African press review 16 March 2016

The Daily Nation

We start with Kenya, and a corruption story, according to The Daily Nation, the country’s Interior Ministry is perceived to be the most corrupt. This comes from a survey released by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Monday.

It shows that “perceptions about levels of corruption among Kenyans nationally was at 74 percent, an increase from 67.7 percent recorded in a similar survey in 2012″.

While the Interior Ministry has the worst reputation  at 40.3 percent, “the Kenya Police Service was ranked as the most corrupt department, at 32.9 percent” explains The Daily Nation.

“The Health ministry ranked second at 14.3 percent with the same survey revealing that Kenyans are bribing to access health services in both country and national government hospitals” adds the paper.

For those of you closely following Kenyan news, those numbers shouldn’t come as a surprise. It seems that not a day passes without a new corruption scandal – or the government pledging to do something about it.

The Egypt Independent

Now to Egypt, where the government is considering wether or not to replace the lowest-raking police force.

According to The Egypt Independent, the force would be replaced “with a new type of policeman to be recruited from scratch and offered training in line with modern policing values”.

The move follows harsh criticsm and accusation “of violence and human rights violations by police of various ranks over recent months, but particularly those from the least educated section of the force” explains the paper.

Those policemen where even accused of several murders and assaults on doctors. Back in February, a policeman killed a driver during a dispute in Cairo. This pushed thousands of people to take to the street in protest against police violence.

That’s why the Interior Ministry is now accepting applications for a new “police assistant” grade.

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“Applicants will undergo 18 months of training through “state-of-the-art policing programs” before appointment” says the paper. The trainees will also apparently receive training on human rights issues.

The Egyptian parliament will also soon review a new bill aiming at make police forces more accountable.

The Mail & Guardian

The Mail & Guardian is reporting on South African prisoners. That’s because The South Institute of Race Relations -or IRR- “has called for the release of poor prisoners who are unable to pay bail”.

There is currently 7500 detaines held in jails simply because they can’t afford to pay their own bail. 45%, in fact, can’t even pay for a bail worth less than 28 euros.

“A great many people who have not been convicted of any crime are in jail simply because they are too poor to afford bail – they are what we describe as prisoners of poverty” told IRR analyst Kerwin Lebone to the paper.

And this doesn’t just cost money to prisoners, it’s exepensive for the state too. Which is why the IRR is calling “lawmakers reconsider bail policies to alleviate the burden on both correctional services, taxpayers and the poor”.

The East African

You should probably be looking for a new job if you’re a South Sudanese diplomat. According to The East African, “South Sudan will cut the number of staff at its embassies across the world to save costs”.

It’s easy to understand why: the country’s economy has been in shamble since the start of the civil war in 2013. Low oil prices are also not helping the government explains the paper.

South Sudan only has 28 embassies worldwide.

According to a government spokeperson, none of them will close, “but rather the number of staff will be reduced”.

Source: rfi afrique