African press review 7 June 2016
Issued on: Modified:
The Ugandan president resuffles his cabinet and hands strategic education and sports portfolios to his wife. It also seems that President Buhari's ear infection is a tree which may be hiding a forest? And Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta comes under criticism for "thriving on tactics he reportedly opposed during his time as his country's opposition leader".
We begin in Uganda where President Yoweri Museveni picked his wife as the country's new Education and Sports Minister in a major government shake-up that saw the sacking of 35 ministers. President Museveni has been in power for three decades.
The paper reports that the First Lady Janet Kataaha Museveni recently retired as a lawmaker for the Ruhama constituency. It also says that the new cabinet has 49 ministers including three from small opposition parties who "postured as go-forward sympathizers during the just ended Presidential elections.
The Daily Monitor sees the move as an indication that the President is aware of the changing political landscape, especially with rising Opposition to his leadership.
There is also continuing speculation in the Nigerian press about the gravity of an ear infection which caused President Mohammadu Buhari to fly to London to consult specialists.
The paper wonders if Nigerians should worry about the President's persistent ear infection and if the condition could incapacitate him for a long time. The Nation says the issue is so sensitive that a top Buhari aide, Femi Adesina, had to react to the "buzz going round town" pointing out that it was wrong to refer to the ear infection as "illness".
Meanwhile, the publication quotes the well-informed online medium, Sahara Reporters as saying on Monday evening , that President Muhammadu Buhari might extend his 10-day trip to London, to "undergo treatment for “a terrible cough that has persisted longer than the ear infection.”
It underlines the fact that the President had in the last few weeks cancelled official visits to Lagos and Rivers states, where he was represented by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.
Punch also highlights Buhari's remarks minimizing his condition. "There is no big deal in having an ear-related infection", said Buhari as he spoke to journalists at Abuja airport shortly before he flew out.
"Is there anybody that doesn’t fall sick?” the President is reported to have fired back to journalists throwing questions at him.
The paper reports on claims by the Nigeria Medical Association that the country has very competent Ear, Neck and Throat (ENT) specialists who can treat President Muhammadu Buhari’s ear infection.
According to the newspaper, the general secretary of the association, Tanko Sununu, spoke to Premium Times on Monday following public outrage over Buhari’s latest trip to the United Kingdom to treat an ear infection. This, reportedly after his administration, had banned medical travels for public office holders except in cases that cannot be handled in Nigeria.
Several newspapers comment about the highly sensitive trial of former President Goodluck Jonathan’s cousin, Roberts Azibaola will begin today in Abuja.
According to the paper Azibaola, his wife Stella and their firm will be arraigned for the alleged payment of 35 million euros into their company, One Plus Holdings Nigeria Limited, by the Office of the National Security Adviser.
Some newspapers see the trial as a tightening of the judicial noose around ex-President Goodluck Jonathan's neck.
The publication actually publishes comments made by Jonathan in London on Monday that he is being investigated for alleged corruption by his successor.
The former Nigerian President was reportedly speaking in an address to an elite audience of Nigerian professionals, diplomats, friends of Nigerians and international investors, at the Bloomberg television centre in London.
According to the Sun, Jonathan, reportedly refuted claims by the Buhari administration that he left an empty treasury at the end of his tenure. The Sun says he refused to be dragged into making what he called "certain statements against his successor.
Is Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta opposing tactics he used while in the opposition? That's the opinion held by the Nairobi-based publication. This was after two people were reportedly confirmed dead while five others were fighting for their lives at hospital with gunshot wounds.
The opposition-backed protesters were reportedly demanding the sacking of corrupt election members during the clashes with police.
The Daily Nation recalls, for the record, that President Uhuru Kenyatta was once an antagonistic Opposition chief who led demonstrations against the State and skipped national holidays and other government events.
As the paper puts it, the son of Kenya’s founding father, who once said the police will never muzzle the power of demonstrators fighting for a just cause, is using the same means used on him against his critics.
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