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African press review 18November 2014

In Zimbabwe, vice-president Joice Mujuru on Monday defended herself against allegations that she had masterminded a plot to assassinate President Robert Mugabe.


Dismissing the claims as "entirely untrue", Mujuru said she was ready to defend herself against accusations of treason in a court of law.

The allegations were contained in a report in the Harare-based Sunday Mail, a paper controlled by supporters of Emmerson Mnangagwa, a top official in the ruling Zanu PF party.

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He and Joice Mujuru lead rival factions battling to seize control of the party   and the Zimbabwean government   as 90-year-old Mugabe edges towards possible retirement.

According to South African financial paper, BusinessDay, mystery surrounds the fate of a bill intended to help in the fight against corruption.

The Public Administration Management Bill was passed by Parliament and sent to President Jacob Zuma for signature eight months ago. Nothing has been heard of it since.

The delay is all the more curious given the government’s public commitment to fighting graft. The bill prohibits public servants from having any business dealing with the state or being the director of a company doing so. Noncompliance could result in dismissal.

A spokesman for the opposition Democratic Alliance has expressed fears that the Presidency would drag its heels on the bill until after the 2016 local government elections to ensure continued support for the ruling party.

BusinessDay knows who to blame for last week's chaos in the South African parliament.

Parliament’s administration last week called riot police to remove an Economic Freedom Fighter MP, despite having new procedures that make it unnecessary to do so.

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The administration drew up the procedures to deal with possible future disruptions. BusinessDay claims that National Assembly Speaker, Baleka Mbete, failed to act on recommendations following an earlier row which saw 20 MPs expelled from the House.

In spite of the recognition two-and-a-half months ago that Parliament needed a strategy to deal with robust and potentially unruly sessions, the measures set out were not followed last Thursday, when police stormed the House to remove an Economic Freedom Fighter MP who called President Zuma a thief and a liar.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is due to meet 11 leaders of opposition parties later today to discuss Thursday’s incident and to thrash out longstanding grievances.

The headline-of-the-day award goes to the Kenyan Standard for "No more pay for 12,500 public service ghosts."

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The story is, sadly, a lot more prosaic. The report says the Kenyan civil service will save the shilling equivalent of at least 16 million euros once 12,510 ghost workers are struck off the payroll at the end of this month.

This follows the countrywide biometric registration of civil servants.

The Public Service Commission has warned that, once they find out how many civil servants there really are, they will investigate individuals who have been issuing payments to non-existent workers.

Across Nairobi at the Daily Nation, the main story reports that police yesterday raided two controversial mosques in Mombasa, shooting one man dead, arresting 251 people, and impounding an assortment of arms.

The mosques are allegedly involved in the radicalisation of young Kenyans.

Police said they shot a man at Masjid Musa mosque when he attempted to hurl a grenade at them.

Local senator Hassan Omar asked the police to arrest those committing crimes and stop raiding mosques.

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