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African press review 27 May 2014


On its analysis pages, South African financial paper BusinessDay is sharply critical of president Jacob Zuma in the wake of this week's South African cabinet re-shuffle.

The business daily says the new cabinet appointments betray neither boldness nor a grasp of the gravity of South Africa’s economic challenges.

According to BusinessDay, there are three lessons to be learned from Zuma’s decisions this week... First, the president seems to have given little thought to the fact that South Africa’s economy is in a precarious state and is fast losing its prime place on the global stage.

Dossier: Revolution in Egypt

Secondly, orthodox economic thinking is likely to have to yield to left-leaning policies, especially now that South Africa has a finance minister who has little political clout.

Thirdly, says BusinessDay, Jacob Zuma has once again shown himself to be an indecisive leader who cannot stare down factions and do what is best for the country.

The article ends by comparing the new cabinet to a camel, which is, as the saying goes, a horse designed by a committee.

In Egypt, the Cairo-based Independent reports that deposed President Mohamed Morsi watched TV coverage of the first day of the presidential election from inside Borg al-Arab prison, and it put him off his food.

“I swear this is a farce,” Morsi said while watching the election from his solitary confinement cell.

Prison sources said the deposed leader did not leave his cell for a break and insisted on watching the queues of voters. “This is a full-fledged coup,” he shouted to the guards, refusing his meal. “Since when does a legitimate president eat prison food? I'm fasting today.”

“Don’t think the coup will continue,” he yelled. “We will bring you traitors to trial when we return and your high-walled palaces will not protect you.”

The reports says he then switched off the television and began reading from the Koran.

Voting in that Egyptian presidential election continues today.

Al-Shebab - who are they?

The Standard in Nairobi reports that the suspected islamic terrorist leader, Samantha Lewthwaite, has married an al-Shebab chief while on the run in Somalia.

According to the Kenyan daily, intelligence sources claim the British fugitive tied the knot with suspected warlord Hassan Maalim Ibrahim, also known as Sheikh Hassan.

The marriage, Lewthwaite’s third, means she will be offered better protection by her new husband’s heavily-armed relatives as security agencies step up the hunt for her.

Lewthwaite is one of the world's most wanted terrorism suspects. Kenyan police have a warrant for her arrest for questioning in connection with a bombing at a bar in Mombasa in September, 2012. Other reports suggest she was involved in the Westgate shopping centre attack in Nairobi last year.

The Kenyan Daily Nation reports that the number of hotel workers sent home due to the slump in tourism is now more than 7,500 after a further 3,000 were sacked last week.

Slow business associated with the traditional low tourist season was compounded by travel advisories which were recently issued by the United Kingdom, the US, France and Australia.

In Malawi, the African Union has appealed for calm in the wake of last week's presidential, parliamentary and local elections. The elections were annulled by out-going president, Joyce Banda, because of alleged fraud. Yesterday, the Malawi High Court ruled that the president did not have the power to invalidate an election, and ordered counting to continue.

UN chief, Ban Ki Moon has also called for restraint by all parties, saying that preliminary findings suggest that the Malawi general election had been run on lines consistent with regional and international standards.

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