9 November 2012

African Press Review 9 November 2012

The Ugandan president's wife is called to account over limo purchases and trips to Israel. A Kenyan cop is fired for inciting colleagues to down tools over pay. Come-we-stay becomes marriage. Is a top Boko Haram leader on the run? And why Barack Obama's uncle won't be deported.

In Uganda the press is awash with news that First Lady Janet Museveni is due to appear before the public accounts committee next week over a multi-billion-shilling theft scandal at the office of the prime minister.

The Daily Monitor explains that Mrs Museveni's name came after the auditor general found out that part of the foreign aid destined for northern Uganda and Karamoja was instead spent on buying high-end luxury vehicles for ministers.

The president's wife is the minister for Karamoja and according to the paper she will be asked to explain nine trips she made to Israel in a single month and the origin of about 400,000 euros she spend on foreign travel.

In Kenya The Standard takes up the case of a police constable fired for inciting a constables' strike to press demands for better pay. The paper reports that Philip Omondi, who is based at Kimilili, was traced by his colleagues as he generated short messages on his Facebook account calling on police officers to "down tools and let criminals do their work".

The Nation says the officers have rejected a government offer of an 8.5 per cent salary increment by the end of this month, backdated to October with another raise set for July 2013. The paper highlights a warning by Kenya's police chief Mutea Iringo that officers shirking their duties are putting their jobs in peril.

The papers are also commenting the passing of a marriage bill by the cabinet which hands tribal chiefs the power to register "come-we-stay arrangements" and customary unions as fully fledged marriages.

Drum magazine reports an upsurge of polygamy in the country with a former Miss Kenya currently the talk of the town, after revealing that her youthful MP husband has another wife. Cecilia Mwangi however refused to reveal her prince's name to the paper fearing that his political rivals might use it against him during upcoming general election.

In Nigeria police have denied the reported escape of top Boko Haram commander Sani Mohammed, who was arrested with another Boko Haram operative, Kabir Sokoto, in January 2012. The story was carried on Thursday by some television stations and features on the front page of The Punch this morning.

Vanguard reports the Economic and Financial Crimes Unit arrested two people at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja with over 187,000 euros in their luggage.

The paper says that one of the suspects travelling to Dubai declared 40 British pounds but customs officers discovered he was actually transporting 5,753 grams of solid gold worth 170,000 euros hidden in his luggage.

And there is a feature in today's Punch about President Barak Obama's uncle Onyango Obama whom Mitt Romney vowed to deport if he won the US presidential elections.

The 68-year-old illegal immigrant lives in a Massachusetts neighbourhood, where he works as a barman. Obama refers to Onyango in his autobiography Dreams from My Father as 'Uncle Omar' who left for America 25 years ago and never came back. According to The Punch, Onyango Jr's life is detailed in The Other Barack: The Bold and Reckless Life of President Obama's Father by reporter Sally H Jacobs.

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