African press review 29 September 2017

Hopes of a successful re-run of the Kenyan presidential election faded again yesterday. The government is trying to legislate its way out of the problem. Washington offers Kampala a lesson in democracy. Sudan's president asks the neighbours to calm down. And the unemployment crisis in South Africa deepens.

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Hopes of holding a repeat presidential poll in Kenya have dwindled. That's the main headline in this morning's Nairobi-based Daily Nation.

Plans to hold a repeat presidential election on 26 October were yesterday hanging by a thread after talks collapsed between the ruling Jubilee Party and the opposition coalition.

The National Super Alliance of Raila Odinga protested after the Jubilee Party pushed through a series of bills to amend election laws. The opposition has called for mass protests on Mondays and Fridays from next week in what it described as an effort to “liberate the country from a Jubilee attack”.

What the draft law would really change

The top story in sister paper the Standard offers to explain just how Jubilee’s draft law seeks to change election rules.

If only one candidate remains in a fresh presidential election, he or she will be declared president-elect without polls being held, according to the Bill on electoral reform.

The proposal is seen as an attempt to address threats by NASA presidential contender Raila Odinga not to stand as a candidate in next month's repeat poll.

The Bill is officially an attempt address the shortcomings that led to the invalidation of the August presidential vote, watering down the requirement for electronic transmission of the results and instead installing manual transmission as the legally binding process.

US critical of age-limit brawl in Ugandan parliament

The US government has condemned Wednesday’s violent arrests of several Ugandan MPs opposed to the lifting of the presidential age limit.

In a statement issued yesterday, and reported in this morning's Kampala-based Daily Monitor, the US Ambassador to Uganda, Ms Deborah Malac said the issue of the presidential age limit is one for Ugandans to decide and the Ugandan government is responsible for ensuring all citizens have a right to discuss it freely and without fear of intimidation.

At least ten opposition MPs were arrested and 25 suspended following chaos in the house on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Security depends on the neighbours

President Omer al-Bashir says that Sudan’s national security cannot be assured without the stability of neighbouring countries, especially South Sudan.

Al-Bashir made his remarks during his address to the opening session of the conference of the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services in Africa held in Khartoum. The story is reported in today's Sudan Tribune.

The conference is being attended by the head of the Saudi intelligence service and by representatives of several western intelligence agencies including the American CIA and the French DGSE.

The purpose of the conference is to boost African efforts to establish a comprehensive strategic partnership to combat terrorism and achieve political stability on the continent.

No light at the end of South Africa's jobs tunnel

There have been more job losses in South Africa.

The economy continues to lose jobs, according to financial paper BusinessDay, with the national statistics agency reporting yesterday that employment had declined by 34,000 jobs in the second quarter of 2017.

The second-quarter employment survey has confirmed fears expressed by trade unions and analysts in the first quarter that the unemployment crisis in the country would worsen.

Formal non-agriculture jobs fell by 48,000 in the first quarter, courtesy of a dour performance in manufacturing, transport, trade and finance and business services.

The Quarterly Labour Force Survey last month showed the unemployment rate had increased to nearly 28 percent, with the construction, agriculture and mining sectors the worst hit.

South African public funds spent irregularly

And South Africa's public service department is in hot water over millions of rand in irregular expenditure.

BusinessDay says that the auditor-general's annual report accuses the department of failing to take measures to prevent the spending of millions of rand on goods and services without proper control.

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