African press review 15 August 2017


Political turmoil in Kenya and South Africa continue to make the headlines in Africa this morning, as well as corruption at the heart of Nigeria's academic world.


There is more post-electoral unrestin Kenya’s Daily Nation.

The paper is criticising the government for the way it has been handling protests.

At the weekend acting Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i publicly declared there had been no deaths in the aftermath of last week's election.

But the Daily Nation says that several people had in fact died due to police brutality.

Two civil society organisations have put the death toll at between 17 and 20, while the defeated National Super Alliance party says 100 people have been killed.

But in quick succession, police have given various figures of the casualties, "clearly demonstrating disorganisation within the service", according to the Daily Nation.

To read our covrage of Kenya's election click here

Police spokesman George Kinoti reported six deaths countrywide, yet the Nairobi police boss put the toll in the city alone at 10.

“Why this dishonesty and blatant lies?” the Daily Nation asks. “And why criminalise protest by unarmed citizens?”

The editorial ends in a call for police to uphold the law, without suspending it.

“The police have a duty to keep law and order; protect lives and property”, it says.

The paper is also calling on Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet to "rein in officers hell-bent on visiting mayhem on hapless civilians”.

More chaos in ANC

In South Africa there is still a lot of turmoil at the heart of Jacob Zuma’s African National Congress (ANC).

One ANC MP, Makhozi Khoza, denounced her peers in a statement yesterday, saying there is little cause for celebration following the failed motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma, which was voted last Tuesday.

The Mail and Guardian quotes from the statement, where Khoza says that in the voting booth, MPs were confronted with a choice between "self-enrichment and the service of their people".

But according to her, “the majority chose to continue the reign of a kleptocracy”.

Khoza goes on to say that “a lethal combination of corruption and state capture has a stranglehold on this country and that will not change until this government chooses to actively root out [propping up, and] benefitting from, state capture.”

The Mail and Guardian says she is referring to the close ties between Zuma and the Gupta family, which has been accused of using its influence on the regime to to advance its business interests.

Nigerian universities fleeced by vice-chancellors

When you think of corruption in Nigeria, you probably think of politicians and businessmen.

But the country’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is now on the heels of university vice-chancellors, according to Punch.

The paper says that many of Nigeria’s universities are “fast losing their time-honoured identity as citadels of learning”, and “have found new uniqueness in corruption”.

Executive-Secretary of the National Universities Commission Abubakar Rasheed recently revealed that some vice-chancellors are fleecing the finances of their institutions, by collecting a monthly furniture allowance of 480,000 naira (1,000 euros).

With this allowance, Punch calculates, a vice-chancellors could pocket a whopping 28 million naira (65,000 euros) by the time they have served their five-year tenure.

That is just the tip of the iceberg, according to Punch.

Three officials of one university are being tried for an alleged two-million-euro fraud.

The paper also wants to know how another university’s former director spent an eight-million-euro intervention fund.

“Nigeria needs people of integrity and academic distinction to breathe new life into university education,” Punch says.

“That is the only way the country can join other nations in the knowledge production of the 21st century.”

Egypt's liquid diplomacy

Daily News Egypt is reporting on President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s four-day tour of four African countries.

Yesterday he was in Tanzania, before moving on to Rwanda, Gabon and Chad.

Daily News Egypt says that of all topics to be discussed, water will be a top priority.

One specific issue is that of the River Nile Basin and Egypt’s share of the Nile waters.

There have been diplomatic tensions between Egypt and Ethiopia over the construction of a dam in April 2011, which Egypt says could negatively affect its share of the Nile.

Daily News Egypt says Egypt is also keen to work with Tanzania and Rwanda on "a great regional navigational project" that would link the Mediterranean Sea with Victoria Lake and improve trade between the three countries.

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