African press review 1 August 2017

Murder of top Kenyan election official throws confusion on the August 8 polls. Nigerian academics react with revulsion to Boko Haram video of researchers kidnapped in the Lake Chad Basin.


We begin in Kenya where the murder of Chris Msando the man in charge of Kenya’s computerized voting system, has caused confusion in the build up to the general election on August 8.

Daily Nation reports that the body of Msando who was the electoral commission’s IT manager, was found with one arm missing, on the outskirts of Nairobi, on Monday, near that of an unidentified woman.

The Star reports that Msando went missing on Friday as he prepared to oversee the public testing of the voting system on Monday.

Meanwhile Standard Digital reports that the United States and Britain have offered their services to help investigate Msando's murder with proposals to bring in America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation and Britain’s Scotland Yard to help unmask the killers of election technology manager, if the government accepts the offer.

The Daily Post carries an interview of the electoral commission's Chairman Wafula Chebukati claiming that Msando was murdered and warning President Uhuru Kenyatta that his team will not deliver free and fair elections if they are not assured of their safety and security.

In South Africa, the Times relays warnings by George Morara, chairman of the Kenyan National Commission on Human Rights that the August 8 election was beset with claims of rigging and intimidation, coupled with a high risk that the dead would come back to vote, and then return to their graves".

The publication claims that the electronic system that included biometric voter registration and quick transmission of results introduced in 2013 was based on dodgy technology which is vulnerable to hackers.

In Nigeria, there is outrage in the academic world following the publication of a Boko Haram video parading two geologists abducted along with their driver last week in ambush of a oil exploration expedition in Borno State.

Vanguard says more than 50 people were killed in the terrorist attack on the convoy which was en route to the Chad Basin in search of hydrocarbon deposits.

The group included nine geologists at Maiduguri University, officials from the Nigerian Petroleum Corporation and soldiers protecting the research team.

The Nation reports that the umbrella of Nigerian Mining and Geo-sciences Society discussed the tragedy at a crisis meeting in the Kwara State capital Ilorin on Monday, urging the Federal government to resort to negotiations and not the use of force in seeking the release of the academics.

Also in Nigeria, the Daily Post has a review of reactions on social media, by Nigerians to what they perceive as a mockery of the country by the American Cable News Network (CNN)’s trolling of President Muhammadu Buhari for "leaving the country on medical vacation" for over 85 days.

This was when one of the presenters asked his audience which head of state had not set his foot in his homeland in over two months.

One Nigerian reportedly tweeted his regrets that the country had now become a global joke. Another satirised about the lies being told about Buhari's "months' long medical tourism".

Others, according to the paper, expressed dismay that Nigeria had not just become a pariah state, the world's laughing stock but also a failed nation in which State Governors" waste tax payers' money to go pay homage to Buhari in London at a time the salaries of workers are not paid".

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