President Kenyatta cuts petrol prices in message to Kenyans, but clings to his austerity budget. And Nigeria’s Finance Minister steps down in a certificate forgery scandal.
We begin in Kenya where the papers are all about President Uhuru Kenyatta latest address to the nation as he moved to contain a conflict with Parliament over the enforcement this September of biting fuel taxes contained in the 2018 financial bill.
Daily Nation reports that the 16 percent increase in the Value Added Tax on petrol, diesel, and kerosene and jet fuel voted since 2013 and repeatedly deferred sparked a public outcry and a wave of protests in the capital Nairobi when it came into force at the start of the month.
According to the newspaper, in Thursday’s message, President Kenyatta announced his offer to slash the VAT of petrol products by half, meaning that the price of super petrol will drop by nearly ten percent.
Kerosene, largely used by the poor for lighting and cooking, will also drop.
The newspaper explains that the amendments on the financial bill will have to be approved by a special sitting of parliament next week before the matter can be considered as resolved.
The Standard says it will be a hard sell as Uhuru who rejected the finance law last Thursday for not being tough enough on government wastage and proposed new spending cuts that will see parliament and others lose about 443 million euros in travel costs.
In Nigeria, Vanguard leads with the resignation of Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun. The paper says she finally bowed to pressure by tendering her resignation letter to President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday.
According to the paper, her resignation followed a prolonged silence over claims by Premium Times, that she forged her National Youth Service Corps exemption certificate.
Some Nigerian papers underline the profile of the country’s new intelligence Chief Yusuf Magaji Bichi appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday.
Sahara Reporters says he replace Matthew Seiyefa, who has headed the strategic Department of State Service in an acting capacity since August 7, 2018, when the substantive Director General, Lawal Daura, was sacked over his staging of the siege on the National Assembly that put the country’s democracy in jeopardy.
The Tribune says Magaji Bichi, a political science graduate from Ahmadu Bello University, brings a wealth of experience to the job after long years of experience after serving as State Director of Security in Jigawa, Niger, Sokoto and Abia States. He also served at various times of his career as Director, at Nigeria’s National War College.
In South Africa, TimesLive looks at a controversy that is causing a buzz over the calculation of the country’s crime statistics. This is after the SA Police Service (SAPS) admitted on Friday that they had released skewed crime rates.
The latest statistics show that 19,016 murders were recorded between April 2016 to March 2017 at the rate of up to 52 a day. According to Times Live, the Eastern Cape remains South Africa’s most dangerous province, with a murder rate of 58.7 percent of deaths recorded.
According to the newspaper, University of Cape Town crime expert Anine Kriegler told Africa Check the method used had the effect of making the increases in crime rates look smaller and the decreases look larger.”