African Press Review 12 January 2018
Issued on: Modified:
The Ugandan opposition launches a new bid to oust President Yoweri Museveni. A former government minister says Zimbabwe's new president stole power and is leading an illegal regime. Sudan says that the deployment of troops along its Eritrean border last Saturday was a reaction to military threats from Eritrea and Egypt.
The political opposition in Uganda has launched a new campaign of defiance, aimed at bringing the rule of President Yoweri Museveni to an end, regional paper the East African reports.
According to the report, main opposition leader Kizza Besigye said yesterday that MPs had betrayed Ugandans by passing the age limit bill that paved the way for Museveni, who is 73, to extend his 31-year reign.
Besigye called on Ugandans to boycott companies run and owned by members of the ruling party.
The new drive follows a protest movement organised by the opposition to campaign against constitutional changes that included the lifting of the presidential age caps.
Those changes were yesterday signed into law by President Museveni.
Moyo says Mnangagwa stole power
A former government minister says Zimbabwe's new president Emmerson Mnangagwa stole power and is leading an "illegal regime".
This is also in the East African, which reports comments by Jonathan Moyo, former president Robert Mugabe's education minister, in an interview with the BBC yesterday.
Moyo, an ardent Mugabe loyalist currently living in exile, no one knows where, says Mnangagwa and Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga came to power via the bullet and not the ballot.
He went on to say that the constitution had been subverted and that the army had acted unconstitutionally in briefly taking power from the government in November.
South Africa's challenges
The editorial in South African financial paper BusinessDay says the country faces even greater challenges, despite this week's boost in the form of an improved economic outlook from the World Bank.
The Johannesburg-based daily points out that the global lender would have made its calculations before the ANC's elective conference last month. But, says BusinessDay, the fact that South African growth lags so far behind the world average, trailing even the rest of the emerging economies, is a sobering reminder that the economic challenges are as great, if not greater, now than before Cyril Ramaphosa’s ANC victory.
The budget statement is just one month away, with the funding gap now wider thanks to Jacob Zuma's announcement on university fees, which is expected to cost 15 billion rand (well over one billion euros) in the first year, and will eventually cost 40 billion annually. That's more than two and a half billion euros and is exactly the amount the finance minister has been promising to cut from government spending this year.
So he's going to have to find more revenue than the two billion euros already counted on, especially if the public-sector wage negotiations go badly for the government. How that can be done in an economy growing at slightly more than one percent is, as BusinessDay politely puts it, unclear.
Ramaphosa and his team-mates are not yet in charge and it’s not clear when and how they might take over. When they do, tough decisions will need to be made. Even if Ramaphosa is willing to make those, it remains to be seen how constrained he will be by the fractures within the ANC’s ruling structures and by the party’s policies.
Sudan admits sending troops to the Eritrean border
Sudan has officially admitted that the deployment of troops along its Eritrean border last Saturday was a reaction to military threats from Eritrea and Egypt, reports the Sudan Tribune.
Last Saturday Khartoum closed the border with Eritrea and deployed thousands of troops from the Rapid Support Force to Kassala State, following reports that Egyptian troops were massing in the border area. Local authorities formed a committee to organise popular mobilisation.
The Sudanese ambassador has been recalled from Cairo.
The issues causing tension between Egypt and Khartoum include Sudanese support fot the Ethiopian renaissance dam project, a border dispute over the "Halayeb triangle" and a ban on Egyptian agricultural products.