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African press review 30 November 2016

A King is accused of murder. A President hangs onto his job. And, African Presidents' love affair with Fidel Castro. 

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We start in Uganda where the big story is that the King of Rwenzururu Charles Wesley Mumbere has been charged with murder.

The state-owned Daily New Vision reports that a magistrate remanded Mumbere in prison until mid-December.

The paper delivers the official version of events but little else.

It says around 100 people, including 16 police officers, were killed in the attacks in Kasese on Saturday and Sunday following clashes between the security forces and suspected Rwen-zu-ruru kingdom loyalists.

New Vision says this was after a group of alleged royal guards hurled an improvised grenade at Uganda People’s Defence Forces and Police officers.

The joint security forces responded with gunfire which sparked off retaliation attacks on Police Posts across the district.

The privately owned paper Daily Monitor offers much wider coverage.

It says the prosecutor claims that King Mumbere killed a police constable in March.

The Monitor quotes opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye of the Forum for Democratic Change as describing Saturday's raid on King Mumbere’s palace by security forces as a tactical and strategic blunder that might explode into a national problem.

Dr Besigye, who has contested and lost four Presidential elections, attributed the friction between the Kingdom and the government to the neglect of the mountain region which played a pivotal part in the guerrilla struggle of the National Resistance Army/Movement (NRA/M) which brought President Yoweri Museven to power in 30 years ago.

The paper reports also that the NGO Amnesty International has condemned what it called “unlawful killings” and demanded full accountability.

Meanwhile, it tells readers, Mumbere has refused police-provided meals as he spent a second night in custody following what it called "his brutal arrest" on Sunday.

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As you'd expect, most papers in South Africa lede on the governing ANC's rejection a bid to oust the scandal-hit President Jacob Zuma.

A no confidence motion in Zuma, tabled by a government minister, was defeated at a meeting of the ANC's leadership body.

The South African President has faced a string of corruption allegations, with a recent report highlighting his links to the wealthy Gupta family.

The Sowetan captures the mood of more than a few South Africans with the headline "‘ANC misses golden opportunity – only people’s power can recapture our state."

The paper quotes the Save South Africa campaign which said “The ANC has turned its back on South Africa. And the NEC’s failure to remove Zuma must be interpreted as a further endorsement of corruption and misgovernment."

Business Day says Zuma has survived what it call "an historic attempted putsch."

An odd way to characterise what has happened.

Zuma is reported to have claimed there was a plot against him by foreign governments, that he was poisoned three times, and to have defended his relationship with the Gupta family.

The paper say President Zuma did not give any re-assurances that he will not remove rogue ministers from his Cabinet.

However, Business Day reports that a senior ANC official said there would be no reprisals for those who called for Zuma's removal

Zuma left for Cuba early yesterday to attend the funeral of Fidel Castro.

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Another fully paid up member of Fidel's African fan Club is Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe who is already in Havana along with a sizeable delegation.

The government owned Herald quotes Mugabe as saying that Castro's death was a loss not only for the people's of Cuba but for many communities and leaders in Africa.

Under El Commandante, Mugabe said, Cuba was unencumbered by what he called the albatross of an illegal western blockade.

Ring any bells ?

Staying on home turf, Newsday reports that the government has threatened to crush today’s planned “grand” demonstration over the introduction of so-called bond notes, the latest attempt to introduce a credible local currency in Zimbabwe.

Protest organisers said they would fight back vowing that no amount of violence would stop them.

 

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