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African press review 13 October 2015

Thuli Madonsela and Jacob Zuma are back in the wars according to the front page of South African financial paper, BusinessDay. Botswana is going to spend its way out of budget difficulties. Zimbabwe issues a warning to independent journalists. And Uganda gets ready to pull troops out of South Sudan.


South Africa's ruling party, the African National Congress, has criticised as ill advised and unfortunate the decision by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela to join the Economic Freedom Fighters’ Constitutional Court bid to force President Jacob Zuma to pay back some of the public money spent on his private home.

This story is on the front page of this morning's Johannesburg-based BusinessDay.

The paper says that nothing in South African law prevents Madonsela’s office (she's the South African equivalent of an ombudsman) from aligning itself with political parties in legal matters. The ANC says Madonsela's decision could damage the Public Protector’s reputation as an institution that is politically impartial.

Speaking of the ANC, BusinessDay also carries an article on declining membership of the ruling party, down from 1.2-million in 2012 to 769,870 in 2015.

Botswana is going to be forced to spend some of its foreign exchange reserves to stimulate the economy, President Ian Khama said yesterday.

Botswana last month slashed its 2015 growth forecast from nearly five per cent to 2.6 per cent and said the country would post a budget deficit this year and next.

Diamonds account for about 75 per cent of Botswana’s foreign exchange earnings. Demand has slowed since late 2014 because of the strength of the US dollar.

The value of rough diamond exports from Botswana fell 15 per cent in the first six months of this year.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s spokesman has warned that new laws will be brought in to deal with journalists who report on factions within the ruling party.

Kenya's post-election violence 2007-8

Issuing the warning, George Charamba insisted there were no factions in Zanu PF, only "personality clashes".

Zimbabwe’s private press has recently focused on the power struggle between supporters of Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa and those of first lady Grace Mugabe.

Grace Mugabe herself decried factionalism at a rally in eastern Zimbabwe last week.

Charamba has accused the private press of "manipulative reporting".

Regional paper The East African reports that Uganda’s army will leave neighbouring South Sudan by next month.

Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni deployed troops to South Sudan in support of President Salva Kiir in his 21-month long war with rebels led by former deputy president Riek Machar.

Last year the United Nations accused the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) of using outlawed cluster munitions in South Sudan, a charge denied by Uganda.

As part of a peace deal, mediated by regional bloc IGAD and signed in Addis Ababa in August by Kiir and Machar, the Ugandan soldiers were supposed to leave South Sudan at the weekend, but that deadline was missed.

Judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) have allowed the African Union (AU) to file submissions on Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto's appeal against the admission of recanted evidence in his case. This story appears in this morning's Standard.

Dossier: Independence for South Sudan

The ICC authorised the African Union Commission to submit written observations by October 19 in the appeal against the decision by trial judges to permit the prosecution's request for admission of prior recorded testimony in the case against Ruto and his co-accused Joshua Sang.

The judges rejected similar applications by the governments of Kenya, Uganda and Namibia, saying that they simply duplicated the AU demand.

The Guardian in Nigeria reports that President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday submitted his second list of ministerial nominees to the Senate.

A senate spokesman was unable to say if the list was definitive, or if there would be a third selection.

The president has been criticised for his delay in naming key officials in the new government.

The first list of ministerial appointees is currently the subject of an appeal being heard by the Federal High Court, in which it is alleged that the list is unconstitutional.

Several individual appointments have been contested in the courts on the grounds that the nominees are currently on trial in corruption cases.

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