African press review 18 January 2017

Nigeria’s This Day leads this morning with “Nigerian Warship Heads to The Gambia”, more as a show of force rather than preparation for an attack, the article says.

The paper says the deployment is obviously part of an Ecowas strategy to force out President Yahya Jammeh who has refused entreaties from the region’s leaders to step down following his last December presidential election defeat by Adama Barrow.

Jammeh remained intransigent yesterday, declaring a 90-day state of emergency, less than 48 hours before his official mandate ends, according to the Gambia Television.

That is what The East African leads with this morning: “Gambia president declares state of emergency”.

The outgoing Gambian president has declared a state of emergency, while regional leaders have been trying to persuade Jammeh to hand over power to Barrow.

The article says the regional bloc Ecowas has prepared a force but maintains that military intervention would be a last resort.

The exact terms of the state of emergency remain unknown, as no details were provided with the announcement.

But Barrow is meant to be inaugurated as the new president tomorrow, and could be sworn-in outside of the capital, Banjul, according to Nigeria’s Foreign Minister.

Kenya’s Daily Nation leads with news about Sports Minister Hassan Wario and his principal secretary, Titus Ekai, who could be facing corruption charges in connection with the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games scandal.Both might be charged with abuse of office over the loss of close to 200 million shilling relating to the Games in August last year – what the prosecution calls mismanagement of Kenya’s Rio Games funds.

Allowances paid to athletes who participated in the Olympic Games exceeded guidelines set by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC), but also evidence suggests that six unauthorised persons were included in the Kenyan contingent to the Rio games – and that means more plane tickets and hotels were booked; the total unlawful overpayment made amounted to Sh15 million alone.

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Daily Nation also reports that the end of the ongoing doctors’ strike could be imminent, following talks between the government and the medical practitioners’ union in Nairobi Tuesday afternoon.

Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu held the closed-door meeting with four members of the Kenya Medical Practitioners’, Pharmacists’ and Dentists’ Union for more than six hours.

Their main agenda, according to a doctor privy to the ongoing discussions, was the contentious 2013 collective bargaining agreement. It is this CBA that will provide a salary increase as well as address the doctors’ working conditions, internship, training and other labour relations.

The government had maintained it would not register or implement the CBA because it was not within the Salaries and Remuneration Commission’s guidelines for public servants.

The Council of Governors will meet again on Thursday to develop a new strategy on the doctors’ strike.

South Africa’s Business Day headlines with “Land redistribution will be a focus of June’s ANC policy conference.”

The ANC is due to review the success or failure of the National Development Plan (NDP) at its upcoming policy conference, the party said Tuesday.

Discussions at the meeting, scheduled for June, would also focus on broadening the country’s economic base, encompassing the land question to ensure that it was more inclusive.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said the party’s policy team was asked to provide a “political report” and not a “technical” one on the progress made in implementing the NDP with regards to the economy — and education in particular.

The ANC’s last conference, in 2012, adopted the NDP as the blueprint for SA’s development until 2030. But the party’s allies have long disagreed with sections in it, while the jury has been out with regards to where the NDP has been translated into actual government policy.

Source: rfi afrique