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African press review 3 December 2013

More on Kampala's deposed Lord Mayor, polygamy and divorce in Swaziland, radical islamists in Mombasa  - all in today's African papers ..


If Erias Lukwago says he won't talk to Yoweri Museveni, this must be Uganda.

Indeed, that's the main story in today's Kampala-based Daily Monitor.

Lukwago, deposed Lord Mayor of Kampala, yesterday dismissed any possibility of holding talks with President Museveni, saying such reports were an attempt by the ruling National Resistance Movement to “defame him”.

Yesterday, the police cordoned off Lukwago’s home in the suburb of Wakaliga. They fired teargas and live bullets to break up scuffles after Lukwago attempted to travel to finalise a legal application contesting his detention.

Former opposition leader Kizza Besigye, a close ally of the Lord Mayor, was also confined to his residence in Kasangati yesterday as the police suspect the duo is planning to cause chaos in the capital.

President Museveni has other things on his mind. The Monitor also reports that his Congolese counterpart, Joseph Kabila, was in town yesterday for talks with the Ugandan leader. The discussions are aimed at re-setting bilateral relations stressed by mutual suspicion over the M23 rebellion in the east of the DRC.

The peace agreement between Kinshasa and M23, brokered by Uganda last month, has been hanging since rebel leaders refused to sign the final document.

Kinshasa said it would accept a document committing M23 to formally declare an end to hostilities, but not a peace agreement because the Congolese army had defeated Sultani Makenga’s M23 in North Kivu province.

According to a story on the front page of regional paper The East African, the United Nations has agreed to send a mission to Rwanda to participate in the process of identifying and verifying former M23 rebels who fled to its territory early this year.

This follows a request by Rwanda and is being seen as part of Kigali's bid to fight off allegations that Rwanda supports the Congolese rebel movement.

In Cairo, The Egypt Independent reports that the 50-member committee supposed to ammend the 2012 Constitution completed the job yesterday, with several members praising the results. Sadly, the Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist allies are less impressed.

According to the privately-owned Cairo daily, the ratification of the new constitution would be a major step along the road suggested by the interim government after President Mohamed Morsi was forced out of office.

The revised constitution would ban religious parties from forming political groups, as well as enshrine the Egyptian military's role in politics.

Dossier: Revolution in Egypt

Swaziland’s Senate chief says members of the Swazi parliament should not divorce to avoid embarrassing the country’s polygamous king, who has declared that only death can undo marriages.

Gelane Zwane, leader of the upper house in Africa’s last absolute monarchy, said lawmakers should set a good example to young people in the deeply conservative country and warned them against the temptations of the flesh.

The Swazi King, Mswati III, has been married 13 times and has never divorced, although three wives have left the royal household in recent years.

In May last year, one of his wives, Angela Dlamini, fled the royal palace for South Africa, claiming years of physical and emotional abuse by her husband.

Another wife was kicked out after being caught in bed with the Swazi justice minister. He was kicked out as well.

South African financial paper BusinessDay reports that the Central African Republic has called for a ban on diamond exports to be lifted, saying it needs the tax revenue from sales to revive its crisis-crippled economy.

Certified diamond trading was suspended in May, two months after a coalition of mainly Muslim Seleka rebels ousted President François Bozize.

According to BusinessDay, diamonds are an important source of revenue for the government in Bangui and the ban makes interim president Michel Djotodia’s task of staging polls even more daunting.

In Kenya, The Standard reports that moderate Muslim leaders and security officials are afraid that radical Islamists are gaining control of the coastal city of Mombasa following last Friday’s forcible takeover of the Sakina Jamia Mosque.

It has also emerged that police decided not to intervene in Friday's incident, fearing that entering the mosque would have anoyed both moderate and radicalised Muslims.


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