African press review 2 November 2015

6 min

The tripartite alliance in South Africa is dead according to former president Kgalema Motlanthe. Tanzania's president-elect, John Pombe Magufuli faces an uphill struggle. And Rwanda's Paul Kagamé could hold onto the presidency until 2034.

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The tripartite alliance in South Africa is dead and whoever believes otherwise is delusional. That's according to former president Kgalema Motlanthe.

In an exclusive interview with financial paper Business Day, Motlanthe says that the Congress of South African Trade Unions, the South African Communist Party and the ruling African National Congress have lost their way and the alliance now exists only in name.

Motlanthe lashed out at the ruling party, saying it was presently made up mostly of members and leaders devoid of the kind of political ability and consciousness required to maintain a united and nonracial society.

Motlanthe, a former Robben Island prisoner, has served as ANC deputy president.

He was South African president for six months after the ANC booted Thabo Mbeki out of office in 2008.

There's a danger of a water shortage in South Africa, according to another story in Business Day.

The report says the government may be forced to reduce the water supply in some areas as the country faces the worst drought since 1992.

Below average rainfall in the past few months has led to "worsening drought conditions", with two of the nine provinces having been declared disaster areas.

This is the fourth consecutive year of drier-than-average weather in South Africa.

The drought is straining water systems supplying about 18 per cent of the national population, with KwaZulu-Natal the worst affected province.

In a separate story, Business Day reports that the South African wine industry can expect a smaller grape harvest in 2016 if the dry conditions persist in November.

Regional paper The East African predicts an uphill struggle for Tanzania's president-elect, John Pombe Magufuli.

Having won a very competitive election with the lowest margin by a candidate of the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi party, it may be tempting for Magufuli to stonewall on electoral and political reforms that would weaken the party and the presidency.

Yet the fractious nature of the election, on the mainland where main challenger Edward Lowassa has rejected the outcome and announced himself winner, and in Zanzibar where the results were annulled after the opposition claimed a first-ever win, are proof that Magufuli will have to reform more, not less, to keep Chama cha Mapinduzi in power.

The East African also reports that Rwandan lawmakers have removed term limits for the president, allowing the incumbent to rule the country for the next 19 years ending in 2034, if he decides to contest in 2017.

The lower house last week approved a constitutional amendment allowing President Kagame, in power since 2000, to run for a third seven-year term, after which he could run for two more terms of five years each.

It looks as if Ugandan presidential hopeful Amama Mbabazi will be able to launch his campaign this week with a rally in Nakivubo Stadium in Kampala. This, according to a story in this morning's Kampala-based Daily Monitor.

Last week the Inspector General of Ugandan Police, General Kale Kayihura issued a press release saying he had blocked the public political activities of Mbabazi because only the ruling National Resistance Movement had complied with police guidelines.

The same day Kayihura signed a letter allowing Mbabazi to launch his manifesto at Nakivubo stadium.

In the last presidential campaign in 2011, police blocked opposition Forum for Democratic Change candidate Kizza Besigye and other opposition figures from accessing the city centre, saying the processions would disrupt business.

A day later police allowed National Resistance Movement candidates to hold rallies in the locations denied to the Opposition.

The Kenyan Daily Nation reports that the programme to repatriate Somali refugees living in Kenya suffered a major setback when over 40 countries meeting last week in Brussels failed to pledge the needed funds.

Kenya and Somalia need at least 500 million euros to finance the repatriation. Last week however, the Brussels conference pledged only one-fifth that amount. Kenya and Somalia, together with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, are overseeing the programme for the voluntary return of refugees to Somalia.

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