: African press review 12 December 2015

We begin in Nigeria where a statement by President Muhammadu Buhari’s top spokesman is bound to send shock waves down the spines of crooked Nigerians.

Malam Garba Shehu, who is Buhari’s communications adviser told State House correspondents attending a retreat on “Journalism and the Change Mantra” in Kaduna Friday that the President will be stepping on “big toes” in the war against corruption.

According to The Nation, Garba Shehu noted that in the ruthless drive to eradicate endemic graft in the country President Buhari was determined to cast aside any personal considerations adding that they were preparing for the worst as powerful people affected and offended by the drive were bound to fight back.

As Garba put it, “when you fight corruption, corruption fights back. Yes, anti-corruption is a war,” he noted.

Buhari’s communications director reportedly thanked the press for the role it played in igniting the CHANGE agenda that brought the President to power in the March 2015 election, but said it was just the beginning.

The State House correspondent’s retreat was apparently organized to prepare them for a bombshell, President Buhari’s announcement also on Friday that the Central Bank of Nigeria is to publish the name of those who looted Nigeria and who have returned part of the wrongly appropriated wealth.

Buhari vowed to tackle the orgy of corruption in a lecture to the 15th session of the Anyiam-Osigwe Foundation in Abuja.

Vanguard underlines Buhari’s reiteration of his determination to compel past and serving public officers to accept the path of honour and surrender their “loot”. That, he insisted, is part of the collective effort to change Nigeria from the bastion of corruption it currently is, to a place of probity and transparency.

Kenya is another prominent African country trying to rescue itself from the fangs of corruption.

Daily Nation leads with the spirited battle waged in Parliament on Friday by cabinet secretary nominees dogged by corruption claims. According to the publication, most of the seven nominees were reminded of misdeeds associated with them in their previous jobs when they appeared for vetting by the Committee on Appointments.

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Daily Nation also reports that Kenya’s anti-graft agency is to use a rare law to seize the property of suspects in the 7 million-euro national Youth Service corruption scandal. The director-general of Assets Recovery Authority, Muthoni Kimani, names the culprits in a gazette notice published on Friday stating that the accused deposited the money in three accounts belonging to an accomplice and later distributed it.

The newspaper says that the authority invoked the proceeds of crimes and anti-money laundering rules, which prohibits the transfer or disposal of properties acquired through fraudulent means. Daily Nation says among the properties targeted are land in the upmarket Muthaiga and Rosslyn estates in Nairobi and another in Thika town, Eden Times Restaurant on Moi Avenue and a Range Rover Vogue vehicle.

In Zimbabwe, The Herald celebrates the new lease of life veteran President Robert Mugabe and a candidate designated for a life presidency is trying to breathe into his ZANU/PF party’s politics.

In an address to the opening of the ruling party’s congress in Victoria Falls, Mugabe blasted government officials he accused of conniving with Chinese firms to inflate project budgets.

As he put it “if the cost is 10 million dollars, they peg it at 13 million, and tell the Chinese that the project cost has risen, yet the 3 million dollars will be theirs for sharing”.

Mugabe disclosed to delegates he had handed a list of suspected Chinese companies to President Xi Jinping during his visit to Harare last week, warning that any Zimbabweans caught “will rot in jail”.

In South Africa, the axing of the respected Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene continues to inspire reactions from the rainbow nation’s most popular newspapers.

BusinessDay reports that less than 24 hours after Nene’s abrupt firing by President Jacob Zuma, the rand fell to a record low. This was while benchmark bond yields jumped the highest ever and banking stocks had their biggest slump since 2001, according to the newspaper.

The Johannesburg publication quotes analysts warning that the ANC’s reputation for prudent financial management was practically in tatters. Some investors according to BusinessDay are absolutely distraught and they’re “voting with their feet”, while those selling at a loss are looking “to take money to a place where they know what the macroeconomic policies are going to be.”

Source: rfi afrique