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  1. Nigeria's government takes over cash-strapped airline
  2. Strong reaction to Kenyan leader's dab dance
  3. Zuma condemned as 'scoundrel' in parliament
  4. Italian oil tycoon accused of corruption in Nigeria
  5. EU hails The Gambia's decision to remain in ICC
  6. More than 200 state vehicles 'missing' in Ghana
  7. Nigerian soldiers caught on video apparently beating disabled man
  8. Kenyan court blocks closure of refugee camp
  9. Zimbabwe's newest opposition party expels seven top members
  10. Email stories and comments to - Thursday 9 February 2017

Live Reporting

By Dickens Olewe and Farouk Chothia

All times stated are UK

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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 in the South African parliament and the rest of Africa by checking the BBC News website.  

A reminder of today's wise words: 

The way a cat walks is not the way it catches a rat."

Sent by Nnamdi A Udoye, London, UK

Click here to send us your African proverbs

And we leave you with this photo from inside an eatery in Ghana's capital, Accra.

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Order to evict Malema

The speaker of South Africa's parliament, Baleka Mbete, has just ordered the ejection of firebrand opposition leader Julius Malema from parliament.

"We are not going to be addressed by a criminal,"  Mr Malema said, as he tried to prevent President Zuma from delivering his State of the Nation address.    

Mr Malema accused Ms Mbete of being "used" by Mr Zuma.

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Four insults hurled at Zuma

So, what has President Jacob Zuma been called so far by opposition MPs? A journalist with the private News24 site gives us the answer: 

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SA MP chucked out

The speaker of South Africa's parliament has ordered security officials to eject MP Willie Madisha of the opposition Congress of the People in an attempt to end disruptions during President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation address.

Mr Zuma has not yet delivered his speech in which he intends to outline his government's plans for the next year. He was supposed to have started an hour ago.  

Zuma is 'constitutional delinquent'

EFF's lawmaker Ndlozi Mbuyiseni has been contributing to a fiery debate in South Africa's parliament. 

He called President Jacob Zuma a "criminal" and a "constitutional delinquent" and that he should be kicked out of parliament.

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Free speech 'abused'

The speaker of South Africa's parliament, Baleka Mbete, has urged opposition MPs to allow President Jacob Zuma to go ahead with his State of the Nation address. 

She accused the MPs of abusing freedom of speech, but it has not stopped them from continuing to disrupt proceedings.   

Earlier, Mr Zuma stood silently as the anthem was sung:  

South African President Jacob Zuma, front, gestures on his arrival at parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017

Zuma heckled

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma is trying to deliver his State of the Nation address, but he is being heckled by opposition MPs.

Is it a matter of time before they are chucked out? 

Zuma a 'scoundrel'

Insults are flying thick and fast in South Africa's parliament. President Jacob Zuma has just been called a "scoundrel" by opposition MP and former defence minister Mosiuoa Lekota.  

Tour guide arrested for misinterpretation video

A tour guide who deliberately misinterpreted a message of gratitude from a tourist about her stay in Tanzania has been arrested. 

The subtitled video which has been shared widely on social media shows the woman speaking in English as she recounts that she had a good time in Tanzania and that the country was beautiful. 

However, the guide, speaking in Swahili, deliberately gives a completely different account of what the woman was saying: 

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Tourism minister Jumanne Maghembe was alarmed after seeing the video and ordered the guide's arrest, Mwananchi newspaper reports

Zuma 'rotten to the core'

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma is "rotten to the core", opposition EFF leader Julius Malema has said in parliament. 

He is trying to block Mr Zuma from delivering his State of the Nation address - the most important event on the political calendar.  

SA police planning to inject 'biological weapons'

Fireband South African opposition leader Julius Malema has accused the police of planning to inject lawmakers with "biological weapons". 

Mr Malema was speaking in parliament ahead of President Jacob Zuma's Zuma's State of the Nation address. 

He said he wanted an assurance that MPs will be safe.

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Chants of 'thief' in SA parliament

President Jacob Zuma (C) reacts after taking the national salute during the opening of parliament ceremony and State Of The Nation Address (SONA) by president Jacob Zuma in parliament, Cape Town, South Africa 09 February 2017
Mr Zuma has repeatedly denied that he is corrupt

South Africa's opposition MPs chanted "tsotsi", or thief, as President Jacob Zuma entered parliament for his State of the Nation address.

They were rivalled by members of the governing African National Congress (ANC) chanting "ANC ANC". 

With fears that protests could disrupt Mr Zuma's address, there is a strong security force presence, as a BBC reporter tweets: 

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Mr Zuma has been dogged by allegations of corruption for more than a decade. 

The country's highest court ruled last March that President Zuma had violated the constitution when he failed to repay government money spent on his private home in Nkandla.

And a High Court has ruled that he should be charged with corruption in relation to an arms deal.

Mr Zuma has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Nigerian airline was 'dysfunctional'

Martin Patience

BBC News, Nigeria correspondent

To fly Arik Air often meant never getting off the ground. 

Even by the standards of Nigerian airlines, Arik was a byword for utter dysfunction. 

Passengers were so frustrated with delays and cancellations that the airline was forced to issue a plea for them not to attack staff. 

Now the government has stepped in after the company wracked up enormous debts and left employees unpaid for months. 

A new chief executive has been appointed to run the airline. The Nigerian aviation minister said he hoped the changes would revitalize the company’s ailing operations. 

Arik is not the only airline struggling in Nigeria. Last year – Aero Contractors, the country’s second –biggest carrier, suspended operations for four months after experiencing economic difficulties. 

In recent months - the country’s airlines were also hit by a series of fuel shortages that led to mass disruptions. 

Business tycoon welcomes new Somali leader

The election of US-Somali national Mohamed Abdullahi "Farmajo" Mohamed as Somali's president sends a positive signal to the world, says Abdirashid Duale, the CEO of Dahabshil, the largest Africa-based money transfer company:

Former prime minister selected as Somali leader

EFF enters parliament in style

A South African journalist has been tweeting from inside parliament the arrival of MPs from the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) for the annual State of the Nation address by President Jacob Zuma. 

The MPs are in their trademark red overalls, singing and chanting: 

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Buhari's office shares photos of him

The office of Nigeria's President Muhammadu Bhari has shared two pictures of him on its Twitter account, in what appears to be an attempt to dampen speculation that he is seriously ill in London. 

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Mr Buhari, 74, was due to return home on Sunday, but extended his stay in London for unspecified medical checks. 

Arik Air 'was overwhelmed'

Nigeria's government has been giving reasons taking over Arik Air, the country's biggest privately owned airline. 

In a statement, it said: 

For some time now, the airline, which carries about 55% of the load in the country, has been going through difficult times that are attributable to its bad corporate governance, erratic operational challenges, inability to pay staff salaries and a heavy debt burden, among other issues, which led to the call for authorities in the country to intervene before Arik goes under like many before it.

The myriad issues confronting Arik Air of late range from confiscation of aircraft due to non-payment of leases, frequent flight delays, constant fracas between Arik staff and irate passengers at both local and international airports etc.

Protests outside South African parliament

Rival protests are taking place outside South Africa's parliament in Cape Town ahead of President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation address in about three hours. 

The Congress of South African Students (Cosas) is rallying in support of Mr Zuma, who has faced calls to resign over corruption allegations:

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The opposition Economic Freedom Fighters has organised a protest against Mr Zuma:

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Fashion on show in South Africa's parliament

South Africa's politicians and celebrities are arriving, in their best outfits, in parliament for the most important event on the political calendar - the annual State of the Nation address by President Jacob Zuma: 

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Nigeria government takes over Arik Air

Nigeria's government has taken over the country's biggest airline Arik Air, which has been experiencing financial difficulties in recent times.

A statement confirming the takeover says it was meant to bring stability to the country's aviation industry: 

The move... clearly underscores the government’s commitment to instilling sanity in the country’s aviation sector and prevent a major catastrophe.

East Africa's biggest music festival opens in Zanzibar

Sammy Awami

BBC Africa, Dar es Salaam


At least 400 artists from Tanzania, Ghana, Morocco and Malawi will perform at this year's Sauti za Busara festival in the central district of Zanzibar's Stone Town. 

The historical old fort-turned-amphitheatre will be hosting some of the key performances for the next three days.   


A statement from the organisers says that this year's theme is African Unity:   

In an increasingly divided world, the festival highlights the need to actively unite people under the banner of humanity, acknowledging that diversity in Africa is one of its greatest strengths."


One of the key performers is the Moroccan Mehdi Nassouli from the musical collective Bob Maghrib. 

Renowned Zanzibari musician Mohammad Issa Matona will also spice up the festival with his local Taarab flavour.

Beyond filling this island with a variety of African music tunes, the festival is also credited with generating more than $70m (£55m) in revenue for Zanzibar since its inception in 2004. 

Ghana government cars 'missing'

The winner of Ghana's presidential election Nana Akufo-Addo waves after taking the oath of office during the swearing-in as elected President of the fourth Republic of Ghana, in Independence Square in the capital Accra, on January 7, 2017
President Akufo-Addo has promised to end corruption and wastage

Ghana's government is trying to track down more than 200 vehicles missing from the fleet at the president's office, a spokesman for new President Nana Akufo-Addo has said. 

An audit, carried out after Mr Akufo-Addo's government took office last month, showed that vehicles were missing, Eugene Arhin said.

 He added that officials could only find: 

  • 74 of the presidency's 196 Toyota Land Cruisers 
  • 20 of the 73 Toyota Land Cruiser Prados
  • 11 of the 24 Mercedes'
  • two of the 28 Toyota Avalons
  • two of the six BMWs. 

Ex-communication minister Omane Boamah said the allegation was false and a "convenient way for the new government to justify the purchase of new vehicles".

Mr Akufo-Addo defeated then-President John Mahama in elections in December. 

Cameroon players take #Bidoungchallenge to Biya

Players of Cameroon's football team met President Paul Biya after arriving from Gabon where they were crowned African champions after beating Egypt in the finals.

The players had caused laughter during their victory celebrations after they mimicked Cameroon's Sports Minister Pierre Ismael Bidoung Mpkatt who had taken an exaggerated bow when he shook Mr Biya's hand, inspiring people to share their own pictures on social media while kowtowing. 

The players mimicked the pose when they met Mr Biya: 

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A video of the event has also been shared on Twitter: 

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Read: Cameroon viral Bidoung challenge: How low can you get?

Ivorian footballer joins Chinese club

Ivory Coast international Cheick Tiote made 156 appearances for Newcastle in all competitions
Getty Images
Ivory Coast international Cheick Tiote made 156 appearances for Newcastle

Newcastle United midfielder Cheick Tiote has joined Chinese second-tier side Beijing Enterprises Group FC for an undisclosed fee.

The Ivorian made 139 league appearances for Newcastle after joining them in August 2010 from Dutch side FC Twente.

The 30-year-old featured just three times for the Magpies this season.

Tiote was also part of the Ivory Coast squad that won the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

Refugee camp in Kenya a 'terrorist haven'

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The main refugee camp in Kenya has become a "haven for terrorism" and a "launch pad" for attacks by militant Islamist group al-Shabab, government spokesman Eric Kiraithe has said. 

He made the comments in a statement announcing the government's decision to appeal against a High Court ruling preventing the closure of the mainly Somali refugee camp in Dadaab, near the border with Somalia: 

The camp had lost its humanitarian nature and had become a haven for terrorism and other illegal activities. For us as government, Kenya will always come first. The lives of Kenyans matter.

Our interest in this case, and in the closure of Dadaab refugee camp, remains to protect the lives of Kenyans. It is for this reason that we will be strongly appealing the decision by the High Court."

Set up in 1991, Dadaab refugee camp is the size of a city

Most of those who live in the camp fled either famine or conflict in Somalia involving clan militias and militant Islamist group al-Shabab.  

Zimbabwe #ThisFlag pastor released

Evan Mawarire

Zimbabwean Pastor Evan Mawarire has been released from prison in the capital, Harare, almost a week after he was arrested following his return to the country after a six-month stay in the United States. 

Mr Mawarire was released on $300 ( £240) bail and told reporters he was happy to be out and looking forward to some rest and time with his family. 

He was a leading figure of a protest movement, #ThisFlag, which has been critical of President Robert Mugabe's rule.

He was charged with subversion and faces 20 years in prison if convicted. 

A judge ruled yesterday that the pastor does not pose a flight risk and he should be released.

Zimbabwe suspends tax on foodstuff

Butchery Manager Munyaradzi Chimbarami loads meat into his refrigerator in Mbare township in Harare on February 1, 2017.
Zimbabweans have been complaining about the rising cost of living

Zimbabwe's government has suspended the 15% tax, known as VAT, imposed on basic foodstuff, including rice, potatoes and meat, following a public outcry. 

Finance minster Patrick Chinama took the decision after businessmen and suppliers took advantage of the tax's introduction on 1 Februrary by increasing prices by up to 40%, the state-run Chronicle newspaper reported this morning.  

Critics - including farmers, millers and civil society groups - warned that the tax would trigger inflation, encourage smuggling of cheaper imports and worsen the economic crisis in a country which has issued bond notes as a substitute for cash because of a shortage of US dollars, the main currency in Zimbabwe.

But the suspension is likely to increase the government's own financial problems, as it has struggled to pay civil servants and even soldiers. 

Kenyan government to appeal against refugee ruling

Kenya's government says it will appeal against a High Court ruling which blocked the closure of the Dadaab refugee camp and its plans to forcibly repatriate Somali refugees back to their country. 

The Gambia to remain in ICC

Gambian President Adama Barrow arrives at Banjul International Airport on January 26, 2017 in Banjul, The Gambia.
Mr Barrow caused a major upset by defeating Mr Jammeh

Gambian President Adama Barrow has reiterated his pre-election promise that the country will not pull out of the International Criminal Court (ICC), reversing the decision of his predecessor Yahya Jammeh who had denounced it as the "International Caucasian Court for the persecution and humiliation of people of colour, especially Africans".

Mr Barrow made the comments following a meeting with the European Union Commissioner for International Co-operation and Development, Neven Mimica, in the capital, Banjul.

Mr Mimica welcomed the announcement in a tweet:  

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Mr Barrow won the 1 December election on a promise to champion human rights and freedom, ending the repression that Gambians experienced during Mr Jammeh's 22-year rule.

A UK-based journalist in The Gambia has tweeted that the EU has pledged to boost financial aid to the tiny West African state:  

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SA police ready for Zuma's speech event

Police in South Africa's  Cape Town city are getting ready for President Jacob Zuma's annaul state of the nation address in parliament amid ears that protests could break out. have been preparing for deployment around parliament buildings during President Jacob Zuma's annual State of The Nation speech. 

The government had said that it would deploy over 400 security officers in the city. 

The move has been condemned by opposition parties. 

A News24 journalist has been tweeting about the police preparations. 

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Mr Zuma has also ordered the deploy of about 440 soldiers to maintain law and order - a decision condemned by the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) as a "declaration of war". 

The EFF has disrupted previous addresses by Mr Zuma in parliament, accusing him of being corrupt - a charge he denies. 

Will it do so again? We'll find out when Mr Zuma gives his speech at 19:00GMT. 

Kenyans react to president's dance move

A video of Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta doing the dab dance, while meeting a group of dancers at State House yesterday has sparked varied reactions on social media. 

Mr Kenyatta is campaigning for re-election and has been on a nationwide campaign to urge young people to register as voters before 15 February when the process closes. 

He has been meeting with celebrities to help in his strategy to get out the vote. 

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People have been using #DabOfShame to criticise him, saying that he is focusing on campaigning yet the country is facing difficulties, including a long-running strike by doctors. 

His supporters say he is showing that he is approachable. 

Kenya's cartoonist Victor Ndula has added his take: 

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Italian oil boss accused of corruption over Nigeria deal

Claudio Descalzi, Chief Executive Officer of Italian energy group ENI, poses before the 'investor day' at Milan stock exchange in Milan on April 4, 2016.
Mr Descalzi was appointed to his post by the Italian government

Italian oil giant Eni has rallied behind its CEO Claudio Descalzi after prosecutors decided that he should stand trial for alleged corruption related to the firm's 2011 purchase of a Nigerian exploration licence.  

"The Board of Directors confirms its total confidence... Descalzi was not involved in any way in the conduct under investigation," the state-controlled company said in a statement.

A judge would have to approve the decision by prosecutors to try Mr Descalzi, the UK-based Financial Times newspaper reported

Prosecutors want to try him and 10 other individuals who were involved in the $1.3bn (£1bn) transaction in oil-rich Nigeria, it quoted lead prosecutor Fabio De Pasquale as saying. 

Eni and Royal Dutch Shell, which jointly owns the licence, have also been charged as companies, he said, the newspaper reported.   

Former leaders celebrate new Somali president

An image of two former Somali presidents joining hands with new President Mohamed Abdullahi "Farmajo" Mohamed is being shared on social media, and they have been praised for the show of unity: 

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Hassan Sheikh Mohamud (L) and Sharif Sheikh Ahmed (R) lost to Mr Mohamed in a race contested by more than 20 candidates. 

Somalia has changed presidents 12 times since 1960,  and has had two coups and the assassination of another leader, Kenya's Daily Nation reports. 

Mr Mohamed's election extends Somalia’s long-held tradition of never re-electing an incumbent, it adds. 

Mr Mohamud became president in 2012 and was hoping to secure a second term but MPs chose Mr Mohamed in yesterday's election.

Sheikh Ahmed was Somalia's president from 2009 until Mr Mohamud defeated him in 2012.

Read: Somalia's rocky road to democacy

Tight security around Somali president

A day after beating 21 candidates to secure the presidency, President Mohamed Abdullahi "Farmajo" Mohamed  has just stepped out of his hotel in the capital, Mogadishu amidst tight security. 

The BBC's Ferdinand Omondi snapped these pictures: 

Soldioers guard Somali president
Soldioers guard Somali president

Kenyan court rules to keep Dadaab refugee camp open

Nancy Kacungira

BBC Africa, Nairobi

Aerial shot of Dadaab refugee camp
Dadaab is one of the world’s largest refugee camp

Kenya's high court has blocked the government’s bid to close one of the largest refugee camp's in the world at Dadaab near the border with Somalia and to repatriate Somali refugees.

The judge ruled that the decision to forcibly repatriate the refugees was tantamount to an act of "group persecution" and was, therefore, unconstitutional. 

The government issued the directive to close the camp last year, saying it was necessary to protect the country from security threats. It accused Islamist militant group al- Shabab of operating from the camp. 

However, the deadline for closure was extended to May, pending the outcome of negotiations. 

Two lobby groups then filed a suit, challenging the move as being discriminatory and contrary to international law. 

Dadaab accommodates more than 300,000 people. 

Read: Can Kenya close Dadaab? 

Nigeria soldiers arrested for 'beating up disabled man'

Two Nigerian soldiers have been arrested and charged with assault after they were caught on video brutally assaulting a disabled man for allegedly wearing a camouflage shirt, the army has said in a statement. 

The arrests were in line with the army's "zero tolerance" for acts of indiscipline, unprofessional conduct and human rights violations. 

A video circulating on socal media shows the assault: 

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The army said the "ugly incident" took place on 7 February in southern Onitsha city in Anambra State:   

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Anti-Mugabe party hit by expulsions

Joice Mujuru
Ms Mujuru was sacked as President Mugabe's deputy in 2014

The leader of Zimbabwe's newest opposition party, Joice Mujuru, has announced the expulsion of seven powerful allies after accusing them of being "agents of the regime" who were plotting to keep President Robert Mugabe, 92, in power. 

Those expelled from the Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) party included former state security minister Didymus Mutasa and former ruling Zanu-PF party spokesman Rugare Gumbo. 

The group had joined Ms Mujuru, known as "Spill Blood" during the independence war against minority rule, in breaking away from Zanu-PF after a bitter fall-out with Mr Mugabe. 

But the new party has been hit by divisions since its formation last March, and the divisions escalated after it was defeated by Zanu-PF in a by-election last month. 

Ms Mjuru accused the seven of infiltrating ZimPF to destabilise it with the aim of prolonging Mr Mugabe's 37-year rule:

As a result, we have decided to eject some of the colleagues and comrades we thought would stand with the people’s cause but have chosen to be agents of the regime."

The state-owned Herald newspaper reported that the Muatasa-led group rejected the expulsions, and announced that Ms Mujuru had been expelled from ZimPF. 

It quoted Mr Mutasa as telling journalists:

She has declared war on us. The die has been cast."

Today's wise words

Our African proverb of the day: 

The way a cat walks is not the way it catches a rat."

Sent by Nnamdi A Udoye, London, UK

Click here to send us your African proverbs

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