African press review 7 August 2012

A Zambian wage dispute turns violent. There's a lack of inspiration in Kenya's election campaign.  There's a corruption scandal in Uganda. Why Goodluck Jonathan won't become a Muslim. Why SA drivers won't be having any more happy hours and why they shouldn't argue with their wives. And why an African diva is looking for love.


"Chinese mine boss killed," is the headline on the front page of Zambia’s Daily Mail.

The article reports on the killing of a Chinese copper mine boss during a wage dispute between the Chinese owners and the workers. Chinese mining companies have pumped in about one billion dollars and employ thousands of Zambians, says the paper, but worker-employer relations remain a source of friction.

"Who’ll lead Kenyans from dictatorship to democracy?" asks the East African in an opinion piece dedicated to the country's upcoming elections.

It says Kenya will need a leader who can visualise the society anticipated by the constitution, "one who inspires us all to see that vision and work towards it".

However, the paper regrets that none of the candidates for the presidency inspire such hope.

In a very poignant article, the author says that one of the candidates peddles fear and lies under affected piety. Some parties imply that their candidates are divinely inspired, while those of their opponents are the devil’s work.

These candidates simply do not inspire hope or confidence in the future, concludes the author.

In Uganda the Daily Monitor’s front page features a major corruption scandal.

According to the newspaper’s investigation, officials from the prime minister's office received almost  five million euros in cash advances on private accounts in the 2010/11 financial year. Money was also paid into personal accounts for construction contracts and procurements that are by law supposed to be contracted out, reveals the paper.

"You can’t intimidate me!" Nigeria’s The Sun front page features the smiling photo of Goodluck Jonathan.

The story itself, though, is not very cheerful. The paper reports that Boko Haram called on the president to embrace Islam and become its ardent supporter or resign from office. The paper quotes a presidential spokesperson who describes the sect’s call as “sheer blackmail”.

Dossier: Sharia wars - Boko Haram v the military in northern Nigeria

South Africa’s Sowetan mourns the impending end of the "happy hour" glass of beer. It says drivers may soon be forced to rid their vocabulary of terminology such as "happy hour" and "one for the road" if the government's proposed sobering amendments to the National Road Traffic Act are passed into law.

Still in South Africa, The Star reports on a "miracle in South Africa" - the story of a man and his wife who escaped death when their car went off a bridge and plunged into the Amanzimtoti River.

According to the paper, the couple were travelling towards Durban when the driver lost control of the vehicle after hitting a sheet of water on the highway. The lesson of this story says the paper is not to argue with your wife while driving – you might fall off the bridge.

And finally, The Sowetan’s entertainment pages are dominated by the new African diva, Tshidi Tenyane, the singing sensation discovered by South African Idols show. Her latest performance left judges clambering for more and the public crying.

The paper says Tshidi has all the ingredients to become an all-Africa sensation, including an amazing voice and good looks, and she is "also looking for love”, according to the paper.

"People don't know that I am single. They assume I am settled. The truth is I am not," she tells the paper. "But I just love to be in love." Have a listen to one of her performances, you never know you might be just the one she’s looking for...


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