: African press review 30 October 2015

Tanzania’s disputed presidential election dominates the front page of regional paper, The East African.

The paper credits ruling party candidate John Pombe Magufuli with 58.46 per cent of votes, according to final results announced by the National Electoral Commission.

Magufuli’s win means that in Suluhu Samia, his running mate, Tanzania has also elected its first-ever female vice president.

The East African notes a lower-than-expected turnout of 67 per cent of voters.

The opposition Chadema party, whose candidate Edward Lowassa came second with 40 per cent, declined to sign the consent forms accepting the outcome following earlier claims of fraud and calls for a recount. Chauma, a much smaller opposition party, also refused to sign the forms.

In South Africa, BusinessDay’s African pages note Magufuli’s victory, but report that the opposition says the vote was rigged and has also claimed victory.

The win cements the long-running Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party’s firm grip on power. The CCM has ruled Tanzania since 1977.

According to BusinessDay, tensions are high because of opposition claims of rigging, as well as the semi-autonomous Zanzibar island group’s decision to annul the polls.

Zanzibar’s electoral commission said the islands’ vote must be carried out again, citing “violations of electoral law”.

International observers from the African Union and European Union, said Sunday’s polling was carried out in a “competent and largely efficient” manner.

The main story in the South African financial paper reports that the manufacturing competitiveness enhancement programme, established by the government to cushion local manufacturers from the effects of the global financial crisis, has run out of money, leaving a lot of companies in distress.

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The Department of Trade and Industry says it will accept no new applicants.

A new application window will be opened in April, if funds become available. The programme provides cash grants to companies planning to upgrade their machinery or buildings, or to invest in training. It has been perennially oversubscribed.

The programme was introduced soon after the 2008 global financial crisis to help South African manufacturers cope with poor markets, as well as secure higher levels of investment, raise competitiveness and keep jobs.

Manufacturers condemned the suspension on Thursday, saying the department’s decision would leave a lot of them in the lurch.

BusinessDay also reports that a storm is brewing over the University of Pretoria’s decision to review its language policy‚ which could see Afrikaans scrapped as a language of instruction.

Vice-chancellor Cheryl de la Rey has promised to consult with the senate‚ council and all stakeholders‚ including the Department of Higher Education‚ on the institution’s language policy, based on demands made by students during last week’s Fees Must Fall campaign.

Courses are currently taught in Africaans and English.

The East African also reports this week’s decision by the UN Security Council to back an African Union investigation of human rights abuses in Burundi, and said it too was ready to take action over the continuing violence.

The 15-member council is concerned by the situation in Burundi following the re-election of Pierre Nkurunziza.

Some 200 people have been killed in the violence and 200,000 have fled the country, raising fears of a return to all-out war. Nkurunziza announced in April that he would run for a third term, a move branded as unconstitutional by the opposition.

The African Union earlier this month launched an investigation into rights violations in Burundi, and called for travel bans and asset freezes on individuals suspected to be fuelling the violence.

Source: rfi afrique