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Africa press review 10 November 2018

Text by: Marjorie Hache
4 min

Comments on the Diane Rigwara case from the Francophonie's outgoing secretary-general have angered many Rwandans but pesticide ridden beans in Nigerian markets and cheetah smuggling from the Horn Africa are "lighter" stories that may anger you a little.


The East African is headlining “Sore loser! Rwandans tell outgoing Francophonieboss over Rwigara”.

Outgoing Canadian secretary-general of la Francophonie (That's the 88 state strong international organisation representing countries and regions where French is a lingua franca or customary language) MichaëlleJe an has been vocal about the trial of Diane Rwigara, a prominent President Paul Kagame critic and this has not gone down well with Rwandans, including senior government officials. She took to social media this week to call for a “close watch on the case which has already attracted global criticism.

The paper continues “Rwandans dismissed her comments as being in bad taste and took to social media accusing her of being a sore loser.”

Ms Jean last month lost her second term re-election bid for the post at the International Organisation of the Francophonie (OIF), the French-speaking countries bloc, to Rwanda's Louise Mushikiwabo.

The country’s state minister of Foreign Affairs said “The bitterness of defeat makes you lose your mind, Madame! (…) you have no right to use your position to settle scores with your successor Louise Mushikiwabo and her country”

The East African reminds its readers that “The Canadian of Haitian descent, who in 2014 became the first woman and non-African to head Francophonie, made the remarks following the resumption of the Rwigaras trial Wednesday, a month after [she and her mother]were released on bail having spent more than a year in jail.”

Assinationa of Ugandan businessman

Over in Uganda, The Daily Monitor is looking into the assassination of a prominent businessman who was shot dead in the Kagadi district by a man on a motor bike wearing an army jacket. The incident occurred on Thursday and the paper describes the 51-year old victim as a “businessman [who] was chairperson of traditional healers in greater Kibaale.(…)who unsuccessfully contested in the last area LCI elections, owned two shops, a maize grain milling machine and Kitare nursery and primary school at Kasojo trading Centre.”

Witness accounts stipulate that he "had no known wrangle with anyone that might have culminated into his brutal killing.” “Meanwhile, the Albertine Regional Coordinator of Crime preventers Mr Peter Mayanja has told the press that [information was picked up] about an impending assassination and informed Police which did not act.”

Dangerous market beans in Nigeria

Over in Nigeria, The Punch is relaying a warning issued to consumers over contaminated beans that are currently being sold in Markets.

The country’s Consumer Protection Council yesterday advised people to to properly wash their beans before consumption as well as make sufficient enquiries before engaging in new purchases. This is because some unscrupulous retailers, “mostly in the open market, are using a pesticide known as ‘Sniper’ to preserve beans and more particularly to eliminate or protect from weevils.”

The Punch writes that it is “potentially injurious when human beings were unduly exposed by inhalation, absorption, direct skin contact or ingestion.”

So…Nigerian listeners beware !

 Cheetah smuggling in Somaliland

South Africa's Mail & Guardian has a feature on Somalia’s Cheetah smuggling ring.

“Campaigners are calling for urgent cross- border action to halt the illegal trafficking of cheetah cubs from the Horn of Africa into wealthy Gulf states, where the animals are kept as pets and traded and paraded on social media sites”

The paper reports that in the past two months, 11 cheetah cubs have been rescued in three raids by the authorities in Somaliland which is one of the main trafficking routes. It’s believed that as many as 300 cubs are trafficked out of the country every year.

Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), a Namibian research and lobby institution, which has 14 cubs in a temporary “safe house” in the capital, Hargeisa working with the Somali-land government since 2011 to crack down on the illegal trade. 

The Mail & Guardian deplores that “Technology firms have made public commitments to crack down on their sites being used by illegal wildlife traders, but the online platforms remain awash with adverts for endangered animals, including cheetahs.”

The paper writes that changing the culture in the United Arab Emirates, which links the ownership of such animals to prestige, is crucial in order to curb this cruel trend.

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