African press review 30 November 2012
Nigeria's military evicts civilians from barracks. Its central bank chief wants to fire thousands of civil servants. A Nigerian minister is accused of perjury over a luxury mansion. SA unions threaten to close roads. Zuma's anti-HIV-Aids lengthens SA's life expectancy.
Nigeria's Punch reports the launch by the military of a mass eviction of civilians from barracks across the country.
The paper reports that the Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant-General Azubuike Ihejirika ordered the operation after attacks by suspected terrorists in the first two days of this week. There were Sunday’s twin bomb attacks at the St Andrew Military Protestant Church inside the prestigious Armed Forces Command and Staff College in Jaji, near Kaduna, and Monday’s attack by 40 gunmen on the office of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Abuja.
The Nation samples reactions from lawmakers to the suggestion by Nigeria’s Central bank Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi that the retrenchment of half of the country’s civil servants may be necessary to repair the ailing economy. Sanusi, who spoke at a seminar in Warri on Tuesday, said the country was wasting 70 per cent of its resources on salaries and emoluments.
According to The Nation, the main unions, the Nigerian Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress as well as lawmakers, have reacted angrily to Sanusi’s calls for deep cuts in government expenditure and a reduction of elected officials. A senior House Committee member brands the CBN governor’s remarks as “a trademark of his bias for political turbulence and stirring up storms in tea cups”.
Punch reports the passing of a motion by the House of Representatives on Thursday calling for an investigation into a “multi-billion-naira” mansion said to belong to Minister of Niger Delta Affairs Godsday Orubebe.
According to the paper, the property located at Mabushi in the Federal Capital Territory, was said to have been built for the minister by a construction firm, Setraco that doubles as his crony. The motion holds that Orubebe’s failure to include the house in his asset declaration form with the Code of Conduct Bureau is a case of perjury if established.
South Africa's BusinessDay reports the launching by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) this Friday of a new round of protests against the controversial etolling of Gauteng’s freeways, with marches planned in Johannesburg and Pretoria. The paper explains that the tolling project was put on hold a week ago after the withdrawal of the Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Bill by the African National Congress, meaning the system cannot be introduced this year.
According to the paper, Cosatu has vowed to continue its protests, which will also involve an attempted shutdown of the province’s freeways on Friday next week and mass action in February next year.
Mail and Guardian takes up the endorsement of the controversial Protection of State Information Bill by the National Council of Provinces on Thursday amid protest. That leaves the so-called "secrecy bill" two steps from becoming law, according to the paper.
The Sowetan quotes researchers who say that President Jacob Zuma’s anti-Aids plan has boosted life expectancy in the country over the last three years. The study published by the Lancet medical journal found out that two million out of South Africa’s six million HIV/Aids sufferers are now taking life-prolonging anti-retroviral drugs. The Lancet says that the average South African is now likely to live to the age of 60, compared with just 56 years six month 2009 when Zuma came to power.
The Sowetan also narrates the case of a young girl in East Rand terrified to return to school after witnessing the murder of her classmate. According to the paper the 17-year-old pupil naw has to take sleeping pills after an alleged bully was shot dead in class by a classmate last week Monday.
In Kenya, the Daily Nation reports the public flogging of three unmarried couples by Islamists in the north of Mali. According to the paper each received 100 lashes of the whip each on Thursday in a market square in the town of Timbuktu as they continue to apply Sharia law in the territory.