African press review 10 October 2013

More coverage of Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto's ICC trial, Sudan's economic growth and the arrest of members of a Lagos kidapping ring  - all in today's African papers ...


The Nairobi-based Standard headlines with news from the ongoing trial of Kenya's Deputy President William Ruto in The Hague.

Ruto is accused of orchestrating the violence that followed disputed elections six years ago.

Kenya's post-election violence 2007-8

The paper reports on the cross-examining by lawyers of the prosecution’s second witness, known simply as witness 326.

It says 326 testified that Ruto had not, in fact, made any inflammatory remarks during the build-up to the 2007 polls and claimed that the violence that followed the presidential elections was spontaneous.

Quoting the witness, the daily says the uprising was triggered by the way the results were announced by the now defunct Electoral Commission of Kenya, the ECK

Witness 326 told the court the ECK had initially refused to declare the winner even though everyone expected candidate Kenyatta’s victory.

The violence broke out spontaneously, reported the witness, when the then incumbent President Kibaki was unexpectedly declared winner of the election when no one was expecting the results.

The East African reports that the Somalia government is facing fresh pressure from regional governments and local politicians, in the wake of the recent attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi.

It says Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania and Ethiopia – have all expressed concern about Mogadishu’s lack of involvement in the fight against Al Shabaab and asked Somalia to quickly adopt concrete security measures or risk facing a “regime change”.

The East African says Somalia’s decades-long chaos has adversely affected many countries in the region especially Kenya and Ethiopia, which currently host hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees. And it says the increasing threat by Al Qaeda-linked militants, who have so far targeted both Kenya and Uganda, is setting off alarms across the region.

The Sudan Tribune’s main story today is the IMF’s upgrade of its projections for Sudan’s economic growth in 2013 compared to last April’s figures.

The World Economic Outlook, which was released by the IMF on Tuesday showed Sudan’s economy has grown by almost four percent this year compared to a previous estimate of only 1.2per cent, while East African nation’s GDP is forecast to slow down to 2.5 per cent in 2014.

The paper reports that this will be the first year that Sudan achieves positive GDP growth since the secession of South Sudan in July 2011. It says the partition was tough on Sudan’s GDP, considering the Southern region contained 75% of the oil reserves of the country.

Uganda's Daily Monitor publishes letters by Ugandan chief administration officers urging the Prime Minister to punish striking teachers.

Although the government had promised not to penalise teachers who took part in the recent eight–day strike, district leaders have begun sending reports to the government, says the Daily Monitor, urging the state to take action against head teachers who never reported for duty during the strike that started on 9 September.

Some of the district reports qualified the teachers’ action as unreasonable and unfair and should be held accountable, saying that schools should operate like police stations and health facilities and stay open during a time of crisis.

The Zimbabwe Herald headlines with UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon’s congratulations to President Mugabe on what it refers to as his “resounding victory” in the 31 July presidential elections.

According to the Herald, Ban’s remarks are a slap in the face for the Anglo-Saxon alliance of the United States, Britain and Australia that stubbornly refuses to recognise the elections that again according to the paper, have been endorsed by over 40 countries around the world as a credible expression of the will of Zimbabweans.

Al-Shebab - who are they?

And finally Nigeria’s Punch reports on how a seven-year-old thwarted a Lagos kidnapping ring, by helping the police arrest three men, suspected of kidnapping young boys.

The boy, who was amongst the kinapper's victims, is reported to have been held hostage by the men, before being released after a ransom was paid by his parents.

Punch says it was the child who then led police officers to the same house where he had been detained.

One of the kidnappers, interviewed by the newspaper, told the reporter that he was forced to enter into kidnapping because since finishing University in 2011, he had been unable to get a job.

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