African press review 17 December 2014
Controversy over freedom and fighting political violence continues in Kenya. Malema calls for land occupation. Developing ecnomies lose 900 billion euros in hidden capital transfers. Mujuru faces employment problems. And a rare Egyptian court decision goes in the Muslim Brothers' favour.
The disputed amendments to Kenya's security legislation once again dominate Nairobi front pages.
The main story in the Standard reports that former Prime Minister Raila Odinga led opposition Coalition for Reforms and Democracy leaders in criticising the controversial
Security Laws (Amendment) Bill at a public forum yesterday. Raila warned that the proposed law was the first step in creating a dictatorship and that it would be used to harass critics and opponents of the Jubilee government.
The former prime minister described the law as dictatorial, saying it seeks to oppress Kenyans.
President Uhuru Kenyatta says the changes are neccessary to help fight the threat of terrorism from the Somali-based al-Shebab organisation.
The draft law is scheduled for its third reading in the Kenyan parliament tomorrow.
TheDaily Nation reports that an international charity which has led the fight against Ebola in west Africa is among those in danger of being closed down in a crackdown against non-governmental organisations by the Jubilee government.
Doctors Without Borders has been given 21 days to comply with the law or face closure, apparently for not following accounting rules.
The Nation says 12 international NGOs of good standing and with an annual income of more than four million euros have been given three weeks to account for their finances or they will be shut down.
Another 501 organisations were not so lucky. They were shut down, their accounts frozen and their assets are likely to be seized.
The Nation describes it as the worst crackdown on the charity sector in Kenya’s history.
Fifteen NGOs, based mainly in northern Kenya and the Coast, were accused of funding terrorism and banned.
Names of the 15 were not revealed. The government said investigations are ongoing to determine whether their officials should be prosecuted.
On the same story, the Standard says hundreds of Kenyans now face unemployment as the organisations they have worked for are closed down.
In South Africa Julius Malema is back on front pages, calling for action on the question of land ownership.
According to Johannesburg-based financial paper, BusinessDay, the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters party yesterday called on members to occupy property owned by the likes of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, billionaire businessman Patrice Motsepe and National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete. He told delegates the land was theirs and should be retaken, even at the risk of jail or death.
Resolutions taken by the Economic Freedom Fighters conference included the formation of a state bank, banning private prisons, nationalising health care, the incorporation of traditional healers and medicine into the national health-care system and the abolition of the provinces.
Emerging economies are major culprits in the flight of capital from the developing world.
In its annual estimate of illegal capital flows, the Washington-based Global Financial Integrity organisation says more than 900 billion euros was siphoned from the world’s developing economies in 2012.
China accounts for more than half of the money exported illegally to bank accounts in the developed world or offshore tax havens.
The report says the amount of capital spirited out of developing countries in 2012 was 1.3 times higher than the foreign direct investment they received that year.
Zimbabwe’s just-sacked vice-president Joice Mujuru will not be allowed to find any other job, according to state media in Harare.
Nor does President Robert Mugabe’s government intend allowing Mujuru to resume the parliamentary seat she won in the 2013 elections.
Last week Mugabe sacked Mujuru following allegations that she had plotted to oust him.
TheChronicle reports that, according to Zimbabwe’s constitution, a former vice-president may not be employed by anyone else while receiving a state pension.
The Cairo-based Egypt Independent reports a court decision yesterday which overturned decisions by a special committee to seize the assets of Muslim Brotherhood leaders.
The Muslim Brotherhood's activities were banned last September and the government formed a committee to manage the Brotherhood's funds and properties.
Yesterday an administrative court said decisions made by the committee "ignored the provisions of the constitution and the law" and that only a criminal court could seize assets and property.
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