African press review 9 April 2013

Uhuru Kenyatta's swearing-in ceremony in Kanya, debate about the cash reward for the arrest of LRA leader Joseph Kony and a decline in public trust of trade unions in South Africa are all stories in today's African press..


The honours this morning go to Kenya and the swearing-in of Uhuru Kenyatta as the nation's fourth president.

Kenya's post-election violence 2007-8

The ceremony will take place at the Moi International Sports Centre in Kasarani, and will be witnessed by 25 African Heads of State. As the Nairobi-based Standard newspaper points out, neither the United States nor any Western Europen nation will be represented, even at diplomatic level.

The Standard explains this cold reception to Uhuru’s presidency by the fact that the new President and his deputy, William Ruto, both face charges of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir will not be attending today's swearing-in ceremony.

On Sunday, the Khartoum-based Sudan Tribune reported that the Sudanese leader would be travelling to Kenya on Monday and that he would later head to Chad for a conference.

Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes committed in the course of the conflict in Darfour.

Kenya, a signatory state to the Rome Statute is under legal obligation to arrest the Sudanese president if he sets foot in the country.

His name does not appear on the list of Heads of state whose attendance has been confirmed.

The Kenyan Daily Nation reports that Nigerian police have detained four journalists after they refused to disclose the source of an alleged presidential document that calls for sabotaging an opposition coalition.

President Goodluck Jonathan's office has already denied the validity of the document published on 3 April in the independent Leadership newspaper.

The disputed and unconfirmed report claimed that Jonathan had issued orders to frustrate efforts by the opposition to unite ahead of presidential polls due in 2015.

Police confirmed the arrests but declined to discuss the circumstances.

In Uganda, the main story in the Daily Monitor says the opposition Forum for Democratic Change party yesterday asked the government to open inquiries into the sources of campaign finance for President Museveni’s 2011 re-election.

Senior party member and spokesman Wafula Oguttu told journalists at the party’s headquarters that questions surrounding how the ruling party paid its expenses, call for an investigation.

The government, however, dismissed the FDC’s proposal as typical idle talk. Mr Oguttu suggested that the envisaged line of inquiries into campaign finance could also look at recent allegations that an oil company considered making an undocumented payment to Museveni.

The President and government officials have strongly denied all allegations of inappropriate conduct.

Also in The Daily Monitor, a suggestion that the cash reward offered by the US government for the arrest of Lord's Resistance Army leader, Joseph Kony, will make him more aggressive, according to leaders in the Acholi sub-region.

The leaders say scores of children are still in LRA captivity and the billion shilling cash award for Kony and his two commanders will just make the situation worse.

The comments come days after US President Barack Obama offered the million dollar bounty on the rebel leaders who are wanted for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Members of the Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative say the money should be used to fund the Peace Recovery and Development Plan whose funds were illegally diverted by officials from the Prime Minister’s office.

The main story in South African financial paper BusinessDay reports that public trust in trade unions, especially among black and working class South Africans, has plummeted in the past year, this according to a survey carried out by the Human Sciences Research Council.

The poll was conducted in the wake of labour turmoil last year in which workers abandoned traditional trade unions and embarked on wildcat strike action.

The survey, which is based on a representative sample derived from census information and is carried out annually, found that among the public in general, trust in trade unions dropped from 43 per cent in 2011 to 29 per cent in 2012.

Among black and working class South Africans, who have formed the backbone of the labour movement, there was a significant growth in distrust of unions. Thirty-five percent of black South Africans said they distrusted trade unions, compared with 21 per cent the year before.

Among those who consider themselves to be part of the working class, distrust increased from 21 per cent in 2011 to 37 per cent in 2012, according to the same survey.

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