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Africa press review 26 January 2017

We start in South Africa where, surprise surprise, Julius Malema, the gadfly leader of the Economic Freedom Party, is reported to have upset more than a few people by calling on "Grandpa Mugabe" to step down.


"Grandpa Mugabe" is of course Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's President, who is 93 next month and has been in power since Adam was a lad.

Business Day reports that Malema's EFF colleague, Mbu-yi-seni Ndlozi, has added his ten-cents worth asking "what is revolutionary" about being led by a leader "who sleeps all the time in meetings‚ can no longer even hold a pen or write half a page".

Mugabe, he said was the bastion of the reactionary phenomenon of ‘lead to the death’ that has crippled post-colonial Africa.

Zanu-PF spokesperson Psychology Maziwisa claimed not to be bothered at all by Julius Malema’s latest rant.

Zimbabwe’s information minister, Chris Mushoh-we - certainly sounded bothered.

He described Malema as “puny,” a “Gucci revolutionary…a shrunken, talkative joke..a charlatan who fancies himself big and cute enough to pass comment and judgement on developments elsewhere on the continent. What an embarrassment… We pity and dismiss him as an ignorant youth.”

Mugabe, he said, enjoyed support among Zimbabweans of all age groups.

The Star tells readers that Mugabe’s spokesperson, George Charamba, could not be reached for comment.

Mugabe is thought to be still on leave in Dubai, a country he visits several times a year, staying in a mansion he rents for R500 000-a-month; that's around 35,000 euros.

It is extremely rare for African politicians to criticise the leaders of other nations, however corrupt, brutal or incompetent.

But, as we know by now, Julius Malema's seldom plays by the rules.


The Cameroon Post reports on a different kind of row.

Aside from indigenous languages, the country is in part Anglophone and in part Francophone, a legacy of the colonial era.

The Anglos are not happy.

According to the leaders of the All Anglophone Teachers Trades Unions, the Post reports in French, they submitted 11 core grievances that they say plague the Anglophone sub-system of education.

Among their demands, they want the recruitment of 500 lecturers for the Universities of Bamenda and Buea to make up for the shortage of lecturers of English expression.

As domestic rows go this one looks more soluble that many.

The bi-lingual state-owned Tribune reminds readers that, earlier this week, President Paul Biya released a decree which establishes, organises and operates the National Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism.

In its editorial in English the paper congratulates Biya saying "after declaring on the 31st December 2016 that he would create a structure charged with seeing that the bi-cultural and bilingual status of our country is given the care it deserves, President Biya has fulfilled his promise."

"The creation of the Commission is a timely step taken at a time Cameroonians face the challenge of consolidating the kinship ties and love that brought them together after almost half a century of colonial geo-political separation," Tribune opines.

What next, it asks?

Most important, it believes, is the emphasis that those to work in this commission must not only be competent, but also morally and intellectually honest.

More than welcome, I'm sure.



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