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  1. South Sudan executes soldiers convicted of murder
  2. Zimbabwe's war veterans accused of being 'treasonous'
  3. Fire at Madagascar house-warming party 'kills 39'
  4. Nigeria's leader scraps film village plan after Muslim clerics protest
  5. Kenyan betting firm sponsor Hull City
  6. Popular Congolese singer's Zambia concert called off
  7. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive WhatsApp: +44 7341070844
  8. Email stories and comments to - Monday 25 July 2016

Live Reporting

By Farouk Chothia and Clare Spencer

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Monday'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:

Before it rains, the bathhouse is already wet."

Sent by Pious Kofi Bentum and Kweku Efrim, both from Ghana

Click here and scroll to the bottom to send us your African proverbs.  

And we leave you with this picture from Sassa in Angola:

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Chris Froome's former school celebrates

Chris Froome became Britain's first three-time winner of the Tour de France when he crossed the finish line of the 21-stage race in Paris on Sunday.But he went to school in South Africa - at St John’s in Johannesburg - which celebrated his victory. All the pupils turned up in the yellow jersey in his honour - the school is also growing its own cycling talent. 

The BBC's Karen Allen spoke to Froome's former teachers and current students.  

Chis Froome's South African school celebrates Tour de France win

Madgascar baze claims claims '39 lives'


The number of people killed by a fire in Madagascar has risen to 39, police have told Reuters news agency. 

The fire broke out at a compound in the remote Ikalamanovy district on Saturday evening while people were celebrating the completion of a house renovation. 

Police official Anthony Rakotoarison told Reuters:

Thirty-nine people were killed by the fire - 38 of them died on Saturday, another victim passed away today."

Madagascar bodies'charred'

The bodies of two of the 38 people people who died in a fire at a house-warming party in Madagascar were "charred", a police statement has said, Reuters news agency reports. 

The other 36 were "burnt and asphyxiated", police said. 

There was no fire station in the deeply rural area where the fire broke out. 

See earlier post for more details

Kenyan bid to ban debtors from marrying

Wedding in Nairobi 2016

Kenya's higher education loans board wants to ban people who haven't paid their student loans from getting married, reports Kenya's Capital FM.

The article adds the proposal is to make sure people don't get their marriage certificates until they have got clearance from the loan board.

It's snowing in parts of South Africa

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

Snow in South Africa
Simphiwe Somdyala

Parts of South Africa are covered under a white blanket of snow following extremely cold weather in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and the Drakensberg mountain range.

The weather service has issued snow travel road alerts, warning motorists to avoid various passes affected by the disruptions.

Meteorologists say the cold front responsible for the freezing conditions will prevail until Thursday.

It's the same here in Johannesburg, the man city, where many people are dressed in long coats, gloves, woolen hats and scarves.

Snow on roof
Simphiwe Somdyala

Machar 'ousted' as South Sudan's vice-president

Taban Deng Gai speaks during an interview with AFP at his office as he sits in front of the Southern Sudanese flag in Unity State on November 11, 2010
Taban Deng Gai appears to be involved in a power struggle with Mr Machar

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir will sign a decree appointing mining minister Taban Deng Gai as the new vice-president to replace Riek Machar, Mr Kiir's spokesman has told BBC focus on Africa radio

Mr Deng would take the oath of office after the signing of the presidential decree,  Ateny Wek Ateny said. 

Mr Machar fled the capital, Juba, earlier this month after heavy fighting between his troops and those loyal to Mr Machar killed nearly 300 people. 

Mr Machar's spokesman said he rejected Mr Deng's appointment.   

Mr Deng was Mr Machar's chief negotiator and his move to claim the vice-presidency suggests they have fallen out, creating a split in the opposition which will further complicate efforts to achieve peace in South Sudan, analysts say.

Leaders skip Arab League meeting in Mauritania

Arab League meeting
The meeting was held in a tent

Today Mauritania hosts its first ever Arab league meeting since joining the organisation in 1973.

But over half of the leaders of the 22 members didn't turn up, reports BBC Arabic.

The summit was cut down to one day because so many leaders were absent, it adds. 

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi stayed at home because of "a busy domestic schedule" while Saudi Arabia's King Salman's no-show was due to "health reasons", an Arab League source told AFP news agency.

The meeting was meant to discuss setting up a joint armed force.

How Nigeria's clerics rallied against film industry

Muhammad Annur Muhammad

BBC Africa, Abuja

Scene outside mosque in Kano
Muslims form the majority in northern Nigeria

It would have been political suicidal for Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari to press ahead with his plan to build a film village in the mainly Muslim north once it faced opposition from influential Muslim clerics and their followers. 

As Mr Buhari has strong support in the north, it became difficult for him to ignore the opposition once the clerics started using their weekly Friday sermons to condemn the plan as un-Islamic. 

They argued that the Hausa language film industry was corrupting the values of youth by promoting things like public romance and dancing, which are not part of the culture of Muslims in the north.

But many people are also bound to be dismayed by the decision because the films are extremely popular. 

Nigerian phone thief sentenced to carrying buckets of water

A 28-year-old Nigerian man has received a strange punishment for stealing a phone, reports the local Punch news site.

The judge in Lagos state sentenced the thief to carry two buckets of water up and down a staircase 100 times, the site says.

It adds that the phone was worth 6,000 naira ($20; £15). 

Congolese opposition leader jailed

 A court in Congo-Brazzaville  has jailed an opposition leader for two years for inciting public disorder, reports AFP news agency.

The charge arises from unauthorised demonstrations Paulin Makaya organised in 2015, AFP adds.

The demonstrations were called to protest against referendum that ended a two-term limit on presidential terms and allowed the incumbent Denis Sassou Nguesso to successfully run for re-election in March this year.   

Makaya said he would appeal against his conviction and his lawyers called the verdict "unjust and illegal".

Getty Images
There were weeks of unrest in October over the president being allowed to run for a third term

How deadly Madagascar fire started

The fire which killed 38 people at a house-warming party in Madagascar was believed to have started from embers of a fire that had been used earlier to cook food for the guests, AFP news agency reports.

The victims were trapped inside the house in Ambalavato village in the rural centre of the Indian Ocean island, it adds. 

Other villagers tried to rescue the people trapped inside but failed to open the door, AFP reports. 

Only one 14-year-old boy managed to escape the inferno by jumping through a window, the agency quotes police as saying.   

The party-goers were celebrating the renovation of the house when the fire broke out, AFP adds. 

See earlier post for more details

Are these Mugabe's last days in power?

Brian Hungwe

BBC Africa, Harare

It has taken Zimbabwe's defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi four days to respond to calls for President Robert Mugabe to step down by freedom fighters of the 1970s war against white-minority rule.

It appears that the communique by war veterans sparked intense behind the scenes talks on how best to address the crisis.  

Mr Sekeramayi has now defended his boss, the 92-year-old Mr Mugabe who has ruled since independence 36 years ago.

He indicated that investigations were under way and said the communique could have been the work of “our enemies” who had “infiltrated" the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans' Association. 

Mr Skeremayi added that "the truth will come out”, hinting that the government will blame the British and American governments. 

But the 150 war veterans who converged in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, last Thursday all agreed with the communique. 

Robert Mugabe
Getty Images

Talk that Mr Mugabe must now step down appears to be the general feeling not only in opposition circles but also in the ruling Zanu-PF party as the economic crisis worsens - the government is struggling to pay employees, including soldiers, because it has run out of money . 

In fact, there is speculation that these could be Mr Mugabe's last days in power, especially as he has lost the confidence of some of his most loyal backers - the war veterans - who have accused him of being dictatorial and egotistical.

See earlier post for more details

'Deadly fire' at Madagascar party

A fire during a house-warming party in central Madagascar has killed 38 people, including 16 children, police have said, AFP news agency reports. 

The blaze ripped through a thatched roof on Saturday, police spokesman Herilalatiana Andrianarivosona is quoted as saying. 

He added that the fire was an accident. 

Big blow for Nigeria's film sector

Mukhtar Adamu Bawa

BBC Africa, Kano

Leading Nigerian actor and director Ali Nuhu has told the BBC that he was confounded by President Muhammadu Buhari's decision to scrap plans to build a film village in the northern state of Kano following an outcry from conservative Muslim clerics and their followers. 

The $10m (£7.6m)  project was going to be built on 20 hectares of land at Kofa village, about 70 kilometers away from Kano city, to give the Hausa language film industry and the economy a major boost. 

Film making is one of the sectors of the economy that employs a lot of Nigeria's youth. 

But the local populace, especially Muslim scholars, held a different view - they used social media to voice opposition to the idea. 

Films in the Hausa language
Films in the Hausa language are popular across northern Nigeria

Controversial pictures of actors and actresses were used in the campaign to create the impression in people's minds that the film village, which was going to be named after the president, will become a breeding ground for social vices. 

Industry players have always denied the charge, but to no avail as Mr Buhari scrapped the plan. 

Ever since its creation more than 20 years ago, Kannywood - as the Hausa language film industry is known - has attracted a lot of criticism from the conservative society whose realities it seeks to reflect. 

It has been accused of encouraging teenage girls to run away from home with the hope of acting in films.  

Others condemned the project as a misplaced priority, saying what they wanted from the government was the revival of their dams for agricultural development. 

In the end, a presidential adviser, Abdurrahaman Kawu Sumaila, announced that Mr Buhari had heard the voice of the people and had scrapped the project. 

Kenya's James Bond prefers flying inside a plane

Abdinoor Aden

BBC Africa, Nairobi

We reported in an earlier post that tweeters have been getting angry after a well wisher gave a free flight to a man that became famous for hanging off a helicopter as it took off.

I have just talked to the 41-year-old Swaleh Wanjala after his free internal flight to Kenya's capital Nairobi.  

He compared the two experiences:

Last time I hung on the plane, it was very windy and the wind even caused my shirt to unbutton itself. But today I am happy and I was seated inside, it was cool.

He added that he is still recovering from jumping 11 metres from the helicopter to the ground back in May, and he struggled to step on the plane this morning.

The man who payed for his flight, Joseph Lendrix Waswa, insisted he wasn't trying to encourage dangerous behaviour:

Apart from giving Wafula the experience, I also want to educate people on dangers of hanging on a plane. I have warned Wafula against repeating his actions.

Mr Wanjala travelled with his mother, Evelyne Namusya, who was flying for the first time. 

Swaleh Wanjala and Evelyne Namusya

She revealed that she wasn't impressed with her son's actions two months ago:  

I never thought I would see him alive. His actions were dangerous and scary."

Mr Wafula has been branded Kenya's James Bond for pulling off the stunt. 

Kenyans have also developed an online game called Bungoma Hangman, where players survive by hanging on the plane, avoiding objects which would cause them to fall.

South Sudanese musicians sing for peace

Some of South Sudan’s top musicians have come together to produce this song calling for peace:

View more on Soundcloud

The track was recorded in a few days, following the latest outbreak of fighting in Juba earlier this month. 

The title Dafa Dafa means revenge in Juba Arabic.  

“Revenge will finish us,” MC Lumoex, who came up with the idea for the song, told the BBC's Alastair Leithead.  

“I’m calling upon all of us to leave revenge behind, and forgive each other.  Forgiveness is what we need for this nation to go forward.”

South Sudan Musicians
The musicians sing lyrics in Juba Arabic, Bari and Zande, Dinka and Nuer

One of the lyrics sung by Mandari is: “I wish my talent could be a weapon, I would use it to protect my people.”   

Dafa Dafa is already getting radio airplay in Juba.  The band won’t make money from it, but they do hope it reaches the ears of the men in charge. 

“We don’t even know why they’re fighting… We just wish that they listen to our song and hear the message,” Mandari told the BBC. 

Nigerian police arrest pastor accused of chaining boy

A Nigerian pastor has been arrested for allegedly chaining his nine-year-old son in a room for more than a month with a padlock and denying him food, police have said. 

Pastror Muyiwa Adejobi, 40, had been on the run since Friday, when police rescued the emaciated boy from a room near a church in  Atan in south-western Ogun state after a tip-off. 

The pastor told investigators that he had locked up his son to teach him to stop him stealing, AFP reports. 

It quotes police spokesman Muyiwa Adejobi as saying:  

The man said his son was always stealing his things and to stop the habit, he needed to chain him with [a] lock so that he would not run away.

"It is shocking and baffling that a man who claims to be a man of God could be involved in a such a barbaric and inhuman act."

 Mr Adejobi said the boy was found chained to the ground on Friday, adding:

He was in a very bad shape, greatly emaciated because of poor feeding. The boy told us his father was not giving him food regularly and that he had been locked up in the room for over one month."

 Pastor Adejobi  has not yet commented on the allegation. 

Nigerian Olympic canoeist stranded in Germany

Rodrigo de Freitas Lake
Getty Images
The Canoe sprint is due to take place in the Rodrigo de Freitas Lake

Nigerian canoe slalom athlete Johny Akinyemi has just told BBC Sport World that he is stranded at Germany's Frankfurt airport while on his way to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

He added that he doesn’t know when he will get to Rio de Janeiro, where the Olympics starts on 5 August.

His flight from Manchester in the UK was delayed on Sunday, so he missed his connection with Lufthansa in Frankfurt. 

Akinyemi days he is on standby but all flights to Rio are booked up over the coming four or five days and he’s about 12th on the list. 

Making matters worse, Lufthansa is the only airline that can take his kayak – so he’s stuck with them.

He was due to start training on the course in Rio this morning. 

Hull City to play in Kenya

We reported earlier that the English Premier League football club Hull City has announced its new sponsors will be Kenyan betting firm SportPesa.

Along with a picture of Hull player Momo Diame wearing the new shirt, SportPesa has tweeted that, in this unusual sponsorship deal, Hull players will travel to Kenya to play:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

South Sudan executes soldiers

South Sudan has executed by firing squad two government soldiers convicted of murdering a couple, in the first executions in the country, local media reports.

The soldiers were shot dead in front of a military parade in Wau town in the north-west, some residents and relatives of the couple gathering to see the executions. 

A military court convicted the soldiers, Surgeon-Major Atian Deng and Lance Corporal Matem Ariic Mayom, following their arrest on 17 July for murdering the couple in a residential area in Wau. 

A private radio station in South Sudan is tweeting about the story: 

View more on twitter

Tweeters angry at free flight for Kenya's James Bond

There is an outcry on Twitter in Kenya about the news that a businessman has paid for a plane ticket of a man who became famous for hanging to a helicopter as it took off.

Tweeters are not impressed:

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

The Kenyan newspaper The Standard reports that businessman Lendrix Waswa is paying for Saleh Wanjala to fly from the port city of Kisumu to the capital, Nairobi,  today where he will meet him for lunch.

Mr Wanjala became known as Bungoma James Bond after he hung on to the helicopter transporting the body of late businessman Jacob Juma in May:

View more on youtube

Turkey to run Somali charities 'linked to coup plotter'

Mohammud Ali Mohamed

BBC Africa, Nairobi

Turkey's government has said it will take over schools and hospitals run by an organisation suspected of links to the failed bid to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The Somali government last week ordered all staff of the Nile Academy to leave following pressure from Turkey's government. 

As a result, schools and hospital runs by the movement were shut - and the only dialysis machine in the capital, Mogadishu, is now no longer being used to give vital treatment to patients. 

Local doctors at the hospital told the BBC Somali Service that they were treating more than 60 kidney patients daily, and they now have nowhere to turn to for help. 

Turkey's government accuses US-based Fetullah Gullen, who runs charities in many countries, of being behind the unsuccessful bid by senior military officers to topple Mr Erdogan and has launched a crackdown on organisations linked to him. 

He denies being involved in the coup plot. 

Recep Tayyip Erdogan (2nd Top L) and his wife Emine (bottom R) hold children during their visit to a refugee camp in south of Mogadishu on August 19, 2011
Mr Erdogan visited Somalia in 2011

There are concerns that poor Mogadishu residents, who depended on the charitable work of the Nile Academy, are bearing the brunt of the fall-out in Turkey in the aftermath of the coup bid. 

Turkey's government is a key ally of Somalia's government, and has been involved in its own efforts to rebuild Somalia which has been hit by more than two decades of conflict - including an insurgency by militant Islamist group al-Shabab.  

In 2011, Mr Erdogan became the first Turkish leader to visit Somalia.   

Read: The unlikely love affair between Turkey and Somalia  

Tweeters react to Obama's half-brother voting for Trump

Tweeters have been reacting to an article saying outgoing US President Barack Obama's Kenyan half-brother will vote for Donald Trump in the election in November:

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

Malik Obama said in an article in the New York Post that he switched allegiance from his half-brother's party after the scandal surrounding Hilary Clinton using private emails when she was secretary of state.

“She should have known better as the custodian of classified information,” he is quoted as saying.

The article says Mr Obama is registered in Maryland to vote, where he worked for many years as an accountant. 

It adds that he plans to travel from Kenya to the US in November to vote.

Nigerian film village plan scrapped after clerics complain

Naziru Mikailu

BBC Africa, Abuja

Film village sign

The Nigerian government has cancelled its plan to build a massive film village in the northern state of Kano, following social media outcry and opposition from Muslim clerics.

More than three billion naira ($10m; £7.6m) was budgeted for the project as part of the government's efforts to improve the Hausa language film industry known as Kannywood.

The government argued the village would create thousands of job opportunities and promote cultural activities.

But Muslims clerics argued it would promote immorality and people on social media also called on the government to stop the plan.

An aide to President Muhammadu Buhari told local media that the president has listened to the people's concerns.

Kenyan betting firm sponsors Hull City

English Premier League football club Hull City have announced their new sponsor is a Kenyan betting company, reports Hull Daily Mail.  

Simon King, the club's commercial manager, says on the Hull City official site that the deal with SportPesa is the most lucrative the club has ever had.

The site adds that this is a "multi-million pound" deal for three years.

Here is what the shirt will look like:

View more on twitter

The betting firm is replacing a theme park near Hull called Flamingo Land as the sponsor.

The company already sponsors  the Kenyan Premier League, which is known as the SportsPesa Premier League.

Round one to Besigye in legal battles

Patience Atuhaire

BBC Africa, Kampala

Kizza Besigye

In our earlier post we reported that some charges had been dropped against the Ugandan opposition leader Kizza Besigye.

The case dismissed against Ugandan opposition leader Kiza Besigye is just one of many cases he is facing in different courts since he challenged long-serving ruler President Yoweri Museveni in February's disputed election. 

The most serious charge -  that of treason - has not yet been dropped.

It was brought after Mr Besigye rejected Mr Museveni's victory as a sham, and said he was the democratically elected president.    

But today, Mr Besigye, a former physician of the long-serving ruler, was given some respite when a magistrate 's court dismissed charges of disobeying lawful orders saying that the prosecution had failed to produce witnesses.

The case was opened against Mr Besigye and his colleagues, including Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, for holding a meeting in the city in May 2015, to allegedly discuss electoral reforms.

They are said to have disobeyed the Kampala South Metropolitan police commander's orders to disperse from the meeting venue. 

Mr Besigye is currently out on bail, and is confident he will be cleared of treason as well.

He sees the charges as political victimisation by Mr Museveni, who has ruled Uganda for three decades. 

South Africa's gay radio station makes waves

Africa’s only gay radio station broadcasts from South Africa.

GaySAradio produces content for Africa’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender and intersex communities and is trying to counter homophobia and break down stereotypes.

The BBC's Christian Parkinson spent the day at the station in the capital, Pretoria.

South Africa's gay radio station makes waves

Olomide show cancelled in Zambia

The musician joked with the media after the apparent fight at the airport in Kenya
The musician joked with the media after the apparent fight at the airport

Zambia has cancelled a performance by Koffi Olomide, one of Africa's most popular singers, after he was deported from Kenya for allegedly kicking one of his dancers.

The Congolese musician was due to perform at an event organised by the Agricultural and Commercial Show Society in Zambia's capital, Lusaka, this week.

In a statement, the event organisers said they had cancelled the rumba star's appearance because of the "reported unfortunate incident" in Kenya. 

Olomide, 60, was caught on camera on Friday at Kenya's main international airport apparently kicking one of the female dancers but, speaking to the BBC, he denied kicking anyone and said he had tried to "stop" a "girl who wanted to fight the dancers I came with". 

On Saturday, he was deported to the Democratic Republic of Congo with three of his dancersm making it impossible for him to perform at his concert in Kenya's capital, Nairobi. 

Kenya's Minister of Youth and Gender, Sicily Kariuki, said the singer's conduct was an "insult to Kenyans and our constitution". 

Ugandan court dismisses Besigye case

Uganda's leading private newspaper, the Daily Monitor, is reporting that a judge has thrown out some of the charges against Ugandan opposition leader Kizza Besigye:

View more on twitter

These tweeters explains the background to the case:

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View more on twitter

Zimbabwe war veterans 'treasonous'

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe addressing suppporters at ZANU-PF party's annual conference in the northwestern mining town on Bindura on December 19, 2008
Mr Mugabe has ruled since independence in 1980

Zimbabwe's defence minister has condemned as "treasonous" a statement issued by war veterans last week, withdrawing their support for President Robert Mugabe, the state-owned Herald newspaper reports.

Sydney Skeremayi said the statement appeared to be the work of a "fifth column" - a reference to a group which undermines an organisation from within - and the government was carrying out an investigation to establish who was behind it, the newspaper reports.

Mr Skeremayi added:  

A treacherous document of that nature is not just written without people converging and agreeing on points to make.

There is no war veteran who would be so disparaging of the president of the party and the country. It's impossible."

In a statement last week, the deeply divided Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans' Association said it would not back Mr Mugabe, 92, in the next election.

It accused him of dictatorial tendencies, egocentrism and bankrupt leadership. 

Read: From preacher to 'Captain Zimbabwe' 

Today's wise words

Our African proverb of the day: 

Before it rains, the bathhouse is already wet."

Sent by Pious Kofi Bentum and Kweku Efrim, both from Ghana

Click here to send us your African proverbs. 

Good morning

Welcome to the BBC Africa Live page where we will bring you the latest news from around the continent.