7 December 2012

South Africa: African Press Review 7 December 2012

SA's opposition thinks Zuma has failed. How does he finance his lavish lifestyle? Do you know any criminals? Kenyatta has a rebellion on his hands. Aid cuts put the squeeze on Uganda's finances.

In South Africa President Jacob Zuma is facing criticism in the national press:

The Sowetan headlines "Zuma has failed the year". It goes on to look at grades given to Zuma and his cabinet in 2012 report card, which was filled by the Democratic Alliance. Unsurprisingly, it isn't looking good. They've been given him an overall F with Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson being hailed bottom of the class.

It says Zuma failed to provide effective leadership, particularly when it comes to how he handled events such as the Marikana killings of strikers earlier this year or the lack economic policy direction.

Perhaps to be expected from the opposition.

The Mail & Guardian is looking at how South Africa's president finds funding through benefactors who the paper reports throw millions at him to fund his lavish lifestyle. Ahead of a vote to see whether the ANC party will retain Zuma as party leader, the paper also looks at corruption allegations surrounding him.

"The report also makes it clearer than ever that the 2009 decision to drop criminal charges was political rather than legal," says the paper.

The Mail & Guardian also looks at how the media is often muzzled because the country's current press codes. Overall, not a glorious report. Can do better?

The South African press is also peppered with interesting stories such as one about "How most young people know a criminal" in The Sowetan.

Close to 3,000 young people aged between 18 and 25 took part in a poll which found that twp-thirds of them knew a professional criminal.

Apparently the highest figure was in the north of the country. A spokesperson for the company that carried out the survey said however that it was "encouraging that most young people think crime is wrong under any circumstances, in spite of knowing criminals who are getting away with it".

In Kenya the Daily Nation is leading with "TNA members rebel against pact ". Forty members of his party want Uhuru Kenyatta to step down so as to allow Musalia Mudavadi to take over as leader of the coalition URP and UDF into the 4 March elections.

They say that otherwise it feels too much like a regrouping of the Kanu party which was where many politicians started off under president Daniel Arap Moi. The MPs want Kenyatta and URP leader William Ruto to assure their supporters that they are still on a joint ticket.

"The rebellion came two days after Mr Mudavadi joined the coalition of Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto," the Daily Nation writes. Mr Mudavadi and Mr Kenyatta will face off in the nominations for the presidential ticket by 18 December, while Mr Ruto will retain the deputy presidency."

We still don't know how the nominations will be conducted. So very complicated times ahead of the country's 2013 presidential election.

The East African looks at how the Ugandan government is planning to cut its budget after an aid freeze. Indeed, they need to make adjustments in light of huge cuts in direct aid by the country's development partners.

Some seem to think the country will do fine.

State Minister for Economic Monitoring Henry Banyenzaki told Kampala's Daily Monitor that the government would have to check wasteful expenditure.

"We need to tighten our belts, seal all loopholes and cut our wasteful expenditure," the country's central bank says, pointing out that Uganda's economic growth is likely to slow to 4.3 per cent from the projected five per cent. Human rights organisations are worried this will mean that living standards will go down and criminality will rise because of how cuts will affect the population.

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