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African press review 09 January 2014

Egypt protests planned ahead, education budget in Kenya and the South Sudan peace talks are all topics in today's African papers.


You can't accuse the lads at the Muslim Brotherhood of not planning ahead.

According to one of the top stories in this morning's Cairo-based Egypt Independent, the brothers and the Alliance to Support Legitimacy have issued a schedule of anti-regime demonstrations to run until January 25, 2015. They are demanding the return of ousted President Mohamed Morsy and the implementation of the 2012 Constitution. The demonstrations are being organised on the basis of the catchy little slogan, “You Are Dying Anyway So Die A Martyr.”

Dossier: Revolution in Egypt

The group yesterday called on its supporters to demonstrate on January 14 and 15, the dates of the referendum on the Constitution, January 25, the third anniversary of the revolution, February 2, the third anniversary of the Battle of the Camel - when Mubarack supporters on camels charged into protestors in Tahrir Square -, February 11, the third anniversary of the ousting of former President Hosni Mubarak, April 6, the sixth anniversary of the April 6 Movement, and June 30, which would have been the second anniversary of Morsy’s rule, if he hadn't been deposed.

If the regime has not been toppled by all that, the statement calls for demonstrations on July 3, the day Morsy was deposed, August 14, the day the Rabaa sit-in was dispersed, and that brings us back around to January 25, 2015.

Kenya's post-election violence 2007-8

There's not going to be a teachers strike in Kenya.

The push for a strike collapsed yesterday after the Kenya National Union of Teachers failed to prove that 53,000 of its members had not been promoted.

The Teachers Service Commission says their records indicate that only 6,675 teachers had not been promoted following the completion of higher studies. The commission says pay increases to promoted staff will be made immediately.

The union is to form a nine-member team to verify the number of pending promotions.

The trouble may not be as over as it sounds, because the Nairobi-based Standard reports that, even accepting the lower number of teachers due promotion and pay rises, the education budget is still nearly two billion shillings short of the amount required to meet the higher wages bill.

Also in this morning's Standard, a report which says the Office of the Controller of Budget has raised the alarm over failure by Government ministries, departments and agencies to account for internally generated funds they use to finance their development projects.

Basically, it turns out that several ministries, like transport, education and defence, last spent billions more shillings than was actually allocated to them in the budget.

Well done, those men, for showing initiative and managing to generate their own funds. Well, not quite, since the extra funds are coming from central finances anyway, just not through normal budget channels. And there are, says the Standard, suspicions that the millions of shillings found to have been over-spent may have gone on payments of debts, as well as pensions and salaries for constitutional office holders.

The controller of the budget, Agnes Odhiambo, says this practise of back-door financing of ministries and other government agencies will have to stop because it makes a nonsense of the national budget.

Regional papers are divided on what exactly is happening at the South Sudan peace talks.

Dossier: Independence for South Sudan

According to the main story in the Kenyan Daily Nation, "The peace talks are progressing well".

But in Uganda, the Daily Monitor's front page reads "Fighting rages on in two states as South Sudan peace talks stall".

Both papers carry reports of continued fighting in Jonglei state, especially around the regional capital, Bor, and in the oil-producing Upper Nile State.

A rebel spokesperson indicated that there would be no truce until the government freed a group of rebels who were detained after the fighting began more than three week ago.

Slideshow Mandela

In South Africa, financial paper BusinessDay reports that President Jacob Zuma vowed on Wednesday that his ANC party will rule Africa’s wealthiest nation "forever" as the country gears up for elections.

He was speaking during an impromptu door-to-door campaign in northwestern Mpumalanga, where the party will tomorrow launch its election manifesto and start the polls campaign.


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