African press review 4 September 2017


Raila Odinga and Uhuru Kenyatta are forever in the news in Kenya, as the country prepares for round two of the never-ending election. One of South Africa’s leading politicians is caught up in a sex scandal and Nigeria grapples with a growing diabetes problem.


The ongoing electoral saga continues to make the headlines in Kenya.

There was a major plot twist on Saturday when the Supreme Court overturned Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory in the last election, following a petition by his opponent, Raila Odinga.

That seems to have considerably boosted Odinga’s confidence.

Standard Media says he’s completely opposed to the idea of a coalition after the next election, which is supposed to take place in two months’ time.

The leader of the National Super Alliance Party said they "cannot share power with thieves".

He also insists he doesn’t want the next election to be overseen by some staff of Kenya’s electoral commission, who, he says, “belong in jail”.

In its editorial, Standard Media says politicians have already begun to ratchet up tensions, even before the next round begins.

It calls on both Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga to cool these tensions.

It also says voters should remember “that elections must not always be a life and death affair”.

“They must not allow themselves to be used by politicians”, the editorial reads, “and be directed to assault rivals with opposing views.”

To ensure a peaceful rerun, Standard Media says other stakeholders, like the Church, business leaders and the media, “must resist playing the role of cheerleaders and become credible mediators in the electoral process”.

Sex scandal in Soiuth Africa

There is a lot of talk of Cyril Ramaphosa in the South African press.

Along with Jacob Zuma's ex-wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, he's one of the front runners to become the ANC's next president at the party conference in December.

He's been at the centre of a sex scandal, after emails leaked to the press over the weekend point to several extramarital affairs.

The news broke on Friday, when a website called WMC Leaks revealed questions the Sunday Independent had sent Ramaphosa about the contents of the emails.

Ramaphosa immediately turned to the High Court to try stop the story from being published but his application was dismissed and details of his alleged affairs with eight different women were splashed all over the Sunday newspapers.

In the Sunday Times the businessman-turned-politician admitted to one extramarital affair with his doctor but put the rest down to a smear campaign.

Business Day quotes two political analysts as saying there was a trend of intelligence agents getting involved in the run-up to the ANC conference but that the leaks of personal emails was a new phenomenon in South Africa.

Diabetes on the rise in Nigeria

Punch is running an editorial on diabetes, which it says is a growing problem in Nigeria.

But it says many sufferers - in fact half of them, according to a recent claim by a medical expert - aren’t aware of their condition.

The paper blames Nigeria’s health system for failing to come up with a policy of early detection and treatment of deadly diseases in general.

It says that for an incurable disease like diabetes, prevention is always the best option.

But when it occurs it’s important to be aware of it, so that the right steps can be taken to ensure the patient lives a longer and healthier life.

Punch says there are over 1.9 million diabetics in Nigeria, “undoubtedly the highest prevalence in Africa”.

According to the Nigerian Medical Association, in 2015 alone the disease claimed about 40,000 lives.

Punch says could have been saved by a series of cost-effective interventions.

“The government owes it to Nigerians to create awareness, as well as provide the necessary health facilities for the early detection and management of the disease,” it comments.

Punch is also calling for “a high-level campaign for Nigerians to live a more physically active life”, since many cases of diabetes are caused by obesity.

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