African press review 4 October 2012
Good news and bad news for Robert Mugabe. Trouble deepens in South Africa's mines. And Manchester United warn African mothers about a scam email.
According to Zimbabwe's privately-owned NewsDay, President Robert Mugabe yesterday scored a victory after the High Court ruled in his favour, allowing the president to postpone by-elections being held until 31 March next year.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights representing the three MPs who challenged Mugabe to set a by-election date immediately, questioned the jurisdiction of the High Court to change an order given by a superior court.
In July, the Supreme Court ordered Mugabe to proclaim dates for polls in three constituencies by 30 August, but the president approached the courts and asked for a month’s extension to push the deadline to 30 September.
At the expiry of the September deadline, however, he made another application seeking a further extension to 31 March 2013, the date tentatively earmarked for nationwide elections.
Mugabe argued that he could not call by-elections in the three constituencies in Matabeleland because of the country’s financial situation. With the constitutional referendum on the horizon, Mugabe said the move would congest the calendar of national events in the next six months.
Meanwhile, both factions of the Movement for Democratic Change have already rejected the March deadline for national elections, saying the political environment was not yet conducive to the holding of free and fair polls.
Interestingly, if you read the front page of the government-run Harare Herald, you will discover that Mugabe’s decision to approach the courts for an extension of the by-election deadline to March next year was borne out of consensus by principals to the Global Political Agreement, in other words, after discussion with the MDC.
According to The Herald, Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who is also leader of the main branch of the MDC, agreed that it was important to subsume the by-elections into general elections in order to reduce costs.
South Africa's BusinessDay reports that foreign investors are selling their shares in the company Gold Fields because of the illegal strike that has cost the mine 39,000 oz of gold production and revenue of 54 million euros.
Operations have been disrupted at Gold Fields and its peers AngloGold Ashanti and Harmony; the world’s largest platinum miner Anglo American Platinum; and at a host of smaller mining companies since August.
Kumba Iron Ore yesterday reported that 300 of its 10,000 workers had embarked on an illegal strike for higher wages.
SA has mineral resources estimated at 2,000 billion euros and should be one of the world’s premier mining investment destinations. However, says BusinessDay, negative perceptions about the country have grown as the strikes have spread.
Also in the Johannesburg-based financial daily, news that the South African motor industry has its own strike woes, with workers failing to return to work for a third straight day at Toyota’s Durban plant on Wednesday, and motor manufacturers struggling to keep lines running as a result of the truckdrivers’ strike.
The main story in The Sowetan is headlined "Manchester United warn of soccer scam e-mail".
The small print explains that the English Premier League soccer club have warned South African parents about a scam calling on children to join its school.
A fraudulent email offers youngsters the chance to participate for a fee. The package includes visas, airfare and accommodation.
The club has warned parents not to be duped and to contact the club's official website if they want their children to attend a Manchester United football camp.
According to The Daily Nation in Kenya, police are investigating three senior politicians over allegations that they have been plotting election-related violence in Nyanza, Coast and Western regions.
The politicians, including a presidential aspirant, allegedly planned to use militia groups to attack supporters of their rivals.
Two groups are active in Kisumu county, the National Steering Committee on Media Monitoring said on Wednesday.
The groups are made up of jobless youths who are being given handouts by the politicians. Mary Ombara, the committee’s spokesperson, said police investigations were at an advanced stage and action would be taken against the leaders.
Ombara also warned parties against political adverts likely to degrade and humiliate opponents. She said similar adverts in the media were partly responsible for the 2008 post-election violence.