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African press review 8 November 2018

A government committee has approved the new minimum wage in Nigeria but that doesn't mean the battle for more money is over. Two journalists are missing in Tanzania. The prosecutor in the Rwandan trial of opposition figure Diane Rwigara calls for her to serve 22 years in prison.


There's a lot of confusion in Nigeria about the minimum wage.

The top story in this morning's Lagos-based Punch newspaper reports that the Federal Government said yesterday the minimum monthly wage proposal of 30,000 naira (72 euros) contained in the report of the tripartite committee set up by the government was still a recommendation and had not been approved.

President Muhammadu Buhari is still considering the report which was presented to him on Tuesday.

The committee report will also have to be presented to both the National Economic Council and the Council of State before a decision to send it to parliament for ratification can be made.

The general secretary of the Nigerian Trade Union Congress, Musa Lawal, is not impressed. He says workers will go on strike if the Federal Government fails to approve and implement the 30,000 naira minimum wage recommended by the tripartite committee.

Two journalists missing in Tanzania

The Kenyan Daily Nation reports that two members of the Committee to Protect Journalists have gone missing in Tanzania.

According to the Nairobi-based paper, former Nation reporter Muthoki Mumo and former Mail & Guardian editor Angela Quintal were detained while on a reporting mission in the country.

Their Twitter accounts have since been suspended. Contact with the two women has been lost.

The Committee to Protect Journalists has called on the Tanzanian authorities to immediately release the two journalists who were arrested yesterday in Dar es Salaam and taken to an unknown location.

Good neighbours make good fences

Morocco's King Mohammed VI says he's happy to talk to Algeria.

The king claims Morocco is ready to take part in a joint political mechanism to settle differences between the two countries.

Relations between Algeria and Morocco have been strained since independence, with several wars and border disputes, as well as a disagreement on the status of Western Sahara.

Political strife looms in Zimbabwe

The authorities in Zimbabwe have threatened to crush anti-government protests.

This follows a call by the opposition for a series of street marches to topple President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa, who rejected the result of the 30 July presidential election, recently launched nationwide rallies to mobilise his supporters “to reclaim his victory”.

Chamisa, who narrowly lost to Mnangagwa according to the official announcement, said the protests would not stop until his rival steps down.

Home Affairs Minister Cain Mathema yesterday said security forces had been put on high alert to stop the protests.

Last month hundreds of trade union leaders were arrested after they tried to organise protests against economic austerity measures.

Date-range set for South African elections

South Africa will hold parliamentary elections some time between 7 May and 5 August, the Electoral Commission announced yesterday.

The commission briefed the media on its preparations and set out timelines for a vote that will elect a new national assembly.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, who has the final say on the election date, is known to favour a vote before the end of May.

Call for 22-year sentence against Rwanda's Rwigara

Prosecutors in Rwanda have called for a lengthy prison sentence for the country's leading dissident politician.

The trial of Diane Rwigara opened in the capital Kigali yesterday, with prosecutors requesting that she be handed 22 years in jail for inciting insurrection and forgery.

A treason charge, which had previously been laid against Rwigara, was not mentioned.

Rwigara denies the charges, dismissing them as “politically motivated”. Her attempt to challenge President Paul Kagame in last year’s elections was blocked when it was alleged she had forged signatures on electoral documents.

She appeared in court on Wednesday alongside her mother who prosecutors also want sentenced for 22 years for inciting insurrection and promoting sectarianism.

The verdicts are expected on 6 December.

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