African press review 21 March 2017

South African president Jacob Zuma’s populist rhetoric on land reform is likely to scare away investment, according to a story on the front page of this morning’s Johannesburg-based financial paper BusinessDay.

In his State of the Nation address in February Zuma outlined plans for what he called a “radical economic transformation”. In early March, Zuma said he wanted to make changes to the constitution to facilitate the process of land reform without compensation.

In order to enact the proposed changes Zuma would need two-thirds of the legislature. With the support of the ruling African National Congress and the leftist Economic Freedom Fighters, Zuma would have a sufficient number of votes to push such a policy through.

But the Fitch agency warns that investor sentiment towards South Africa is already weak in the face of sluggish growth and some recent government decisions, most notably on ownership rights in the mining sector.

The agency says more strident left-wing rhetoric by the president will only weigh further on investor sentiment.

Airport heist accused in court

And five men accused of being involved in the 15-million-euro cash heist at Oliver Tambo International Airport earlier this month have appeared in court. But there was no word on the Lamborghini owner arrested yesterday after he posted pictures of himself and his 400,000-euro vehicle on social media.

The five men accused yesterday were remanded in custody. A bail hearing is scheduled for later this month.

CAR world’s most unhappy country

South Africa is ranked 101 in the annual World Happiness Report, released yesterday.

In other words, South Africa is the 54th unhappiest country of the 155 included in the UN-sponsored ranking.

Norway was rated the happiest country in the world and the Central African Republic the most miserable.

Northern Europe dominated the top of the list and Africa the bottom.

Of African countries, South Africa was rated seventh happiest. The happiest African country was Algeria, followed by Mauritius and Libya.

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France is in 31st position.

Kagame meets Pope

Rwandan President Paul Kagame met Pope Francis, the leader of the Catholic church, in Rome yesterday.

Tensions have been high between the church and the Rwandan government. Kigali has repeatedly called for the Vatican to apologise for the role that the Church and some Catholic clergy played in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

President Kagame last year said that he does not understand why the Vatican has failed to say sorry for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis in Rwanda, when the Pope has apologised for lesser offences committed globally by the clergy.

Rwanda wants the Vatican to take responsibility for the crimes committed by clergy and church members, saying that thousands were slaughtered in churches where they had sought refuge during the genocide.

The Rwandan New Times gives pride of place to the same story, reporting that Pope Francis expressed his solidarity with the victims and with those who continue to suffer the consequences of the tragic events of 1994.

The Pope asked for God’s forgiveness for the failure of the Church and its members who participated in the Genocide.

“He implored anew God’s forgiveness for the sins and failings of the Church and its members, among whom priests, and religious men and women who succumbed to hatred and violence, betraying their own evangelical mission,” the Vatican statement said.

Museveni says some cops are crooks

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has criticised the police force following the killing of one of its most senior officers earlier this week. The president warned that the force must sort out its own problems, saying that any failure will contribute to the deaths of Ugandans.

While praising the fallen assistant inspector general, Andrew Felix Kaweesi, shot outside his Kampala home on Monday, Museveni said that the police force has been infiltrated by criminals.

The president blamed the rising rate of violent crime in Uganda on corruption and the lack of confidence between the police and the public.

Source: rfi afrique