11 July 2017

African Press Review 11 July 2017

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There's more criticism of the South Sudanese government in the wake of the cancellation of independence day celebrations. The South African Communist Party does not want Jacob Zuma at its national congress. And ballot papers for next month's Kenyan elections may, after all, be printed locally.

The South Sudan government has been criticised for its focus on destruction.

Regional newspaper the East African reports that a South Sudanese Catholic bishop has accused the authorities in Juba of focusing on destruction rather than development of the people.

The Juba Auxiliary Bishop Santo Laku said that the authorities were spending inordinately large amounts of money on purchasing weapons.

The Catholic prelate was reacting to the government's decision to cancel the country's sixth independence anniversary celebrations due to lack of money.

"The government has been buying weapons when there is no food in the country, and civil servants have gone without their salaries for months," the bishop said, adding that the price of a single armoured vehicle would have covered the entire cost of the independence celebrations.

Bishop Laku also dismissed the government's national dialogue as an initiative with no concrete objectives.

Police unsure of motive in Burundi bar attack

There's been a grenade attack on a bar in Burundi.

According to the East African, the Sunday evening blast killed at least eight people and wounded 60 others in a bar at Shinya in the north of the country.

Local police have refused to say if the attack was political or part of a land dispute.

No president please, we're communists!

The South African Communist Party doesn't want President Jacob Zuma at its national congress.

According to the main story in today's Johannesburg-based Mail & Guardian newspaper, the communists have banned Zuma from addressing their 14th national congress this week, citing the "fiasco" caused by his address at a May Day rally as one of the reasons behind its decision.

Zuma was booed at a rally organised by the Confederation of South African Trade Unions in Bloemfontein, where he insisted on addressing May Day celebrations despite trade union federations calls for him to step down.

The Communist Party has written to the ANC indicating that while the ruling party is free to send a representative to address the gathering, it would be preferable if that delegate were not Zuma.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the Communist Party congress.

Kenyan printing problem may be solved at home

Kenya's presidential ballot papers may, finally, be printed locally.

According to this morning's Daily Nation, the possibility of a local firm getting the tender to print the presidential elections papers became more likely yesterday after presidential candidates made the proposal.

Thirdway Alliance Kenya candidate Ekuru Aukot presented a detailed written memorandum asking the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to award the tender to a local firm and hire an international logistics company to monitor the movement of ballot papers from dispatch to the polling stations.

The idea of the local firm was backed by the Raila Odinga-led National Super Alliance and by several other opposition groups.

President Uhuru Kenyatta's Jubilee Party say they do not mind who gets the tender.

The original contract with a Dubai-based firm was opposed by the opposition on the grounds that the company was closely linked to Kenyatta and that this could lead to fraud.

The Kenyan elections are due on 8 August.

Egyptian army makes the world's top 10

Egypt has the 10th most powerful army in the world, according to the top story in this morning's Egypt Independent.

The report says the country currently ranks 10th out of 133 nations for military power and is considered the first military force in the Arab world and Africa, according to US-based military analysis website Global Fire.

The US army maintains its place as the leading military power worldwide, with Russia coming in second.

Israel is ranked 15th.

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