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Summary

  1. 'IS-linked plot' thwarted in Kenya
  2. Zimbabwe's President Mugabe vows to remain in office
  3. Top Liberian politicians arrested over bribery allegations
  4. Nigeria's Emir of Kano wants age of marriage to be raised to 17
  5. Money for Kenyan school children 'stolen'
  6. Retired army colonel killed in Burundi
  7. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive WhatsApp: +44 7341070844

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

A reminder of today's wise words:

However full the house, the hen finds a corner to lay in."

A proverb from Sierra Leone sent by Diing Anyang Diing, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Click here to send us your African proverbs.

And we leave you with this picture of Freetown barber Ronald taken by photographer Olivia Acland

Ronald outside his shop
Olivia Acland

Liberian politicians out on bail

A court in Liberia has freed two senior politicians on bail after they appeared in court on bribery charges, the Associated Press news agency reports. 

Varney Sherman, a lawmaker who is the chairman of the governing party, and  Alex Tyle, the speaker of the house of representatives, denied the charges when they appeared in court in the capital, Monrovia. 

See 14:14 post for more details

Mugabe gives defiant speech on Africa Day

Thousands of Zimbabwe Zanu PF party supporters gathered at an open space to show their support for Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, in Harare, Zimbabwe, 25 May 2016
EPA

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has said he is "not a Yankee", as he addressed around 50,000 of his supporters at a rally held in the capital, Harare, to honour him on Africa Day. 

Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace greet supporters of his ZANU (PF) party during the "One Million Man March", a show of support of Mugabe"s rule in Harare, Zimbabwe, May 25, 2016
Reuters

The 92-year-old also ruled out the possibility of stepping down from office, and hit out at rival leaders in the ruling Zanu-PF party for plotting to succeed him. 

Mr Mugabe added:  

There should never be little groups to promote so and so. Those little groups are treasonous groups, they poison the party.

I belong to my people. I don't like to be American. I am not a Yankee. I am not a Briton... I belong to Zimbabwe.

I am at the service of the people. If the people feel I should go, I go. But at the moment where do you want me to go? I am not going anywhere."

Africans divided over African unity

Today is Africa Day. It is meant to be a celebration of African unity but commenters on our Facebook page are divided over how much it means to them.

Tom-David Mbumwae from Livingstone in Zambia - where Africa Day is a public holiday - thinks Africans should focus on other things: 

From Zambia, the land of peace. Happy Africa Day... but I'd rather aspire for an Africa free from neo-colonialism corruption & imperialism, an Africa with economical emancipation not just some "flag independence" type of thing!

The day is meant to commemorate the Organisation of African Unity, which went on to become the African Union (AU). But Raymond Williams from Freetown in Sierra Leone says there is nothing to celebrate about the AU:

It's a club. They wine and dine of the finest, make lofty speeches, compare the wealth they've stolen from the masses and give each other a pat on the back. They return every year to this jamboree with extremely large delegations at [the expense of ] poor taxpayers.

Among one of the commenters who was positive about the day was Prince Akim O Malick from Douala in Cameroon:

United we stand. Let's forget tribalism to move forward. Tomorrow belongs to Africa."

Senegal-Gambia border reopens

Gambia border
BBC

The border between Senegal and the Gambia has reopened after a three month blockade by Senegalese lorry drivers, reports BBC Afrique.

The drivers were protesting against a rise in the tariff to enter the Gambia from Senegal.

It was increased from 4,000 CFA ($7; £5) to 400,000 CFA francs.

The Gambia is a thin sliver of land surrounded on three sides by Senegal.  

By far the shortest route between the southern Senegalese region of Casamance and the capital, Dakar, goes through but during the blockade the 420km (260-mile) journey from the north to south Senegal was twice as long:

Map
BBC

Read more about the truckers who waiting at the border on the BBC News website.

Kenyan suspects 'radicalised in mosque'

Kenya police say the two suspects who have been arrested for planning attacks in the country were radicalised at a mosque in a slum in the capital, Nairobi. 

Kiguzo Mwangolo Mgutu and Abubakar Jillo Mohammed had intended to escape to Libya or Syria after carrying out the attacks, police added. 

BreakingKenya 'terror plot foiled'

Kenyan police say they have foiled a plot linked to the Islamic State (IS) group to carry out attacks in the capital, Nairobi, and the coastal city of Mombasa. 

Two people have been arrested and bows and poisoned arrows, along with material normally used to make home-made bombs, have been seized in a raid, police added. 

The arrested youth had been planning "retaliatory attacks"  following the arrest earlier this month of an IS-linked cell which had been planning a biological attack using anthrax,  police said. 

The 'voice of Cameroon' dies

Prominent Cameroonian musician Anne Marie Nzie died overnight in the capital Yaounde.

She was 84. 

Called "the voice of Cameroon", she popularised the fast-paced Bukitsi music.

Here is one of her most watched videos on YouTube:

View more on youtube

Corruption in Kenyan education

Abdinoor Aden

BBC Africa, Nairobi

A beginners class pupil scribbles notes on the ground during a lesson at the Oloserian primary school in Kajiado county, some 100 kilometres (60 miles) south of the capital Nairobi, on May 20, 2014
AFP
Many children in Kenya battle to receive a decent education

Kenya’s Education Minister Fred Matiangi has admitted that there has been a massive misuse of education funds because of poor auditing and a compromised procurement system.

He made the admission after Kenya's anti-corruption commission released a report, showing how money meant for school books was used by head teachers and officials to fund illegal foreign trips.

Head teachers had sourced school material without properly accounting for how the money was spent. 

This, the report says, has affected students, forcing them to share books at a ratio of one to eight.   

The commission said the government had failed to take action against teachers accused of corruption.  

The South Africans begging for jobs

Tweets
_

The above photograph of Anthea Malwandle in South Africa holding a placard stating she had a degree in chemical engineering and was jobless recently went viral on social media.

She had been job hunting for more than a year.

The BBC's Nomsa Maseko in the main city, Johannesburg, says it is not particularly uncommon to see people on the sides of the road advertising their labour. 

Ms Malwandle caught public attention because she is a graduate, but 17,000 of them are, in fact, are unemployed in the country.

Read Nomsa Maseko's article on the BBC News website.

When skin bleaching goes wrong

Ghana is banning skin bleaching creams in August. 

Ikenna Azuike from our Satirical show Whats Up Africa asks why so few African countries have banned the dangerous products.

And he has come up with an utterly surreal reason: 

'About 50,000' honour Mugabe

Brian Hungwe

BBC Africa, Harare

The crowd at the march to honour Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has swelled to about 50,000. 

The 92-year-old leader arrived at the march in the capital, Harare, with his wife Grace:   

Robert Mugabe and Grace Mugabe in vehicle in Harare
BBC

Liberia's speaker in court

Jonathan Paye-Layleh

BBC Africa, Monrovia

The speaker of Liberia's House of Representatives, who is accused of taking bribes, has reported to court. 

"I am here already," Alex Tyler told me on the phone from the courtroom.  

Police besieged his home earlier this morning in an attempt to arrest him. 

Mr Tyler is alleged to have received a $75,000 (£51,000) bribe from UK-based mining firm Sable in  2010, when it was trying to secure one of Liberia’s last large mining assets, the Wologizi iron ore concession. 

Both he and the firm have denied any wrongdoing. 

See 12:33 post for more details

Burundi colonel 'killed'

A retired army colonel in Burundi has been shot dead and his son wounded in the latest attack in the capital, Bujumbura, police say, Reuters news agency reports. 

Rufyiri Lucien was shot as he sat in his car waiting for a gate to be opened in the Ngagara neighbourhood. 

"The victim was shot in the head while his son, who was opening [the gate] for him, was slightly injured," Moise Nkurunziza, deputy spokesman for the police, told Reuters.

Last night, gunmen killed a policeman and a civilian in the Ndava district in Burundi's central Mwaro region. 

The central African state has been hit by a spate of killings since President Pierre Nkurunziza survived a coup attempt and mass protests last year demanding that he step down after a decade in power. 

Burundi saw violent unrest after Mr Nkurunziza announced he would pursue a third term
Reuters
The security forces were accused of using excessive force against protesters

For more read: Burundi's tit-for-tat killings

Somali leader in plea to Kenya over refugees

Abdirahman Koronto

BBC Somali service

Dadaab was set up in 1991 to house families fleeing conflict in Somalia
Reuters
Dadaab was set up in 1991 to house families fleeing conflict in Somalia

Somalia's president has called for "a better way" to bring home refugees from his country, with Kenya insisting that it will go ahead with its plan to close the world's largest refugee camp.

The Dadaab camp is home to more than 300,000 Somalis.

President Hassan Sheik Mohamed told me that forced repatriation was not in the best interests of either country.

Kenya says it wants to close the camp over security concerns, saying attacks on its soil have been planned there.

Read the full BBC story here

Solar energy plant for Senegal

A French development agency will give Senegal a $39.5m (£27m) loan to build a solar energy plant, the AFP news agency reports,

PROPARCO said the 30-MW plant would provide power to about 226,000 people when it becomes operational next year. 

The plant is to be located about 100km (62 miles) north-east of the capital, Dakar. 

AFP quotes the World Bank as saying that 43% of people in Senegal do not have access to electricity. 

Indian minister condemns 'goons'

India's Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj has tried to allay the fears of Africans living in the country after a student from the Democratic Republic of Congo was beaten to death in the capital, Delhi, last week. 

African diplomats have described the killing of Masunda Kitada Oliver as the latest sign of "racism and Afro-phobia" in India, Associated Press news agency reports. 

The minister tweeted: 

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

Africa envoys' anger over Delhi killing

African students protesting
Getty Images
African students often complain that they are racially abused in India

A group of African embassies in Delhi have requested India to postpone a Africa Day celebrations following last week's killing of a student from the Democratic Republic of Congo.  

Masunda Kitada Oliver was beaten to death by a group of Indian men last Friday after an argument in Delhi.  

The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICRC) has planned to celebrate Africa Day on Thursday to showcase African culture, food and literature.  

The embassies said they did not want to participate in Africa Day celebrations on Thursday because of repeated attacks on African students in India.

"This [the decision to not participate in Africa Day celebrations] is because the African community in India, including students, are in a state of mourning in memory of the slain African students in the last few years, including Mr Oliver," said Alem Tsehage Woldemariam, Dean of African Group of Heads of Mission.

Read more on the BBC News website.

Top Liberian politician 'arrested'

Jonathan Paye-Layleh

BBC Africa, Monrovia

A Liberian lawmaker who is the chairman of governing Unity Party has been arrested over allegations that he bribed government officials in 2010 on behalf of a UK-based mining firm. 

“I have been arrested and I am going to court; I am in the traffic,” Senator Varney Sherman told me on the phone.

“They brought 25 policemen; it’s supposed to be the sheriffs, I don’t know why they brought all these police people,” he added.  

The chairman of the Liberia Anti-corruption Commission, James Verdier, told me “there is an indictment” against some of the people accused of corruption in a report released by campaign group Global Witness earlier this month. 

The report alleged that $950,000 (£647,000) in "bribes and other suspicious payments" were made in an effort to help UK-based mining firm Sable secure one of Liberia’s last large mining assets, the Wologizi iron ore concession.

Mr Sherman was a lawyer acting for Sable when the alleged bribes were paid. 

He has denied any wrongdoing.

In a statement to BBC Focus on Africa after the release of the report, the company said:

Sable is committed to ensuring that its business is conducted in a responsible and ethical manner and that any breaches in internal anti-bribery policies and procedures will result in disciplinary action.

Although many of the issues raised by Global Witness were subject to internal review a number of years ago, they have prompted a further review of all of these matters.

We have found no evidence to support or justify this attack on the company or its directors, past and present."

Marchers call Mugabe a 'visionary leader'

The BBC's Brian Hungwe has taken these pictures of the march in Zimbabwe's capital Harare which is being held to honour President Robert Mugabe on Africa Day.

People are carrying banners calling it a million man march, even though the crowd is nowhere near that size:

Zimbabwe march
BBC

Another banner calls Mr Mugabe a visionary leader:

Zimbabwe march
BBC

While this man decided to cover his face:

Masked marcher
BBC

Our correspondent reported in his 10:55 post that thousands of President Mugabe supporters had been bused in from across the country for the march.

Kenyan opposition call off Monday's protest

Odeo Sirari

BBC Africa, Nairobi

Kenyan police
BBC
Riot police have been accused of using excessive force against protesters

Kenyan main opposition Coalition for Reforms and and Democracy (Cord) has suspended demonstrations planned for Monday to demand that a new electoral commission be appointed to run next year's general election, says Cord official Johnson Muthama.

He added that protests would resume a week later if dialogue is not initiated to resolve differences.

There have been violent clashes between police and protesters in the last two weeks, resulting in several fatalities. 

The government says the protests are illegal.

Cord had planned to hold them every Monday, accusing the electoral commission of being biased.  

Egypt football row ends

Tarek Talaat

BBC Sport

Hossam Ghaly
Getty Images

In football, Al Ahly chairman Mahmoud Taher is backing Hossam Ghaly to return to play for Egypt, now that a row the player had with a national team assistant coach has been resolved.

"The problem between Osama Nabeh and Hossam Ghaly has ended," Taher said.

"Ghaly is one of the most important players in Egypt now and I'm sure he will back in the national team soon."

The 34-year-old, who played for Tottenham Hotspur in England and also had spells in Belgium and Netherlands, has played more than 70 times for Egypt.  

Read more on BBC Sport.

Africa Day celebrations kick off in Zambia

The military have turned up in their finest attire to celebrate Africa Day in Zambia's capital: 

In their finest, Zambia's military celebrating Africa Day at Freedom Statue in Lusaka.
BBC

Africa Day is the annual commemoration of the founding of the Organisation of African Unity, which became the African Union. 

It is a public holiday in Zambia, Ghana, Mali, Namibia, Lesotho and Zimbabwe.

Zambia's President Edgar Lungu, on the right, is attending the Africa Day celebration at the Freedom Statue in Lusaka:

Zambia's President Edgar Lungu at the Africa Day celebration at the Freedom Statue in Lusaka.
BBC

The BBC's Akwasi Sarpong  is presenting Focus on Africa from Zambia all week so you can tune into the programme at 15:00 GMT.   

Tell us on Facebook how you are celebrating Africa Day. 

Or send us pictures of your celebrations on our WhatsApp number +447341070844

Thousands bused to 'million man' Mugabe march

Brian Hungwe

BBC Africa, Harare

Thousands of supporters of Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party have been bused into the capital, Harare, for a so-called million man march to show solidarity with President Robert Mugabe.

Zimbabwe march
BBC

All the country's provinces are sending people of different ages, though it was dubbed a  march for youth. 

Zimbabwe march
BBC
Zimbabwe march
BBC

A military helicopter has been hovering above the venue monitoring the situation.   

President Mugabe, 92, is expected to address the crowd congregating at a square named after him.    

See 09:04 entry for more details

Militants 'killed' in Somalia

Al-Shabab in Somalia (archive shot)
AFP
Al-Shabab is the most dangerous militant group in East Africa

Kenya's military says it has killed 21 fighters of militant Islamist group al-Shabab in Somalia. 

Kenyan troops hunted down the militants after their convoy was shot at in western Somalia, near the border of the two countries, said army spokesman David Obonyo. 

Al-Shabab said its fighters had killed five soldiers, wounded eight and burnt one military vehicle in the fighting, Reuters news agency reports. 

The army did not say whether it suffered any casualties. 

Kenyan forces entered Somalia in 2011 to fight the al-Qaeda-linked militants. 

Read more: Rivalry between al-Shabab and IS 

Khoi San Revolution party formed in SA

The BBC's Christian Parkinson is on the campaign trail with a new party in South Africa as it gears up to contest local government elections in August. 

South Africa's Khoi San revolution party
BBC

The Khoi San Revolution party's main election promise is to campaign for land rights.

South Africa's Khoi San revolution party
BBC
South Africa's Khoi San revolution party
BBC
South Africa's Khoi San revolution party
BBC

The party's leader, Stanley Pieterse, told the SABC news site back in February that the party was set up out of frustration: 

First, they don't recognise us, the constitution doesn't recognise us and there's no land for us. Everybody is talking land, everybody is talking work, economic empowerment but for us, as Khoisan people, if you look at the papers we have to fill in they say black, white and coloured. There is no space for Khoisan."

Kenyan school money 'misappropriated'

Abdinoor Aden

BBC Africa, Nairobi

Billions of Kenyan shillings allocated to promote free primary school education for children in the East African state has been misappropriated, according to a report released today by the anti-corruption commission.

It says some schools used the money to give loans to parents, while head teachers used money meant for schools to fund foreign trips.

Education Minister Fred Matiangi was present at the meeting where the report was released.   

Some foreign donors withheld their funding towards free primary school education citing massive corruption among head teachers and state officials.

AQIM 'attacked' Niger mine

BBC Monitoring

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) says it carried out a rocket attack on a French-run uranium mine in northern Niger, promising more attacks against "crusader companies that rob our riches".

The AQIM statement said that the group's affiliated Al-Nasr Brigade in the Sahara targeted with Grad rockets a mine run by French company Areva in Arlit in northern Niger, despite, it boasted, the tight security measures there.

In 2013, the mine was hit with a suicide attack claimed by jihadists.

In March, AQIM claimed responsibility for a rocket attack on a gas plant in Algeria jointly run by BP, saying it was part of its "war on the interests of the Crusaders".

The Al-Qaeda branch has stepped up its attacks since December after partnerships with Sahara-based jihadist groups, targeting a number of top hotels and other locations in West Africa.

The latest AQIM statement was issued in Arabic via the group's accounts on social media.

Map
Google

Pro-Mugabe march planned in Zimbabwe

Robert Mugabe
AFP
Mr Mugabe has been in power since 1980

Zimbabwe's ruling party youth are due to hold today what state media has billed "The Million-Man march" to honour President Robert Mugabe, Africa's oldest ruler. 

The planned march is a fitting tribute to a leader who led Zimbabwe to independence in 1980, columnist Stephen Mpofu writes in the Herald newspaper

It is also a challenge to the youth to "model the selfless leadership of the man they are honouring", he added. 

Critics of the 92-year-old Mr Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since 1980, accuse him of brutally suppressing dissent in order to cling to power.  

Nigerian emir condemns child marriages

The Emir of Kano Mohamed Sanusi
Reuters
Mohamed Sanusi is the Emir of Kano

One of Nigeria's most influential Muslim clerics, the Emir of Kano, has called for an end to child marriages, the local Vanguard newspaper reports.

Muhammad Sanusi told religious leaders in the northern city of Kano, his seat of power, that "the time is ripe to take a stand against this age long practice of early marriage", the Vanguard reports. 

He said Nigeria should follow the example of mainly Muslim states such as Morocco, Egypt and Malaysia, where the marriage age was 17, 18 and 19 respectively. 

Many Muslims in Nigeria believe that boys and girls can marry once they reach the age of puberty. 

The emir also frowned on polygamy, saying men do not have the "necessary economic power" to support themselves but still take a more than one wife.

Read more on the BBC News website: A modernising emir?

Today's wise words

Here's our African proverb of the day:

However full the house, the hen finds a corner to lay in."

A proverb from Sierra Leone sent by Diing Anyang Diing, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Click here to send us your African proverbs.

A hen in a henhouse
AFP

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