African press review 22 August 2012
Is Mohammed Morsi an enemy of freedom of expression? Who will succeed Meles Zenawi? How will Yahya Jammeh "protect" Gambia from crime and "subversive activities"? And how Miss Uganda come to fail her driving test?
Could criticising Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi put you in jail? The English version of Egypt’s al Ahram, leads with the news of the trial of the Al-Dostour newspaper’s editor-in-chief for insulting President Mohammed Morsi.
According to the paper, the managing editor of Al-Dostour, has accused the Morsi’s supporters in the Muslim Brotherhood of being behind the charges and the decision to raid the offices.
The paper says that confiscation of Al-Dostour and other cases filed against journalists have raised fears over freedom of the press. Activists, including those critical of the newspaper, condemned the court's decision as a violation of that principle.
Al Ahram reminds us that others journalists are also facing trial on the same charge of “insulting the president", include the long-time nationalist activist and editor-in-chief of Egyptian weekly Sawt Al-Omma, Abdel-Halim Qandeel, and the editor-in-chief of weekly Al-Fagr, Adel Hamouda.
Ethiopia’s neighbours are commenting on the death of Meles Zenawi.
Uganda’s New Vision is speculating about who’ll succeed the late leader.
“The Horn of Africa country has kept a tight lid on the affair,” says the paper, “but here are a few names that have been widely touted.”
Four candidates are lined up to succeed the charismatic Ethiopian prime minister, it says:
- “Soft-spoken and humble, yet politically shrewd” deputy prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn;
- British-educated Health Minister Tewodros Adhanom Ghebreyesus;
- Alemayehu Atomsa, the head of the OPDO party who, the paper says, is seen as a possible compromise candidate;
- Perhaps the most interesting possibility raised is that of Meles’s own wife, the mother of his children, Azeb Mesfin.
The paper says her possible candidacy “has inevitably raised speculation that Ethiopia would do ‘a Kirchner’ ”, a reference to Argentina's experience in which the current leader Christina Kirchner replaced her husband, Nestor, upon his death.
“What loss of Ethiopia PM means to Kenya and the region”, Kenya’s The Nation promises to tell us.
The paper reckons that his departure could intensify interstate rivalry between the ambitious new players in Somalia, especially Kenya and Uganda, who are fighting Al-Shebab.
But the alliance between Kenya and Ethiopia, who have a similar outlook and share the same concerns about Somalia will probably continue, concludes the paper.
All Gambia’s papers carry President Yahya Jammeh’s message to the nation.
“Jammeh vows to implement death penalty by September,” headlines The Point.
“Our objective is to create a peaceful, happy and crime-free nation, where the standard of living will be excellent for the citizenry,” the paper quotes the president as saying.
According to the paper, the Gambian leader has also pledged “to protect the nation from banditry, drug trafficking or its illicit use, homosexuality, murder, terrorism and other subversive activities”.
The paper says that the Gambian leader warns that his government will take whatever legal action is necessary to “expunge these deadly and heinous acts from the country”.
And finally a bit of showbiz.
Uganda’s New Vision is in a state of shock.
“Miss Uganda fails driving test,” announces the paper on its entertainment pages.
It looks like the paper thinks that beauty is not always proportionate to intellect.
“When she swept the Miss Uganda crown recently, many called Phiona Bizzu names but forgot to add that on top of all the other flaws mentioned, the 19-year-old is a slow learner,” sneers the paper.
“We can only hope that Bizzu, who ironically can ride a boda boda (bicycle taxi) steadies at the wheels soon,” it concludes.