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African press review 6 November 2018

Kenya faces a shortage of cancer treatments because such drugs are not a priority for the medical supply agency. The government in Zimbabwe is going to continue to sell off mining assets. And how much longer can South African Airways stay aloft?


The exam season is in full swing in Kenya and already 17 people are in police custody, suspected of cheating, according to the Nairobi-based Daily Nation.

The report says police in the south-western city of Kisii have arrested 17 people, among them a Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examination supervisor, seven invigilators and a secondary school deputy principal. All are suspected of exam malpractice.

Some of the suspects were found in a house near the school with copies of a chemistry exam paper while the chemistry test was still in progress.

Acute shortage of cancer drugs in Kenya

Also in the Daily Nation, news of an acute shortage of drugs used to treat cancer.

According to the report, the state agency responsible for buying medicines for public hospitals does not stock cancer drugs.

The Kenya Medical Supplies Authority considers that essential medicines are those used for treating illnesses like malaria, HIV/Aids and tuberculosis.

Cancer, which kills 32,987 Kenyans every year, is not on the essential list.

The Daily Nation says that the absence of cancer drugs from Kemsa’s essential list of medicines is at odds with the World Health Organisation's decision to include the medications in its listing of critical health products.

Second-hand goldmine, anyone?

The government in Zimbabwe is going to continue to sell-off mining assets.

This was made clear yesterday by Mines Minister Winston Chitando as he announced that the names of the successful bidders for assets currently in the hands of the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining and Development Corporation will be made public in two weeks.

More companies will be put on sale at the end of November.

Selling struggling state-owned operations is part of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s wider plan to cut government expenditure.

South African Airways on a wing and a prayer

The attitude in Harare is not echoed in Pretoria, where South Africa's finance minister Tito Mboweni, says that the country is "unlikely to sort out the situation" at the hugely loss-making South African Airways, and that the airline should be closed down.

One of Mboweni's predecessors, Pravin Gordhan, now public enterprises minister, has indicated that he does not believe SAA, which has lost well over one billion euros in the past four financial years and is dependent on state guarantees, should be sold.

Gordhan say the national carrier can survive under the right conditions.

Juba to mediate in Sudan's internal conflicts

The South Sudanese authorities will host peace talks between the Sudanese government and all the armed groups in Sudan including those in Darfur movement, according to a statement yesterday from the presidency in Juba reported in today's Sudan Tribune.

Last week Juba announced a mediation effort to reunite the two factions of the Sudan Liberation Movement-North and narrow the gaps between the rebels and Khartoum in an effort to facilitate a peaceful settlement to the conflict in Blue Nile and South Kordofan, areas which border South Sudan.

Yesterday the presidency in Juba announced that all the armed opposition groups in Darfur are invited to Juba for discussions with the Sudanese government in a bid to reach a comprehensive peace agreement.

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir has in the past refused South Sudanese offers of mediation.

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