African press review 14 January 2017

4 min

Ugandan traditional king Charles Wesley Mumbere is granted bail as he awaits trial on charges of murder and terrorism. There's no sign of an end to the Kenyan doctors stike, with the authorities now advising those needing emergency treatment to go to one of the  2,000 faith-based hospitals in the country. And there's a warning to journalists in Tanzania.


The Ugandan traditional king Charles Wesley Mumbere was yesterday granted bail by the Jinja High Court, regional newspaper the East African tells us.

Mumbere was arrested on 29 November following armed clashes in the western city of Kasese between the king's bodyguard and soldiers of the Ugandan Defence Forces. The East African says over 100 people were killed, including 14 security officers.

Yesterday's bail was set at the shilling equivalent of 30,000 euros.

The king’s freedom will be restricted. He can not travel to Kasese or Bundibugyo, which form his kingdom, unless he obtains a special clearance from the court.

His movements will be restricted to Kampala and the surrounding districts of Jinja and Wakiso. He will not be allowed to travel out of the country.

King Charles Wesley Mumbere faces charges of murder, attempted murder and terrorism.

Over 100 suspects who were jointly charged with him remain in jail.

Kenyan hospital doctors continue strike

There's no sign of an end to the Kenyan doctors stike, according to this morning's Daily Nation.

But the Ministry of Health has come up with measures to cushion desperate Kenyans from the impact of the dispute.

According to the Nairobi-based daily, the ministry has directed counties to redistribute medicine currently in public health facilities shut down because of the strike to the more than 2,000 faith-based hospitals in the country.

The ministry says that emergency cases will be treated at faith-based institutions registered under the National Hospital Insurance Fund.

The statement adds that 500 hospital doctors are currently working, with 2,000 on strike for improved pay and conditioins for the past 41 days.

Kenya's Catholic bishops yesterday offered to mediate between the strikers and the government.

Cosatu joins SA presidential succession debate

There's more noise about the ruling ANC succession race on the front page of South African financial paper, BusinessDay.

Yesterday the Communists were saying they still hadn't decided who they were going to support.

This morning it's Cosatu, the hugely powerful Congress of South African Trade Unions, which is critical of President Jacob Zuma, calling him "insincere" for denying the existence of a tradition in the ANC which sees the party’s deputy president succeed the outgoing leader.

Zuma was himself elected 10 years ago, succeeding Thabo Mbeki, having been his deputy.

Last year Cosatu publicly endorsed deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa to lead the ANC, based on this being the party’s tradition. However, during a radio interview on Thursday, Zuma said there was no such tradition.

The president also said he believed the ANC and the country were ready for a woman president, indicating that he will support Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to succeed him in December.

Magufuli warns Tanzanian journalists

There's a warning to journalists in Tanzania on the front page of East African.

Tanzanian President John Magufuli said yesterday the "days were numbered" for newspapers deemed to incite dissent, comments that will add to opposition concern that his government is further narrowing the space for public criticism.

President Magufuli, nicknamed "the bulldozer" for his uncompromising style in pushing through his policies, has won praise for an anti-corruption drive and cutting wasteful public spending but opponents accuse him of increasingly undermining democracy by curbing dissent and stifling free speech.

The government declared opposition protest illegal last year. Some privately owned newspapers have published articles criticising the president's handling of the economy and some governance issues.

The Media Services Act of 2016 gives officials powers to shut down media organisations that violate their licences by confiscating printing machines.

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