African press review 4 November 2016
Zimbabwe's power struggle worsens as Education Minister Jonathan Moyo is arrested for corruption, while Nigeria bars graft-tainted judges from its courts.
We begin in South Africa where the commentators are casting lots on Jacob Zuma as the roof begins to cave-in on his Presidency.
Times Live raises a question it claims is on lips of many South Africans: how much is Jacob Zuma's crisis-ridden leadership costing them?
According to the newspaper, the consensus view among economists is that the country lost as much as 45 billion euros through shady dealings under his watch.
The paper reports that many South Africans are now asking openly how much the currency might gain if Zuma, 74, finally decides he has had enough and quits before the end of his term in 2019.
A number of legal missiles are hurtling towards him, in what may have been one of his worst weeks since taking office in 2009, comments the Sowetan.
And the Star says ANC stalwarts and prominent anti-apartheid figures are demanding a meeting with embattled President Jacob Zuma, after voicing concern about the “blatant looting of state resources” by people regarded as leaders.
Mail and Guardian contends that as Zuma battles to block his possible impeachment over the capture of the state by his Gupta family friends and the ravages of his rule on the economy, a clamour is rising from some influential circles to grant him amnesty.
But as the paper explains, if dictators identify their continued occupation of office as necessary to ensure their physical survival and guarantee their freedom from arrest, they are likely to do everything within their means to hang on to power.
Mail and Guardian says that it is for Zuma's prosecution, so that it can send out the message loud and clear: that South Africa remains a constitutional democracy.
The symbolism of a president in the dock would be enormous, and enormously popular in the cities and towns of Africa, says the publication even though the serried ranks of African leaders would regard it with alarm and horror.
Mail and Guardian concludes by holding that it would send out a warning to all those enjoying political office around Africa that corrupt dealings carry a high risk of costly consequences.
And in Nigeria, The Nation leads with news that the National Judicial Council has barred judges being investigated for graft offences from presiding over cases and performing other functions relating to their offices.
The paper says the NJC made the decision at a meeting held in Abuja on Thursday. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is investigating six other judges of the Federal High Court arrested by the Department of State Services.
And Punch takes up revelations that the Federal Government has filed nine count charges of graft against the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court.
The paper reports that Ahmed Saleh is accused of embezzling more than 5.7 million euros from the institution's budget. According to Punch, Saleh is also accused alongside two judges of receiving gratifications totaling 200,000 euros from private contractors providing services to the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, in Zimbabwe, the Herald investigates an apparent power struggle that has broken out between the Education Minister Jonathan Moyo accused of embezzling 500,000 dollars and the Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The paper quotes Moyo as saying that he feels like a lamb "being summoned by lions to their den".
The Herald also reports that the Education Minister released a bombshell when he went public with news that he knows a man who owns 700 gold mines and whose entire output is smuggled out of the country.
The person, he observed is one the people who speak about corruption during the day and practise it with staggering proportions at night. For the Herald "may be this will finally be the year of catching tigers and big fishes"
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