African press review 29 June 2017

A generic version of a new anti-retroviral drugs is available in Kenya. Ballot papers may not be. As the debate over black economic empowerment continues in South Africa, AngloGold announces more job cuts. And world football's governing body won't play with the Sudan Football Association.

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Kenya is the first African country to start using a generic version of the latest Aids drug that can improve and prolong the lives of tens of thousands of people who suffer severe side effects and resistance to other treatments.

A generic of Dolutegravir, first approved in the United States in 2013, is being given to 20,000 patients in Kenya before being offered in Nigeria and Uganda later this year.

The East African says Dolutegravir is the drug of choice for people with HIV in high-income countries, if they have never taken antiretroviral therapy before or have developed resistance to other treatment.

It is easier to take than currently used formulations since it involves just one small tablet taken daily and patients are less likely to develop resistance.

About 1.5 million Kenyans are HIV positive, with more than two-thirds of those infected on treatment.

Cholera kills at least 60 in South Sudan

A cholera outbreak in South Sudan’s Eastern Equatoria province has killed more than 60 people in the past month, according to a local state governor.

The story in regional paper the East African warns that the death toll could be higher, as some victims in remote locations had not been recorded.

Cases of cholera are still being reported in several parts of the state.

Printing row threatens Kenyan ballot papers

There's a row in Kenya that could leave the country without ballot papers for the August elections.

According to the East African, controversy over a tender award to a Dubai-based firm to print the ballot papers raged on after the opposition National Super Alliance claimed the firm could be used to manipulate the poll outcome by printing extra ballots.

The row, which has already been the subject of a court case, was reignited last week when National Super Alliance presidential candidate Raila Odinga claimed the firm had links with the ruling Jubilee Party’s leadership.

Both Jubilee and the Dubai-based firm dismissed as false the claims linking President Uhuru Kenyatta’s family to the company and challenged the opposition leaders to prove their allegations.

The opposition said it was weighing its options after its demand for cancellation of the award and a fresh tendering process was rejected by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission for lack of time.

More jobs to go at South African gold mine

AngloGold Ashanti, the world’s third-largest gold miner, could cut up to 8,500 jobs, or a third of its South African workforce, as two unprofitable mines reach the end of their lives, the Johannesburg-based financial paper BusinessDay reports.

The South African mining industry has shed 70,000 jobs over the past five years because of high costs, volatile commodity prices and declining productivity.

The National Union of Mineworkers said it was “angry and shocked” at the decision, noting that this is the second staff-cutting process in six months at AngloGold.

Well, now you know!

The Mail & Guardian newspaper reports that the South African activist organisation Undoing Tax Abuse plans to tell President Jacob Zuma precisely what he has done wrong.

Recently the South African leader joked that he didn’t know why he should resign, since nobody had told him what his crime was.

In response, Undoing Tax Abuse took it upon itself to compile a vast document that they plan to deliver to all MPs before the vote of no confidence in Zuma.

The organisation claims that its document “provides those in positions of authority with sufficient evidence for justifying the removal of Zuma as president of South Africa”.

Red card for Sudan's football authorities

The Sudan Football Association has been suspended by the game's world governing body, Fifa, today's Sudan Tribune tells us.

At the end of April a group backed by the government and led by Abdel-Rahman Sir Elkhatim, was declared the winner of elections for the Sudan Football Association, despite a Fifa directive ordering the suspension of the elections for six months.

However, the current president of the SFA, Mutasim Gaafar, dismissed the results claiming the election were illegal.

On 2 June 2017 police evacuated the SFA premises forcefully upon a decree from the under-secretary of the Ministry of Justice and handed over the building to the winning group.

The last move prompted Gaafar and his supporters to complain to the world football body about political interference in football activity.

The suspension takes effect tomorrow.

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