African press review 19 November 2014

Mombasa is hit by gangs on the rampage. It's International Men's Day ... and International Toilet Day. Ramaphosa tried to restore discipline to the SA parliament. Nigerian senators argue about extending emergency rule in the Boko Haram-hit north-east. Uganda's population keeps on growing.


The Kenyan Standard reports that the port city of Mombasa was yesterday reeling after a long night of murder and pillage by rampaging gangs that killed three men and injured five others in Kisauni on Monday night. The attacks by gangs wielding black flags came a few hours after police raids on two mosques.

It is not clear if the Monday night incidents were related to the mosque raids but Mombasa County Commissioner Nelson Marwa said “we are treating this as ordinary crime by youth who have been hired” by local politicians he did not name. Police announced 16 arrests.

Kenya's post-election violence 2007-8

Over at the Daily Nation, the latest violence in Coast Province is ignored but the Nairobi-based paper does say that that the Musa and Sakina mosques raided at the weekend will remain crime scenes until further notice.

The county commissioner has announced that national and county governments will work with elected leaders to ensure the two mosques are managed properly.

The government, he says, will not allow radical youths linked to al-Shebab to manage the mosques.

The Standard also gives front-page treatment to the fact that this is International Men’s Day. It's also World Toilet Day but let's not confuse the issue.

Men’s shorter life expectancy, high male suicide rates, collective tolerance of violence against men, the struggles boys face trying to get an education and the unique challenges of father-child relationships are some of the themes supposed to be considered to mark this special day.

In South Africa, the Johannesburg-based financial paper BusinessDay reports that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa yesterday moved to restore discipline to the proceedings of the National Assembly in a meeting with the leaders of all parties represented in Parliament. He also agreed to halt the suspension of 20 Economic Freedom Fighters from the House.

Ramaphosa, in his capacity as leader of government business, said the meeting discussed the recent chaotic scenes in the National Assembly and all parties agreed that "the situation was unacceptable and untenable".

This follows the entry into the chamber of riot police last Thursday to remove an Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MP who refused to leave the podium and called President Jacob Zuma a liar and a thief.

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

In a separate story, BusinessDay reports that the opposition parties represented on Parliament’s powers and privileges committee yesterday rejected the committee’s report which found that 20 Economic Freedom Fighters MPs are guilty of contempt of Parliament and should be severely punished.

Last week the committee adopted a report that imposed the most severe punishment possible on the parliamentary leadership of the EFF - 30 days suspension without pay.

This punishment has now been suspended by the deputy president.

But opposition claims that the ruling ANC has once again used its majority to abuse the rules of Parliament to suit its political agenda remain to be addressed.

In Nigeria the front page of the Lagos-based Guardian newspaper says it appears that senators from the north-east may oppose any further extension of the emergency rule imposed in an effort to halt the insurgency by Islamic fundamentalist group, Boko Haram.

As the Senate yesterday began consideration of President Goodluck Jonathan’s request for the extension of emergency rule in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, there was an indication that senators from the area worst affected by Boko Haram violence may oppose the move.

Senators from the affected states spoke vehemently against further emergency rule, insisting that the previous extensions had yielded no result.

Emergency rule was first proclaimed in the three north-eastern states in May 2013 and has been renewed twice since.

The main story in the Kampala-based Daily Monitor says Uganda’s population has increased from 24 million in 2002 to 35 million people, according to provisional census results released by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics yesterday.

According to the latest census results, urbanisation is also on the rise, with 6.5 million Ugandans now living in urban areas.

A population and development analyst interviewed by the Monitor says the figures are bad news for the country because they show that the majority of the population is young and unemployed, a situation which translates into high dependency levels.

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