African press review 14 September 2016
Issued on: Modified:
Jacob Zuma is back on the front pages in South Africa, but he's not getting any happier. He says he gets abused every time he shows up in parliament. South Sudan's Salva Kiir says the report commissioned by actor-activist George Clooney alleging massive corruption and war profiteering by South Sudanese leaders is complete rubbish. And Brexit is costing Kenya millions because remittances are now worth less.
South African President Jacob Zuma is not a happy man.
Zuma is on the front page of the Johannesburg-based paper BusinessDay, whinging that he gets abused every time he shows up in parliament.
Yesterday afternoon Zuma's scheduled question-and-answer time session was once again disrupted by the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters.
The exasperated president said: "Instead of answering questions‚ I am called a criminal … a thief. This House has to do something."
The Economic Freedom Fighters tried to stop Zuma from speaking yesterday and staged a walkout‚ saying they would not listen to him. This incident took place almost four months after Zuma’s last appearance in the National Assembly (that was on 17 May)‚ which was marred by the forceful removal of opposition MPs from the House.
How did he get the money?
A separate story in BusinessDay reports that questions are being asked about how President Zuma got his home loan from VBS Mutual Bank, given the bank's credit-granting criteria. This is the loan the president used to pay back the public money owed for nonsecurity upgrades at his Nkandla home.
The bank's website says that individual home-loan applicants need a title deed to qualify. But Zuma's farm is on land owned by the Ingonyama Trust, a traditional authority overseen by the Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini. The trust has never issued a title deed to any resident.
Fresh ban on protests in Zimabwe
Police in Zimbabwe have announced a fresh ban on protests in the capital Harare, state media said yesterday, in another attempt to end demonstrations against veteran ruler President Robert Mugabe.
The order, published in the state-run Herald newspaper, came hours after a coalition of opposition parties said they would stage mass rallies across the country on Saturday to push for reform before the next elections, due in 2018.
Anti-government campaigners vowed to defy the order and also appeal to the courts.
Douglas Mwozora, spokesman for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, described the latest attempt to stifle protest as "the last kicks of a dying regime".
An earlier protest ban in Harare was overturned by the courts last week, despite Mugabe vowing a crackdown on dissent and blasting judges for "reckless" rulings allowing previous rallies.
Opposition to Mugabe’s 36-year reign has grown in recent months with a surge of public demonstrations, triggered by an economic crisis that has left banks short of cash and the government struggling to pay its workers.
South Sudan leader denies allegations of war-profiteering
In regional paper the East African, we read that the report commissioned by actor-activist George Clooney alleging massive corruption and war profiteering by South Sudanese leaders is "completely rubbish", the Juba government said yesterday.
A spokesman for President Salva Kiir said the report released in Washington at a high-profile press conference headed by Clooney was both "misleading" and ill-intentioned.
Released after a two-year inquiry, the report says Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar currently on the run have benefitted substantially from the three-year conflict which has forced 2.5 million people from their homes and left half the population dependent on food aid to survive.
The report said the "key catalyst" of the war was competition for control of state assets and the country's abundant natural resources, notably its oil.
"The report itself is completely rubbish," said a presidential spokesman.
He alleged the report aimed to undermine the regime, saying it as misleading and politically motivated to tarnish the personality of President Kiir.
Brexit is bad news for east Africa
The East African also reports that Britain’s tumbling currency has cost developing countries including Kenya millions of dollars because remittances are now worth less, while post-Brexit trade has already suffered to the tune of over 500 million euros.
This is according to UK-based think tank Overseas Development Institute which is also predicting huge problems in the future due to Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.
It is feared that trade deals with African countries in particular may suffer because the UK is either unable or unwilling to deal with the complexity of making new arrangements.