: African press review 6 November 2015

We begin in Nigeria, where there is robust coverage by the press of President Muhammadu Buhari’s first official meeting with the 36 pen picks of his still to be formed cabinet.

ThisDay highlights Buhari’s appeal to the ministers-designate to help him deliver the change he promised Nigerians as he opened a 2-day strategic planning retreat at State House in Abuja on Thursday.

“The work of restoration and renewal is urgent and immense,” Buhari told the ministers- designate, adding that they should count themselves privileged to have been chosen among millions of Nigerians to take part in this patriotic undertaking. Buhari reminded them that his election as president was hinged on his promise to tackle corruption, insecurity and revive the economy.

And in his concluding remarks he borrowed these lines from William Shakespeare’s tragedy Julius Caesar: “There is a tide in the affairs of men which taken at the flood leads to fortune; omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat, and we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.”

And there is evidence that President Buhari’s hard talk about cracking down on corruption hasn’t halted the endemic graft taking place in the country’s oil industry.

Punch reports that Nigeria lost about N48bn to crude oil theft, between January and September this year, citing the monthly financial and operations report for September 2015 released by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

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As a result of the crude/product losses, the firm noted that it had adopted some key determinants for driving change. The NNPC stated that it had adopted pipeline security reforms that would ensure reduction in crude oil theft as well as address the loss of other petroleum products.

And a question begging for answers is posed by South Africa’s Mail and Guardian. Will the country’s Communists survive the onslaught ahead of the 2017 elective conference? This question is inspired by charges by a faction of the ruling African National Congress that the South African Communist Party, is using President Jacob Zuma as a Trojan horse at Polokwane. That is the congress where Vice President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to be anointed as the ANC’s leader the first step to his election as the country’s next President.

Ramaphosa is one of the ANC leaders accused by the SACP, a member of the ruling troika of using the ruling party’s structures to pursue agendas, they claim is at odds to the position of the ANC.

The leader of the Communist party Blade Nzimande even hinted that they had wanted to contest the 2017 elections because of what he termed the abuse by ANC leaders who blame them for causing divisions In the country’s main trade union and troika partner COSATU.

Political analyst Steven Friedman told the Mail & Guardian ahead of the SACP last congress that the movement had a schizophrenic personality, its leadership using left-wing language to say right-wing things.

The publication quotes Professor Friedman as saying that the SACP’s national leaders are mainly cheerleaders for President Jacob Zuma while younger members in provinces and municipalities are concerned about bread and butter issues.

Source: rfi afrique