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African press review 23 May 2018

Another adjournment is announced in the case involving Rwandan government critic Diane Rwigara. There's another Ebola death in the DRC. And the South African government may have to cut back on crucial services to pay increased civil service salaries.


The case involving Rwanda government critic Diane Rwigara and her mother Adeline Rwigara has once again been adjourned. The pair have been in jail awaiting trial on charges of inciting insurrection, promoting sectarianism and forgery since last September.

The latest adjournment followed the failure by the prosecution to produce four other accused.

The hearing was adjourned to 24 July.

Another Ebola death confirmed in the DRC

The death toll from Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo has risen to 27, according to the Health Ministry in Kinshasa.

The latest confirmed fatality involved a resident of the town of Wangata, about 150 kilometres north of the site of the first case reported in the current outbreak.

South African kidnap gang demands bitcoin ransom

A gang which kidnapped a South African teenager from a playground at the weekend has demanded a ransom in the virtual currency known as bitcoin.

The 13-year-old boy was abducted in the eastern province of Mpumalanga while he was playing with friends near his home.

Local media say a ransom note demanding the bitcoin equivalent of 150,000 euros was left at the scene.

The case appears to be the first ransom demand in South Africa made involving virtual currency.

In March US hackers demanding a ransom payable in bitcoins attacked computers of the Atlanta city government in the southern state of Georgia.

UN environment body appoints Tanzanian deputy director

A Tanzanian woman has been appointed the deputy executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme.

Joyce Msuya, who has extensive experience in international finance, was appointed to the the Nairobi-based UN agency on Monday, according to a statement from UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

She takes over from Ibrahim Thiaw of Mauritania.

Joyce Msuya has worked at the World Bank, where she served most recently as advisor for the global lender’s East Asia and Pacific region.

South African state spending off the mark

South Africa's Public Services and Administration Minister Ayanda Dlodlo has warned that the public-sector wage bill could cripple government.

Salaries for public servants have been growing at rates higher than inflation and consumed 35 percent of government expenditure in 2017.

This year South African public servants are set to receive above-inflation wage hikes of between six and seven percent.

Yesterday the minister warned that the government would have to cut back on critical services if it failed to rein in pay increases.

Is the Kenyan honeymoon on the wane?

Kenyan paper the Daily Nation wonders if the recent unity deal agreed between President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition chief Raila Odinga is not coming under pressure.

Odinga returns home today after a week-long trip to London, to face growing political animosity that is, says the Daily Nation, putting his pact with the president to the test.

The Orange Democratic Movement leader comes back just three days after Kenyatta rebuffed his call for a referendum to change the constitution, to alter the structure of the executive and increase devolution.

Pay-by-the-day plan for Ugandan public servants

The Monitor in Kampala gives pride of place to a government plan to stamp out absenteeism in the public sector.

According to the report, the Ugandan government is to start paying civil servants according to the number of days they work, rather than a guaranteed monthly salary.

For a start, biometric registers are to be installed at public health and educational institutions in eastern Uganda to monitor the clock-in and clock-out times of health workers and teachers. Their salaries will be calculated on their attendance.

Bureaucrats say the previous practice of registering staff presence at work manually was ineffective and susceptible to errors.


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