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Summary

  1. Nigerian banker sentenced to three years for corruption
  2. Kenya to impose 10% "lipstick tax"
  3. Ethiopian base attacked in Somalia
  4. Desmond Tutu's daughter tells the BBC about her same-sex marriage
  5. Two airlines pull out of Nigeria
  6. Kenya sacks 302 police officers for refusing to be vetted
  7. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive WhatsApp: +44 7341070844
  8. Email stories and comments to africalive@bbc.co.uk - Thursday 9 June 2016

Live Reporting

By Uwa Nnachi and Lucy Fleming

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Thursday'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:

When the baobab tree has fallen, the goats start climbing on it"

A Bambara proverb from Mali sent by Otovo Lucky in Benin City, Nigeria

There has been a lively discussion on our BBC Facebook page about the proverb’s meaning:

It means when a man loses his dignity, everyone can now deal with him contemptuously."

Alaku Benjamin Alumbugu

It means when a great man falls due to carelessness and negligence, those people he considered fools can make fun of him."

It means; one's failure or death is another person's joy."

Masereka Clovice

Mahmut, living in Ankara in Turkey, contacted by WhatsApp with his interpretation:   

The meaning is if you lose power even the powerless thing can dare to defy you."

Click here to send us your African proverbs.   

And we leave with this photo of athletes from South Sudan, part of the refugee athletes who qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics, and their training partners during a jogging session today at their camp in Ngong township near Kenya's capital, Nairobi:

Athletes from South Sudan jogging in Kenya
Reuters

Accra hit by more flood after heavy rain

Heavy downpours in Ghana's capital city Accra have caused widespread flooding today.

The city is still recovering from the deadly floods of June 2015 when around 100 people were killed when the petrol station that they were sheltering in following floods exploded.

Collins Pobee, from Modern Photos Ltd, used a drone to capture the extent of the flooding around Kwame Nkrumah Circle, where the deep flood water brought traffic to a halt:

Ariel shot of flood water in Accra
Collins Pobee
Deep flood water beneath the circle bridge area stopped traffic passing through
Buildings and shops in rising flood waters
Collins Pobee
Shops and building were abandoned because of the rising flood waters

Flood water in Accra
Collins Pobee
The flood waters caused debris and plastic bottles to float into open drains

Award-winning Lagos lagoon school collapses

Collapsed school
Reuters
The school had been in use for three years in Lagos' Makoko waterfront slum

An award-winning floating school that provided classes to children on a lagoon in Nigeria's biggest city, Lagos, has collapsed during heavy rains.

It had been out of use since March and no-one was injured.

Makoko school
BBC
This was the three-storey floating school when it was in use

"The structure collapsed at around 10:00 on Tuesday following a rainstorm," the school's head teacher Noah Shemede, told the AFP news agency.

He said 58 students who had been taught there had been relocated to the main school nearby.

Architect Kunle Adeyemi said the building was a prototype which had been used "intensively" over the last three years and a new building would be constructed to replace it.

Makoko school children
AFP
Makoko school children are going to a main school at the moment

'Guerrilla warfare' in IS-controlled Libyan city

Rana Jawad

BBC North Africa correspondent

Libyan armed forces in the west of the country have made significant gains in the on-going battle for the central city of Sirte, which is controlled by the so-called Islamic State.

The battle for the city began last month but the fighting intensified in recent days.

Soldiers from forces aligned with Libya's new unity government resting on the road during an advance on the Islamic State stronghold of Sirte
Reuters
Soldiers were pictured yesterday resting during the advance on Sirte

Libya still has rival, regional administrations and armed forces in the east and west of the country, with each battling extremist militants in their territories.  

A coastguard commander allied to forces in Tripoli told the BBC his men were now positioned across the city’s coastline to prevent any militants from escaping.

He also said they fired missiles from the sea targeting at least four key positions held by militants there, including the port. 

A spokesman for the ground forces described the fighting against IS forces today as "guerrilla warfare".

He says they are on the fringes of residential areas by the city centre, but sniper fire and explosive devices planted by IS are slowing down the advance.

Benin likely to be eliminated from Nations Cup

Nick Cavell

BBC Africa Sport

Benin's hopes of qualifying for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations finals look like they are over - a court in the country's capital Porto Novo has prevented proposed elections for a new football federation president and executive committee from going ahead today. 

The court has postponed the polls indefinitely as they upheld a complaint by 20 of the country's football clubs - who argued the current normalisation committee had violated the statutes of Benin Football Federation. 

The Confederation of African Football had set a deadline of Saturday for election to be held or the ban from global football would continue - meaning a proposed 2017 Nations Cup qualifier against Equatorial Guinea will be cancelled and the Squirrels will be eliminated from qualifying for Gabon 2017. 

Benin were banned in May by football's world governing body Fifa after a similar court ruling had earlier stopped elections from happening.

Benin's national football team
Getty Images
Benin are currently second in qualifying Group C

A police officer is murdered every four days in South Africa

Sophie Ribstein

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

A police officer is murdered every four days in South Africa, according to the latest statistics released by the police services.

Since the beginning of the year, 37 police officers have been killed in South Africa and 712 have been attacked, the vast majority while on duty.

Violent crime has been on the rise for the past three years.

Commentators say that police officers are becoming more vulnerable as there is a sharp decline in the quality and resources of crime intelligence services.

These figures come as it was reported this week that acting police boss Khomotso Phahlane was attacked by robbers while he was at a spa in Johannessburg with his wife.

He sustained minor injuries after he was caught up in crossfire in a suspected robbery.

A South African policeman
AFP
Figures last year showed 49 people are murdered every day in South Africa

Nigerian banker jailed for stealing from the dead

Olawale Garuba
EFCC

A banker in the Nigerian city of Lagos has been sentenced to three years in jail for stealing from the account of a client who had died.

Olawale Garuba, who was accused of conspiring to steal 30m naira ($150,700, £104,200) from the customer, initially pleaded not guilty but changed his plea to guilty earlier this month, Nigeria’s anti-corruption body, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), said in a statement. 

Despite the remorse of the convict, Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye said that she had no sympathy for him as he compromised his position as a banker “to steal from a deceased customer whose money would have been used by the family she left behind”, the statement said. 

The convict allowed his greed to overcome him and risk losing the job that thousands of job seekers are craving to get, she added.

Garuba was found guilty on 13 of the 18 charges and sentenced to three years imprisonment on each count – a total of 39 years, which are to run concurrently from the date of his detention last July. 

Get Involved: Is Kenya right to tax make-up?

Lipsticks
AFP

Women in Kenya seem to be the biggest causalities in yesterday’s budget as make-up is set to go up in price, Kenya's Nairobi News reports.

From next year, there will be a 10% excise duty on all cosmetic products. 

Kenya's cosmetics industry is estimated to be worth 6.4bn Kenyan shillings [$63m, £43m] meaning the anticipated collections could be more than 300m shillings, the Standard newspaper reports.

Get Involved: Are you in Kenya? What do you make of the move? 

Ethiopia denies soldiers were killed in Somalia attack

Ethiopia's government has denied reports that it soldiers were killed in an attack on an African Union base, north of Somalia's capital, Mogadishu.

Islamist militant group al-Shabab said it had killed 60 Ethiopian soldiers in the attack this morning.

Somalia's Security Minister Abdirisak Omar Mohamed then told state-run Radio Muqdisho that nine Ethiopian soldiers were killed and six others injured.

But Getachew Redda, spokesperson for the Ethiopian government, told the BBC's Focus on Africa radio programme that the militants were heavily armed but they didn't inflict much damage:

They didn't make it near to our forces and no Ethiopian soldiers were killed in the attack".

Getachew Redda

Ethiopian troops
AFP
Ethiopian troops have been in and out of Somalia for many years, protecting its border

Bill Gates' chicken plan: What is there to flap and cluck about?

Matthew Davies

Editor, BBC Africa Business Report

Bill Gates is to donate 100,000 chickens to poor families in sub-Saharan Africa (see earlier entry).

A data photo about chicken farming in Africa
Getty Images/BBC

You can't fault the sentiment of the Microsoft billionaire.

Giving away thousands of chickens in an effort to alleviate poverty is a noble gesture in itself. But the plan throws up a few questions.

As the chicken population increases, where is the feed going to come from? Will more arable land have to be given over to growing chicken feed?

Also, with more chickens on the market, simple demand/supply economics suggests the average price of a chicken would fall.

There's also the issue of dumping.

The US, the European Union and Brazil are accused of selling chickens into African markets at prices way below what local farmers can afford to sell them for.

But all this doesn't mean that Mr Gates' plan shouldn't be tried. If there's even a small chance of success it needs to be done.

Nay-sayers and cynics may flap and cluck about such a plan, but at least when it comes to helping Africa's poor, Bill Gates has once again proved that he isn't chicken.

Kenya ready to fight Tanzania for port business

Kenya is adamant it will continue with its multi-billion dollar infrastructure projects despite neighbouring countries abandoning plans to join them. 

Uganda and Rwanda have chosen to do business with Tanzania despite initially signing deals with Kenya. 

So what has gone wrong for Kenya? 

BBC Focus on Africa's Emmanuel Igunza reports.  

Kenya ready to fight Tanzania for port business

Read more on The race to become East Africa biggest port.

Two airlines pull out of Nigeria

Martin Patience

BBC News, Nigeria correspondent

A United Airlines flight
AFP

Two international airlines are pulling out of Nigeria as the country grapples with its worst economic crisis in decades.

Spanish airline Iberia cancelled all its flights last month and the US carrier United Airlines says it will suspend its daily service at the end of June.

The carriers say falling demand for flights and currency restrictions are behind their decisions.  

This is the latest example of the economic crisis affecting Africa’s largest economy.

The plunge in global oil prices has cut Nigeria’s growth and led to a shortage of foreign currency reserves.

Last year, the government introduced strict currency controls to ensure that foreign reserves were available for what it deemed priority sectors – which did not include the airlines. 

It is now reported that up to $1bn (£691m) of the industry’s earnings may be trapped in the country.

Several other international airlines - including British airways and Emirates - will continue flying to Nigeria.

'Nine Amisom soldiers killed' in al-Shabab attack

Nine African Union soldiers were killed and six others injured during an attack by Islamist militant group al-Shabab on one of their bases, Somali Security Minister Abdirisak Omar Mohamed has told state-run Radio Muqdisho.

He also told the broadcaster that 240 militants had been killed during the attack in Halgan, north of Mogadishu.

Al-Shabab says it has killed 60 soldiers during the attack, while the AU Mission in Somalia (Amisom) has not said whether any of its soldiers have died.

Local residents told the BBC that they had heard a huge bang followed by heavy gunfire at the African Union base.

Al-Shabab has also targeted Amisom bases in the past year run by troops from Burundi, Uganda and Kenya.

Amisom Ethiopian soldiers
AP
This is the first time al-Shabab has attacked an Ethiopian-run base in Somalia

Who was SL war crimes convict Alex Tamba Brima?

Alex Tamba Brima
Special Court for Sierra Leone
Alex Tamba Brima has died aged 44

The Special Court for Sierra Leone says an inquest will be conducted to determine the factors surrounding the death of 44-year-old war crimes convict Alex Tamba Brima (see entry below).

Here's what we know about the 44-year-old former rebel commander:

  • Known at "Gullit" after a Dutch football star
  • From Kono District, he joined the army in 1985 and rose to the rank of staff sergeant
  • He was part of the group of soldiers, known as the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) that staged the 25 May 1997 coup
  • Was made a public liaison officer and served on the AFRC’s supreme council
  • Found guilty in 2007 on 11 counts, including for acts of terrorism, collective punishments, extermination, murder, rape, and for the use of child soldiers.
  • He was serving his sentence at Mpanga Prison in Rwanda.

Sierra Leone war crimes convict dies

Umaru Fofana

BBC Africa, Freetown

Sierra Leone war crimes convict Alex Tamba Brima has died aged 44.

He was serving a 50-year jail term in Rwanda after being convicted by the Special Court for Sierra Leone in 2007.

Court spokesman Peter Andersen said his wife was by his side when he died at a King Faisal Hospital in Kigali.

Brima was a senior commander of a group of rebel soldiers that toppled the government in 1997 during the country's civil war..

The Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) then formed an alliance with the notorious Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels.  

500,000 Nigerian teaching jobs up for grabs

A university student in Lagos, Nigeria
AFP

Are you an unemployed graduate in Nigeria and fancy a job teaching?

Then start sprucing up your CV as an online portal will soon be accepting applications for 500,000 teaching positions at primary and secondary schools across the country.

The scheme, called N-Power Teach, is part of a programme to tackle youth unemployment promised by President Muhammadu Buhari during his election campaign last year. 

Graduates will be paid $115 (£79.53) a month and will be given computer devices with the latest software for teaching.

The BBC’s Naziru Mikailu in Abuja says it is a huge venture, and previous schemes by other governments have failed in the past.

But Mr Buhari's administration says it has provided adequate funding for the programme in this year's budget, despite its shrinking revenue, he reports.

The npower.gov.ng portal opens on Sunday.

No charges after Libyan rendition probe

Abdel Hakim Belhaj
BBC
Abdel Hakim Belhaj commanded an armed opposition group against Libyan dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi

There is "insufficient evidence" to charge anyone from MI6 with involvement in the rendition of two men and their families to Libya, UK prosecutors say.

Ex-Libyan dissident Abdel Hakim Belhaj says Britain's intelligence agency helped to arrange his and his wife's rendition - saying they were covertly taken from Thailand to Libya.

Sami al-Saadi and his family were also sent to Libya in 2004, where he was allegedly tortured.

Prosecutors said UK officials did not transfer or ill-treat alleged victims.

Their lawyers claimed it was a joint CIA and MI6 operation to help Col Gaddafi round up his enemies.  

Mr Belhaj's wife Fatima Boudchar, had been trying to seek asylum in the UK when they were taken from Bangkok to Tripoli in 2004.

She was pregnant at the time of her detention and transfer to Libya and spent four months in a Libyan prison.

Speaking in her first television interview, she told the BBC: "My hands and legs were tied and my eyes were covered. They injected me with something. I didn't know where I was going.

"I was six months' pregnant. I was so scared that I was going to die. "

For more read the BBC News story.

SA ex-tennis star 'must go to jail for rape'

Bob Hewitt
Reuters
The prosecutor said Bob Hewitt had failed to show remorse

Former Wimbledon champion Bob Hewitt has lost his appeal in South Africa to reduce his six-year sentence for raping underage girls.

The 76-year-old had been granted bail in May 2015 after his conviction on two counts of rape and one of sexual assault of girls he coached in South Africa the 1980s and 1990s.

His lawyer had argued that the sentence should be reduced because of the former tennis star's old age and poor health.

But three Supreme Court of Appeal judges said this had already been considered.

“You must not overlook that the trial court could have imposed life imprisonment [on Hewitt for the rape of a minor],” Judge Mandisa Maya said.

In April, Australian-born Hewitt was expelled from the International Tennis Hall of Fame because of his conviction.  

Bob Hewitt competing against Cliff Richey of the USA in the first round of the Men's Singles at Wimbledon, London, 24th June 1969
Getty Images
Hewitt, who became a South African citizen in 1967, was a Grand Slam champion

Bill Gates launches chicken plan to help Africa poor

If you were living on $2 a day, what would you do to improve your life?

... asks Microsoft founder and billionaire Bill Gates in his most recent blog post.

It’s pretty clear to me that just about anyone who’s living in extreme poverty is better off if they have chickens. In fact, if I were in their shoes, that’s what I would do - I would raise chickens."

Bill Gates

So the billionaire has promised to donate 100,000 chickens to families in extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa:

View more on twitter

Mr Gates said a farmer breeding five hens could earn more than $1,000 (£690) a year. The poverty line is about $700 (£484).  

BBC Africa Business Report's Lerato Mbele recently interviewed a chicken farmer in Mozambique, who complained that imported poultry, mainly from the US and Brazil, was making it difficult for local producers to compete.

Click here to watch the full interview with Fatima Mussagy.

Fatima Mussagy feeding her chickens
BBC
Buying imported grain also makes local chickens more expensive

Winds halt St Helena airport opening

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa

An airport built on a remote south Atlantic island by the UK government at the cost £285m ($412m) of public money cannot be used at the moment because planes landing there are blown off course, according to a spending watchdog.

National Audit Office report found that safety concerns relating to wind shear and turbulence have led to the mothballing of the airport. 

Plans to open the cliff-top landing strip in May were postponed indefinitely.

The development on St Helena was approved in 2010 by the UK's Department of International Development. 

It was one of the biggest single government investments ever made in a UK overseas territory. The island is famous for being the place of Napoleon's exile and death.

Click here to watch footage of a commercial plane landing at the windy airport.

Plane attempting to land on St Helena
SAMS
Turbulence is affecting plane landings

Kenya police probe: '302 officers refused to be vetted'

Odeo Sirari

BBC Africa, Nairobi

A total of 302 police officers have been sacked in Kenya for refusing to be vetted since a process began in 2013 to root out corruption, the body that oversees the force says.

The revelation was made by Johnston Kavuludi, who heads the National Police Service Commission, as officers prepared to be questioned by a panel in the western city of Kisumu this morning.

The vetting is a public process, done before the full glare of the cameras, and officers have their finances scrutinised and any conflicts of interest probed:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Last month, when the panel was in Mombasa, one senior traffic officer couldn’t account for nearly $500,000 (£345,000) which had passed through a mobile money transfer service and his bank account.

Kenyans on social media were outraged - and gave accounts of how they are often forced to give a bribe after they were caught for traffic offences.

Liberia to be declared Ebola free for fourth time

Jonathan Paye-Layleh

BBC Africa, Monrovia

Liberia, the last country still affected by the deadly Ebola epidemic, is set to be declared free of the virus later today. 

This will be the fourth time the West African country has been declared free of the disease by the World Health Organization (WHO). 

But it has now passed the required 42 days since tests showed the last infected person no longer had the virus. 

"Liberia is again free of Ebola. We have just ended the incubation period following the last case," Sorbor George, chief of communication at the ministry of Health said.

Health workers treating patients in Liberia
AFP
Health workers struggled to cope with the outbreak

More than 11,000 people have died of the disease since December 2013, the vast majority of them in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.  

Read: How Ebola changed the world

Is extradited smuggling suspect the 'wrong man'?

Friends of an Eritrean man believed to be at the heart of a vast people-smuggling network from Africa to Europe claim that the wrong man has been arrested.

Italian and British authorities announced on Wednesday that Mered Medhanie, also known as "the General" had been extradited from Sudan to Italy.

A spokesman for Britain's National Crime Agency (NCA), that was involved in the operation, told the Press Association they were "liaising with our partners".

"This is a complex multi-partner operation and it is too soon to speculate about these claims," it added.

Meron Estefanos, who is an Eritrean radio show host and human rights activist based in Sweden, told BBC Newsday's Julian Keane that relatives and friends of the man held, pictured below with Italian police, was called Mered Tesfamariam.

I called the refugees who know the real smuggler and I showed them the picture of what the Italians published and then everybody said no, that's not the smuggler that smuggled us into Europe."

Broadcaster Meron Estefanos

Listen to the full interview below and click here to read the BBC News story.

Some believe that the man authorities in Italy are holding is the wrong man.

'No major IS-Boko Haram links'

Boko Haram militants showing the IS black flag
Boko Haram video
Boko Haram pledged allegiance to IS last year

US officials have told the Reuters news agency they see no evidence that Nigerian Boko Haram militants have received significant operational support or financing from the so-called Islamic State group.

The report comes after the Islamist group’s attack on the Niger town of Bosso, which borders Nigeria, killing 26 soldiers.

It said it carried out the raid in the name of Islamic State West Africa Province, Reuters reports.

It is more than a year since the group pledged allegiance to IS.

Multiple US officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to Reuters, suggested Boko Haram's pledge was more a branding exercise designed to boost its jihadi credentials, attract recruits and assistance.

"This is an African fight, and we can assist them, but it's their fight," one official is quoted as saying.

In the last year, a regional force has recaptured much of the territory Boko Haram controlled in north-eastern Nigeria.

Ethiopia base attacked in Somalia

Somali Islamist militant group al-Shabab says it has killed more than 40 Ethiopian soldiers in an attack on an African Union base in central Somalia.

Residents in Halgan told the BBC they had heard a huge bang followed by a heavy exchange of gunfire.

The AU mission (Amisom) has confirmed the attack on Twitter but says the "enemy was successfully repulsed":

View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter
Al-Shabab fighters
AP
This is the first time al-Shabab has attacked an Ethiopian run base in Somalia

Amisom supports the government as it fights to regain control of the country from al-Shabab.

Ethiopia is one of five countries contributing troops to the 22,000-strong mission and this is the first time an Ethiopian-run Amisom base has been attacked.

Read the BBC News story for more.

Tutu's daughter 'sad' to leave priesthood after gay marriage

Reverend Canon Mpho Tutu van Furth
BBC

The daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu has said she felt part of her had been "stripped away" when she had to relinquish the Anglican priesthood after marrying her female partner in December. 

Reverend Canon Mpho Tutu van Furth recently married her long-term Dutch girlfriend Marceline van Furth in a small private ceremony in Holland.

They went public in May when they had a wedding celebration in Cape Town.

“It was incredibly sad for me. A few years ago I celebrated the Eucharist with my father….and now to be in a position that I cannot serve at the alter with him…I was surprised by how much it hurt,” she said..

Click here to watch BBC's Nomsa Maseko interview about falling in love, and the pain of leaving the church.

Wise words

Today's African proverb is:

When the baobab tree has fallen, the goats start climbing on it"

A Bambara proverb from Mali sent by Otovo Lucky in Benin City, Nigeria
A donkey cart passing baobab trees in Senegal
AFP

Click here to send us your African proverbs. And let us know what you think the proverb means - there are the ways you can contact us:  

  • WhatsApp: +44 7341070844 
  • Email: africalive@bbc.co.uk
  • Using #BBCAfricaLive on Twitter
  • Or via our BBC Africa Facebook page.

Good morning

Welcome to the BBC Africa Live page, where we'll be keeping you up-to-date with news and trends on the continents.