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African press review 29 October 2018

Kenya's Abraham Kiptum runs into the record books. Is the political tension between Uganda and Rwanda any less following last week's meetings and mysterious gifts? And should we be worried about "downside momentum"?


Kenya's Abraham Kiptum gets the front page honours in regional paper the East African.

He's the new world record holder for the half marathon.

Yesterday in the Spanish city of Valencia, Kiptum ran the 21 kilometres in 58 minutes, 19 seconds, shaving four seconds off the previous best set by Eritrean Zersenay Tadese in Portugal's capital, Lisbon, eight years ago.

Thinking outside the box

Political tension between Uganda and Rwanda seemed to ease last week as high-ranking officials of both governments were hosted in Kigali by President Paul Kagame.

But we still don't know what was in the box.

On Thursday Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa led a delegation to Rwanda bearing a mystery package sent by President Yoweri Museveni to his Rwandan counterpart.

Kutesa personally delivered the white package whose contents remain a mystery.

The Museveni State House then issued a statement and shared pictures of the meeting.

A source suggested to the East African that the package could have been reciprocate one Kigali dispatched to Kampala.

“Relations between Kampala and Kigali are difficult to analyse," said the same source. "But the fact is that they are still far from normal. If Museveni sent a special package, he could have been responding to one sent from Kagame. Kigali has raised a lot of concerns about harassment of its citizens in Uganda. I understand there have been many official complaints, so maybe this was a response.”

Rwanda maintains that its citizens are being targeted inside Uganda, with many detained and tortured.

Kigali also maintains that Uganda is providing sanctuary to anti-government elements who plan to destabilise the country, including members of the Rwanda National Congress who are reportedly active inside Uganda.

Uganda claims Rwandan operatives have infiltrated Ugandan security agencies and propagated insecurity among Rwandan refugees.

Police search for Somali journalist's killers

Police in Somalia are hunting the gunmen who shot dead a local journalist, Abdullahi Mohamed Hashi, on the outskirts of Mogadishu late on Saturday.

Hashi was working for a local independent broadcaster known as Daaru Sunnah and he was reportedly well known in the area near the capital where he was murdered. According to Shabelle Radio, Hashi was the victim of a drive-by shooting.

No group has claimed responsibility for the killing.

Beware wobbles and downside momentum

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange is headed for its worst monthly performance in a decade, raising fears that the downside momentum will continue. "Downside momentum", you will understand, is economic jargon for when the wheels come off.

That's the bad news at the top of the front page of South African financial paper BusinessDay.

The jargon-laced report continues with the observation that "current post-crisis wobbles in global markets have seen almost every major asset class falling into negative territory for the year."

"Wobble" is clear enough. It means "wobble". An "asset class" is a particular type of stock, like oil, or new technology, or food processing. And "negative territory" is where you don't want to be, because that can lead to, you guessed it, downside momentum.

The Standard & Poor's index of the top 500 stocks quoted on Wall Street declined by three percent or more on two separate trading days last month, making a total of four three percent slumps for 2018 so far. To put that in perspective, the S&P 500 fell by three percent only twice in the five years between 2012 and 2017.

Analysts and investors insist they are not panicking. Yet.

Man accuses wife in daughter-mutilation case

A man in Egypt has reported his wife for ordering the genital mutilation of his two daughters.

The case is reported in the Cairo-based Egypt Independent and is the first of its kind in Upper Egypt.

The man reported his wife to Northern Qena Police Station, accusing her of having a doctor perform the surgery on the daughters, aged 12 and 10, without his knowledge, when he was working in Saudi Arabia.

Northern Qena prosecution has summoned the wife for questioning. Under Egyptian law, she could be sent to jail for two years.

Female Genital Mutiliation was criminalised in Egypt in 2016. A survey by the UN Children’s Fund that same year indicated that 87 percent of women and girls aged between 15 and 49 in Egypt had undergone the procedure.

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