African press review 28 November 2017

Zimbabwe's cabinet begins to take shape as the government decides to honour ousted president Robert Mugabe. South Africans are going to face increased tax bills next year. Opposition leader Raila Odinga is keeping Kenyans guessing as to his next move.


Zimbabwe’s new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, yesterday dissolved Robert Mugabe's cabinet, South African financial paper BusinessDay tells us.

The report says Mnangagwa has appointed Zanu-PF stalwart Patrick Chinamasa as acting finance minister and Simbarashe Mumbengegwi as acting foreign minister to allow uninterrupted services in critical ministries.

There has been no indication of when Mnangagwa will announce his full ministerial team.

No coups is good coups

An opinion piece in BusinessDay warns that the removal of Zimbabwe's president by the army is not a good sign and that Africa's history provides plenty of examples suggesting that nothing positive emerges from these changes involving men in uniform.

Hatred of Robert Mugabe has blinded many Zimbabweans and analysts to the dangers of the military toppling an elected leader, it says.

No bail for Chombo

Earlier on Monday ousted Zimbabwean finance minister Ignatius Chombo, charged with three counts of corruption for offences that allegedly took place two decades ago, was denied bail and will be detained in custody until his case is heard on 8 December.

Happy Birthday Mr ex-president

Meanwhile, the Herald in Harare reports that the authorities in Zimbabwe have declared former president Robert Mugabe’s birthday a public holiday, berely a week after the long-time ruler was forced out of office by an army coup.

Henceforth 21 February will be an annual public holiday to be known as the Robert Mugabe National Youth Day.

Zuma calls for tax increases and spending cuts

South Africans are going to face increased tax bills next year.

BusinessDay reports on a surprise reaction by President Jacob Zuma to last week's downgrades by two international ratings agencies.

Yesterday, Zuma directed Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba and the presidential fiscal committee to find the rand equivalent of 900 million euros of additional revenue and one and a half billion in spending cuts to bridge the two-and-a-half-billion-euro gap in the current budget and stabilise public debt at a level below 60 percent of GDP.

The Treasury confirmed that these amounts were in addition to the tax measures and spending cuts already included in former finance minister Pravin Gordhan’s budget last February.

Janjaweed leader arrested in Dafur

The Sudanese authorities yesterday announced the arrest in the western province of Darfur of the founder of the Janjaweed militia.

Musa Hilal was reportedly arrested during a battle with government forces.

Defence Minister Ali Mohamed Salim said Hilal, the leader of the Awakening Revolutionary Council, was arrested following a clash with pro-government militia.

The Janjaweed leader defected from the government side three years ago and retreated to Mastariha in North Darfur State, where he founded the Awakening Revolutionary Council.

Hilal was the founder of the Janjaweed militia that have been accused of committing widespread crimes in Darfur since the start of the war in 2003.

The same story is reported in the Khartoum-based Sudan Tribune. There, it is alleged that Musa Hilal was arrested for his part in the weekend murder of a commander of the Sudanese Rapid Support Forces.

The Sudan Tribune describes Hilal as "a tribal leader and head of the Border Brigades Forces".

Raila says Kenyatta should stand trial at the ICC

Opposition leader Raila Odinga is keeping Kenyans guessing as to his next move.

According to the top story in this morning's Nairobi-based Daily Nation, as Uhuru Kenyatta is sworn into office for his second and final term at the 60,000-seater Safaricom Stadium in Kasarani later today, Kenyans will be keeping an eye on his political rival Odinga.

The leader of the opposition National Super Alliance has turned down an invitation to attend today's ceremony.

Instead, he has invited his supporters to a parallel event to mourn those Kenyans he claims were killed by the police as they participated in a procession to welcome him home after his recent 10-day tour of the United States and Europe.

Odinga told supporters yesterday that Uhuru and deputy president William Ruto should be charged at the International Criminal Court in The Hague for crimes against humanity.

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