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African press review 18 November 2013

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There's trouble brewing in the Ugandan capital.

According to the main story in this morning's Daily Monitor, the city Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago, yesterday said he will unveil his next course of action today at a political rally in the heart of Kampala. The Police Chief however says Lukwago’s group failed to fulfil conditions for holding the rally and police will not allow it.

Kenya's post-election violence 2007-8

Lukwago, who is facing impeachment, insists the rally will go on as planned at Nakivubo Settlement Primary School where he plans to brief the people about President Yoweri Museveni’s alleged machinations to disenfranchise the Kampala electorate.

Last Thursday, Kampala Minister Frank Tumwebaze received recommendations from the tribunal he appointed to investigate Lukwago. The tribunal, headed by high Court Judge Catherine Bamugemereire found Lukwago guilty of incompetence, abuse of office and misconduct, and recommended changes to the Kampala statutes that would see the next Lord Mayor chosen by the five division mayors, should Lukwago be impeached.

Early this year, Erias Lukwago survived an attempt to oust him from City Hall after a motion by ruling National Rainbow Movement legislators to dislodge elected leaders in Kampala failed to go through. The move was based on a committee report that alleged that they had mismanaged funds and their internal bickering was holding back many city development programmes.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta will later this morning travel to Kuwait in the Persian Gulf for a three-day official visit.

According to the Nairobi-based Standard newspaper, the president will be joining more than 65 other leaders from Africa and the Arab world for the third Africa-Arab economic summit.

The summit is expected to launch a new phase of Arab-African joint cooperation.

In the Daily Nation, we read that the United Kingdom is now supporting changes to International Criminal Court rules to enable President Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto to participate in their trials through video link.

After abstaining from voting during last week’s UN Security Council meeting where the Africa Union request for the Kenya cases to be deferred for a year was rejected, the British government has signalled that it will support Kenya’s continuing push for Kenyatta and Ruto to be excused from being personally present in the courtroom at The Hague.

After the defeat of the AU at the United Nations, the next stage for Kenya is on Wednesday at the ICC Assembly of State Parties where the 34 African Nations who have signed the Rome Statute will push for immunity from prosecution for serving heads of state and government.

London, however, has floated a compromise position that would allow appearance by video link. Kenyatta and Ruto have already had an application to be allowed to participate in their trials by video link rejected.

According to the main story in regional newspaper the East African, fresh cracks emerged within the East African Community last week after member states differed on the Monetary Union Protocol, expected to be signed by the Heads of State Summit at the end of this month.

Kenya and Rwanda are opposed to the changes, saying the alterations will complicate the implementation of the document.

The protocol is intended to pave the way for the transition to a single currency over the course of the next 10 years and establish legal, institutional and economic reforms to support financial integration across borders.

Replacing individual currencies with a regional common currency is expected to reduce the costs and risks of transacting business across the national boundaries of the partner states of the East African Community.

Member states are jittery about the adoption of a single currency, considering the different economic circumstances of the various EAC countries.

The East African points to the situation in the Eurozone, and specifically the problems currently being experienced by Greece, Portugal and Spain, which have lost competitiveness in international markets and can no longer use currency depreciation to restore their economic standing.

As a result, the euro, instead of being the basis for broader integration, has ended up worsening the imbalances and inequalities between countries with different levels of productivity and competitiveness, says the East African.

Finally, the Zimbabwe Herald pays tribute to Doris Lessing, pointing out that the Nobel prize-winning author who died in London at the weekend spent nearly a quarter century in Zimbabwe.

Her parents (Alfred and Emily Tayler) started farming near Banket. Her entire formal education was at Avondale Infants School and the Harare Dominican Convent.

Both her marriages, to Frank Wisdom and Gottfried Lessing, were celebrated in Harare and all three of her children were born in Zimbabwe.

The Herald applauds Lessing's left-wing and anti-settler views, views which saw her banned from the then Southern Rhodesia and from apartheid South Africa.

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