African press review 28 January 2013
Violence in Egypt and the cost of doing up President Jacob Zuma's private residence, are two of the big stories covered in today's African papers...
The Egypt Independent looks at President Morsi's decision to invite representatives from 11 political parties for talks on the nationwide violence.
Trouble broke out last Thursday ahead of the second anniversary of the 25 January revolution. In Port Said, protesters clashed with security forces over a court verdict that recommended the death penalty for 21 defendants in a football violence case. At least 47 people have died in clashes across Egypt.
The president has declared a 30-day state of emergency in Port Said, Suez and Ismailia.
Parties invited to the meeting include the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, Jama’a al-Islamiya’s Construction and Development Party, the Salafi Nour Party and the moderate Islamist Wasat Party, as well as the secular Dostour, Free Egyptians and Socialist Democratic parties.
Health Ministry and hospital sources put the death toll from violence in Port Said at 38. Another victim died on Sunday from gunshot injuries.
The situation escalated in Port Said on Sunday after the funeral of 29 victims of clashes that broke out after a court recommended death sentences for 21 people convicted of involvement in the Port Said Stadium violence last year, in which 72 football fans died.
The Egyptian pound weakened against the dollar on Sunday, as the rioting deaths added to the political crisis, extending a steady decline at the Central Bank’s foreign exchange auctions since their launch last month.
The main story in South Africa's Star this morning is headlined "Nkandla millions whitewash". Nkandla is in northern Kwa-Zulu Natal and is where President Jacob Zuma has his private residence. The problem is that the government now admits that 2,500,000 euros of public money has been spent on upgrades, The Police Minister says the expenditure can all be justified.
The opposition Democratic Alliance wants an investigation into allegations that the cost of the various upgrades to the president's private home were grossly inflated.
In Kenya, The Standard gives pride of place to a story headlined "Uhuru, Mudavadi hit out at Raila team". The small print explains that Jubilee presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta and Amani coalition flagbearer Musalia Mudavadi have one common line of attack against Raila Odinga’s Coalition for Reforms and Democracy.
Despite having fallen out, the pair have chosen to market themselves as part of the new wave of promising young leaders, condemning Cord as a merger of worn out old politicians whose time is up.
While Raila and his running mate Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka took a rest from the blistering campaign trail on Sunday after their Saturday rally in Eldoret, Mudavadi was winding up his five-day campaign in the Rift Valley. Uhuru and his running mate William Ruto on the other hand were wooing voters in Coast province.
Uhuru took a swipe at the Cord alliance, terming it a group of old politicians who should not be entrusted with Kenya’s leadership.
But the old disputes have not been forgotten. Speaking about Uhuru, Mudavadi said Kenyans should not entrust the leadership of the country to leaders who show anger all the time. He said the country needed a “sober person” who could champion the operations of government without anger, while at the same time being able to handle all Government departments, including the police, in a more humane way.