African press review 20 October 2018

4 min

Rwanda gets rid of a veteran defence minister, perhaps to placate the neighbours in Uganda?South Africa's former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene resigns his parliamentary seat. What happened to the Pope's cars after the Roman Catholic leader left Uganda?


There has been a major cabinet reshuffle in Rwanda.

According to regional paper the East African, President Paul Kagame has used the occasion to remove long-serving Defence Minister General James Kabarebe.

Kabarebe, who has served as minister since April 2010, will now take up the role of presidential advisor on security.

No reason was given his removal from the defence portfolio but his departure is seen as a significant move towards the normalisation of Rwanda's relations with neighbouring Uganda, which have been strained for several years.

Kigali accuses Kampala of illegally arresting Rwandans in Uganda and of harbouring dissidents.

Uganda for its part accuses Rwanda of conducting espionage in Uganda and infiltrating its security bodies.

In June Kabarebe accused Uganda of illegally arresting and torturing Rwandans.

As we reported yesterday, former East African Community secretary-general Richard Sezibera is the new Foreign Affairs minister, replacing Louise Mushikiwabo who was recently elected as the secretary-general of the International Organisation of French-speaking nations.

Julienne Uwacu, the Sports and Culture minister, has also been removed just days after her apology for the embarrassment during a recent African Cup of Nations qualifing match between Rwanda and Guinea at which poor organisation led to the omission of the national anthems before the start of the game played at the Kigali Stadium.

Of the new 19-member Cabinet, women hold 11 positions maintaining Rwanda’s status as a global leader in gender equality in government.

Nene falls on his parliamentary sword

South Africa's former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene has resigned his parliamentary seat‚ 10 days after stepping down from his job as minister.

Nene left hgis ministerial job following press revelations that he had lied in denying a series of meetings with the controversial Gupta family. The Guptas are central to allegations that the administration of President Jacob Zuma allowed crucial government decisions to be taken by non-elected individuals.

More medals for Salva Kiir

The military leadership and command of the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces have awarded seven medals to President Salva Kiir for his outstanding and distinguished military services to the nation during the days of the liberation, and in the post Comprehensive Peace Agreement interim period.

Nigeria says no to submission deadline extension

The Independent National Electoral Commission in Nigeria says there will be no extension of the deadline for submission of candidates’ names by political parties for next year’s general elections.

According to the Nigerian Guardian newspaper, the commission has scheduled the submission of candidates’ names for the Presidential and National Assembly elections between October 10 and 18, and Governorship and State Assemblies election for November 2, and there will be no extension.

Popemobile pinched in Uganda

Somebody in Uganda has stolen the Pope's cars.

This is reported on the front page of the Daily Monitor.

According to the story, the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee yesterday quizzed officials from the Office of the President about the whereabouts of two cars bought for the Papal Visit in 2015.

The MPs were concerned that the two vehicles, a Kia Soul Hatchback and a Mitsubishi L200 pick up truck, bought for the shilling equivalent of 40,000 and 50,000 euros respectively, had gone missing at the time of audit.

The Auditor General, John Muwanga, noted in his report that 322 million shillings was transferred to the ministry of Works for the procurement of Papal vehicles in November 2015, a review of the ministry assets register shows no sign of the vehicles.

One MP suggested that the two cars might have been eaten by ministry officials.

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