African press review 23 September 2015

Peace breaks out, at least temporarily, in Burkina Faso. Jacob Zuma surprises South Africa's mining industry by appointing an unknown to the mineral resources ministry. There's a real danger that Kenya's final school exams, due to start next Monday, will not go ahead as the teachers' strike continues.  


In Burkina Faso, local news site gives pride of place to last night's deal between the regular army and the presidential security unit, saying clashes have been averted.

The daily paper Sifaya says Burkina's interim president Michel Kafando will be back in control later today.

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There's been a cabinet reshuffle in South Africa.

According to the main story in Johannesburg-based financial paper BusinessDay, President Jacob Zuma last night shifted Ngoako Ramatlhodi from the mineral resources portfolio, replacing him with an unknown Free State MP, Mosebenzi Zwane.

Ramatlhodi moves to the public service and administration post left vacant after the death of Collins Chabane in a road accident in March.

The reshuffle, according to BusinessDay, took even insiders by surprise.

The appointment of Zwane was even more surprising. He is little known outside the Free State, where he served on the provincial cabinet and was responsible for economic, small business development, tourism and environmental affairs.

The reshuffle comes ahead of the ruling African National Congress's national general council meeting next month.

The appointment of a politician from Free State, a province that is underrepresented in the cabinet in geographic and ethnic terms, is being viewed by insiders as a move by Zuma to weaken the recent factional alliance of the Free State with ANC officials from North West province and Mpumalanga.

Slideshow Mandela

The BusinessDay editorial still can't get over the defeat of the South African rugby team by Japan at the World Cup.

"Springboks’ loss emblematic of a wider downward spiral" reads the headline to an article which says sporting gloom reflects the despondency of South African businesses and workers.

The nation might do well to remember the words of top-seeded Boris Becker when he lost at Wimbledon in 1987 to 43rd-ranked Australian Peter Doohan. The German tennis ace shrugged it off saying "I didn’t lose a war. Nobody died. It was just a tennis match."

There's a possibility that Kenya's final school exams, due to start next Monday, will not go ahead.

According to this morning's Daily Nation newspaper, both the Kenya National Union of Teachers and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers have directed their members to boycott the national examinations at both primary and secondary level.

Teachers have been on strike, demanding the implementation of the 50-60 per cent salary increase awarded to them by the Court of Appeal last month.

A total of 1.4 million candidates are expected to sit the two national exams this year.

The Kenyan Salaries and Remuneration Commission is adamant that teachers’ pay should not be increased.

Chairwoman Sarah Serem said the 50-60 per cent pay increment was unsustainable.

Serem said the public wage bill was already too high and any addition to teachers' salaries would be unfair to the rest of the country.

The main story in regional paper The East African reports the findings of an opinion poll suggesting that Tanzania's ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi presidential candidate John Magufuli would win the election by 65 per cent if the vote was held today. His closest challenger would be Chadema flagbearer Edward Lowassa with 25 per cent.

In the poll 66 per cent of respondents said they would vote for the ruling while 22 per cent said they would vote for Chadema. Only 10 per cent said they would vote for one of the other six presidential candidates or were undecided.

Voting is due to take place on 25 October.

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