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African press review 28 September 2011

3 min

Cries of witch-hunt in South Africa. Can Kenya save its sliding shilling? Has Nigeria's state collapsed? And is its oil a curse?


The Star in South Africa reports that one of Julius Malema's mates is in a spot of trouble with the African National Congress.

According to the Johannesburg daily, the ANC has agreed to formally recommend that disciplinary charges be brought against the party's provincial secretary, Kabelo Mataboge, who allegedly failed to register candidates for the local government elections in May.

Mataboge’s supporters have described the intended charges as a witch-hunt. They say Mataboge is being targeted because he opposed the provincial chairman, Supra Mahumapelo, when he wanted to discipline provincial ANCYL supporters who marched to ANC headquarters at Luthuli House last month in support of Malema.

Malema himself has had a series of clashes with the ANC hierarchy.

Meanwhile, the ANC Youth League says it expects the mother body to be consistent in applying discipline.

This after two of the league’s KwaZulu-Natal leaders effectively contravened the party’s ban on the succession debate by backing President Jacob Zuma for a second term.

The KwaZulu-Natal youth league chairman told a meeting at the weekend that there were moves by the national leadership to disband provincial structures because of their support for Zuma.

The East African wonders if the Kenyan Central Bank has run out of ideas as the shilling continues to slide in value against the US dollar.

The shilling has lost 23 per cent of its value since January, having last weekend tumbled to a historic low of 99 to the dollar.

The East African blames inflation and the deteriorating balance of payments situation for the currency's difficulties.

The paper goes on to criticise the Kenyan Central Bank for churning out policy statements, while the shilling continues to weaken on the back of economic woes in the eurozone and increased demand for imports.

According to The East African, the escalating currency crisis could have significant economic repercussions for Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.

Despite that bleak forecast, The East African also reports that the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange was the best performing market in east Africa and among the top three performing stock markets in Africa last month, increased local investor participation having cushioned it against the exit of foreign investors.

The DSE share index was up 0.4 per cent in the month of August, coming third only to the Namibian and Tunisian stockmarkets which rose by six and one per cent, according to official data.

In Nigeria, The Daily Trust reports that President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday painted a hopeless image of state institutions, with vivid descriptions of a collapsed system that encourages a culture of corruption, patronage and indiscipline.

Speaking at the 51st Independence Anniversary Lecture in Abuja, the president said the institutions of state must be strengthened to enable the country to realise its potential.

He said Nigeria has been running a deficit budget because the institutions that are supposed to protect public resources and prevent leakages have collapsed.

He also cited lack of accurate census figures and improper statistics on the economy as indicators of institutional failures.

The guest speaker at yesterday’s Independence Lecture, Richard Dowden of the Royal Africa Society, described the discovery of oil in Nigeria as a “curse” rather a blessing.

Dowden also identified corruption, poor reputation and the flight of human capital as other factors that have worked against the country’s economic prosperity.

An estimated 100 million Nigerians live in poverty, accounting for a quarter of all poor people in sub-Saharan Africa.

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