African press review 19 May 2018

Text by: William Niba
3 min

The WHO raises the alert for Ebola in the DRC from low to very high as the death toll rises further. Zimbabwe's new police chief bans his forces from eating and smoking in public; And a large delegation from President Ramaphosa's family arrives Uganda to prepare for an African royal wedding.


We begin in Nigeria where the papers have stepped up their coverage of the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Premium Times says that the World Health Organization moved on Friday to raise the alert about the killer disease in the Central African country from “low” to “very high” after the death of three more infected persons in the large city of Bandaka.

The paper quotes the DRC’s Ministry of Public Health as stating that the epidemic has now claimed 14 lives with 45 others diagnosed or suspected of suffering from the hemorrhagic fever,

According to the Times, the UN and aid organisations are racing to prevent the recurrence of an outbreak in in 2014, in which 11,000 people died in in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.


In Zimbabwe, the Herald leads with a no nonsense directive by the country's police chief Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga banning police from eating and smoking in public

According to the paper, the move is aimed at cleansing the image of the force had been badly battered during the tenure of the previous police boss Augustine Chihuri.

Commissioner-General Matanga reportedly also banned constables from wearing civilian attire when going and returning from work, the unnecessary use of mobile phones at work and from walking around with hands in their pockets..

The state-owned Herald explains that the measures unveiled by the new police boss were in his words aimed at giving the force "greater visibility in crime prevention".


In South Africa, the Sowetan leads with a happy story trending on social media,  the arrival in Uganda of a powerful delegation from President Cyril Ramaphosa's family to accompany his son Andile Ramaphosa to meet his fiancée's family.

The paper reports that 'lobolo' ceremony meaning bride wealth payment in South Africa, is for 37 year-old Bridget Birungi Rwakairu, who holds a an MBA from Beijing's University of Science and Technology Beijing and a BSc in environmental engineering.

Meanwhile Uganda’s Daily Monitor says the arrival in Kampala of the 11-man delegation from the Ramaphosa family is also making headlines, due to the fact that Rwakairu is a niece to former Ugandan prime minister and presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi.

It reports that the private traditional ceremony known in Uganda as 'okushaba' takes place Kampala on Sunday with heads of cattle expected to be presented as bride wealth.


And in Nigeria, ThisDay reviews a new movie which aims to address the ills of child labour and promote education among children through the use of indigenous languages is set to hit the big screens in Nigeria.

According to the newspaper, the star-studded child advocacy picture titled, ‘Street Kid’ from the stable of Aulmedia,  chronicles the story of how a backstreet kid, who was forced into hawking for subsistence by his step mother, helped a rich kid to win a national schools spelling competition using Nigerian languages.

ThisDay claims that ahead of its premier, the movie which boasts of big Nollywood names like Chioma Chukwuka Akpotha, has already received the endorsement of the Ooni of Ife, or traditional ruler of Yoruba kingdom of Ile-Ife Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II.

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