African press review 18 August 2018
Uganda's popular musician turned MP, "Bobi Wine", faces a moment of truth as he awaits treason trial. And a Zimbabwe academic is suspended over Grace Mugabe's PhD.
We begin to Uganda, where lawmakers arrested over the stoning of President Museveni’s car in Arua on Monday have been remanded to Gulu’s main prison pending the opening of their trial on 30 August.
NewVision reports that the legislators include Robert Kyagulanyi (former musician Bobi Wine), Gerald Karuhanga, Paul Mwiru and MP-elect Kassiano Wadri.
Kyagulanyi, whose driver was shot dead during the fracas in Arua, is to appear before the army court in Gulu on charges of treason.
The Daily Monitor said charges represent a moment of truth for the former singer, who was elected to parliament last year.
According to the newspaper, in his new-found role as kingmaker, Bobi Wine has adopted a more definitive message targeting Museveni’s rule, something he communicates to his audiences with increasing efficiency.
In Kenya the Standard leads with revelations about a secret crackdown mounted by President Uhuru Kenyatta on more than 5,000 bank accounts owned by “graft lords” in the latest move in his war on corruption.
The Saturday Standard says it had learnt from reliable sources that the frozen accounts belong to several fat cats, with 28 linked to a top politician and his family.
According to the newspaper, the government is also targeting the roughly 260 million euros held in Swiss accounts by a top politician. The paper claims this was why the Swiss president visited Kenya last month.
In Zimbabwe the state-owned Herald takes up the suspension of the University of Zimbabwe’s Vice Chancellor and professor Levi Nyagura. This pending the finalisation of a case of alleged abuse of office brought against him, after he facilitated the conferment of a Doctor of Philosophy degree on former first lady Grace Mugabe.
It is alleged that sometime in 2011, Nyagura single-handedly approved Mugabe’s application to a PhD programme in sociology without the knowledge of the faculty and department. He then appointed a professor to supervise her thesis.
Nyagura also reportedly led supervisors and examiners to Mugabe’s Mazowe Estate in 2014, where she purportedly defended her thesis, again without the knowledge and approval of the academic committee.
The state-owned newspaper underlines that earlier this year, 10 lecturers from the sociology department challenged Nyagura to revoke and nullify Mugabe’s doctorate. His decision not to do so led to his arrest later in the year, after an investigation by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission.
And the 48-hour countdown to Arafat begins. Pilgrims will soon begin encircling the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest and most sacred site in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
The Nigerian Guardian highlights the ordeal of some 17,000 pilgrims who stand to miss this year's hajj exercise, despite spending thousands of euros on the trip, as Saudi authorities closed all entries to the kingdom at midnight on Friday.
The paper reports that of the 55,000 pilgrims who booked for hajj at the Nigerian Hajj Commission, only 37,576 have managed to reach Saudi Arabia before the deadline.
The Guardian reports that the Saudi government officially shut border points by air, sea and land two days in advance. This in order to give its security services time to oversee the arrival of some 1.7 million pilgrims from across the globe.
Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morningSubscribe