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African press review 9 August 2017


Tension in Kenya as election commission opts for live streamling of results from polling stations around the country; and Nigeria's anti-graft agency arrests suspected conman with more than 800 credit cards, en route to Dubai.


We begin in Kenya, and the robust coverage to the vote counting underway at the country's independent election commission, the IEBC after Tuesday's General Elections.

The highly circulated Daily Nation and the Standard both run live updates of the operation taking place at the IEBC's national tallying centres around the country and published on the Electoral body's website.

Standard reports that the NASA alliance backing the candidacy of opposition leader Raila Odinga had filed a strong protest with the election body, voicing strong reservations about the reliability of the presidential election results being released.

But the publication holds that the IEBC remained firm, asserting that suspending the results' transmission could cause tensions in the country.

Meanwhile Daily Nation says Raila Odinga early this Wednesday termed early results showing him trailing Uhuru Kenyatta by more than one million votes as "sham, fictitious and fake".

According to the paper, Odinga said the results were the "work of a computer" and did not reflect the will of voters, a claim denied by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.

The Kenyan Star reports that the Jubilee coalition of incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta early this Wednesday morning dismissed the demands by NASA for the suspension of the live streaming of the election results over alleged credibility issues.

The paper quotes Jubilee’s Secretary General Raphael Tuju as saying that the IEBC was acting in accordance with a court order whose genesis was a petition filed by NASA themselves.

"As late as three days ago, he noted, "they were in court to have the results relayed instantly, adding that it’s strange for them to say that the results should now be suspended."

South Africa's Mail and Guardian is also monitoring the Kenyan elections closely.

It says that both candidates are chasing a defining victory: for Kenyatta, a second and last term as president, while perennial challenger Odinga, aged 72, is hoping to occupy State House in his fourth and probably last campaign.

The paper voices regret that the new digital voting system failed to speed up the process, adding that the much-vaunted fingerprint voter verification system failed in many cases, forcing presiding officers to allow voters to fill in a manual verification form before casting their votes.

Mail and Guardian also notes that the elections cost the taxpayers a whopping 45.5-billion Kenyan shillings (about 373 million euros).

Meanwhile,Uganda's Daily Monitor marks its coverage of the elections next doors, by relaying a message of former US president Barack Obama's call on Kenyans to reject violence and incitement and to respect the will of the people.

The paper observes that the polls are seen as a test of Kenya's progress since a disputed 2007 election sparked two months of violence which left more than 1,100 dead and 600,000 displaced.

And from Nigeria, Vanguard leads with the arrest of a Nigerian, who had 849 Automated Teller Machine cards of various Nigerian banks in his handbag, as he was about to board a flight from Kano to Dubai.

The paper says that snoopers from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission intercepted the businessman at the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport on Friday after a scan of his luggage revealed the suspicious items.

Vanguard reports that another suspected fraudster, of Chinese origin, was also arrested at the baggage check point at the same airport last week with 705,000 euros in Naira bank notes in his brief case as he tried to board a flight to China.

To read RFI's reports of Kenya's 2017 election click here

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