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  1. South African court rules president failed to uphold constitution
  2. Opposition calls for President Zuma's impeachment
  3. Kenya president gives highest award to Muslim who shielded Christians from al-Shabab
  4. Ugandan court rejects presidential election challenge
  5. More donors 'withdraw Tanzania aid'
  6. At least eight killed in central Somalia blast
  7. A South African game park lion called Sylvester who escaped is found and tranquilised
  8. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive
  9. Email stories and comments to - Thursday 31 March 2016

Live Reporting

By Hugo Williams and Damian Zane

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Thursday's stories

We'll be back tomorrow

That's where we end the BBC Africa Live page for this Thursday, which has been a difficult day for some of the continent's presidents:

We'll be back tomorrow but in the meantime, keep up-to-date with what is happening across the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast and checking the BBC News website

Today's African proverb:

Lightening does not strike the same tree twice."

A Luhya proverb sent by Ahnez Ruud Okubasu, Nairobi, Kenya

We leave you with this picture of an Egyptian souvenir vendor waiting for customers today at Egypt's Valley of the Kings in Luxor, which has been hit by a downturn in tourism.

An Egyptian souvenir vendor waits for customers at the Valley of the Kings in Luxor

Besigye son runs for president - in Oxford

A Besigye running for president? It sounds like a familiar story doesn't it?

But this time it's not Kizza, but Anslem, the son of the embattled Ugandan opposition leader, who is running to become a president. He wants to become the head of the Oxford Union, probably the most prestigious university debating society in the world. 

He's even trying to canvass support with an election video, which has already been viewed more than 50,000 times on Facebook. 

But Mr Besigye Jr is unlikely to be placed under house arrest to maintain public order. 

His father has been detained at his home since he threatened to protest following President Yoweri Museveni's election victory last month.

Anslem Besigye

Why are Western donors withdrawing aid from Tanzania?

The embassies of Sweden and the Republic of Ireland in Tanzania have confirmed that they are no longer providing the Tanzanian government with budgetary support, the BBC's Sammy Awami reports from the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.

The Tanzanian finance ministry said on Wednesday that 10 Western donors were withdrawing the direct financial support they give the government (see earlier entry at 09:39).

It leaves the European Union (EU), the World Bank, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Denmark as the four remaining donors, according to the finance ministry, local media reports.

It represents another blow to the government of President John Magafuli after the US pulled $472m (£331m) of funding for development projects because of concerns over recent elections in Zanzibar.    

The Swedish embassy said in a statement that their decision was not connected to Zanzibar, but rather due to "corruption surrounding the energy sector" and the scheduled expiration of the current agreement.

The Republic of Ireland embassy said it had "no further plans to release budget support" and that the last payment was made in June 2015. 

One regional analyst has tweeted a cartoon that Tanzania's privately-owned Guardian newspaper, portraying the apparent dash for the exit by donors in recent days: 

View more on twitter

What will President Zuma be tucking into tonight?

The South African fast-food chain Nando's has become well known for its adverts inspired by current affairs.

And it's been quick off the mark today, with a poster reflecting the Constitutional Court decision that President Jacob Zuma failed to uphold the constitution.

A BBC reporter in South Africa has tweeted Nando's latest cheeky offering:

View more on twitter

The ANC's top leaders are expected to meet later today to discuss the implications of the ruling for the future of Mr Zuma.

Rhodes has fallen but SA university now wants to rename campus buildings

South Africa's University of Cape Town (UCT) has asked staff, students and alumni to suggest new names for some of its buildings.

The call comes in the wake of the controversy over the successful campaign to remove a statue of UCT benefactor Cecil Rhodes, which many saw as a symbol of racist colonial values.

The campaign sparked a debate about how historical South African heroes should be memorialised.

There have been concerns that the names of some of the university buildings reflect the history of a non-democratic South Africa.

In a statement, UCT Vice-Chancellor Max Price said he was looking for "a diversity of views leading to name changes that will give our campus an inclusive and diverse character and symbolise the living democracy we strive for".

Rhodes statue being removed
The #RhodesMustFall campaign gained international media attention

Kenya Airways to make 600 staff redundant

Kenya's national airline Kenya Airways has announced that it is cutting 600 jobs to cut costs.

The airline made the announcement in a series of tweets:

View more on twitter

members of staff being declared redundant or redeployed elsewhere should their terms of service allow it.

Kenya Airways, one of the continent's biggest airlines, is trying to return to profitability after announcing its biggest ever annual loss in July last year.

It's facing competition from Gulf carriers as well as the expanding Ethiopian Airlines.

Moise Katumbi challenges DR Congo's President Kabila to step down

The owner of African's top football club has told the president of Democratic Republic of Congo to step down when his second term in office ends in December.

Moise Katumbi urged President Joseph Kabila to stick to the constitution.

Mr Katumbi has been nominated by seven opposition parties to be their presidential candidate in the elections expected in November.

Mr Kabila took power in 2001 after his father Laurent Kabila was assassinated.

He has since won two disputed elections since he took power in 2001, and is constitutionally barred from contesting the poll.  

Read more from the BBC News Online story.

Moise Katumbi
Moise Katumbi is the owner of TP Mazembe, five-time winners of the African champions league

A tasty Nigerian snack: Fried grasshoppers and chilli

Isa Sanusi

BBC Africa, Abuja

Grasshoppers are a delicacy in Nigeria, especially in the north-east. 

I spotted someone selling them in Masaka, which is about 10km (six miles) outside the capital, Abuja:

Grasshoppers for sale in Masaka, Nigeria

The grasshopper trader said he’d got them from Yobe state – and they’d been washed and fried for his customers.

Some people like to eat them with a sprinkle of chilli: 

A grasshopper seller's bag of chilli powder in Masaka, Nigeria

Each portion is sold for 50 naira ($0.25, £0.17) – but this man was bargaining to buy a cup at lower cost:  

A grasshopper customer in Masaka, Nigeria

His haggling paid off - and he got a tasty snack for just 20 naira.

Giant rats trained to detect tuberculosis in prisons

Rats are already used to sniff out landmines, but now they are going to be used to sniff out tuberculosis (TB) in Tanzania and Mozambique.

Scientists from Apopo, a non-governmental organisation, have trained African giant pouched rats to detect the disease.

The organisation will use them in crowded prisons, where TB often goes undiagnosed, because prisoners do not have money or awareness to go to screenings.

Video produced by Alexi Peristianis

Top honour for Kenyan Muslim who shielded Christians from al-Shabab

Salah Farah called for Muslims and Christians to look after each other
Jill Craig/VOA
Salah Farah called for Muslims and Christians to look after each other

The Kenyan Muslim teacher who was shot and later died after shielding Christian fellow passengers when their bus was attacked by al-Shabab militants has been awarded a top honour for his bravery.

The story made global headlines in December, with many online praising the passengers' show of unity.  

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who announced the award in his State of the Nation address, has been giving more details on his Twitter feed:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Salah Farah was on a bus travelling through Mandera in Kenya when it was attacked by al-Shabab in December.

The attackers told the Muslims and Christians to split up but he was among Muslim passengers who refused.

A bullet hit Mr Farah, who died from his injuries a month later. 

al-Shabab militants pose with guns
Somali-based al-Shabab has launched several attacks over the border in Kenya

Nigeria campaign to stop women giving birth in churches

Activists in Nigeria are campaigning to stop women giving birth in churches. 

It's a popular practice in Cross River state in the south of the country. 

Many women believe that a church will offer more protection during childbirth than a medical facility. 

One told the BBC she could get an injection in a hospital but no-one would pray for her there. 

Nigerian churches sometimes employ traditional birth attendants, but they lack formal training and all but the most basic equipment. 

Campaigners say that some women who died in childbirth in churches would have survived in a health facility. 

The BBC's Chris Ewokor has been to Calabar city to find out more from Dr Lynda Ayade, one of those leading the campaign. You can listen to his report below.

View more on Soundcloud

EU 'to impose sanctions on those who block Libya peace process'

Three Libyans who are accused of obstructing the peace process are set to face European Union sanctions, the AFP news agency reports, quoting EU sources.

The source said that there will be "a ban on travelling in the European Union and a freeze on assets in the EU, which could be effective as it seems they have assets in Malta".

The report does not name those who are facing the sanctions. 

The leadership of a UN-backed government arrived in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, on Wednesday, but some militia forces have refused to recognise it.

Libyan government meeting
The UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj (second from right) met with members of the presidential council in Tripoli today

Analysis: What South Africa's court ruling means for Zuma

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

It is very difficult to see how the ANC can continue to have President Jacob Zuma at the helm, following the stinging rebuke he received from the Constitutional Court.

Earlier today it ruled that he violated the constitution when he failed to repay government money spent on his private home.

Opposition parties now plan to strike against the 73-year-old leader, and hope that ANC MPs will vote with them to impeach him. Another option is for the ANC to recall Mr Zuma, as it did with his predecessor, Thabo Mbeki, in 2008.

A third option would be to say "better the devil you know" and to stick with Mr Zuma, at least until after this year's crucial local government elections.

As for South Africans, they are celebrating the independence of the Constitutional Court.

It has shown that it will protect the public from the abuse of power and will not be a political crony of the government. 

This is likely to embolden South Africans to continue fighting corruption and demanding accountability from the government.

Jacob Zuma
The ANC's top leaders, including the president, are expected to discuss Mr Zuma's future later today

Criticism can be reckless, Kenya's president says

Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta was earlier interrupted while delivering his state of the nation address by opposition MPs blowing whistles.

And during his speech he had a go at people who oppose the government just for the sake of it, according to a tweet from the Kenyan presidency.

View more on twitter

And people have been debating the whistling and other highlights from Mr Kenyatta's address using #SOTN2016 on Twitter.

Some were not impressed by the protest by the opposition:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

But others thought the MPs did a good job:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Somalia in 'urgent need of drought help'

The United Nations has appealed for more than $100m (£70m) in emergency aid for Somalia to avert the risk of starvation facing more than a million people. 

The UN aid co-ordinator for Somalia has been tweeting details of the appeal: 

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Mr de Clercq said communities were already losing their means of survival, and funds were required to come back from the tipping point to avoid an even greater crisis. 

Life-saving drugs could soon be made more affordable

Will Ross

BBC News

The drugs company, GlaxoSmithKline or GSK, says it will make it easier for manufacturers in the world's poorest countries to copy its medicines.  

It announced it won't file patents in what are described as least developed and low income countries, which include many in Africa. 

Pharmaceutical firms are often criticised because their drugs are unaffordable to the world's poorest.  

They say that patenting their products is the only way to ensure research for new treatments can be funded.

GSK's announcement should be good news for people struggling to afford medicine.

Some progress has been made in recent years. 

Increased competition among generic drug manufacturers led to a huge drop in the price of medicine for people living with HIV/Aids.  

But cancer cases in Africa are on the increase and treatment can cost many thousands of dollars.

GSK says its next generation of cancer medicine will be more affordable.

GSK sign

South African lion Sylvester found and tranquilised

South African National Parks (SANParks) has tweeted that its search team has tranquillised the lion, known as Sylvester, which had escaped from a park in a remote part of the country.

View more on twitter

A #SaveSylvester Twitter campaign was launched on Wednesday when SANParks had said it may kill the lion.

It looks like the pressure worked.

SANParks has been tweeting details of the tranquillisation:

View more on twitter

SANParks has tweeted that it will be looking at what to do with Sylvester - this being the second time that he has escaped - in the meantime he will be kept in an enclosure, or boma. 

View more on twitter

'Witnesses in Uganda election petition intimidated'

Ugandan opposition presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi has been responding to the rejection of his court case challenging the election of President Yoweri Museveni last month.

Amama Mbabazi press conference

The BBC's Patience Atuhaire reports from the capital, Kampala, that Mr Mbabazi said he is studying the court's ruling.

But he said he was not able to present the case he wanted.

"The court dismissed the petition citing a lack of evidence, but our production of evidence was hampered by many factors. 

"One, which is publicly known, is that our lawyers' chambers were raided." 

He said that up to 300 affidavits were seized in the raid. 

Mr Mbabazi added that most potential witnesses were either arrested or intimidated, or are now in hiding.

How much will President Zuma have to pay back?

South Africa's anti-corruption watchdog, known as the Public Protector, has been discussing the amount of money President Jacob Zuma will be expected to pay back after this morning's dramatic ruling by the Constitutional Court.

Thuli Madonsela said that the cost of non-security upgrades to his private Nkandla residence were thought to be $700,000 (£500,000), Reuters news agency reports.

However, she said that this would probably not be the final figure the president has to repay given the higher total cost of the improvements, reported to be $20m.

The court praised Ms Madonsela for being a "David" against the "Goliath" of corruption in South Africa. 

It was her office's investigation in 2014 which shed light on details of the scandal over Nkandla. 

Nkandla residence
The improvements at Nkandla included a swimming pool and cattle enclosure

Kenya's president interrupted by whistling in parliament

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has been interrupted by opposition MPs whistling while giving his state of the nation address.

The KTN TV channel has been tweeting about what's been happening:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

The speaker then threw some members of parliament out of the chamber:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Who is Libya's prime minister?

BBC Monitoring

The prime minister of Libya's UN-backed national unity government, Fayez Sarraj, made a dramatic arrival on Wednesday to the capital Tripoli by boat, after previous attempts to fly into Libyan airspace from Tunisia had failed. 

So who is the man tasked with bringing an end to the chaos which has reigned since the 2011 overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi? 

Fayez Sarraj was born in Tripoli in 1960 into a prominent local family. His politician father, Mustafa, held office under King Idris, whose 18-year monarchy ended in 1969 when he was overthrown by Muammar Gaddafi.

Al-Jazeera TV has described Mustafa Sarraj as "one of the founders of the modern state of Libya after its independence from Italy".

During the Gaddafi era, Fayez Sarraj was not prominent politically but did hold several posts at the Housing Ministry.

After the uprising in 2011, he became a member of the National Dialogue Commission - a group trying to establish national consensus and unity in Libya.

He was later nominated for membership of the House of Representatives for the constituency of al-Andalus in Tripoli.

His choice as prime minister was seen as a compromise as he is not affiliated to any political party involved in the power struggle.

Unity government PM Fayez Sarraj and his colleagues arrived at a naval base in Tripoli

Eboue to get sack from Sunderland after Fifa ban

Sunderland are set to terminate the contract of defender Emmanuel Eboue after he was suspended by Fifa from all football-related activity for one year.

The 32-year-old Ivory Coast international, who joined the Black Cats until the end of the season on 9 March, was given the ban after failing to pay money owed to a former agent.

Sunderland said Eboue did not make the club aware of the matter, which relates to a dispute from July 2013.

Emmanuel Eboue in action for Ivory Coast
Getty Images

Read the full BBC Sport story

Opposition to new Libya government 'not from the people'

Leaders of Libya's new unity government are now in the capital, Tripoli, having travelled there by boat in an attempt to take control.

The AP news agency is reporting that they plan to set up a government at the naval base where they arrived.

Some forces in Tripoli are hostile to the UN-backed government.

It was set up after a deal which only some members of the country's rival parliaments agreed to.

The UN representative has tweeted his frustration with those who are opposed to the government:

View more on twitter
Unity government PM Fayez Sarraj and his colleagues arrived at a naval base in Tripoli
Unity government PM Fayez Sarraj and his colleagues arrived at a naval base in Tripoli on Wednesday

Museveni lawyers celebrate Uganda court victory

The BBC's Patience Atuhaire has posted video from a packed court in the Ugandan capital Kampala, following the ruling that President Yoweri Mueseveni's election victory was legal (see earlier post at 10:10).

Lawyers for the president and the electoral commission appear to be in high spirits following their victory:

View more on twitter

The court also cleared Mr Museveni over controversial comments he made during his campaign.

The president said that any attempt to disrupt the elections would a carry a similar risk to putting "your finger in the anus of a leopard".

Many opposition supporters interpreted the statement as a veiled threat, intended to silence them.    

But the court ruled that the comments could not be presented as evidence of voter intimidation.

One of Patience's fellow journalists also spotted her doing some great multi-tasking, making sure that she could tweet and record audio at the same time!

View more on twitter

South Africa's President Zuma 'respects' Constitutional Court judgement

South Africa's government has responded to the ruling by the Constitutional Court saying that the president failed to uphold the constitution.

The judges said he was constitutionally obliged to respect a ruling by the Public Protector saying that he should pay for non-security upgrades to his private residence.

President Jacob Zuma has noted and respects the judgement handed down by the Constitutional Court and its findings relating to the Public Protector Report on Nkandla, the President’s homestead."

South Africa government statement

It adds that the president is now considering the judgement:

The President will reflect on the judgement and its implications on the state and government, and will in consultation with other impacted institutions of state determine the appropriate action."

South Africa government statement
Jacob Zuma

South Africa's EFF opposition leader says Zuma must step down

The leader of South Africa's opposition Economic Freedom Fighters Julius Malema has called for President Jacob Zuma to step down.

Speaking to the press in South Africa's main city of Johannesburg, he said that if he does not leave voluntarily then the party will take other "practical steps":

View more on twitter

The Constitutional Court case was originally brought by the EFF, and Mr Malema is enjoying this moment in the spotlight.

He has already made corruption allegations against a number of other government figures and has launched a stinging criticism of the governing ANC.

Julius Malema

CAR abuse: UN looks into 'bestiality' report

UN officials say they are investigating "extremely troubling" claims of sexual abuse by peacekeepers in the Central African Republic (CAR).

Last year, there were 69 allegations of child rape and other sexual offences by peacekeepers from 10 missions.

One advocacy group says it has passed on new reports to the UN that a soldier made four girls have sex with a dog.

Armoured vehicle carrying peacekeepers drives through capital Bangui
There have been repeated allegations of child sex abuse by international troops in CAR

Read the full BBC News story

Top former Rwandan diplomat dies in custody in Burundi

Prime Ndikumagenge

BBC Africa, Bujumbura

A former Rwandan minister and diplomat, jailed in Burundi on suspicion of spying, has died in custody, Burundi's justice ministry says.

''He fainted and died in the afternoon,'' justice ministry spokesman Elie Ntungwanayo told the BBC.  

The Rwandan government has condemned his death as an assassination. 

Jaques Bihozagara, the former Rwandan ambassador to France and Belgium, was arrested and detained in Burundi last December, accused of spying for Rwanda.

His death comes at a time when relations between Burundi and Rwanda are strained.

Burundi has accused Rwanda of arming and training refugees to fight Burundi's government, charges it denies.

Read more on the story fromBBC News Online.

Burundian refugees sitting in a camp
More than a 250,000 have fled the unrest in Burundi

#ConCourt trending in South Africa

#ConCourt is trending on Twitter in South Africa as people there digest the news that their president failed to uphold the constitution.

Some are seeing it as a victory for democracy: 

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

And one South African newspaper has tweeted its updated front page:

View more on twitter

ANC 'respects Constitutional Court judgement'

South Africa's governing ANC says in a statement that it "respects the unanimous judgement delivered by the Constitutional Court" that President Jacob Zuma failed to uphold the constitution over not complying with the Public Protector.

But the party adds that it will now "study [the ruling] in detail and comment further in due course".

The opposition DA - one of the parties that brought the case - has called for Mr Zuma's impeachment.

Supporters of the EFF, the other opposition party that brought the case, have been celebrating outside the court:

View more on twitter

EFF leader Julius Malema is now giving a press conference with his party's official reaction.

He has called for the president to step down:

View more on youtube

President Zuma has 'obligation to uphold the constitution'

The full text of the judgement by South Africa's Constitutional Court that President Jacob Zuma failed to uphold the constitution by not complying with a report by the Public Protector is now online.

We've picked out three of the key quotes:

  • "The Public Protector... is the embodiment of a biblical David... who fights the most powerful and very well-resourced Goliath"
  • "The Public Protector would arguably have no dignity and be ineffective if her directives could be ignored willy-nilly"
  • "Only upon [the president] has the constitutional obligation to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution as the supreme law of the Republic been expressly imposed"
South Africa's Constitutional Court

South Africa opposition starts impeachment campaign

The Democratic Alliance has now started a campaign calling for the impeachment of President Jacob Zuma after the Constitutional Court ruled that he failed to uphold the constitution.

View more on twitter

The court found that Mr Zuma was obliged to comply with a 2014 ruling from the Public Protector's office that he should repay the money spent on the non-security features to his private residence.

South Africa's opposition call for president's impeachment

Now that South Africa's Constitutional Court has ruled that President Jacob Zuma failed to uphold the constitution by not complying to the ruling by the Public Protector, opposition parties are having their say.

The Democratic Alliance is one of those who brought the case:

View more on twitter

The party's leader Mmusi Maimane gave an impromptu press conference on the steps of the court:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Somalia hotel bomb attack kills eight

Ibrahim Adem

BBC Africa, Mogadishu

At least eight people were killed in this morning's suicide bomb attack at a hotel in the north-central Somali town of Galkayo, the mayor has told the BBC. 

Abdiasis Jama said that a senior finance official from the Puntland administration in Mudug region was among the dead.

al-Shabab militants
Somalia’s al-Shabab militant group said it was behind the attack

Uganda High Court rules election 'legal'

Catherine Byaruhanga

BBC Africa Uganda correspondent

The judgement is being read by the Chief Justice and so far the court has decided there were irregularities in the elections but that they did not affect the final result.

The Electoral Commission declared President Yoweri Museveni winner of February's election.

The petition has been brought by the former Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi, who came third.

Several international and local observers criticised the legitimacy of the vote.

BreakingPresident Zuma 'failed to uphold the constitution'

Judge Mogoeng says the president or the National Assembly should not have responded to the Public Protector in the way they did.

The judge notes that the president has now agreed to repay the money spent on the non-security upgrades to his private rural residence.

So the question remains on whether the president violated the constitution, the judge says.

He says that the Constitutional Court is obliged to rule on this issue.

The president's failure to comply with the remedial action taken against him by the Public Protector - ie that he should repay the money - is inconsistent with his duty to uphold the constitution, the judge says.

Judge reading ruling

'Damning judgement' being read in South Africa Constitutional Court

A BBC reporter following the ruling from South Africa's Constitutional Court wonders how supporters of the president will be able to explain why the president acted in the way he did:

View more on twitter

Another journalist is enjoying the way the ruling is being delivered:

View more on twitter

'Zuma should have challenged Nkandla report through the courts'

Judge Mogoeng reminds the court of the ruling by the Public Protector that President Jacob Zuma should pay back the money spent on non-security features at his Nkandla residence.

The features in question were:

  • Cattle kraal
  • Chicken run
  • Swimming pool
  • Amphitheatre
  • Visitor centre

The judge says that the president was entitled to inquire into whether the Public Protector was correct.

But he should have gone to the judiciary rather than asked for an alternative government report.

You can watch the ruling here:

View more on youtube

More donors 'pull Tanzania aid'

Sammy Awami

BBC Africa, Dar es Salaam

A group of 10 Western donors have announced they are withdrawing budgetary support to the Tanzanian government.

It follows a decision by a US government aid agency to pull $472m (£331m) of funding for development projects because of concerns over the electoral process in Zanzibar.  

About a third of Tanzania's budget last year depended on donor support, so this latest move is a blow to the new government’s development plans. 

women walk along a beach in Zanzibar
Getty Images

South Africa's Public Protector 'must be listened to'

Judge Mogoeng is underlining the importance of South Africa's anti-corruption watchdog, the Public Protector.

She ruled in 2014 that President Jacob Zuma should repay some of the millions of dollars the state spent on upgrading his rural home.

He did not comply with the ruling at the time.

The judge says the Public Protector would have no dignity if her rulings were ignored "willy- nilly".