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African press review 9 November 2017

The Kenyan election saga continues, with all eyes now on the outcome of the second Supreme Court decision in three months. Kenya and Tanzania are involved in a cow war because Maasai herders don't know when they've crossed the border between the two countries. And the Roman Catholic leader has a message for mobile phone users.


In Kenya all eyes are on Chief Justice David Kenani Maraga as he leads Supreme Court judges in deciding the validity of the recent repeat presidential election, according to the Nairobi-based Daily Nation.

This is the second time in three months that the seven-judge bench has been called upon to adjudicate on a presidential poll dispute.

In September the court nullified the 8 August victory of President Uhuru Kenyatta and ordered a fresh presidential election within 60 days.

The second-placed candidate, opposition leader Raila Odinga, pulled out of the October election rerun, saying the electoral reforms he had demanded to level the field had not been put in place.

The Supreme Court has until 20 November to announce its decision on three petitions calling for the result of the rerun to be annulled.

Raila sparks new row with ruling Jubilee coalition

The top story in sister-paper the Standard says that Raila Odinga's call for the formation of a six-month interim government has ignited a fresh row with the ruling Jubilee Party, which is accusing him of stoking the crisis to get into power.

Jubilee leaders yesterday rejected Raila’s demand, saying an interim government was not provided for in the constitution.

President Uhuru Kenyatta accused Raila of illegally seeking a power-sharing deal through a petition filed by one of his supporters at the Supreme Court.

Opposition activist Okiya Omtatah wants the 26 October vote nullified and a caretaker government formed.

Yesterday the president said that Raila and his Nasa brigade regretted boycotting the repeat election and were hiding behind the activist to force through a coalition government.

Cattle-grazing rights cause border dispute

Diplomatic tensions between Kenya and Tanzania have risen because of the "cow war".

Regional paper the East African says the problem centres on the pasturing of cattle belonging to the Maasai community who live on both sides of the border.

Yesterday Tanzania's president John Magufuli said his country was not a grazing land for the neighbouring country's cows.

This followed complaints by Nairobi over Dar's decision to destroy 6,400 chicks imported from Kenya for fear of bird flu and auction 1,300 cows belonging to Kenyan herders after they were confiscated for grazing in Tanzania.

Kenya said the "hostile actions” against its citizens and their business interests risked spoiling historical relations between the two neighbours.

Magufuli said his government would continue to confiscate and auction livestock that crosses the border into Tanzania illegally.

No phones please, we're Catholics!

Roman Catholic chief Pope Francis yesterday tore a strip off snap-happy bishops, priests and pilgrims, telling them mass was a time for prayer, not an opportunity to whip out camera phones, according to the East African.

"When the priest leading the ceremony says 'lift up your hearts', he doesn't mean 'lift up your mobile phones and take photographs'," he chastised those gathered in Saint Peter's square for his weekly audience.

The 80-year old Argentine pontiff is no stranger to the world of social media, boasting over 14 million followers on his English-language Twitter account alone, and often posing for selfies with enthusiastic young pilgrims.

But he has a troubled relationship with mobiles.

In February he told youngsters to get off their cell phones during family meals, warning that the death of face-to-face conversations will have dire consequences for society.

The Pope has called the internet, social media and text messages "a gift of God" if used wisely but has also tried to persuade the young to swap their smartphones for pocket-sized bibles.

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