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African press review 1 December 2014


The top story in The Namibian reports that about 41 per cent of the Presidential and National Assembly election results have been declared, according to the Electoral Commission of Namibia.

The results of the presidential election were released just before lunchtime yesterday, while the results for the National Assembly polls were still pending when the Windhoek-based paper went to press.

Dossier: Revolution in Egypt

Swapo-Party presidential candidate Hage Geingob leads with 81 per cent of the votes so far counted, while the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance contender McHenry Venaani was in second place with 9 per cent. Rally for Democracy and Progress candidate Hidipo Hamutenya was in third place, having obtained 4 per cent of the votes.

Namibians went to the polls on Friday, and the counting process is still underway. The Namibian says errors on some vote tally sheets have obliged the Electoral Commission to send them back to the constituencies for verification.

In Cairo, the Egypt Independent reports that critics yesterday accused the nation's courts of taking sides following the dropping of a murder charge against former president, Hosni Mubarak. Experts and activists have said the country's hopes for democracy are being dashed.

A Cairo court on Saturday dismissed the charge against 86-year-old Mubarak. The case followed the deaths of protesters during Egypt's 2011 Arab Spring uprising.

Mubarak, who ruled Egypt for three decades until he was driven from office, remains imprisoned in a military hospital following a separate graft case, but his lawyer says he could see early release after serving two-thirds of a three-year sentence.

The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights says the verdict further reinforces concerns about the alarmingly selective justice system in Egypt, which appears more intent on settling political scores and punishing dissent than establishing justice.

The Cairo-based Egypt Independent also reports that university students turned out on Sunday in nationwide protests against the dropping of charges against the ousted president. Protestors called for retribution and warned that the revolution will continue.

Dossier: Ebola outbreak 2014

The Abdel Nasser Metro Station, which gives access to Tahrir Square in the centre of Cairo, was closed last night for an indefinite period. The metro company said the closure was for security reasons.

In South Africa, financial paper BusinessDay reports that lower-priced HIV/Aids drugs for children could result from a licensing agreement signed between US pharmaceutical manufacturer AbbVie and the United Nations’ Medicines Patent Pool.

The pool was founded by the United Nations in 2010 to negotiate patent licences to facilitate the production of cheaper versions of existing HIV/Aids medicines by generic drug makers.

More than 90 per cent of the 3.2-million children with HIV in the world, live in sub-Saharan Africa.

In Kenya, according to the daily Standard, politicians in the Coast have threatened to defy the dusk-to-dawn curfew imposed in Lamu County by the Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo. That curfew has been extended to Christmas Eve. Local leaders in Lamu say the curfew has destroyed the fishing and tourism industries.

The curfew was imposed last summer foillowing a massacre in which more than 60 people lost their lives.

The Standard also reports that the names of Kenya’s newest millionaires will start emerging later today as the Government begins compensating landowners along the route of the multibillion shilling Standard Gauge Railway.

The National Land Commission announced on Saturday that it would begin paying those whose land was acquired to make way for the railway, with the shilling equivalent of 70 million euros set aside for the bonanza.

Across Nairobi, the main story at the Daily Nation reports that politicians from the rival Cord and Jubilee alliances yesterday intensified their battle over security in Kenya.

Jubilee MPs rallied to the defence of President Kenyatta, while their Cord counterparts continued to blame the government for deteriorating security in the wake of last month's Mandera bus attack in which 28 people were shot dead by suspected Al Shebab militants.

The political battles came as civil society activists, including former Governance and Ethics Permanent Secretary John Githongo, joined the fray, demanding that the President either resign or be forced from office over the government’s failure to guarantee security.

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