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African press review 2 January 2017

Political opponents and the main trade union group are critical of the Nigerian president's economic policies. A Burundi government minister is assassinated. And the authorities in Bujumbura say they'll take action against the African Union over the non-payment of salaries to peacekeepers serving in Somalia.


In Nigeria the main story in the daily paper Punch has the opposition Peoples Democratic Party and the Trade Union Congress calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to change his economic policies in order to bring the country out of economic stagnation.

Opposition figures want the government to take on competent experts to fix the economy. There have also been calls for an increase in the money supply and an end to high taxation.

It is claimed that Nigeria's economy, once the largest and fastest growing national economy in Africa, is now rated in the lower t30s.

Bad year for Nigerian investors

The main story over at the Guardian would seem to support the gloomy view, with a report that the Nigerian stock exchange lost 26 percent in the course of last year.

Embittered by the outrageous losses suffered by stock market investors, stakeholders blamed the development on government’s unfavourable policies and neglect of the market.

Burundi back in the headlines

Burundi is on quite a few front pages this morning.

BusinessDay in South Africa reports the shooting dead yesterday morning of Environment Minister Emmanuel Niyonkuru.

According to the Johannesburg-based paper, the murder, the first of a serving government minister since Burundi sank into turmoil over President Pierre Nkurunziza’s controversial bid for a third term in 2015, comes after months of relative calm.

A police statement says that a woman has been arrested following the "assassination".

No salaries for Somalia peacekeepers

Burundi has threatened to sue the African Union over failure to pay peacekeeping troops serving in Somalia, according to the front page of regional paper the East African.

Nkurunziza said the Burundian forces serving under the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) have gone for more than a year without salaries.

With 5,432 soldiers in Somalia, Burundi is the second contributor of troops to the Somali mission after Uganda. Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti also have peacekeepers in Somalia.

Amisom has struggled to pay its 22,000-strong peacekeepers fighting the Al-Shebab terrorist group after the main financier, the European Union, cut its funding by 20 percent last year.

Tanzanians charged with trespass in Malawi

Eight Tanzanians recently arrested for alleged spying in Malawi have been charged, the East African tells us.

Tanzanian diplomats confirmed the arrests near the Kayelekera uranium mine but denied that those arrested were spies, saying they were a team from the Catholic relief organisation Caritas.

The Tanzanians were charged with criminal trespass and are currently being held at Mzuzu Prison pending a mention of their case later this week.

Kenyan election reform legislation enters final stages

The Kenyan legal affairs committee this week embarks on the final phase of collecting views over contentious election laws.

Opposition senators are reported by the Nairobi-based Daily Nation to be holding to hardline positions over the bill, which saw the opposition threaten mass action if it becomes law.

If endorsed by the Senate, the Bill will be sent to the president for assent. The legislation provides for the use of manual backup in the identification of voters and transmission of election results in the event the electronic system fails.

Names to watch out for as Kenya prepares to vote

Over at sister paper the Standard, the main story looks at the crucial political players as the country faces an election year.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto are clearly key players, says the Standard, since they have the power to influence legislation which will determine how this year's polls are conducted.

Raila Odinga, leader of the opposition Colaition for Reforms and Democracy is another crucial figure, even if he has yet to confirm his status as a candidate.

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