African press review 2 February 2017

He may be just short of his 93rd birthday but Robert Mugabe is fighting fit at the top of the front page of this morning’s East African.

The regional paper’s main headline reads “Mugabe tells off African leaders for Morocco return to African Union.”

The Zimbabwean president lashed out at some of his continental counterparts, saying they lack principles and are easily swayed after they voted to readmit Morocco to the Union.

Thirty-nine of 54 countries approved Morocco’s return to the bloc at the AU’s Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Monday.

However, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Algeria were against the move, citing Rabat’s continued occupation of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.

Mugabe told journalists on his return to Harare that most African leaders had no ideological grounding.

Morocco colonised Sahrawi in 1975 and was expelled from the Organisation of African Unity, the AU’s predecessor, for violating the bloc’s founding values and principles.

Its return is seen by some countries as tacit endorsement by the African Union of Morocco’s continued occupation of the disputed territory.

Is South Africa’s finance minister on the way out?

In South Africa BusinessDay suggests that President Jacob Zuma could be getting ready to sack Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

Yesterday Zuma said the Treasury was standing in the way of transformation, which the Johannesburg-based daily thinks could be a way of preparing the ground for a reshuffle, mainly aimed at getting rid of Gordhan, embroiled in a series of legal struggles with Zuma’s friends, the influential Gupta family of big businessmen.

South Africa’s Zimbabweans may become illegal immigrants

The Sowetan tabloid reports that almost 200,000 Zimbabweans currently living in South Africa could become illegals by the end of this year.

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba yesterday announced that the Zimbabwean Special Dispensation Permit could not continue forever and that some Zimbabweans may be forced to regularise their stay in South Africa or apply for visas like other foreign nationals.

[adsense]

The minister said there were currently 197,000 Zimbabwean permit holders and acknowledged that many were concerned about their status after 31 December 2017, when the special dispensation scheme is due to expire.

Gigaba also revealed that the government is considering setting quotas on the number of foreigners who want to work or run businesses in South Africa.

Gigaba was speaking yesterday in Pretoria, where he announced that his department would start enforcing the law requiring that 60 percent of all workers in the hospitality sector must be South African nationals. The law will be also be enforced in the construction, agriculture and mining industries.

Leaders of striking doctors’ union still risk jail

The Kenyan Court of Appeal has refused to lift the jail sentence hanging over leaders of the striking doctors’ union.

This is reported in the Nairobi-based Daily Nation.

Eight officials of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union could end up behind bars tomorrow if the strike continues.

The union officials argue that negotiations with the government over their grievances that led to their ongoing strike may be undermined if they go to jail.

The strike, for better pay and conditions, has now gone on for 59 days, paralysing Kenya’s public hospitals.

Egyptian divorce bill causes rift in religious authorities

Last week, according to the Cairo-based Independent newspaper, Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called on the Grand Imam of the al-Azhar university to approve the issuance of a new law tightening divorce procedures for Muslims — including the annullment of verbal divorce.

He suggested that divorce should be legal only if carried out in the presence of a cleric authorised by the government to administer marriage and divorce.

According to the Central Agency for Statistics, Egypt saw about 200,000 divorce cases in 2015, an 11 percent increase on the previous year.

A few hours after al-Sisi’s statement, says the Independent, a blaze of controversy was sparked among Muslim scholars; some supported the bill believing that it will reduce the divorce rate among young married couples, while others considered the bill to be a violation of Islamic Sharia law.

Source: rfi afrique