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  1. Zimbabwean riot police break up demonstration
  2. Burundi's police detain suspected social media campaigners
  3. US imposes sanctions on Ugandan rebel's sons
  4. South Africa's finance minister to defy police order
  5. Row in Nigeria over dog named after president
  6. Nine Nigerian banks suspended from trading in foreign exchange
  7. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive WhatsApp: +44 7341070844
  8. Email stories and comments to - Wednesday 24 August 2016

Live Reporting

By Hugo Williams 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:

It takes time before a child who hurls insults at an iroko tree is haunted by the tree spirit."

A Yoruba proverb sent by Mohammed Saheed Bello, London, UK.

Click here to send us your African proverbs.

And we leave you with this photo, published today, from the annual Chale Wote Art Festival, which was held over the weekend in the Ghanaian captial Accra: 

View more on instagram

Photos of Zimbabwe protest

Here are some dramatic pictures from the protest which hit Zimbabwe's capital, Harare today, as opposition supporters demanded an end to President Robert Mugabe's rule. 

A fire fighter extingushes a pick-up truck belonging to state broadcaster, ZBC (Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corperation) during a protest by opposition youths who were demonstrating against alleged brutality by security agents in the capital Harare, Zimbabwe, August 24, 2016.

Reuters news agency says a pick-up truck belonging to the state-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation was set alight during a protest by opposition youths. 

Locals ran for cover during the clashes between the police and opposition supporters.  

People flee in Harare

 Earlier, protesters held placards demanding an end to police brutality.  

Locals hold placards during a protest by opposition youths who were demonstrating against alleged brutality by security agents in the capital Harare, Zimbabwe August 24, 2016

See earlier post for more details

Gaza's last tiger to relocate to South Africa

Gaza's last tiger Laziz is leaving for a new home and life in a South African sanctuary.

He is one of the few animals left in Khan Younis Zoo in South Gaza, dubbed the "world's worst zoo".

The last tiger to leave Gaza zoo

'Deep-seated' anger with Mugabe

Brian Hungwe

BBC Africa, Harare

Public protests, often impromptu, are now a weekly occurrence in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, amid smouldering discontent with President Robert Mugabe's 36-year-rule. 

Riot police are ever present in the central business district, often stationed opposite the parliament. 

The demonstrations reflect deep-seated anger at the state of the economy, especially joblessness, and repressive laws. 

Despite police crackdowns, activists remain defiant. At today's protest, tear gas canisters were thrown back at police.  

A Zimbabwean man throws back a tear gas cannister during a protest by opposition youths who were demonstrating against alleged brutality by security agents in the capital Harare, August 24, 2016.

Nationwide demonstrations, designed to shut down the whole country, are being planned for the end of the month  

Activists say that while the 92-year-old Mr Mugabe has state force at his disposal, they have people power on their side.

See earlier post for more details

SA finance minister in 'fighting mood' with police

Matthew Davies

Editor, BBC Africa Business Report

South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan speaks during the annual World Bank - International Monetary Fund (IMF) meetings in Washington, DC, October 10, 2013.

By deciding to ignore its request to appear before it (see earlier entry), South Africa's Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan is essentially telling the elite police unit, the Hawks, that he has already answered the questions they put to him. 

Also, he points out that the Hawks themselves said a few months ago that he was not a suspect in this matter. But what he really seems to be doing is standing his ground. 

If, as many analysts suspect, this is a battle between the Treasury and the Presidency to oust the finance minister, clearly he has no intention of either going quietly or under a cloud of rumour and hearsay regarding the alleged activities of a rogue unit at the South Africa Revenue Service (SARS). 

Local media is now dubbing the whole saga as SARS Wars. 

As people here continue to view developments through a fog of speculation and political manoeuvring, it's not yet clear which party to the saga is supposed to be the Galactic Empire and which the Rebel Alliance.

See earlier post for more details

Was it wrong for Olympians to change nationality?

Ruth Jebet holds the Bahrain flag
Kenyan Ruth Jebet won gold in steeplechase for Bahrain

In our series of letters from African journalists, Ghanaian writer Elizabeth Ohene has been reflecting on Olympians who switched allegiances for this year's Games. 

Elizabeth starts her piece explaining why she thinks the tactic is unfair:

Bahrain obviously want to have their national anthem played at the Olympic Games, or at least have an athlete wearing their colours competing. They can't seem to be able to find their own nationals who can perform at this level but they have the money to buy top class athletes from other countries to do it for them.

But eventually, she acknowledges the benefits of switching allegiance, even as a spectator:

With Ghana not in the reckoning when it comes to the Olympics, I am often Kenyan, especially when a certain David Rudisha is on the tracks; I am regularly Jamaican for all kinds of reasons; I am sometimes British, American and every once in a while I am South African."

Read the full piece here

Turkish Airlines to restart flights to Sharm al-Sheikh

Turkish Airlines will resume flights to to the Egyptian coastal resort of Sharm al-Sheikh next month, Turkey's embassy in Cairo has said. 

It suspended flights nearly a year ago following the bombing of a Russian jet which took off from the resort.

SA finance minister Gordhan to ignore police summons

South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan reacts during a media briefing in Johannesburg, South Africa, March 14, 2016

South Africa's Minister Pravin Gordhan will defy a request by an elite police unit to report to its offices tomorrow as it investigates an alleged rogue unit he had set up in the tax collection agency he once headed. 

In a statement, he confirmed that his attorneys had received a letter from the Hawks unit asking him to appear before it tomorrow: 

"I have since taken legal counsel.... I am advised that I am under no legal obligation to present myself to the Hawks as directed in their letter. I have decided not to do so..."

The Treasury has tweeted the full statement on its Twitter profile:

View more on twitter

See earlier post for more details

Running battles in Zimbabwe's capital

Brian Hungwe

BBC Africa, Harare

Anti-riot police use batons to disperse demonstrators during a protest by opposition youths against alleged brutality by security agents in the capital Harare, Zimbabwe August 24, 2016.

Zimbabwe's anti-riot police have fought running battles with hundreds of supporters of the opposition movement of Democratic Change (MDC) on the streets of the capital, Harare. 

Police fired tear gas, causing a stampede which forced panicking motorists to drive in opposition directions in the central business district. 

Shops closed and office workers fled as they chocked on the smoke. 

Locals cover their faces during a protest by opposition youths who were demonstrating against alleged brutality by security agents in the capital Harare, Zimbabwe August 24, 2016.

Car windows were broken and vehicles believed to belong to the police were burnt. 

Police also used water cannon to disperse angry youth as they attempted to regroup. 

The MDC youth wing called the protest to demand the end of President Robert Mugabe's 36-year rule. 

Anti-riot police clear roads during a protest by opposition youths who were demonstrating against alleged brutality by security agents in the capital Harare, Zimbabwe August 24, 2016.

See earlier post for more details

Gunmen 'raid hospitals' in Mozambique

Armed men linked to Mozambique’s main opposition party, the Mozambique National Resistance (Renamo), have raided at least two hospitals and two health clinics over the past month, according to Human Rights Watch. 

The attacks on the medical facilities, which involved looting medicine and supplies and destroying medical equipment, threaten access to health care for tens of thousands of people in remote areas of the country, the New York based rights group adds.

A Human Rights Watch researcher, specialising in Mozambique, has posted the full statement on Twitter:

View more on twitter

Renamo fighters and government forces have been involved in clashes since disputed elections in 2014, raising fears that a civil war could resume.  

Read more about Mozambique

Kenyatta approves controversial law on interest rates

Emmanuel Igunza

BBC Africa, Nairobi

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has signed into law a controversial bill that will cap commercial interest rates. 

It means banks will be allowed to charge no more than 4% above the rate set by the central bank. 

Some banks had been charging two-and-a-half times that base rate. 

Commercial banks had lobbied the government not to sign the bill into law in spite of intense pressure from the opposition and a cross-section of Kenyans.

Supporters of the law said the high interest rates had hindered access to credit for thousands of people and small businesses. 

But its critics claimed that government intervention in the market will have the reverse effect with banks imposing stringent conditions for those seeking loans and fewer will, in fact, get access to cash.

Zola Budd triggered UK cabinet row

Zola Budd (R) competing during the 3,000m in the 1984 Olympics
Getty Images
Zola Budd (R) competing during the 3,000m in the 1984 Olympics

A campaign to fast-track British citizenship for South African runner Zola Budd triggered a major government rift, newly released documents show.

The UK Foreign Office warned the Home Office against giving the teenage athlete "special treatment" to enable her to compete at the 1984 Olympics.

Ministers said any circumvention of the ban on South Africans competing may hurt the UK's anti-apartheid stance.

But the Home Office said Budd's "talent" made the case a priority.

Budd, who set a world record for the 5,000m at the age of 17 and became a household name for running barefoot, registered as a British citizen in April 1984 in time for her to compete at the Los Angeles games four months later.

She ran for Britain in the 3,000m - where she tangled with the American Mary Decker in one of the most famous moments in Olympic history and ultimately finished down the field.

A media campaign was launched to encourage Zola Budd's father to urge her to apply for British citizenship, by virtue of her paternal grandfather being British, thereby bypassing the boycott on South African athletes taking part in international competition because of its apartheid policy.

Read the full BBC story here

West Ham 'interested' in Man City striker Bony

Wilfried Bony in action for Man City
Getty Images
Wilfried Bony

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic says he is interested in signing Manchester City and Ivory Coast forward Wilfried Bony.

Strikers Andy Carroll and record signing Andre Ayew are both injured, with the Croatian manager adding his team "are short of numbers".

Bony joined Manchester City in January 2015 and has scored 10 goals in 20 starts, but is yet to play this term.

Bilic said the Ivory Coast player, 27, is an option because "he plays in the position we are looking for".

Read the full BBC Sport story

What’s Up Africa: Is Malawi 'too good' to win medals?

The 45 medals grabbed by Africa in Rio made the Games the most successful Olympics for the continent. However, Malawi was among the 27 African countries that went home empty-handed.

Satirist Ikenna Azuike is in Malawi to find out why for What’s Up Africa.

Madagascar police website back up after hack

Raissa Ioussouf

BBC Afrique, Antananarivo

Website of the Madagascar police
Passport application forms and other services are now available again

The website of the national police in Madagascar is accessible again, after it was hacked last night by suspected Islamists.

Al Fallaga, a Tunisian group of self-proclaimed cyber activists, said it was behind the attack, replacing the homepage with a propaganda message.

A police official told me the motive of the cyber-attack was not clear.

Zimbabwe protesters dispersed

Brian Hungwe

BBC Africa, Harare

Riot police in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, have fired tear gas and used water canons to disperse hundreds of demonstrators demanding President Robert Mugabe's resignation. 

It caused chaos around government offices in the centre of the city, as people, choking with tear gas, ran away. 

Protest leader Lovemore Chinoputsa told me they were not going to "give up" until the 92-year-old Mr Mugabe, who has ruled since independence in 1980 and was re-elected in 2013, leaves office. 

He added:

His family is enriching itself through government tenders while the poor are suffering. He has failed to address the economic chaos."

Political endgame by Zuma?

South Africa's shadow finance minister David Maynier says any decision to arrest Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan  will "shatter investor confidence, risk a sovereign ratings downgrade and be a disaster for the already fragile zero growth, zero jobs economy". 

His comments came amid reports that Mr Gordhan has been ordered to report to the elite police unit, the Hawks, on Thursday. 

Speculation is rife that Mr Gordhan could be charged in connection with an alleged rogue spy unit that was set up at the tax collection agency when he headed it up between 1999 and 2009. 

Many analysts are saying that these events are part of the political endgame by President Jacob Zuma to oust Mr Gordhan, reports the BBC's Matthew Davies from the main city, Johannesburg.

: South African President Jacob Zuma attends a service at Bryanston Methodist Church during a national day of prayer, on December 8, 2013 in Johannesburg, South Africa
Mr Zuma's office has repeatedly denied that he has a poor relationship with Mr Gordhan

The reason seems to be the continuing tension between the Treasury and the Presidency over a Zuma-backed plan to build several nuclear power stations at a cost of some $60bn (£45bn), he adds.

Mr Gordhan has not publicly opposed the deal, which Russian companies are favoured to win, but keeps re-iterating that South Africa will only sign deals it can afford.

See earlier post for more details

Naming dog after Buhari 'not a crime'

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari listens as British Prime Minister Cameron opens the international anti-corruption summit on May 12, 2016 in London, England.
President Muhammdu Buhari was elected last year

Prominent lawyers in Nigeria say it is not a crime to name a dog after the president, the local Vanguard newspaper reports.

Their comments came after police charged a man with breaching the peace by writing Buhari, after President Muhammadu Buhari, on his dog and walking with it in a market where the leader is popular. 

Lawyer Monday Ubani is quoted by the newspaper as saying:

In the eye of the law, it is not criminal for somebody to name his or her dog after another person. It may be offensive by examining the circumstances under which the incident happened."

In his reaction, lawyer Tunji Muyedeen told the newspaper: 

As far as I am concerned, there is no way such [an] offence could be sustained in law. Anybody can name his pet after anybody’s name...

All of us will be living witnesses to the trial of the man. We will see what evidence the prosecution has to prosecute the accused person.”

Human rights lawyer Okey Nwaguna is quoted as saying: 

The motive of an accused is never and can never be established by the charge: It must be established by evidence. Prosecution must show that accused had the intent to cause a breach of public peace. What constitutes ‘public’ is key.”

See earlier post for more details

Suspended Athletics Kenya chief Kiplagat dies

Isaiah Kiplagat
Getty Images

Isaiah Kiplagat, who led Athletics Kenya for nearly three decades until his suspension last year, has died at the age of 71. 

Family sources have confirmed that he passed away on Wednesday morning, having received treatment for cancer.

Kiplagat was suspended with two others last November by the ethics commission of athletics' world governing body, the IAAF, following accusations that they subverted anti-doping processes and potentially diverted sponsorship funds from Nike.

Kiplagat was also accused of accepting, two cars as "gifts" from the Qatar Association of Athletics between 2014 and 2015 when the oil rich country's capital, Doha, was bidding to host the 2019 world championships.

He denied any wrongdoing.

Burundi social media suspects detained during 'raid on bar'

Prime Ndikumagenge

BBC Africa, Bujumbura

The eight suspects in police custody in Burundi were among more than more than 50 people initially detained during a raid on a bar in the capital, Bujumbura, on Saturday. 

None have been charged. 

Reports suggest those still being detained are linked to one of several radio stations which were shut down during a failed coup attempt last year, but there has been no confirmation of this.

A police spokesman accused them of "defaming" government leaders and institution on social media sites.

See earlier post for more details  

Police check cars for weapons on the outskirts of an opposition neighborhood on June 28, 2015 in Bujumbura, Burundi.
Burundi has been in turmoil since President Nkurunziza decided last April to seek re-election

Should it be a crime to call your dog Buhari?

Jimeh Saleh

BBC Hausa service editor

Dashund puppy looks at the camera with doe eyes
Getty Images
Is it OK to name your dog after your country's leader?

Yesterday we reported the bizarre story of a Nigerian man who was arrested and charged with a “conduct likely to cause breach of the peace” for naming his dog Buhari, in honour, he says, of the country's President Muhammadu Buhari.

The police have said that Joachim Iroko's unusual choice of name may have offended some of his neighbours, who abhor dogs for religious and cultural reasons. 

But should it really matter what name you give your pet, and how can it be a crime in itself? 

Joachim's case exposes something about the tensions that exist in modern-day Nigeria's mixed communities. 

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari arrives to attend a working session with outreach guests at the summit of G7 nations at Schloss Elmau on June 8, 2015 near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.
A lot of children have been named after Mr Buhari

Joachim is an Igbo Christian, but he lives in an area of south-western Ogun state, which has a large communities of ethnic Hausas, who are Muslim.  

Naming a dog Buhari may have been doubly problematic for the Hausa community, which considers dogs unclean for religious reasons and strongly supports President Buhari, who is from the same ethnic group. 

So perhaps Joachim didn't choose the wrong name, but the wrong place in which to give the name to his dog?

Nigerians are not against giving eccentric names to their pets, or indeed their children. 

I remember interviewing a painter many years in Lagos who told me his name was Honest Millionaire.

Former President Goodluck also charmed many with his name. 

A lot of children born during his presidency were named after him in hope that they would one day occupy the highest office in the land by sheer luck.

Read: Buhari profile

Prosecutor: Jail Mali's shrine-destroyer to at least nine years

War crimes prosecutors at the International Criminal Court have called for a jail sentence of between nine and 11 years for Malian militant Islamist Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi after he admitted to attacking shrines in the ancient city of Timbuktu in 2015. 

Mahdi said he regretted his actions and asked for forgiveness

He is the first militant Islamist to be put on trial buy the court, and the first to plead guilt since the court was formed more than a decade ago to try war crimes suspects. 

The militants accused the Muslims who prayed at the shrines of being grave-worshippers, believing that the sites, where saints had been buried, posed a threat to monotheism and should be destroyed.

Read: Why is Mali an insurgent hotspot? 

Digging for gold in the desert

A man digging for gold in the Sahara desert in Mauritania

The world's newest gold rush is under way in Mauritania.

It follows a government decision to allow people to search for gold in the desert.

Watch the BBC video here

Nigerian bank customers to be hit by forex trading suspension

Naziru Mikailu

BBC Abuja editor

President Buhari

What lies behind Nigeria's decision to suspend foreign exchange trading at nine banks? (see earlier post)

The government of President Muhammadu Buhari established a Single Treasury Account last year and asked all state agencies and departments to transfer revenues to that account, as part of an anti-corruption drive. 

Many commercial banks have suffered as a result of the policy, after government agencies stopped depositing their money with them in compliance with the directive.

The nine banks named will have to remit the missing  $2.1bn (£1.6bn) to the government before they are allowed to resume foreign exchange trading.

US dollars

One source at the Central Bank of Nigeria tells me that this will have a major impact on some of the affected banks' operations. 

The central bank is also expected to impose fines on the banks for the failed payments. 

Customers of these banks will definitely be affected, especially those who have foreign currency accounts.

The bigger question, according to the source, should be: Why are these banks holding this money? Are they doing it in connivance with the national oil company NNPC, which stands accused of failing to remit billions of dollars of revenues to the government in recent years, or is there a more innocent explanation? 

This can only be determined after a proper investigation, the source says. 

However, an NNPC spokesman told me that the ban was triggered after it submitted a complaint to President Buhari, asking him to intervene and compel the banks to remit the money. 

See earlier post for more details

US puts sanctions on LRA leader Kony's sons

LRA leader Joseph Kony
LRA leader Joseph Kony is wanted for war crimes

The US says it has imposed economic sanctions on Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) leader Joseph Kony's two sons, accusing them of being involved in trafficking ivory. 

Salim Kony and Ali Cony were LRA commanders who played "critical roles" in trafficking of ivory from Garamba National Park in northern Democratic Republic of the Congo through the Central African Republic (CAR) to Sudan's disputed region of Kafia Kingi for sale or trade with local merchants, the US treasury said in a statement

While Salim coordinates the transport of ivory, Ali is responsible for negotiating ivory prices and either selling the ivory for US dollars or Sudanese pounds, or for trading the ivory for weapons, ammunition, and food with merchants in Kafia Kingi."

Any assets that the two men had in the US would be be frozen and US citizens were "generally" prohibited from doing business with them, the treasury said. 

The LRA was formed in Uganda, but was driven out by government forces.

Its fighters now roam the vast jungles in the region. 

Joseph Kony: Profile of the LRA leader

Ethiopian site ignores Feyisa Lilela's non-return

Feyisa Lilela
The "x" symbol is used by in protests against the Ethiopian government

Ethiopia's state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate has failed to refer to asylum-seeking athlete Feyisa Lilela in its website coverage of the return of the Olympic team from Brazil. 

The team was received by senior government officials, including Minister of Youth and Sports, Redwan Hussein, at the Bole International Airport, it reports.   

Feyisa won silver in the marathon, and crossed his arms at the finish line to protest against the government for its crackdown on the Oromo people, who form the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia.  

Ethiopia’s ranking at the Rio Olympics was the lowest compared with the previous six Olympics, Fana Broadcasting Corporation points out.  

With one gold, two silver and five bronze medals, it finished 44th in the medal table and 3rd from Africa.

Feyisa is expected to seek asylum in the US. 

See earlier post for more details 

Nigeria suspends nine banks from FX trading

Nigeria's central bank has suspended nine commercial banks from all foreign exchange transactions and operations after they failed to transfer $2.1bn (£1.6bn) of dividends from the state-owned gas company to the government, Reuters news agency reports.

Last year, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the merger of state accounts into one single account at the central bank to reduce corruption.

South Africa's currency plummets amid political crisis

Matthew Davies

Editor, BBC Africa Business Report

South African currency

The South African rand has taken a tumble on international currency markets after it was rumoured, once again, that the country's finance minister may face charges in relation to an alleged rogue unit at the state tax revenue service. 

There's a real feeling of deja vu swirling around the rumours that Pravin Gordhan, faces imminent arrest. 

Back in May, local media was jumping with speculation that Mr Gordhan would face espionage charges over an investigation unit that was set up at the South African Revenue Service when he was in charge of the tax collection agency several years ago. 

The Treasury has confirmed that Mr Gordhan has been contacted by the elite police unit, the Hawks, and sources are claiming he must report to them on Thursday. 

Analysts say there's a much broader political picture at play here - at the centre of which is a deteriorating relationship between the finance minister and President Jacob Zuma. 

Mr Gordhan is widely seen in the markets as a safe pair of hands - even the suggestion of removing him from the Treasury sent the rand around 3% lower.

Burundi social media activists arrested

Prime Ndikumagenge

BBC Africa, Bujumbura

Eight people have been arrested in Burundi for "defaming" government leaders and institutions on Facebook and Twitter, police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye has confirmed to me. 

The eight were arrested on 20 August in the capital, Bujumbura, while meeting to write messages to spread via social media sites, he added. 

Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza has survived protests and a coup attempt since he announced last April that he was seeking to extend his decade-long rule. 

He subsequently won elections, which were rejected by his critics as a sham. 

More than 400 people have been killed in unrest since April 2015.  

Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza is viewed as he kicks off his official campaign for the presidency at a rally on June 25, 2015 in Busoni, Burundi.
Mr Nkurunziza has been accused of being increasingly repressive

Read: Presidents who cling to power

Protest athlete fails to fly back to Ethiopia

Feyisa Lilesa at Rio 2016
Getty Images
Feyisa Lilesa is expected to apply for asylum in the US

Ethiopia's athletes have returned home without marathon silver medallist Feyisa Lilesa who protested against the government at the Rio Olympics in defiance of the Games' rules. 

Ethiopian sports officials congratulated team members when they landed at the airport in the capital, Addis Ababa, but made no mention of Lilesa's silver medal achievement and refused to answer any questions about the athlete, AFP news agency reports.

Earlier, the government said would he be treated as a hero if he returned.

As he finished Sunday's race, the 26-year-old crossed his arms - a gesture of protest made by the Oromo people, who have suffered brutal police crackdowns.

Feyisa is from Oromia, home to most of Ethiopia's 35 million Oromo people.  

The athlete is expected to seek asylum in the US - a staunch ally of Ethiopia's government.

What is behind Ethiopia's wave of protests?

Today's wise words

Our African proverb of the day:

It takes time before a child who hurls insults at an iroko tree is haunted by the tree spirit."

A Yoruba proverb sent by Mohammed Saheed Bello, London, UK.

Click here to send us your African proverbs 

Good morning

Welcome to the BBC Africa Live page, where we'll be bringing you the latest news from around the continent.