Parliament.
Between them, they earn a monthly salary of about 170,000 euros. But 49 women legislators have not spoken more than five times on the floor of the House for the last two years.
The Standard wonders whether the affirmative action policy, introduced by President Museveni’s administration in 1986, is no longer relevant in grooming more confident and articulate women in the political sphere.
According to regional paper the East African, the East African Community is facing a test of unity and an identity crisis after regional leaders last week discussed key proposals to deepen integration without the input of Tanzania, a founder and key member state.
The Mombasa meeting of Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Uganda's Yoweri Museven and Paul Kagame of Rwanda was ostensibly to discuss cross-border infrastructure projects.
However, the decision to fast-track the East African political federation in the absence of Tanzania confirms the view that a “coalition of the willing” is emerging within the EAC to push for faster integration.
Significantly, the presence of ministerial delegations from Burundi and South Sudan, which has applied to join the EAC, leaves Tanzania as the only partner state not aboard the new high-speed train of regional integration, says the East African.
As the three regional leaders met in Mombasa to discuss regional infrastructure projects, business reforms and plans for a political federation, a spokesman for Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete told the East African that he had not been invited to the meeting.
The main story in South African financial paper BusinessDay suggests that South Africa may be able to dramatically increase its gold reserves the gold it is technically capable of mining if a technology being piloted and financed by AngloGold Ashanti comes on stream.
The development could theoretically change the declining fortunes of gold mining in South Africa as well as altering international market perceptions that South African mining is past its prime.
Conventional wisdom is that mines reach their limit at a depth of five kilometres because of the higher risk to human life from extracting rock under such enormous pressure. Extraction is increasingly prone to bursting and seismic events. Ventilation and refrigeration also become too expensive to warrant mining at those depths. AngloGold’s Mponeng is currently the world’s deepest mine at 4km from the surface.