Top of the Blogs 2019 #9

A weekly compilation of independent voices from the African blogosphere

To keep you updated on the issues discussed in the continent's blogger scene, we publish a "Top of the Blogs" at the end of each week - interesting new blog posts commenting on media, culture, politics and news from all over Africa.

Overview: May 18th till 24th, 2019

While the votes of Malawi’s election this week are still being counted and a close result emerges, the South Africans are waiting for incumbent president Ramaphosa to announce his new cabinet: three professors weigh in on who and what is needed to move South Africa forward. In this week’s Top of the Blogs we look at how the right to freedom of assembly is handled in Uganda. We end with sad news of the death of great Kenyan writer and intellectual Binyavanga Wainaina.

Malawi elections: A three-horse race too close to call

Malawi went to the polls this week. Final results have not been announced yet but after 75 % of the votes being counted, a close result is emerging. Malawi’s current president, Peter Mutharika, leads the contest with 40 % of the votes. #AfricaBlogging writer Jimmy Kainja predicted a head-to-head race between the three most promising candidates and takes a closer look at each.

Ramaphosa’s cabinet: Who and what is needed to end South Africa’s malaise

This weekend South Africa inaugurates Cyril Ramaphosa as president and the country wait expectantly for the announcement of his new cabinet. Mzukisi Qobo, Cheryl Hendricks and Seán Muller, professors at the University of Johannesburg, point out that Ramaphosa needs to pursue major improvements in the next years – ideally with help of a cabinet consisting of old and new faces.

Public Assemblies: Why the “tomato seller” argument is flawed

“Therefore, if you want to assemble publically or to procession, it must be for a legitimate reason.” This is what the Ugandan President wrote on his website recently. Masake Anthony from #AfricaBlogging criticizes Museveni for this phrase – and his whole attitude toward the right of freedom of assembly being supported by a controversial law that has been in force since 2013. According to the writer people were not able to enjoy their democratic rights to the fullest as long as some assemblies were considered “more legitimate” than others.

Binyavanga Wainaina’s biggest legacy was challenging Africans to free their imaginations

Africa mourns Binyavanga Wainaina. The award-winning author and journalist died at the age of 48 after a short illness this week. People around the world valued him for standing up for the rights of homo- and bisexuals. The Kenyan stood out due to his “idiosyncratic” style of dressing and his call to political action through his writing. In his obituary, Abdi Latif Dahir calls Binyavanga “a foremost witty contrarian, a sharp intellectual, and a beautiful writer with preternatural competence”.