16 March 2017

African Press Review 16 March 2017

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Kenyan civil servants face pay cuts as President Kenyatta contemplates a fairer distribution of national budget; South Africa's Cyril Ramaphosa silences clamour for walls on the country's borders; Nigeria suspends biting import duties on used cars and African football elects its chief in a process marred by mudslinging and interference by governments.

We start in Kenya with President Uhuru Kenyatta's shocker to Members of Parliament and civil servants after he announced his intention to cut salaries and allowances.

The Standard reports that in his final State of the Nation address before the next election, Wednesday the President said that a half of Sh627 billion collected every year as revenues in Kenya goes into the pockets of Kenya's public officers.

Kenyatta reportedly put their number at 700,000, stating that they represent less than 2 per cent of the country's total population, promising to introduce far-reaching measures to reduce the public wage bill. The Standard says the move is likely to reduce the appetite for those seeking elective posts in the next General Election.

To South Africa now, where the government has laid to rest the raging debate over the construction of a wall to stem the immigration and criminal tide facing the rainbow nation.

Times Live reports that on Wednesday Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa shot down the motion sponsored by the ANC Youth League to build a massive wall on the border between Mozambique to prevent criminals from stealing vehicles and taking them across the border.

Responding to questions in the National Council of Provinces on violence against foreigners, Ramaphosa stated that South Africa is not a nation that builds walls. According to the Times, he reiterated that the country will remain open to foreigners and deal with people who come there with dignity and respect and within parameters of the constitution.

The suspension of import duties on old vehicles by the Nigeria Customs Service on Wednesday is a front page story for many papers in the country's national dailies.

Punch says compliance with an earlier directive by the Senate on hikes of up to 70 per cent had generated controversies.

The paper quotes a top official of the Customs Department as saying that the suspension of the policy would remain in place, until further notice.

Vanguard also reports that the Association of Motor Dealers of Nigeria has called for the reduction in the duty levies arguing that the tarrifs are too expensive for struggling Nigerians.

There are comments across Africa about a titanic battle which gets underway in Ethiopia today for African football's most priced job-- the Presidency of the Confederation of African Football.

The CAF congress in Addis Ababa will see Madagascar Football Federation boss Ahmad Ahmad mount a well-oiled campaign to unseat the incumbent CAF president Issa Hayatou who is seeking an eighth consecutive term.

Nigeria's Vanguard says the run up to the election has been marred by mudslinging and a lot of interference by governments.

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