African press review 9 April 2016

However, according to the Johannesburg-based paper, attempts to take the matter further inside parliamentary structures will need some dexterous footwork and possible bargaining with the ruling party, as the African National Congress continues to rally around Zuma.

United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa has written to Speaker Baleka Mbete calling for a disciplinary inquiry to be set up to probe whether or not Zuma misled Parliament over the spending of the rand equivalent of 14 million euros on upgrades at his Nkandla home.

Holomisa has asked Mbete to allow three retired judges to run the inquiry because the voting record of the assembly on the Nkandla matter meant that no ANC MP could be expected to run a fair inquiry.

Another opposition group, the Democratic Alliance, has lodged a complaint against Mbete and the ANC over the ruling party’s adoption last year of a resolution absolving Zuma of liability in the Nkandla affair.

And the South African government has asked the Constitutional Court for permission to appeal against the ruling that the government acted contrary to the Constitution when it failed to detain Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir last year.

Bashir arrived in the country on June 13 last year to attend the African Union Summit‚ despite there being a warrant for his arrest issued by the International Criminal Court‚ which wants to try him for alleged war crimes.

South Africa‚ as a signatory of the Rome Statute which regulates the ICC‚ was bound to execute the warrant of arrest.

The Department of Justice and Correctional Services said in a statement on Friday that it had filed for leave to appeal to the Constitutional Court against the judgment delivered by Supreme Court of Appeal last month.

In its judgment‚ the Supreme Court of Appeal said the government’s conduct in failing to take steps to arrest and detain Bashir‚ for surrender to the International Criminal Court, was inconsistent with South Africa’s obligations in terms of the Rome Statute‚ and was unlawful.

The top story in regional paper The East African reports that Kenya has decided to borrow over 500 million euros from China to help fund a budget deficit in the fiscal year which started last July.

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East Africa’s top economy is targeting a budget deficit of slightly less than seven per cent of GDP in the 2016/17 fiscal year (July-June), compared to just over 8 per cent this year, according to the Ministry of Finance.

The terms of the loan agreement have not been revealed.

The East African also reports that Uganda is battling to contain the spread of the Hepatitis B virus after it emerged that over 3.5 million people have been infected.

The worst-affected areas are the north and northeast of the country, where access to screening and treatment services remain low.

According to figures from the Ministry of Health, about one million of those infected are chronically ill and require treatment.

Hepatitis B is a viral infection that affects the liver. Infection may result in long-term health complications causing acute and chronic diseases such as liver cirrhosis and cancer.

Unprotected sex and sharing needles are the main ways in which the disease is spread.

Still with health issues, and still in Uganda, the Kampala-based Daily Monitor reports that cancer patients receiving radiotherapy treatment at Mulago hospital may have to wait until next year when a new machine will be installed, after the old one broke down three weeks ago.

The hospital bought a new machine before the radiotherapy department was transferred to the cancer institute. The equipment remains in the Austrian capital, Vienna, because the hospital does not have a safety bunker to house the machine which uses atomic energy.

The Minister of Health, addressing a press conference yesterday during World Health Day celebrations in Kampala, told journalists that the government will construct the necessary bunker next year.

Source: rfi afrique