African press review 12 September 2012
Continuing unrest in the South African mining sector, security concerns in Kenya and a nex president in Somalia are making headlines in Africa.
The editorial in the Johannesburg-based financial daily, BusinessDay, looks at the troubling situation in the South African mining sector.
The problem, according to BusinessDay, is that the state is acting as both player and referee, with many senior African National Congress leaders having acquired stakes in mining companies. This makes it extremely difficult for those involved to take decisions without considering their own material interests. Compounding this inability to make tough calls is the influence of power politics, with organisations like the National Union of Mineworkers working to position themselves politically.
BusinessDay also says the Marikana dispute highlights the entrenchment of organised tribalism which adds a further level of complication to negotiations with groups which are supposed to be united, but are actually deeply driven along tribal lines.
Many of those who died at Marikana may have lost their lives at the hands of union colleagues, as tribal feuds get sorted out under the cover of labour unrest.
In addition, let's not forget the Julius Malema element. As the front page of the Sowetan makes clear, the expelled ANC Youth League leader yesterday called for a national strike at all mines. This is part of Malema's determination to force his political enemies among the curent leadership of the National Union of Mineworkers to step down.
The violence between farmers and herders in Kenya's Tana River County continues to cost lives, despite a dusk to dawn curfew.
The Nairobi Standard reports that four more villagers were killed by dawn attackers yesterday. The paper says more than 100 people killed in the past four weeks were all members of the Orma community, and the killers were Pokomo. Tuesday's murders were the result of a revenge attack by the Orma.
The Tana River violence earns a stern editorial in the Kenyan Daily Nation.
The slaughter over the past fortnight raises troubling questions about the state of Kenya’s security only six months before a crucial general election.
The Nation says the fact that 200 people can organise and perpetrate this kind of atrocity in the face of a full security force ought to give President Kibaki, Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Internal Security Minister Yusuf Haji and other leaders of the security apparatus numerous sleepless nights.
It means that Kenya has not made much progress since post-election violence in 2008. The confidence that election clashes would not recur might just be wishful thinking.
The Nation points out the killings could be politically-motivated and a cruel attempt to improve electoral chances by driving some tribes out of marginal constituencies.
Also in the Standard, the agony for children in Kenya's public primary and secondary schools continues with no solution in sight to the ongoing teachers' strike.
The strike, which entered its second week on Monday, has seen the Government threaten and intimidate teachers while using the courts to try and break their will, so far without much success.
The regional paper The East African welcomes what it calls "Somalia's surprise choice" of president.
On Monday, Somali MPs chose academic Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud as the country's new leader, upsetting the pre-election favourite and turning a page in the twenty-year search for peace.
Professor Mohamoud decisively beat incumbent Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed in the second and final round, polling 190 votes of the 271 cast.
The result, according to The East African, surprisingly ousted the old order, blamed for many of the ills afflicting the Horn of Africa country, including cronyism and rampant graft.
Hassan Mohamoud was one of the pioneers of educational development in Somalia after the collapse of the central government in 1991. He was a founder of SIMAD University in Mogadishu.
In his speech to parliament to outline his plans prior to the election, the academic indicated that peace, human rights and civil liberties would be his priorities.