African press review 30 May 2011

In today's newpapers, all eyes are on South African President Jacob Zuma as he heads for Tripoli to try to find a solution to the crisis in Libya and the ICC chief prosecutor accuses the Kenyan government of planning moves to stop investigations into the 2008 post-election violence.


South Africa's ruling ANC party on Sunday criticised the bombing of Libya, in a statement on the eve of a visit by President Jacob Zuma to Tripoli for talks with Libyan leader, Moamer Kadhafi. This according to The Star.

Zuma is to meet Kadhafi later on today, as Nato continues air strikes against the Libyan leader's supporters. Zuma is said to be spearheading an African push to end the conflict, with sources saying today's talks would focus on an exit plan.


Zuma’s ruling African National Congress said it supports the African Union’s efforts to resolve the Libyan conflict through negotiation.

Two officials in Zuma's presidency told the French news agancy AFP last week that today's meeting would focus on Kadhafi’s 'exit strategy'.

Zuma's office has since insisted this was misleading and that the talks would be part of AU efforts to encourage Libya to adopt the political reforms necessary to end the current crisis.

Zuma visited Tripoli on 10 April as part of a high-ranking African Union delegation to broker a truce, but a peace plan fell through.

South Africa voted for the UN resolution passed in March on enforcing a Libyan no-fly zone, intended to protect civilians from attacks by pro-Kadhafi forces, but has since criticised the bombing campaign and does not support a regime change.

South Africa has also strongly condemned attacks on civilians by Kadhafi’s forces.

Still in South Africa, a report that the man challenging Julius Malema for the position of ANC Youth League leader plans to use a 'hard-hitting' document to oust him, this according to a report in the City Press on Sunday.

The League's Gauteng leader, Lebogang Maile, and his campaign team accuse Malema of dictatorial tendencies, plundering state resources and dividing the League.

The document criticises Malema’s “ill-discipline" and "misguided militancy” saying his failure to deal with “youth-specific challenges” is the core failure.

Maile will challenge Malema at the Youth League’s 24th conference in Midrand on 16 June.

In Zimbabwe, according to the Harare Herald, a police inspector was killed by persons suspected of being MDC-T supporters yesterday while his colleague was left for dead after being attacked at the Glen View 3 Shopping Centre in Harare.

The police had gone to investigate an illegal meeting which MDC-T youths were holding at the shopping centre.

A police spokesman last night confirmed the death of the Inspector, saying the dead man was commander of the Police Reaction Group.

The Herald also reports that government no longer has the capacity to run Air Zimbabwe alone and urgently needs an equity partner to salvage the national airline, according to analysts and aviation experts.

The expert review also says there is an urgent need to appoint a business strategist as chief executive, to usher in a new business model, de-politicise the Airzim workforce, currently seen as combative and confrontational, and turn it into a team of professionals who take instructions from management.

In sports news, Zimbabwe's Stephen Muzhingi yesterday etched his name on the list of the greatest ultra-marathon runners of all time when he won a third consecutive Comrades Marathon title in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.

Muzhingi stopped the clock on 5 hours 32 minutes 45 seconds for the 'up-run' from Durban to Pietermaritzburg, a distance of 87 kilometres.

For his efforts, Muzhingi pocketed 175,000 euros.

In the Daily Nation in Nairobi, it's reported that Kenya is short of 66,000 health workers, according to chief nursing officer Chris Rakuom.

The shortage of medical personnel in public hospitals is not limited to Kenya alone.

Chris Rakuom said the crisis is a global one, adding that the Sub-Saharan region alone has a shortage of more than 800,000 health workers, including nurses, doctors and midwives.

The Nation also reports that International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo on Sunday accused the Nairobi government of pursuing what the prosecutor called “campaigns” aimed at stopping investigations of Kenya's 2008 post-election violence.

Ocampo said that although Kenya had cooperated with the ICC in the past, the mood had changed after the court named the six suspects.

In a swift reaction, Justice minister Mutula Kilonzo dismissed the claims as unfounded. He said Kenya was working with the international court.

Government spokesman Alfred Mutua challenged the prosecutor to give evidence of who was interfering with court investigations and to explain how.

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