22 July 2017

African Press Review 22 July 2017

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Arch rivals in Kenya's landmark elections are in full election mode in the last stretch of the campaign, while rime busters in Nigeria trace kidnapping spree to gangsters as young as 14.

We begin in Kenya where the papers are assessing last-minute strategies by President Uhuru Kenyatta and his main challenger Raila Odinga to bolster their chances of winning the August 8 General Elections.

According to Daily Nation the two camps have left nothing to chance and are going full throttle in the next 16 days to August 6 when campaigns for the presidential elections will close officially.

The paper says the race is expected to be closely fought and neither of the two candidates is taking chances in their quest to shore up their numbers.

According to the Nation, just a day after an opinion poll showed that Kenyatta was trailing Odinga in Nairobi County, the President on Friday embarked on a whirlwind tour of the city, beginning in Dagoretti as he headed towards Embakasi and other parts of Eastlands.

In Nigeria, Vanguard investigates how government and security agencies have risen to the challenges of insecurity in the strategic Lagos State.

This, after the authorities announced the arrest of the suspected mastermind of the high-profile gang behind a string of abductions at a Nigerian Turkish school where three members of staff and five students were abducted in January 2017.

Vanguard says part of up to 1.2 million Naira paid as ransom to secure the release of was recovered from the suspect. But the publication says that there is a state of grief and despair at a Lagos Model College where six students were abducted in May as their whereabouts are still unknown.

According to the publication, the study is an accounts of the bizarre killings by cult group with gangsters sometimes aged between 10 and 14 years old employed to settle scores of various types.

Some it claimed are used as foot soldiers by some very important personalities in society.

Vanguard also says it was able to find out that 46 gang members were killed during confrontation with the police, since the start of the year including 38 suspected kidnappers.

According to the Vanguard, Lagos state police have commended several private security agencies for their role in the providing tactful intelligence that led to the smashing of several criminal networks and notorious gangs operating in the Nigeria's economic capital.

And this Saturday, Mail and Guardian reviews the just published biography of Thando Manana, the first of only three blacks black to don the green and gold shirt of the Springboks in their 130 year history.

Manana who made his debut in 2000 in a tour match against Argentina A was just named Vodacom Cup Defender of the Series. The publication observes, that his achievements have often been referenced to his skin colour, a story it claims is familiar to so many other black people in South Africa.

Yet Mail and Guardian says that Springbok number 708 earned his place in the pantheon of this nation's rugby heroes.

"Being a Black Springbok: The Thando Manana Story", is written by the editor of Kick-Off magazine, Sibusiso Mjikeliso. Mail and Guardian says he presents the book is a challenge to black African athletes to own their stories, like Thando Manana who "didn't decide to play rugby to identify with white people".

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