12 June 2012

Uganda: African Press Review 12 June 2012

The Kenyan press is full of follow-ups to Sunday's helicopter crash which killed six people including interior security minister George Saitoti.

The Daily Nation features reports on the number of people who are still flocking to the crash site. There's also a profile of the chopper's pilot, who is described as a very nice woman, as well as more and more tributes coming in from ministers. The paper also has an article about how one of the bodyguards had joked that he would die with Saitoti as he was so dedicated.

The Standard meanwhile looks at the work of Saitoti's assistant Ojodeh and wonders if the crash was sabotage, technical failure or human error, looking at various theories about what could or could not have happened. It's easy to see why speculation is rife as this wasn't the first brush with death for Saitoti, who was a presidential hopeful.

Back in the1990s, when he was vice-president and finance minister, he was poisoned. The paper says the case was never investigated by the police as Saitoti never lodged a formal complaint and wanted to keep the matter private.

Perhaps a more surprising article in The Standard is the story about a Nairobi-based prophetess who predicted the deaths. The paper says it approached her a few months ago with doubts and convinced it would prove her prophecies wrong. Josephine Nyaboke told the paper that she received God's gift in 1983 while working in a hair salon. She claims she foresaw the fall of Kanu back in 1999, a new government coming to power in the 2002 general election, the 1998 bomb blast in Nairobi and the World Trade centre attacks.

The Standard says that in February "she shared a vision she had had earlier. It was about the fall of a vocal cabinet minister. When she told us the name, we thought it was far-fetched."

Apparently Nyaboke also said God has shown her who is going to be Kenya's next president but she is not going to reveal who it is yet. That's a pity...

Saitoti was very vocal about his fight against the radical Islamist group Al-Shebab which has claimed responsibility for a number of bomb blasts in Kenya.

Al-Shebab - who are they?

Over in neighbouring Uganda, The Daily Monitor says the Ugandan "government has promised to intensify intelligence-sharing with Kenya following specific threats issued by Al-Shebab to kill other Kenyan politicians who have spoken strongly against the activities of the Somalia-based terror outfit".

The Al-Qaeda-associated group hasn't claimed responsibility says The Daily Monitor but it has threatened to "eliminate" all Kenyan leaders.

The Ugandan paper also calls for governments to stop supplying weapons to the Democratic Republic of Congo as this "continues to fuel unlawful killings, rape, looting and abductions". Paul Rigaud, a deputy programme director for Africa at Amnesty International tells the paper, "The situation in the DRC demonstrates the urgent need for governments around the world to agree on a comprehensive arms trade treaty when final negotiations take place at the UN in next month."

The Daily Monitor reports that, as a result, some 30,000 refugees have fled to Uganda. The main suppliers are said to be China, Egypt, France, South Africa, Ukraine and the USA.

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