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African press review 26 August 2013

Text by: Pierre Delrieu
4 min

Zimbabwe's President, Robert Mugabe, has reiterated threats against western companies in retaliation over sanctions. Meanwhile, a new berth at a Kenyan port is expected to boost economic trade in the region, and interpol steps up the search for 20 Kenyans wanted over fraud, sex crimes and other allegations.


“A new threat is looming for international companies in Zimbabwe”, headlines the South African Business Daily, which reports on President Robert Mugabe’s threats of “unspecified action” against companies from western countries in retaliation over the continuous imposition of targeted restrictions.

Kenya's post-election violence 2007-8

The paper reports that Mugabe, speaking at the burial of a former high-profile military in Harare yesterday, said: "Time will come when we will say, tit-for-tat, you hit me, I hit you."

The president blames the US and the UK for maintaining sanctions including travel bans and asset freezes on Mugabe and members of his inner circle and several companies following elections in 2002, which western observers said were rigged.

He said if the sanctions remained in place, his government could move in to impose controls or sanctions on companies from the two countries.

Barclays Bank and Standard Chartered Bank are some of the British-owned companies that have operations in Zimbabwe and could be targeted by those sanctions.

In Kenya, the new berth at Mombasa port, which will be officially opened on Wednesday, is expected to boost the country’s standing as the hub of regional trade, in the face of growing competition from Tanzania, reports the Nairobi-based East-African.

Rwanda and Uganda, like Burundi, are landlocked and rely on Kenya or Tanzania for international trade, explains the paper. This 50 million euro new berth is expected to raise the port’s capacity by 33 per cent.

Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Paul Kagame of Rwanda will be attending the official opening, says the paper, explaining that the expected presence of the three presidents cements a new economic-political re-alignment shaping up in the East African Community around Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.

Staying in Kenya, the Daily Nation reports that the Interpol has launched an international search for some 20 Kenyans wanted for a range of crimes. They are believed to be hiding in the region.

The list of criminals also includes 10 Kenyans being sought by the United States' Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) over fraud, sexual crimes and murder allegations.

While some to 200,000 Kenyans are reportedly living illegally in the US, the Daily Nation established that some of the wanted Kenyans on Interpol’s list are enjoying freedom in the country despite the police pledging to cooperate with Interpol.

The Sudan Tribune reports on yesterday’s swearing in ceremony of the new South Sudanese Vice President James Wani Igga on Sunday.

The event was attended by senior members of government, reports the paper, including President Salva Kiir and Chief Justice Chan Reec Madut, who swore in the new Vice President.

James Wani Igga replaces Riek Machar as Kiir’s Deputy. Machar, along with the entire cabinet, was fired last month by the President, who feared his government was plotting against him.

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