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  1. Uganda blocks social media ahead of presidential inauguration
  2. Mozambicans jailed for killing boy with albinism
  3. DR Congo court rules Kabila can stay in office if poll delayed
  4. Nigeria's leader wants UK to repatriate stolen money
  5. South Africa judge at centre of rape race row on special leave
  6. Ethiopia floods "kill 50"
  7. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive WhatsApp: +44 7341070844
  8. Email stories and comments to - Wednesday 11 May 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:

The village which is not discussed is not built."

A Maasai proverb sent by Fred Hoekstra, Oldeberkoop, the Netherlands

Click here to send us your African proverbs.

And we leave you with this picture of a father and daughter celebrating Africa Day in Dublin, Ireland:

Africa Day dubin

African buildings shortlisted for architecture award

James Copnall

Africa editor, BBC World Service

The Thread cultural centre
A cultural centre in Senegal is one of the shortlisted buildings

There are four African projects among the 19 on the shortlist for the Aga Khan Architecture Award. 

All the projects are meant to have some relevance to Muslim culture.

The four are the Makoko floating school in Lagos, Nigeria, the Thread artistic residency and cultural centre in Sinthian, Senegal, and two projects in Morocco: the Guelmim school of technology and the Casa-Port railway station in Casablanca.

They are competing for a share in the $1m (£690,000) prize. The judges will pick five winners, each meant to be an example of great architecture which improves the quality of life of those who use the building.

So is winning the prize important to those on the shortlist? 'Yes!' says Kunle Adeyemi, the man behind the floating school, before breaking into a big laugh.

You can look around the buildings here:

View more on youtube
View more on youtube
View more on youtube
View more on youtube

DR Congo opposition rejects court ruling

Joseph Kabila
Mr Kabila's two terms end in December

A leading opposition party in the Democratic Republic of Congo has condemned a ruling by the country's highest court that President Joseph Kabila can remain in office, if elections scheduled for November are delayed. 

The  Movement for the Liberation of Congo party's secretary-general,   Eve Bazaiba, said the court was not independent, Reuters news agency reports.   

She added: 

If the court violates the constitution, we are not going to follow the court.

On December 19, the mandate of Kabila is over. On December 20, if he continues, we will consider that there has been a constitutional coup d'etat."

Ugandan telcos say they were ordered to block social media

Mobile phone operator Airtel informed its customers in Uganda that social media was blocked... on social media.

They say that the Uganda Communication Commission ordered them to implement the block:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

People have been able to respond despite the ban.

One commenter explains how, simply by posting this picture:

View more on twitter

A VPN is a Virtual Private Network. 

Mozambique albino killers jailed

Jose Tembe

BBC Africa, Maputo

A court in Mozambique has sentenced two people to 35 years in prison for their involvement in the murder of a 15-year old boy with albinism. 

During the trial, the two men, aged 21 and 28, confessed to the crime. 

The killing of people with albinsim are driven by the false belief - advanced by some witchdoctors - that their body parts have properties that confer wealth and good luck. 

Read: albinism and beauty

SA will 'buy presidential jet'

South Africa's defence minister says it will press ahead to buy a new presidential jet, despite calls by the opposition to scrap the plan in order to show a commitment to cutting costs, local media reports. 

“Buying the VVIP aircraft, we will," Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said, the News24 site quotes her as saying. 

She said a new jet was needed because of problems with the existing Boeing 737, leaving President Jacob Zuma and his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa stranded or late for events on several occasions. 

South Africa President Jacob Zuma arrives at Air force station in New Delhi on March 28, 2012
Mr Zuma has been accused of leading an extravagant lifestyle

Ms Mapisa-Nqakula dismissed reports that the jet will cost 4bn rand ($280m; £185m).

“We would never ever sit here and say we will spend 4bn rand on [an] aircraft. Not when South Africans are starving and students are calling for fees to fall,”  she is quoted as saying.

The minister also stressed that jet was not being purchased just for Mr Zuma.  

"There will be a president after Zuma," she is quoted as saying.   

Read: Why do presidential jets cause a storm?

Shell in Nigeria declares force majeure

This file picture dated 18 May 2005 shows the oil major Shell's oil and gas terminal on Bonny Island in southern Nigeria's Niger Delta.

Oil giant Shell's Nigerian subsidiary has declared a force majeure on Bonny Light crude exports following a leak on a key pipeline, AFP news agency reports. 

The declaration of a force majeure excuses a company from contractual agreements when an extraordinary event which is beyond its control occurs.  

Shell's subsidiary did not disclose the volume of production lost from Bonny, which is one of Nigeria's main export terminals.

Bloomberg news agency reports that the pipeline operator, Aieto Exploration and Production Company, has not yet established the cause of the leak. 

"We don't know if it's an attack or sabotage," its spokesman Sola Omole is quoted as saying. 

Death sentences for Egyptians

BBC World Service

An Egyptian court has recommended death sentences for 25 people in connection with an outbreak of inter-tribal fighting in the south of the country. 

The case relates to clashes between an Arab clan and an ethnic Nubian tribe. 

More than 20 people died in the violence two years ago in the Aswan region. 

The clashes were sparked by a dispute over a sexual assault. 

Chocolate bar made by cycling on cocoa beans

Tamasin Ford

BBC Africa, Abidjan

A new brand of chocolate in Ivory Coast is being made by crushing cocoa beans by cycling on them. 

Dana Mroueh spends at least an hour a day on her specially designed exercise bike breaking up cocoa beans.

Dana Mroueh

Before cycling on the beans, she dries them herself on her roof or, when it rains, in a tumble dryer. 

After crushing them she removes the shells in a hot-air machine and then the remaining by hand.

Then they're ground in another machine with brown sugar, also from Ivory Coast for two to three days before being put into moulds.  

She only launched the chocolate called Mon Choco in March.

The 27-year-old is among a new wave of entrepreneurs in Abidjan who are using cocoa beans from Ivory Coast to make their chocolate.  

The country is the world's leading cocoa exporter but very little chocolate is actually made here.

Tony Blair: 'Don't pretend corruption isn't a problem'

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Kigali

Tony Blair and Milton Nkosi

At the World Economic Forum in Rwanda's capital Kigali I met with the former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair.

I was interested in what he thought of his successor David Cameron's comments that Nigeria is "fantastically corrupt".

He told me it isn't a revelation:

I don't think that it's exactly news to everyone that there's an issue and a challenge of corruption in Nigeria. The important thing obviously is that there is a new mood in Nigeria against corruption and the new president is a staunch fighter against it. So this is important but pointing out that not just Nigeria but Africa and the developing world has a problem with corruption, this is entirely reasonable. The fact is one of the reasons why the rule of law is so important.

I asked him how we reacts to the criticism by some African leaders that it is not just Africans are corrupt:

Sure there are problems of corruption in the West as well but if you talk to most African leaders they will say it is a problem but we are dealing with it. I think the most important thing actually today is that there is a new mood about it among the people and amongst the leadership which is to say we want this out of our system. But you don't benefit by pretending it isn't a challenge. You benefit by meeting the challenge."

Uganda blocks social media

Our reporter in Uganda Patience Atuhaire says social networks Facebook and Twitter have been blocked in the country. 

She says that messaging service WhatsApp is also blocked but mobile money appears to be working.

People can get round the block by using a Virtual Private Networks (VPN) which makes it appear that you are accessing the site from another country.

People started warning each other on Twitter this afternoon to have their VPN active as they anticipated a shut down.

It's ahead of President Yoweri Museveni's inauguration tomorrow to extend his three decades in power. 

Social media was also blocked around the time of the election in February.

Read more: How African governments block social media

SA judge on special leave

 A white South African judge accused of making racist comments on Facebook has been put on special leave, the justice ministry has said. 

Judge Mabel Jansen would be investigated for alleged misconduct after a complaint was lodged against her by a leading black advocate, South Africa's Judicial Service Commission said yesterday. 

She has said her comments were made in a private Facebook conversation with activist Gillian Schutte, and had been taken out of context.

Ms Schutte said she made the comments public to expose the "deep racism and colonial thinking" prevalent in South Africa.

Judge Jansen
The judge was appointed to her post after apartheid ended

In the posts attributed to her, the judge said: "In their culture a woman is there to pleasure them. Period. It is seen as an absolute right and a woman's consent is not required."  

She also purportedly said that "murder is also not a biggy" for black men and "gang rapes of baby, daughter, and mother [were] a pleasurable pass [sic] time".  

Congo's Kabila 'can stay in office if poll delayed'

Joseph Kabila is seen at te Residence of the Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt on September 24, 2007 in Brussels, Belgium

The Democratic Republic of Congo's highest court has ruled that President Joseph Kabila can remain in power beyond the end of his term if elections are not held in November, Reuters news agency reports. 

The constitution requires Mr Kabila to step down in December after two terms in office, but the opposition has for a long time been expressing fears that he intends to cling to power by delaying elections. 

Read more: What's Kabila's plan?

Safaricom retains title as Kenya's most profitable company

Anne Soy

BBC Africa, Nairobi

mages from various M-PESA cell phone finance company offices, September 13, 2007 in Bungoma, Kenya.

Kenya's mobile phone giant Safaricom has announced profits of more than $380m (£260m) for the last financial year, mainly driven by its money transfer service M-Pesa. 

It retains its position as Kenya's biggest and most profitable company. 

The announcement comes days after its counterpart in South Africa, Vodacom, dropped its M-Pesa service because it failed to pick up. 

Safaricom has defied odds by succeeding in a challenging business environment in Kenya that has seen nearly 20 large companies issue profit warnings.

Read Why M-Pesa failed in South Africa

Facebook launches free internet service in Nigeria

Man checking phone
Free Basics is now live in more than 40 countries, and half of those are in Africa

The social network Facebook has launched a free internet service in Nigeria, reports Quartz.

The Free Basics service allows people to look at a restricted amount of sites.

It's controversial -  India's telecoms regulator blocked it, ruling that data providers should not favour some online services over others.

One of the sites which will be available for free in Nigeria is a job site called Jobberman.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post that the job site started in a dorm room and now gets 5,000 applications a day.

Facebook post

Cameron pledges end to dirty money in UK property market

James Landale

Deputy political editor

UK Prime Minister David Cameron's description of Nigeria as "fantastically corrupt" dominated a commonwealth conference on corruption in London this morning. 

And the anger among the Nigerian delegation was palpable. 

At the conference, the Cabinet Office minister Matthew Hancock, lavished praise on Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari paying tribute to his leadership in fighting corruption. 

In the Commons, Mr Cameron praised Nigeria for the remarkable steps it had taken against corruption. 

And he told MPs that he wanted to stop corruptly-obtained money pouring into Britain's property market by insisting that offshore firms declare their ultimate owners.

Cameron and Buhari
Mr Cameron hosted Mr Buhari last May

Besigye 'defied ban on defiance activities'

We reported in our previous post that Ugandan opposition leader Kizza Besigye has been arrested in the capital Kampala. 

The Kampala metropolitan police spokesperson Patrick Onyango told the BBC that Dr Besigye was arrested for defying a court order banning all opposition defiance activities. 

This video appears to show his car being towed:

View more on youtube

The opposition leader was arrested as he led a procession of his supporters to the city centre. 

Mr Besigye’s Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) had called for a “defiance campaign” against the re-election of President Yoweri Museveni during the controversial February polls.

Ugandan opposition performs mock swearing-in of leader Besigye

It appears Uganda's opposition leader Kizza Besigye is playing cat and mouse with the police today.

His party says on its Twitter account that it managed to perform a ceremony swearing him in as president but that later he was arrested (see 12:45 post for more on the arrest):

View more on twitter

Regardless of the arrest, it carried on tweeting as if he was going to become president:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Mr Besigye has denounced Yoweri Museveni's election victory as a "sham". 

He previously called for demonstrations to disrupt Mr Museveni's inauguration as president, which is due to be held tomorrow.

Tunisia 'militants arrested'

Two suspected militants have been killed and 16 others arrested on the outskirts of Tunisia's capital, Tunis, the ministry of interior has said in a statement. 

Tunisia's security forces have stepped up counter-terrorism operations in recent months, and have arrested hundreds of people across the North African state. 

It follows a spate of deadly attacks by militants, including on beaches and museums popular with tourists.  

People hold hands at beach
At least 38 people were killed in June 2015 in a gun attack at Tunisia's beach resort of Sousse

How bad is corruption in Nigeria?

Martin Patience

BBC News, Nigeria correspondent

All day we've been discussing the furore caused by UK Prime Minister David Cameron after he called Nigeria "fantastically corrupt".

Here's a bit of background.

Corruption isn't a problem here - it's a way of life. 

You get hit up for bribes at the airport, at government offices, at police stations - basically everywhere you go. 

As for the government - the sums involved can be jaw dropping. 

Among the biggest recent scandals - $20bn (£14bn) that disappeared from the oil ministry. 

Or about $15bn (£10bn) that was stolen from the army's budget - money that should have been used to fight the Islamist militants Boko Haram.

But President Muhammadu Buhari, who was elected last year, is waging war on corruption. 

anti-corruption poster

He has a reputation for honesty. 

Dozens of officials are under investigation - cash is being clawed back from overseas.

Mr Buhari has warned that if corruption does not end, it will kill the country.

Uganda's opposition leader Besigye 'arrested'

BBC Monitoring

Kizza Besigye waves to supporters as his convoy drives towards Kampala, on February 16, 2016
Mr Besigye says the election results were rigged

Ugandan police have arrested opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye, who lost to President Yoweri Museveni in the February elections, the privately owned Daily Monitor newspaper reports

It said the Forum for Democratic Change leader was detained after making a surprise appearance in Kampala city, a day ahead of President Museveni's swearing-in. 

Dr Besigye was put under house arrest in February.

He rejected Mr Museveni's victory as fraudulent.  

Nigeria military under fire

Abdullahi Kaura Abubakar

BBC Africa, Abuja

Amnesty International's report is the latest in a series of damning reports on the Nigerian military's treatment of suspects detained.  

Amnesty says of the 149 detainees who died, 11 were children under the age of six, including four babies. 

It says the prisoners at the Giwa barracks detention centre in the north-east, where the military is fighting militant Islamist group Boko Haram, were kept in overcrowded and filthy cells, and may have died from disease, hunger, dehydration and gunshot wounds.

Detainees in Nigeria
Kolawole Israel/Amnesty
People have repeatedly complained of being arbitrarily arrested

Amnesty believes around 1,200 men, women and children are currently incarcerated there. 

It describes the facility as a place of death for both adults and children, and says it must be closed all detainees released or transferred to the civilian authorities.  

The military wasn't available for comment but recently said it had set up a human rights department to check abuses.

Two way to see corruption row

Here's how a newspaper in the UK and Nigeria are covering the furore caused by UK Prime Minister David Cameron after he called Africa's most populous state "fantastically corrupt":

From the UK:

Daily Mail
Daily Mail

And from Nigeria:

Premium Times
Premium Times

Sierra Leone footballer cleared of heart defect

Alhaji Kamara

Sierra Leone's Alhaji Kamara can continue his playing career and has signed for MLS club DC United in the US.

Kamara's career looked to be over when his former Swedish club IFK Norrkoping said the striker had a heart defect.

The issue was found when he underwent a heart examination in February.

"The MLS cardiology consultant and a heart specialist at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital determined that he could resume playing," said DC United's General Manager Dave Kasper.

Read the full BBC story here

The most corrupt countries in the world

Bureau de change
Getty Images
Somalia is considered the most corrupt state in the world

After the UK Prime Minister called Nigeria "fantastically corrupt" we thought we'd take a look at how it compares to the rest of the world.

It's hard to measure these things, but the anti-corruption body Transparency International gives it a go.

Nigeria is actually number 14 in their 2015 corruption perception index.

Here are the top ten:

  1. Somalia / North Korea
  2. Afghanistan
  3. Sudan
  4. South Sudan / Angola
  5. Libya / Iraq
  6. Venezuela / Guinea-Bissau / Haiti
  7. Yemen / Turkmenistan / Syria / Eritrea
  8. Uzbekistan
  9. Zimbabwe / Cambodia / Burundi
  10. Myanmar / Democratic Republic of the Congo / Chad

Protesters 'dispersed' in DR Congo

Police have dispersed thousands of supporters of  Democratic Republic of Congo football tycoon and opposition presidential candidate Moise Katumbi in the southern city of Lubumbashi, AFP news agency reports. 

The police intervened after Mr Katumbi's supporters forced their way into a court, where he was due to appear over government allegations that he had hired US mercenaries, it adds. 

Mr Katumbi has dismissed the allegations as a "grotesque lie" aimed at intimidating him ahead of presidential elections due by the end of the year. 

Moise Katumbi
Mr Katumbi (r) owns TP Mazembe football club

Cameron defended over 'fantastically corrupt' comment

David Cameron was recorded in conversation with the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has defended David Cameron after he was recorded calling Nigeria and Afghanistan "fantastically corrupt", saying the prime minister was "merely stating a fact".

Mr Cameron was also defended by ex-London mayor Boris Johnson, who said people would "find it refreshing he was speaking his mind".

Former Commonwealth secretary general Baroness Scotland said the furore was "unfortunate" but that Mr Cameron was not wrong to say corruption was an issue.

Mr Buhari, when asked at an anti-corruption conference in London if Nigeria was "fantastically corrupt", replied: "Yes."  

Read the full BBC story here

Why no-one knows how much oil Nigeria produces

Oil pipes
Much of Nigeria's oil infrastructure is ageing and exposed

Earlier Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari said corruption was a major problem in the oil-rich West African state, but he was committed to fighting it. 

He was speaking at a conference in London, a day after UK Prime Minister David Cameron described Nigeria as "fantastically corrupt". 

Well, oil theft is a huge problem in the West African state.

So much so that no-one even knows how much oil is produced or refined in Nigeria.

It's thought that hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil are stolen every day, at each level of the supply chain.  

With theft at this scale, the question is if it is possible to really stop it.

Read four experts mull this question on the BBC News website.

#anticorruption trending on Twitter

The hashtag #anticorruption is trending on Twitter in Nigeria and the UK after Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari spoke at an anti-corruption conference in London. 

Some people picked out key quotes:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

While others gave their analysis:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

In an earlier post we reported that Mr Buhari has said he was not demanding an apology from the UK Prime Minister for saying Nigeria was "fantastically corrupt". Instead, he said, he wanted Nigerian assets returned.

Benin suspended from global football by Fifa

Fifa has suspended Benin from global football after a court ruling in the country blocked upcoming elections.

A statement from football's world governing body said: "The Benin Football Association was suspended with immediate effect due to a recent injunction by a local judicial court which impeded the holding of the due election."

The move means Benin are set to miss June's 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Equatorial Guinea.

The decision was made at the inaugural Fifa council meeting being held in Mexico.

A court ruling in Benin on 4 May prevented the FBF holding presidential elections and the suspension will be lifted once a new executive committee has been installed.

Read more on BBC Sport

Nigeria has 'acted to curb corruption'

protester sports a an anti-corruption T-shirt on January 9, 2012 in Lagos
UK Prime Minister David Cameron has described Nigeria as "fantastically corrupt"

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has told a conference in London of the steps his government has taken to tackle corruption since taking office a year ago.

Mr Buhari said:  

We have implemented the Treasury Single Account whereby all federal government revenue goes into one account.

This measure would make it impossible for public officers to divert public funds to private accounts as was the fact before.

We have been able to remove 23,000 ghost workers from our payroll thereby saving billions that would have been stolen."

Buhari: 'I don't want apology'

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari says he does not want an apology from UK Prime Minister David Cameron for describing his country as "fantastically corrupt" - but he does want the repatriation of assets stashed in the UK by corrupt Nigerians.  

Speaking at an anti-corruption conference in London, he said: 

No. I am not going to demand any apology from anybody. What I am demanding is the return of assets.

I have already mentioned how Britain really led and how disgraceful one of the Nigerian executives was. He had to dress like a woman to leave Britain and leave behind him his bank account and fixed assets, which Britain is prepared to hand over to us. This is what I am asking for.

What would I do with an apology. I need something tangible."

Modi mocked over Somalia remark

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's comparison of southern Kerala state with Somalia has angered politicians and social media users. 

On Sunday he said at an election rally that the "infant mortality rate among the scheduled tribe community in Kerala is worse than Somalia". 

Twitter users have responded with hashtag #PoMoneModi  which means "go off Modi".

View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Read more on the BBC News website

Corruption a 'hydra-headed monster'

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has described corruption as a "hydra-headed monster" which threatens the security of countries.

He said corruption in Nigeria was endemic. His government was committed to fighting it, but it was not an easy task, Mr Buhari said. 

He is speaking at an anti-corruption conference in London, ahead of a summit of world leaders hosted by UK Prime Minister David Cameron to tackle the problem.  

Buhari speaks on corruption

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari is speaking at an anti-corruption conference in London right now. You can follow it here: 

View more on youtube

'Deadly' floods in Ethiopia

At least 50 people have been killed in floods and landslides in Ethiopia in the last two days, a state-affiliated broadcaster reports. 

Fana Broadcasting Corporate cited local officials as saying that roads had been washed away, bridges had collapsed and tens of thousands of people were affected by heavy rains in many parts of the country.   

The floods come at a time when Ethiopia is gripped by one of the worst droughts in 50 years, leaving some 10 million people in need of aid.  

Nigeria barracks 'a place of death'

Amnesty International says at least 149 detainees have died "in horrendous conditions" at a military detention centre in north-east Nigeria this year.

In a report, Amnesty says 11 of those who died at the Giwa barracks were young children, including four babies.

It called the centre "a place of death" and said it should be closed.

Nigerian Army prepares to leave Maiduguri in heavily armed convoy on road to Damboa in Borno State. 25 March 2016
The military vowed to defeat militant Islamists in Nigeria

The army has not commented on the latest report but has previously said it has set up a human rights department to check claims of abuse.  

The Giwa barracks detention centre is in Maiduguri, the main city in north-eastern Nigeria, where the military is battling militant Islamist group Boko Haram. 

Zimbabwe tycoons named in Panama Papers

Aerial view of the Panama City bay taken on March 23, 2015
Panama is one of a number of popular tax havens in the Caribbean

More than 280 Zimbabweans have been named in the Panama Papers as having links to offshore investment vehicles, the state-owned Herald newspaper reports

They include business tycoons, most of whom were of "Caucasian extraction", it says. 

A represntative of two of them, Innscor Africa directors  Zinona Koudounaris and Michael Foweler, said their offshore investments were legal, and they had done nothing criminal as they ran businesses outside Zimbabwe, the Herald reports.  

Read: What is the Pananama Papers scandal about? 

Nigeria hits back at Cameron

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari is deeply shocked and embarrassed by UK Prime Minister David Cameron's description of the West African state as "fantastically corrupt", his spokesman Garba Shu has told the BBC. 

Mr Cameron was caught on camera at Buckingham Palace telling Queen Elizabeth that the leaders of some "fantastically corrupt countries" - including Nigeria and Afghanistan - were coming to the anti-corruption summit he is hosting on Thursday. 

Mr Shehu said he thought the prime minister was looking at an old snapshot of Nigeria, which was removed from the current reality. 

He added Mr Buhari, who has made the fight against corruption one of his priorities, had been invited to the conference because of his success in combating graft. 

Nigeria's new President Mohammadu Buhari waves to the crowd during his inauguration at the Eagles Square in Abuja, on May 29, 2015.
Mr Buhari took office in May 2015, promising to fight corruption

Today's wise words

Our African proverb of the day:  

The village which is not discussed is not built."

A Maasai proverb sent by Fred Hoekstra, Oldeberkoop, the Netherlands.

Click here to send us your African proverbs.