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African press review 10 March 2017

Police in Kenya nab a gang of cyber-criminals suspected of robbing billions of shillings from banks, businesses and the Kenyan Revenue Authority. Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari returns to Nigeria after two months in London. The world's heaviest woman is reported to be doing well following further surgery in India.


Police in Kenya claim to have cracked a multi-million-shilling cybercrime gang.

The Kenya Revenue Authority, several blue-chip banks, a parastatal and a supermarket chain are some of the institutions penetrated by the international syndicate that made off with hundreds of millions of shillings – before they were arrested earlier this week.

A former police officer, a Kenya Revenue Authority employee and two American citizens are now among 16 suspects in police custody suspected of committing transnational financial crimes.

The Cybercrime Investigation Unit estimates that Kenya lost the shilling equivalent of more than 170 million euros to hackers in 2016.

Security reports, seen by the Nairobi-based Daily Nation, also indicate that the group was “conspiring to manipulate the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission system during the elections” and had been working with relatives of senior politicians.

Muhammadu Buhari returns to Nigeria after two months in London

President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to return to Nigeria later today.

Buhari left the country on 19 January last for a holiday, during which he had routine medical check-ups in London. The holiday was extended based on doctors’ recommendations for further tests and rest.

With Abuja airport closed for repair works to the runway, it is believed that the president will land at the Kaduna International Airport.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela back in hospital for observation

The South African Mail & Guardian reports that Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has been admitted to hospital for observation. No other details are available. The 80-year-old stalwart of the struggle against apartheid was twice in hospital last year, once for back surgery and once for observation.

Freed Sudanese rebels thank Ugandan president for his help

Sudanese rebels are full of praise for the Uganda president Yoweri Museveni.

According to the main story in this morning's Sudan Tribune, the Justice and Equality Movement have saluted the efforts of the Ugandan leader to ensure the release of the 259 prisoners of war who were freed yesterday in Khartoum.

The prisoners, described as members of Darfur armed groups, were released following the implementation of a presidential pardon issued on Wednesday.

World's heaviest woman responding well to hospital treatment

The world's heaviest woman is back on the front page of the Egypt Independent, and she's reported to be doing well following further surgery in India.

Egyptian Eman Ahmed, believed to be the world's heaviest woman, has successfully undergone weight-loss surgery, and has already lost over 100 kilos. She is expected to lose another 200 kilograms over the next six months as a result of surgery.

Her weight peaked at over 500 kilogrammes as a result of the parasitic infection known as elephantitis, a condition which causes the body to swell, leaving Eman confined to bed in her Cairo home for the past 25 years.

Nile neighbours at risk of disputes over Ethiopian dam project

Five Nile Basin countries risk falling out over the use of Nile waters, according to the front page of regional paper the East African.

The issue surfaced last October when the former director general of Ugandan external security, David Pulkol, claimed that Egypt had teamed up with Juba and Kampala to stop the construction of Ethiopia’s five billion euro Grand Renaissance Dam by any means.

Pulkol   a former intelligence officer who fell out with President Yoweri Museveni   claims in the report that Museveni, South Sudan's President Salva Kiir and Egyptian President Abdullah Fatah Al-Sisi had hatched a plot to open training camps for Sudan armed opposition at the Uganda-South Sudan border with the view to toppling the Sudanese and Ethiopian governments.

The South Sudan rebel movement led by Riek Machar weighed in with allegations in January that Egyptian war planes had bombarded their positions in Upper Nile, this after President Salva Kiir visited Cairo in January to sign military co-operation and infrastructure agreements.

All change as Kenyan party-hopping season starts

The East African also reports that the Kenyan party-hopping season has opened.

The report says suspicion and an unprecedentedly high number of contenders have triggered defections from Kenya’s leading political parties.

The rush to join other political groups has been sparked by deadlines set by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission obliging political parties to submit their nomination rules and membership registers.

Aspirants whose names are submitted as members are technically locked into the nominating party because the law prohibits party-hopping in the 90 days before elections.

Membership registers must be submitted by 19 March.

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