African press review 04 January 2013
The Ugandan government is leasing medical equipment to private investors to save money. In Kenya, a man is in trial for posing as a senior police officer, while in Nigeria, a Korean company has denied paying a ransom to secure the release of its kidnapped autoworkers.
Uganda's Daily Monitor has an article on how the country's government is now leasing medical equipement. The paper writes the country's "Minister of Health Christine Ondoasaid [said] the government plans to lease out X-ray and scanning machines in the public hospitals to private investors because they have become too expensive to maintain." She added that following the lease, optimum health care was to be expected.
That said, patients will be expected to pay for the privelege of accessing this equipment and the money will go to keeping the sophisticated equipment in good condition. This move comes after the director of Kabale Regional Referral Hospital said his facility has not had a scanning machine for pregnant women for over a year, which meant that future mothers had to access the service from private providers.
Over in Kenya, the Standard has a story about a former tout who posed as a senior police officer in the Rift Valley and is now being charged in a Naivasha court. According to members of the public, Joshua Karanjahi allegedly fleeced them and "sacked" police officers at will.
Some of the victims described the fear and mental torture he inflicted on them before his arrest. Many of the witnesses refused to give their names. It has been alleged that the accused, who has been taken to hospital for care, used to "drive around in police vehicles and even attend high-powered meetings with senior police officers".
The Standard reports that "His cover was blown after he flew in a police chopper accompanied by senior officers to Suguta Valley after more than 40 police were killed". He's thought to have been behind a number of highway robberies.
Staying in Kenya, the Daily Nation has another story related to the country's police force. They are apparently launching a crackdown on faulty vehicles following two accidents that killed 31 people in 48 hours. These incidents involved mini buses or Matutus. It writes that "Hundreds of commuters were stranded on Thursday after matatu operators withdrew their vehicles from the roads." and that "Many were forced to walk to work."
Over in Nigeria, The Punch's top story reports the Korean owners of "Hyundai Heavy Industries" paid 30million Naria to the kidnappers of four of their workers in Okpoama . They were abducted by eight gunmen in December 2012.
The tabloid goes on to write that: "The victims were released four days later in Yenagoa with the management of the company claiming that no ransom was paid for their release." The kidnappers had intially requested 200 million for their release. It transpired that the Korean company had actually given in after the commissioner of Police in the state confirmed yesterday that the firm paid the ransom without consulting the police. This story broke following the arrest of suspects linked to the incident.
Nigeria's Guardian, meanwhile, describes how the police "proudly paraded the kidnappers of four Koreans and two Nigerians ".One of the kidnappers known as ‘Supper’ is on the run, but the police are eager to assure the general public that he will be caught soon.