African press review 22 March 2017

We start in South Africa, where controversial remarks deemed as justifying colonialism by Western Cape Prime Minister Helen Zille are poisoning the commemoration of the 1960 Sharpeville massacre now observed in the country as Human Rights Day.

BusinessDay says the former leader of the main opposition Democratic Alliance party sparked an uproar when she posted tweets suggesting that the independent judiciary‚ transport infrastructure‚ and piped water were proof that colonialism was not only negative.

Zille, reportedly later wondered in another tweet if South Africa would have had a transition into specialized health care and medication without colonial influence. Despite posting an apology, BusinessDay says the ANC’s acting chairperson is calling for an urgent debate in the provincial House on the matter.

The Citizen leads with an angry reaction from Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane in his Human Rights Day speech in Soweto on Tuesday. Maimane said no level of infrastructure and development could ever erase the pain that many people felt under apartheid.

Times Live underlines Maimane’s reiteration that the DA has never glorified any system which supported colonialism. According to the paper, speaking at the Sharpeville Memorial Site following a wreath-laying ceremony, Mmusi Maimane vowed to deal with the issues which contradicted the party’s views in the strongest personal manner.


And in Uganda Red Pepper takes up a debate raging on social media in the country about the cost of the nearly completed Kampala-Entebbe expressway. The paper says
that for a third day in a row, netizens are expressing shock that the 53km, 4-lane cost 440 million euros, almost 7 million euros more than the 8-lane Thika Highway in Kenya, which is just 3 kms shorter.

Red Pepper says the twitter campaign has gone mental with scores of Ugandans squaring off with Kenyans about the unofficial bragging rights on which country is most corrupt.

And in Nigeria, Nigeria some papers express feelings of revulsion in the country as news about the barbaric beheading of a woman by a ritualist spreads.

Vanguard reports that the 61-year-old man, who was arrested Monday with the head and other body parts of the woman, which he intended to sell for money rituals and other concoctions to cure of strange ailments. The paper says the ritualist on Tuesday led policemen to a bush outside Lagos where he committed the act.

According to Vanguard more of the dead woman’s body parts were still lying there including her tongue, limbs, eyes and her waist. The publication says it is able to report that the victim, was approached by a Muslim cleric, for spiritual cleansing and taken to the herbalist who dragged her into the bush where he butchered her.

Source: rfi afrique