African press review 3 June 2014
Egypt’s top women’s rights official throws out EU observers, the AU congratulates Malawi, Nigeria’s still grappling with Boko Haram, SA platinum bosses’ offer may not end long-running strike and Zimbabwe’s opposition is a house divided.
The main story in this morning's Egypt Independent reports that Mervat al-Tallawy, the head of the National Council for Women, dismissed a delegation of European Union observers from a weekend seminar after the EU team submitted a report that criticised the recent presidential election and mentioned cases of sexual harassment.
The symposium was held to discuss the participation of women in the elections.
“Your only role, in which you have failed, was to monitor the elections and evaluate whether they were fair or not,” Talawy told the delegation. “We are proud of our army, our people and our new president, whether you like it or not.”
She then ordered the delegation to leave.
The Nation in Blantyre says the African Union has praised Malawi's "democratic maturity" in the wake of last month's elections, which saw Peter Mutharika of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party elected president.
Mutharika was sworn in as Malawi's fifth president on Saturday, despite allegations by outgoing president Joyce Banda that the poll had been rigged.
The Nation says Washington and the United Kingdom also sent messages of congratulation to the new president.
The new president will have to find ways to lower Malawi's inflation, currently second only to Sudan in the 16-nation Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa. Inflation in Malawi is running at 24 per cent.
According to the Nigerian Guardian, the death toll in Sunday’s bomb blast in Mubi town in Adamawa State may have risen to 65. However, the defence headquarters said that only 18 persons died in the attack.
The federal government has denied seeing a new video released by Boko Haram, purportedly showing the schoolgirls abducted from Chibok in April looking unhealthy and begging for their release.
South Africa’s financial paper BusinessDay reports that Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union leader Joseph Mathunjwa appears to be in no hurry to take a government-sponsored proposal that employers hope will end the five-month strike in the platinum sector to its members for discussion.
The proposal, which came out of a process last week convened by Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi, was an improvement on previous offers. It includes a 55-euro-a-month raise in each of the next five years to the lowest-paid mineworkers. Higher-earning workers would get less.
The union will this week take the offer to its members for consultation, while company representatives are to consult their boards.
In Zimbabwe the government-owned Herald reports that opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai has ordered the seizure of property and assets held by the rival Renewal Team led by party secretary-general Tendai Biti.
A court in Bulawayo yesterday heard that seven MDC members aligned to Tsvangirai are still on the run, facing robbery and theft charges for allegedly hijacking a car belonging to the party’s Matabeleland North provincial chairman, who is aligned with the Biti faction.
The Herald also reports that visiting European Union Council on Tourism and Trade executives yesterday said they were not bound by the Western bloc’s foreign policy to isolate Zimbabwe as their mandate was to reward countries considered to be among the best tourist destinations without meddling in political issues. The EU executives described the capital, Harare, as the “jewel” of Africa.
The EU imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe after Harare embarked on a reform programme aimed at redistributing land to the black majority.