African press review 19 July 2012
More on the Mau Mau veterans suing the British government for alleged torture when Kenya was a British colony, worries about a fall in tourism in Uganda and a drop in investment in South Africa all feature in today's African papers...
According to the Kenyan Standard, the three Mau Mau veterans suing the British Government for torture yesterday insisted that there was a direct link between the colonial regime and the authorities in London.
At the trial yesterday, details emerged showing that thousands of documents were systematically destroyed to prevent them from falling into the hands of the post-independence government.
Britain has already publicly admitted that Mau Mau fighters were tortured during the uprising between 1952 and 1960. But London contends it is not legally liable for the abuses, saying it was the responsibility of the colonial administration.
The lawyer representing the three Mau Mau veterans said they would present telegrams sent by the then Secretary of State in London to the governor in Kenya. They will also present letters sent by the governor to London briefing the authorities on the situation in Kenya.
The Standard also reports that the National Cohesion and Integration Commission is to investigate Miguna Miguna for hate speech.
In his book Peeling Back the Mask, former prime ministerial aide Miguna accuses Prime Minister Raila Odinga and his close allies of abetting corruption.
Launching the book last weekend, Miguna claimed that the Orange Democratic Movement and its leaders supported the 2008 post-election violence.
The former PM’s aide left the country on Tuesday for Canada.
According to the Nairobi-based Daily Nation, Miguna Miguna has dismissed reports that he fled the country because of law suits and potential arrest.
He says that he is in Canada with his family to enjoy a pre-planned summer holiday.
Miguna says he'll return to Kenya on or about 18 August, adding that on arrival he will issue a comprehensive statement on some of the issues that have been raised in the media in recent days.
In Kampala, the Ugandan Daily Monitor reports that the government yesterday issued a statement assuring tourists visiting Uganda’s national parks that their safety was assured. The statement came in the wake of growing tensions near Uganda’s border caused by fighting in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.
The conflict between DRC forces and the rebel M23 group has led to thousands of Congolese flocking into southwestern Uganda.
Some lodges and guest houses in the region have reported cancellations or postponements, with some intending tourists citing fighting in the DRC as the reason for their decisions.
The South African financial paper BusinessDay reports that Zimbabwe has axed its 2012 growth forecast to 5,6 per cent from the 9,4 per cent projected earlier, according to a statement by Finance Minister Tendai Biti in Harare on Wednesday. Biti blamed a poor harvest, lack of donor funding and policy inconsistencies.
The southern African country registered expansion of 9,3 per cent in 2011, the third straight year of growth after a decade of economic decline that peaked in 2008 when inflation hit 500-billion percent.
But the economy looks to be losing its momentum as a coalition government of President Robert Mugabe and rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai struggles to attract donor funding, and bickering over policy discourages foreign investment.
Biti said the government will increase taxes on fuel and wheat imports in a bid to shore up state revenues, adding that this would not put pressure on inflation, which he still expected to be below five per cent by the end of this year.
He said government wages, at 74 per cent of total expenditure, were unsustainable.
Investors have stayed away, rattled by President Mugabe’s drive to force foreign miners to surrender at least 51 per cent shares to black Zimbabweans, and a more recent demand for foreign-owned banks to turn over majority shares to locals within a year.
Uncertainty over the date of the next elections has also unsettled investors, given Zimbabwe’s history of violent and disputed polls.