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Summary

  1. Zimbabwe protest against 'sex abuse' in Kuwait
  2. South Africa to investigate people named in Panama Papers
  3. Nigeria tops political hashtag list
  4. Angola seeks IMF aid after oil price crash
  5. 'King of Cotton' inaugurated as Benin's president
  6. Arrests in Congo-Brazzaville over rebel attack
  7. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive WhatsApp: +44 7341070844
  8. Email stories and comments to africalive@bbc.co.uk - Wednesday 6 April 2016

Live Reporting

By Clare Spencer and Farouk Chothia

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Wednesday's stories

we'll be back tomorrow

That's all from BBC Africa Live today. Keep up-to-date with what's happening across the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast or check the BBC News website.  

A reminder of today's wise words:

Wisdom is like a lost needle - a child could find it just as easily as an adult.

A Wolof proverb sent by Sarata Ngack Sowe, Bakau, The Gambia

Click here to send us your African proverbs.

And we leave you with this picture of rice crop harvesting in Embu, Kenya:  

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Nigeria fuel queue fury

Nigeria is no stranger to fuel shortages but it seems things are worse than ever.

Thousands of people have been forced to sleep outside filling stations in the hope of buying petrol, some have returned day after day with no joy.

The petroleum minister has said things should be back to normal in a few days. But after weeks of these kinds of promises, Nigerians are finding that hard to believe.

The BBC’s Ayo Bello hit the streets of Lagos to find out more:

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Nigeria's fuel queue fury

'Why why why did we let go of that rich history of Africa?'

Phillippa Yaa de Villiers, who is mixed race, was adopted as a baby by a white couple in South Africa.

She didn't find out she was adopted until she became involved in anti-apartheid politics at university. 

She went on to become an award winning writer. 

On BBC World Service's Conversation programme, she reads one of her most popular poems, Come Back Afrika, which is about meeting her biological father who is from Ghana.

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'Why why why did we let go of that rich history of Africa?'

Fleeing Eritrean youth 'killed'

Security forces in Eritrea's capital Asmara have killed several young conscripts who tried to escape the convoy they were travelling in, according to opposition media outlets.

There were also civilian casualties after some of the recruits' friends and family used a bus to block the road to help them escape, according to the unconfirmed reports.

Conscription in Eritrea is compulsory.

The Eritrean authorities have not commented on the alleged incident.

Read the full BBC story here 

Nairobi Uber driver scared for his safety

Benard Kariuki
BBC
Uber driver Benard Kariuki says he is especially scared at night

In the past few months clashes between taxi and Uber drivers in Kenya's capital Nairobi have escalated so much that the police and transport ministry have been forced to step in.

Uber driver Benard Kariuki told the BBC's Ferdinand Omondi that Uber drivers can earn more than traditional taxi drivers in the city.

But there's a catch. He is scared for his safety:

“I’m afraid of driving an Uber especially at night."

He is betting on the attacks stopping. 

And our correspondent reports that, as the rides are cheaper demand for Uber drivers is unlikely to wane soon.

Watch Ferdinand Omondi take an Uber ride in Nairobi.

Angola seeks IMF aid

General view of an oil offshore platform owned by Total Fina Elf in the surroundings waters of the Angolan coast 15 October 2003
AFP
Angola is Africa second-biggest oil producer

Angola's government says it has asked the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for help after the crash in oil prices ravaged its finances, AFP news agency reports. 

The IMF said discussions would begin next week in Washington on what could be a three-year support plan for the government, the agency reports. 

Angola is Africa's biggest oil producer after Nigeria, and heavily dependent on export earnings to finance government projects. 

Rihanna tribute to Ghana's undercover journalist?

A journalist based in Guyana, Carinya Sharples, has pointed out that the Bajan singer Rihanna's latest music video appears to make a tribute to Ghanaian undercover journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas, who covers his face with beads. She noticed the similarity when she was researching the singer's lyrics.

One of the dancers in the video for her song called Work has a very similar covering to the journalist's:

Dancer in Rihanna video
YouTube

Here's what Mr Anas wore when he was interviewed by the BBC's Sammy Darko to remain incognito:

Anas Aremeyaw Anas
BBC

Mr Anas shook the Ghanaian judiciary last year when he released a film on judges allegedly taking bribes.

There is no indication from Rihanna that it is nothing more than a coincidence. 

But if it is a tribute, it wouldn't be the first time, as Ghanaians took to covering their faces in the same way last year:

Anas impersonation
BBC

Watch Mr Anas taking off his beads on Focus on Africa last year:

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Anas Aremeyaw Anas: Ghana's undercover journalist unmasked

New dispute in Libya over government

Khalifa Al-Ghweil (C) listens to the explanations of the Army Chief of Staff, Jadallah al-Abidi (L) during the Libyan Army Officers 5th Forum, on June 3, 2015
AFP
Khalifa Al-Ghweil (C) is the leader of a rival government

The head of Libya's Tripoli-based government said he would not hand over over power to a UN-backed unity government, contradicting an earlier statement by the justice ministry, AFP news agency reports. 

Khalifa Ghweil, chief of Tripoli's so-called National Salvation Government, issued a statement calling on ministers not to stand down and threatening to prosecute anyone who cooperates with the new government, it reports. 

The top political hashtag of 2015 was #NigeriaDecides

The top political hashtag in Africa in 2015 was #NigeriaDecides, which was used during Nigeria's presidential election, says a study by Portland communications agency.

Their “How Africa Tweets” report says African tweets tend to be more political than in other continents.

It found 10% of the most popular African hashtags in 2015 related to politics, compared with 2% of hashtags in the US and UK. 

The agency analysed 1.6 billion geo-located tweets and the top 5,000 hashtags on the continent. 

It found that English is by far the most dominant language on Twitter in Africa, and Egyptians tweet the most.

People have been picking through the report and, aptly, tweeting their favourite bits:

View more on twitter

Commercial hashtags (such as brand names and promotional offers) are 25 times less prominent in Africa than in the US, eg. #HowAfricaTweets

View more on twitter

Burundi repatriates body of Rwandan 'spy'

Prime Ndikumagenge

BBC Africa, Bujumbura

Jacques Bihozagara
Getty Images
Rwanda says Jacques Bihozagara's detention was illegal

Burundi has repatriated the body of a former Rwandan minister following his sudden death in prison a week ago. 

Jacques Bihozagara was arrested nearly four months ago by Burundi's intelligence services on suspicion of being a spy.  

The cause of his death remains unknown, and his relatives in Rwanda are demanding an autopsy.

Rwanda's government has asked the Burundian authorities to give details of his death and detention, which it describes as illegal. 

Mr Bihozagara was a retired ambassador and former youth minister in Rwanda.

Zuma sets poll date

South Africa will hold  local government elections on 3 August, in the first major test of support for the governing African National Congress (ANC) since a ruling by the country's highest court that President Jacob Zuma breached the constitution when he failed to repay government money used to upgrade his private home. 

Mr Zuma called on people to register to vote "so that together we continue to re-affirm and deepen our democracy". 

Jacob Zuma
AFP
The opposition says Mr Zuma is "crooked", and unfit to govern

His critics regard him as South Africa's worst leader since apartheid ended in 1994, and are demanding his resignation. 

Today, civil society and religious groups announced that they are launching a nationwide campaign to force him to step down. 

Civil societies including Church leaders in South Africa at the Constitutional hill in Johannesburg campaining for President Jacob Zuma to resign
BBC
Church leaders were among those gathered on Constitutional Hill in Johannesburg earlier today to demand Mr Zuma to resign

Those who have backed the campaign include former judge Zac Yacoob, former ambassador to the UK Cheryl Carolus, and former trade union leader Zwelinzima Vavi, the local News24 site reports.

An influential ANC branch in the main city Johannesburg, where the party's electoral support is under serious threat from the opposition, has also said that Mr Zuma should resign, or face disciplinary action within the party, News24 reports. 

Mr Zuma's Nkandla residence
AFP
Mr Zuma's private home at the centre of a long-running controversy

However, other influential groups in the ANC, including its Women's League and Youth League, say they still have full confidence in Mr Zuma. 

Top ANC officials in KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape, two of the most powerful regions in the party, have also come out in support of Mr Zuma, local media reports.

He has said that while some people are spending sleepless nights plotting against him, he intends to continue leading South Africa.

See our 11:02 post for more details  

How do you survive the Nigerian fuel crisis?

peoplle queuing up
BBC
Some people are spending the entire night in queues for fuel

There have been over 1,000 comments on our Facebook post asking for your tips on how to survive Nigeria’s fuel crisis.

Here are a few of the suggestions:

Haruna Isa Musa Yaro, who is from Nigeria's capital Abuja but lives in Dubai, thinks nuclear power is the way. 

He defends President Muhammadu Buhari against critics who complained he is using fuel to travel to a conference in the US while his citizens sit in queues:

He attended the summit in other to convince and get approval from world leaders that Nigeria can and will like to use nuclear energy for power production in the electrical sector. One nuclear energy power plant will be enough to give Nigeria and all its neighboring countries light."

Meanwhile, Perry Dzivenu in Accra, Ghana, suggests Nigeria copies his country to deal with the problem:

Governments have no business selling fuel. Ghana has deregulated her fuel sector and the oil marketing companies determine prices with the market forces. Queues have ceased from Ghanaian filling stations."

Well, these suggestions that could take time to implement. In the meantime people are stuck in queues.

So, Kenechi C Anene in Nigeria's commercial capital, Lagos, gives his tips on how he avoids using fuel:

1. Park my car, trek it out. 2. Park my generator, use mosquito nets and open my windows at night. 3. Buy foodstuff in pack."

If you haven’t gone as far as to give up the air conditioning and the car then you’re stuck with the queues.

So we want to know what you are doing to keep yourselves occupied.

Get in contact:

Murdered British artist's inquest in Kenya

Alastair Leithead

BBC Africa correspondent

The mistress of a British artist shot in the heart by an unknown gunman outside her house in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, 15 years ago has appeared at the inquest into his death. 

Professional hunter Natasha Illum Berg said she and Tonio Trzebinski had fallen in love and were planning a life together, but before his murder he had been "physically scared" of his wife Anna who'd found out about their affair.

The circumstances surrounding the unsolved murder, in an upscale neighbourhood of Nairobi, are being picked over in detail by the inquest into his death. 

The 41-year old British artist was shot in the heart outside his mistress's home in October 2001. 

The hunter, who was 30 at the time, described how in love they were and how they were "planning a future together" when he was killed. 

She told the court how he was "extremely scared" of his wife who had slashed his paintings with a knife when she found out about their affair, saying he told her "you have no idea what she is capable of".

Ms Trzebinski told the inquest that allegations she might have arranged his killing were "deeply, deeply offensive." 

The case has been compared to the unsolved "white mischief" murder of the British Earl of Errol, killed by a single bullet in the same neighbourhood 60 years earlier. 

More witnesses are due to be called as the inquest continues.

Benin's new leader sworn in

This file photo taken on March 4, 2016 shows cotton tycoon and presidential candidate Patrice Talon (C) flanked by supporters arriving for a rally in Cotonou
AFP
Mr Talon (C) has promised to govern with humility

Business tycoon Patrice Talon has been sworn in as Benin's new president after winning last month's elections. 

 The 57-year-old, dubbed the King of Cotton because of his business interests in the industry, was inaugurated at the Charles de Gaulle stadium in the capital Porto-Novo. 

 "With my term I will exercise state power with dignity and simplicity," Mr Talon said, in a short inauguration speech, AFP news agency reports. 

"I will serve as the president with humility, selflessness and sacrifice for the welfare of all," he added. 

Earlier, he and outgoing President Boni Yayi hugged each other after a meeting at the presidential palace in what was a show of goodwill, AFP reports. 

In 2012, Mr Talon was accused of masterminding a plot to poison Mr Yayi, an allegation he denied. 

Mr Talon defeated Mr Yayi's preferred successor, former banker Lionel Zinsou, in the elections. 

Mr Yayi did not contest the election, abiding by the constitution which required him to step down after two terms.

Nigeria lawmaker under pressure

Martin Patience

BBC News, Nigeria correspondent

Nigerian Senate President Bukola Saraki sits in the accused box during a hearing of corruption charges against him at Code of Conduct tribunal in Abuja, on September 22, 2015
AFP
Mr Saraki denies any wrongdoing

There is growing pressure on one of Nigeria’s most senior politicians to resign following allegations made in the Panama Papers data leak about the tax affairs of public figures. 

Senate President Bukola Saraki is currently on trial accused of buying property with stolen money and failing to declare his assets. 

He has pleaded not guilty to 13 charges relating to the eight years he spent as a regional governor.   

The timing is purely coincidental, but as his trial got underway, news emerged of fresh allegations relating to Mr Saraki’s financial affairs.  

Nigeria's Premium Times Times newspaper, one of the partner organisations working on the Panama Papers, reported that the politician’s family held four undeclared offshore assets, including a multi-million dollar property in London.  

In a statement, Mr Saraki, denied any wrongdoing and said that he had declared all his assets according to the law.  

Since being elected last year, Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged to root out official corruption. 

If found guilty at his trial in Nigeria, Mr Saraki could be barred from public office and face time in jail. 

Read: Tax havens and the new politics

Will Nigeria's deradicalisation plan work?

Scene following attack by Boko Haram in Dalori village, Nigeria. 31 Jan 2016
AP
Boko Haram has destroyed many villages in north-eastern Nigeria

Nigerians have been reacting to plans by the military to set up a camp to rehabilitate repentant Boko Haram militants  

One expert said there is a lack of deradicalisation experts in Nigeria to staff the camp.

The head of the department of crime management at Tatari Ali Polytechnic in Bauchi,  Abdullahi Yalwa, added that the militants stigmatised, and this would be a barrier to getting them back into communities to lead normal lives. 

But he told me that establishing such camp is a good idea because "bullets can only kill terrorists but cannot kill terrorism".

The military has not yet released full details of their plan, but they say they will offer militants vocational training so that can "contribute meaningfully to the economic growth of their fatherland". 

See our 09:03 post for more on this story

Is BBC a national threat in Djibouti?

Tomi Oladipo

BBC Africa security correspondent

Djibouti is clearly a little nervous about democracy, as within 48 hours of arriving to report on the forthcoming elections, I was among a three-man BBC team detained and expelled without explanation. 

Read my full story 

LeRoy becomes new Togo coach

Claude LeRoy
Getty Images

Claude LeRoy has just told the BBC's Nick Cavell that he is becoming the new coach of Togo's national football team.

The 68-year-old will take over from Belgian coach Tom Saintfiet.

The Frenchman has worked on the continent for almost 30 years and has coached  a record eight African Nations Cup finals. 

His first job will be to persuade striker Emmanuel Adebayor to return to the national team on a more consistent basis.

Read more on BBC Sport

'Drop' in malaria cases in Kenya

Ferdinand Omondi

BBC Africa, Mombasa

A child sits 22 June 2005 under a mosquito net in his home in the town Xai Xai, 200 kms north of Maputo
AFP
Mosquito nets are used across Africa to prevent the spread of malaria

The number of people affected by malaria in Kenya has fallen sharply, according to a survey carried out by the ministry of health.  

Six years ago 11% of Kenyans were contracting the disease, but that has dropped to 8%. 

The report attributes this to greater use of mosquito nets and quicker treatment.  

It adds: 

  • Six out of 10 homes have at least one mosquito net treated with insecticide
  • Nearly six out of 10 children now sleep under a net
  • More than half of pregnant women use them, and receive other preventative treatments
  • Malaria accounts for 16% of all outpatient attendance at medical facilities
  •  It remains most prevalent in western Kenya around Lake Victoria where nearly 3 in ten children tested positive.

Protest in Harare over 'sex slaves in Kuwait'

Protesters in Harare
BBC

Dozens of women took to the streets of Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, today to demonstrate against Kuwait's government over the alleged abuse of workers in the Gulf state. 

The nation has been shocked by harrowing accounts in the media of Zimbabwean women who had their passports seized upon arrival in Kuwait, worked for close to a year without a salary and were forced to be sex slaves. 

However, several women were arrested for taking part in the demonstration: 

Protester and police in Harare 6 April 2016
BBC

The women were bundled into a police van:

Van in Harare 6 April 2016
BBC

MP Thabitha Khumalo was among the protesters:

Protesters in Harare
BBC

Igad celebrates ICC verdict

A body representing East African states has welcomed  the collapse of the case against Kenya's Deputy President William Ruto, who was on trial at the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity.

In a statement, Igad executive secretary Mahboub Maalim said:

The country in particular and the region at large can now focus on more important and urgent development matters including reconciliation, healing and post conflict reconstruction.”

Huge blow to ICC

Joshua arup Sang (l) and William Ruto (2nd from right)
AFP
The court said there was insufficient evidence against Joshua arup Sang (l) and William Ruto (2nd from right), pictured here shortly after the court's finding was announced

The decision by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to "terminate" charges against Kenya's Deputy President William Ruto and a co-accused radio journalist effectively brings to an end the international efforts to pursue justice for the victims of violence that followed the country's disputed elections in 2007.

But the pain and tribal rifts are still felt as the BBC's Alastair Leithead writes from Kenya's capital, Nairobi

Pressure on Zuma grows

South Africa's former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel has called on President Jacob Zuma to step down after the country's highest court ruled last week that he breached the constitution by failing to repay government money used to upgrade his private home. 

He is the latest high-profile member of the governing African National Congress (ANC) to demand Mr Zuma's resignation.

"The violation of the key oath of office of the head of state, which I think is a deep crisis. I think it’s in all of our interests that the president actually steps aside," Mr Manuel is quoted by local media as saying. 

A coalition of church, academic and other groups are due to meet later today to launch a campaign to force Mr Zuma out of office. 

The ANC has rejected calls for his resignation, and defeated an opposition-sponsored motion to impeach him in Parliament yesterday. 

Deputy Justice Minister John Jeffrey said Mr Zuma was not guilty of "serious misconduct". 

Protesters
AFP
There have been widespread protests against Mr Zuma amid a worsening economic situation

South Africa's anti-corruption czar Thuli Madonsela ruled in 2014 that Mr Zuma "unduly benefited" from government money used to build a swimming pool, amphitheatre, cattle enclosure and chicken run at his home in the rural area of Nkandla. 

After the Constitutional Court backed her findings, Mr Zuma promised to repay the money and apologised for the "frustration and confusion" caused by the long-running controversy. 

The opposition said he was "crooked", and unfit to govern. 

Why has the yellow fever vaccine run out?

More than 200 people have been killed in the current yellow fever outbreak in Angola which the World Health Organization (WHO) says is the worst to hit the oil-rich country in 30 years.

WHO said on 24 March that it has sent its entire stockpile of 5.7 million doses of yellow fever vaccine to Angola to deal with the outbreak in the country.    

The WHO say an additional 1.5 million doses are needed to vaccinate the population at risk in Luanda province alone.  

It doesn't seem like replacements will be produced quickly.

Professor Lawrence Madoff from the International Society for Infectious Diseases told BBC Newsday that they need to produce more but it is a complicated vaccine to make and distribute.

He estimates an increase of production will take at least a month. 

Prof Madoff  is concerned that the outbreak will spread beyond Angola to Asia:

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Panama Papers: SA orders probe

Panama papers graphic
BBC

South Africa will investigate firms and individuals named in the Panama Papers to ensure they complied with the law, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has said. 

Mr Gordhan welcomed the leak, saying "the world is systemically narrowing the scope for those who want to hide their offshore assets and avoid paying their taxes due to the South African fiscus".   

Holding funds in an offshore bank is "by itself not illegal, as long as the necessary approvals and disclosures have been made to the relevant authorities", he added in a statement.     

A nephew of President Jacob Zuma, Khulubuse Zuma, is among those named in the documents leaked from Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca.

His spokesman said he had never held an offshore account. 

Mr Gordhan said the investigation would be carried out by the central bank, Financial Intelligence Centre, and the tax agency. 

Read: Panama Papers: What we know?

Arrests over 'terror attack' in Congo-Brazzaville

The government in Congo-Brazzaville says 50 people have been arrested after clashes in the capital on Monday, reports AFP news agency.

The government spokesman called it a terror attack which left at least five people dead and government buildings torched, the agency adds.

The government blames the fighting, which comes on the heels of a disputed  election last month, on the Ninja militia that fought two  civil wars in the 1990s.

The Ninjas are headed by Protestant preacher Frederic Bintsamou, known as Pastor Ntumi, who recently came out in favour of opposition presidential  candidate Guy-Brice Parfait Kolelas, the runner-up in the March 20 vote.

The constitutional court on Monday confirmed that Denis Sassou Nguesso had won the election, extending his 32 years in power.

Zimbabwe deputy minister 'barricaded'

Paralympic officials in wheelchairs barricaded a deputy minister in Zimababwe for four hours following a dispute over money, the state-owned Herald newspaper reports this morning.

Deputy Women Affairs and Community Development Minister Abigail Damasane was allowed to leave only after police intervened, it reports.

The officials who are wheelchair users held her at a college in the southern town of Gwanda on Sunday at the end of the Zimbabwe National Paralympic Games, demanding their allowances, the newspaper adds.

Ms Damasane is quoted as saying that she was not "part of the issues. I just saw chaos and closed my windows and stayed in my vehicle".   

Nigeria 'safe corridor' for militants

Boko Haram fighters
Boko Haram video
Boko Haram has waged an insurgency since 2009

Nigeria's army says it has launched "Operation Safe Corridor" for militant Islamists who surrender and repent. 

In a statement, the military said members of the Boko Haram group who surrender would be given vocational training at a rehabilitation camp so that they could return to normal life. 

The statement said the military would continue with its offensive against the group, and its fighters should therefore see the "wisdom of surrendering now, thereby saving themselves from imminent calamity". 

Libya Tripoli government to 'step down'

Security forces in front of the headquarters of the municipal council of Tripoli (05 April 2016)
Reuters
Security has disintegrated in Libya since the removal of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011

One of two rival governments in Libya has announced that it is stepping down, a justice ministry statement has said.

The announcement comes less than a week after the arrival in Tripoli of a UN-backed national unity government.

The Tripoli-based, Islamist-backed administration said it was standing down to prevent further bloodshed.

Since 2014 Libya has had two competing administrations, the one in Tripoli backed by powerful militias and the other in the port city of Tobruk.

The Tobruk-based administration still opposes the UN-backed body.

Today's wise words

Our African proverb of the day:

Wisdom is like a lost needle - a child could find it just as easily as an adult.

A Wolof proverb sent by Sarata Ngack Sowe, Bakau, The Gambia

Click here to send us your African proverbs

Good morning

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