African press review 16 April 2016

Uganda has 32,000 cancer patients and 55 per cent of them (about 17,600) currently need radiotherapy treatment, according to official statistics.

Doctors at the Uganda Cancer Institute in Mulago Hospital will assess patients to ensure that those who are most in need of treatment are the ones to benefit.

This explanation, however, provoked a barrage of responses on the floor of the Kampala parliament yesterday, as MPs demanded to know whether the minister was condemning the 16,600 other sufferers to death.

South African paper BusinessDay looks at the legacy of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, twenty years after the TRC was established to heal a nation traumatised by the horrors of apartheid.

Two decades on, hundreds of political crimes including murder, kidnapping and torture remain unpunished — and many blame the post-apartheid government for the delay according to BusinessDay.

More than 300 cases were recommended for prosecution when amnesty was denied. Many of those have never arrived before the courts.

Zimbabwe’s ruling party yesterday dismissed opposition calls for veteran President Robert Mugabe to step down, a day after the largest protest rally for several years was held in the capital Harare.

Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), led thousands of marchers through the capital to demand that 92-year-old Mugabe resign.

The president has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from British colonial rule in 1980.

A Zanu-PF party spokesman told the state-owned Herald newspaper that, if the opposition wishes to get rid of Mugabe, they just need to win the next elections.

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The presidential election in 2013, won by Mugabe with a huge majority, was marred by widespread violence and voter intimidation.

The Daily Nation is worried about the level of international debt being run up by the Kenyan government.

The Nation reports that the shilling equivalent of one and a half billion euros was borrowed by the government between January 2014 and December 2015, and this, according to the Nairobi-based paper, sends a dangerous signal regarding the country’s indebtedness to commercial banks and other countries.

A loans schedule tabled in the National Assembly this week shows the largest single amount was the 650 million euros borrowed from Standard Chartered Bank in October last year as the government faced a cash crunch.

The money from the British multinational banking and financial services company will have to be repaid in full by November 30, 2017 and was secured at an interest rate of 5.2 per cent.

Yesterday, Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi warned of the consequences of heavy borrowing from commercial banks and urged the Treasury to change its way of financing projects.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said his administration would take urgent steps to restructure the country’s economy by encouraging new investments in mining, agriculture and manufacturing.

The President, who is on a week-long visit to China, was speaking at a reception in his honour by the Chinese Communist Party.

Buhari said that the diversification of the Nigerian economy was long overdue, as continued reliance on crude oil exports had made the economy vulnerable to market fluctuations.

Source: rfi afrique