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African press review 27 April 2016


Kenya's newspapers are grief-stricken on Tuesday following the death of the country's former first lady Lucy Kibaki. A presidential act of clemency, the reality of climate change, and efforts to fight corruption - in Kenya's banking system and Nigeria's Senate - also make the African headlines.


Kenya's newspapers report Lucy Kibaki’s death on Monday.

The wife of former president Mwai Kibaki passed away in a London hospital, surrounded by her family.

The Daily Nation has been paying tribute to Mama Lucy Kibaki, calling her the “doyenne” of society and an “empress” to the nation.

She was also a “powerful, unapologetic and unwavering matriarch”.

The Daily Nation fondly recalls the day she stormed the newspaper’s headquarters following an article she did not take kindly to.

In his message of condolence, President Uhuru Kenyatta said Kibaki will be remembered for her contribution to the development of the country, in particular her focus on tackling HIV, which will remain an inspiration to many.

Uganda struggles with climate change

In an inspiring editorial this morning, Uganda’s Daily Monitor is urging the government to “walk the talk” on climate change and inform its people on the simple realities of the issue.

“The science of destruction of the ozone layer [...] may prove hard physics or sound alien,” it says.

“Yet sporadic rain patterns resulting in crop failures and hunger inspire immediate interest of every household.”

The Daily Monitor says it’s time to deconstruct the abstract notion of climate change to the basics of bread and butter issues.

It points to some ominous signs of things to come, such as the sight of fish dying on dried-up shores in Gulu District last month or of residents sleeping with life jackets on, in case the swollen Lake Victoria and the River Nile flood the shores.

“Inaction will invite peril,” it says.

The paper goes on to suggest that Ugandans each plant a tree, to replace the destruction of one third of the country’s forests for wood fuel and charcoal.

The government should also work with households to explore alternative energy options, the Daily Monitor insists.

Protesters take on corruption in Nigeria

Punch brings us a report on a people’s protest against corruption in Nigeria.

A coalition of organisations going by the name Citizens United for Peace and Stability stormed the National Assembly on Monday, demanding the resignation of the Senate President Bukola Saraki.

Equipped with mats and foam mattresses, the 200 protesters sat outside the main gate all afternoon, chanting songs of solidarity.

They demanded that Saraki vacate his seat following several corruption cases preferred against him.

They also condemned the purchase of expensive jeeps for the senators and asked them to return the vehicles.

Punch says the peaceful protests prevented staff members, lawmakers and visitors from either entering or leaving the premises for most of the day.

IT specialists to supervise Kenya's banks

Business Daily has a very high-profile job posting in its headlines this morning.
According to the paper, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) lacks a tech-savvy team to watch over the payment of loans.

Speaking in parliament on Monday, the head of CBK's supervision department admitted that his unit lacked the expertise to audit banks’ IT systems, which greedy directors have been exploiting to lend themselves large sums of money.

Business Daily says the closure of three banks in the last eight months has shaken up clients' confidence.

In several cases, banking executives had been falsifying the books to cover up insider-lending.

MPs reckon that a special unit backed by IT experts could have detected the malpractices.

3,551 Tanzanian prisoners pardoned

The Citizen brings us the story of a massive presidential pardon of 3,551 prisoners in Tanzania.

President John Magufuli made the gesture to mark the 52nd anniversary of the union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar to form the United Republic of Tanzania.

Of the pardoned 3,551 inmates, 580 have been freed, whilst 2,971 others have had their sentences reduced.

Many of them are elderly, disabled or suffering from terminal illnesses.

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