African press review 21 April 2014


The Egyptian Presidential Elections Commission announced yesterday it is not accepting any further candidates for the 2014 elections, scheduled for late next month.

That means there will only be two candidates: former Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and 2012 presidential hopeful Hamdeen Sabbahi, who submitted his candidacy papers on Saturday.

The Nairobi-based Standard newspaper gives pride of place to a television documentary which casts fresh doubts over who actually won Kenya’s 2013 presidential election.

Kenya's post-election violence 2007-8

The TV investigation includes a recording by a senior election official of the Orange Democratic Movement, who casts doubts on the integrity of the results transmitted by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission. The election official claims that the National Intelligence Service and President Uhuru Kenyatta’s party, The National Alliance, hacked into the commission’s servers prior to the commission transmitting the election results.

The official further claims that an employee of the commission overseeing the results transmission was working for the National Intelligence Service and The National Alliance.

The same story is also on the front page of rival paper Daily Nation. There, the opposition Coalition for Reform and Democracy has demanded the disbandment of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission over the allegations.

Yesterday, the commission described the tape as hearsay and said it was not worth responding to.

The main story in the Nigerian Guardian says there is fear of isolation, judging from western nations’ response to the recent wave of terror attacks in the country.

Following significant negative media attention on an international scale, no fewer than 20 countries have advised their citizens to stay away from Nigeria. Even at the United Nations, where Nigeria is currently presiding over the Security Council, there is a sense of frustration, as four recent official statements have criticised the state of insecurity in Nigeria.

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

The front page of this morning's Punch won't do anything to allay those international fears. Punch reports that there are strong indications that members of the Somalia militant sect, al-Shebab, aided Boko Haram militants in carrying out the attack on Nyanya Motor Park seven days ago.

The paper’s investigations also revealed that al-Shebab, which has strong links with Al-Qaeda, had moved from providing technical assistance to Boko Haram to fighting alongside insurgents in some parts of the North-East.

Security agencies received intelligence reports that al-Shebab, which carried out the West Gate shopping centre attack in Kenya, was planning an attack in Abuja.

South African financial paper BusinessDay reports that Impala Platinum and Anglo American Platinum have increased their pay offer to striking workers in a bid to end a strike now in its record-breaking 13th week.

The world’s two biggest platinum miners are offering pay increases of between 7.5% and 10%, depending on job grades, which will lead to workers earning a minimum of 861 euros cash by July 2017.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union’s demand has been for a basic wage of 861 euros within three years.

The union launched a strike fund last week, calling for assistance for workers, who have lost an estimated 400 million euros in pay since the strike started on 23 January.

The companies and the strikers are due to meet again tomorrow.

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