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Summary

  1. Government says it does not know where Bongo Fleva artist Roma Mkatoliki is
  2. Second major ratings agency downgrades South Africa to junk status
  3. 'Delta Force' vigilantes freed in storming of Ghana court hand themselves in
  4. Thousands attend anti-Zuma marches in cities across South Africa
  5. Archbishop Desmond Tutu joins protests
  6. Pro-Zuma rally at ANC headquarters in Johannesburg
  7. Longtime Gambia opposition party UDP wins most seats
  8. Somali militants reject new president's amnesty offer and dismiss war declaration
  9. Email stories and comments to africalive@bbc.co.uk - Friday 7 April 2017

Live Reporting

By Hugo Williams, Tom Spender and Nabihah Parkar

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Friday's stories

We'll be back on Monday

That's all from the  BBC Africa Live  page this week. 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 our African proverb of the day: 

People shouldn’t be given advice on their departure but on their return."

A Sudanese proverb sent by Abuelgasim Elsir, Khartoum, Sudan

And we leave you with one of our top shots from around the continent this week - a group of nattily-attired Gambian voters supported the APRC, the party of former ruler Yahya Jammeh, in the Gambian elections.

See all the pictures here

APRC supporters
AFP

Tanzanian authorities 'shocked' over rapper's disappearance

Ibrahim Musa
BBC

Mystery still surrounds the whereabouts of Tanzanian Bongo Fleva artist Ibrahim Musa aka Roma Mkatoliki. 

Musa disappeared on Thursday after allegedly being arrested in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam. 

The country’s Ministry of Information has released a statement denying the reports and saying that they are shocked by his disappearance.

It says that the artist is not being held by police or at any police station around the city.

The ministry is calling upon members of the public to co-operate with the police and share any useful information that they might have regarding his whereabouts.

Tanzanian members of the public have expressed surprise and shock by this development and they wonder who may have been behind his abduction.

Mkatoliki was reportedly picked up at a recording studio in the city, along with his producer. 

This news comes weeks after another Bongo Fleva artist Ney wa Mitego was arrested for a song decrying the shrinking space for freedom of expression, which was deemed to be insulting to President John Magufuli's government. 

He was later released following a public outcry.

Pocketful of coins for BBC reporter amid Harare bill shortage

Shingai Nyoka

BBC Africa, Harare

Zimbabwe two dollar bond note
AFP
Zimbabwe prints its own version of the US dollar to ease cash shortages in the country

The branch of my local bank in Harare had ran out of notes today, so they would only dispense $100 (£80) dollars in 50 cent coins, with cashiers painstakingly counting out the coins for every customer. 

The cash machines outside the bank only dispense US dollars, but by mid-morning they were empty as well.

That left me with the option to withdraw bond notes, Zimbabwe's version of the US dollar, which were introduced last year to ease a severe cash shortage.

But there were no bond notes left either, which is how I ended up with a heavy bag of coins (see below) to lug around town!

Big plastic bag of coins
BBC

Zimbabwe has not had its own currency since it was destroyed by hyperinflation in 2009.

Read more: Zimbabwe's bond notes

Later in the afternoon, I attended a Zanu-PF party meeting, where staff gave President Robert Mugabe a late birthday 93rd present. 

large sculpture of a fist
BBC

The stone fist (pictured above) was made by renowned stone sculptor Dominic Benhura, who got into hot water last year, after people thought that he was mocking the veteran leader with his sculpture of the president. 

sculpture of Mr Mugabe
BBC
The sculptor (right) presented the president with his image of him

Child comedian among New African Woman Award nominees

Six-year-old Emmanuella Samuel from Nigeria is among the nominees for the  New African Women Awards , which sees 67 women vie for awards in 12 categories, including New African Woman of the Year.

Emmanuella has risen to YouTube stardom by appearing in videos on her uncle's Mark Angel Comedy channel. Many of the videos she appears in have had over 1m views.

Her success began with her "this is not my real face" skit, which has more than 3m views.

View more on youtube

The inspirational women are from the worlds of business, finance, sport, media and politics.

Other nominees include actress Lupita Nyong'o, Olympic gold medalist Vivian Cheruiyot and author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Prominent Somali politician Fadumo Dayib has been nominated for New African Woman of the Year and took to Twitter to show her appreciation.  

View more on twitter

Winners in each category will be announced on 12 April at a Gala Dinner in Dakar, Senegal.

Angry Gunners infiltrate anti-Zuma protests

Both men have been facing growing calls to resign, with critics demanding better results and accusing them of scandalous expenditure.

So perhaps it was fitting that as tens of thousands of South Africans took to the streets to voice their anger at Jacob Zuma, some also thought it was a good opportunity to stick the boot in, yet again, to Arsene Wenger. 

Eagle-eyed tweeters spotted several posters which seemed to be more concerned with the fortunes of their Premier League club than the state of their country. But shouldn't it be #WengerMustFall? 

View more on twitter
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Boko Haram faction kills four soldiers

map
Google

Boko Haram jihadists have killed four soldiers in an ambush in north-east Nigeria, where they torched an army base a day after killing seven civilians, according to a soldier and other witnesses, AFP news agency reports.

The Islamists opened fire on an army convoy heading to the small town of Gulumba in Borno state, the soldier added. 

The assailants were from the Boko Haram faction headed by Abu Musab Al-Barnawi, son of the sect's founder Mohammed Yusuf, the soldier added, in an account confirmed by two members of a local vigilante group.

Barnawi was appointed last year by the so-called Islamic State to replace veteran Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau.

Read more: Who are Nigeria's Boko Haram Islamist group?

'Only West Africa benefiting from Afcon'

cameroon
AFP
Cameroon will host the 2019 tournament

Cosafa president Phillip Chiyangwa has vowed to fight the decision to hold the next three Africa Cup of Nations  in francophone west African countries.

The Confederation of African Football awarded the 2019 tournament to Cameroon, the 2021 finals to Ivory Coast and the 2023 event to Guinea.

"They were politically aggressively awarded to those countries. Only one region is benefiting," Chiyangwa said.

"There must be an inquiry and we are going to protest."

Read the full story here

Chaos as Nairobi City Hall workers fight for office space

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There was chaos at Nairobi's City Hall on Friday morning as workers from rival departments fought each other in a battle over office space, local media report.

Workers from the Executive and the Assembly were facing off over disputed office spaces, the report says.

Here are the details as reported by Capital FM :

Teargas canisters were lobbed by the Inspectorate Department, which helped the Executive to reclaim the fourth-floor offices of the North Wing of City Hall, from their counterparts in the Assembly.

Kenya County Government Workers Union, Nairobi Branch Chairperson Bernard Inyangala says the disputed offices belong to the Executive, saying the Assembly misappropriated funds that were meant to acquire their offices.

'We recaptured this area and now it is our building. Our people will enter here and start work by today,' he said after they successfully managed to break down the entrance door to the wing.

Video short: Kenyan Olympic champion tests positive

Spate of hot cooking oil attacks by Mozambican wives

Jose Tembe

BBC Africa, Maputo

Mozambique's president has urged greater awareness of domestic violence after a spate of attacks by women, pouring hot cooking oil on their husbands while they are sleeping.

Speaking on Mozambican women's day, President Filipe Nyusi said domestic violence was a crime that all citizens should fight against. 

South Africa at ICC to answer over failure to arrest Bashir

BBC World Service

Sudan president met by crowds
Reuters
Supporters greeted Mr Bashir in Khartoum on his return from South Africa in 2015

Lawyers representing the South African government are at the International Criminal Court (ICC) to answer questions about the country's failure to arrest the Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir. 

The court in The Hague is considering whether South Africa ignored the ICC's rules when it allowed Mr Bashir to attend an African Union gathering in Johannesburg two years ago. 

The Sudanese leader has been charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur.

South Africa denies that it broke international law by its actions.  

If found to be non-compliant, South Africa could be referred to the UN Security Council, which has the power to impose sanctions.

Read more: Why South Africa let Sudan's Bashir escape justice

Caf president Ahmad to review TV deal and Afcon timing

Ahmad
Rijasolo

Contentious decisions on African football's television rights and tournament hosting agreements will be reviewed in the coming months, new Confederation of African Football (CAF) President Ahmad said on Friday.

The possibility of changing the timing of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals is also on the cards, as well as the qualification process for junior tournaments.

"I will be discussing with as many stake holders as there are around African football to come up with the best solution for the problems," Ahmad, who uses only one name, told a media conference in Johannesburg after meeting with presidents of southern Africa's football associations.

The new Caf president, who comes from Madagascar,  pulled off a shock upset  over long-term incumbent Issa Hayatou in last month's elections.

Ahmad said he was concerned about a 12-year television deal that Caf signed last year with French-based Lagardere Sports.

"This contract is the subject of a judicial challenge in the Egyptian courts at the moment and it was to protect the integrity of Caf in this issue that the general secretary Hicham [El Amrani] submitted his resignation, which we accepted," he said.

"We will investigate but I am concerned about the length of the contract. I would never sign anything for longer than three years."

Read the full story here

UDP: Barrow still not party member

Barrow
AFP/Getty
Mr Barrow left the UDP ahead of December's presidential election

Gambia's victorious UDP party has told the BBC that President Adama Barrow is still not a member of the party

However, UDP general secretary Ousainou Darboe said the party would support the president's platform.

The UDP was one of seven parties that united to propel Mr Barrow to power in December last year, but that coalition broke apart for parliamentary elections.

The party has long considered itself a government-in-waiting, and Barrow was UDP treasurer until resigning to become the flagbearer candidate for the coalition. 

Mr Darboe is a personal friend and longtime ally of the president. 

Three dead in Mogadishu mortar attack

BBC Monitoring

News from around the globe

At least three people have been killed and several others wounded in mortar attacks in Somalia's capital a day after the country's new president declared a war on the militant group al-Shabab.

Four mortars struck Mogadishu's Wadajir residential district, including one that hit a house in the area, Somali news website Dayniile reports.

"Three people have been confirmed killed and at least two others wounded in the mortar attacks," it says, quoting local medical sources.

"The injured were taken to hospitals in Mogadishu for treatment," it adds.

The attacks come a day after President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo declared a state of war against al-Shabab and called on the "people of Somalia to work with the security apparatus to end the problems caused by the terror group".

He promised to give education and jobs to fighters who gave themselves up in 60 days.

Nigeria opens online jobs portal

Chris Ewokor

BBC Africa, Abuja

portal
Nigeria government

The Nigerian government has opened an online registration portal for job-seekers. It hopes to capture the data of millions of unemployed Nigerians. 

The government said the registration exercise would help create a clearing house, linking job seekers with existing vacancies in government agencies and the private sector.  

Registration however, does not translate into getting a job instantly; job seekers may have to wait much longer. 

Africa's most populous nation has witnessed spiralling unemployment. With over 11 million unemployed people, according to the Federal Bureau of Statistics, government is currently battling to provide jobs to its young people to curb crime and militancy.

Zimbabwe couples hire wedding gift card machines

Card machines replace cash at Zimbabwe weddings

Giving cash as a wedding gift has long been a tradition in Zimbabwe, but a severe cash crisis threatens that.

Local banks in Zimbabwe have come up with an innovative but unromantic solution, card machines, which are becoming an increasingly common sight at marriage parties.

Video journalist: Tendai Msiyazviriyo

Kenyan crops under threat from fall armyworms

armyworm
BBC

The intrusive pest known as fall armyworms (FAW), in fact a caterpillar and not a worm, have been identified in the counties of the Rift Valley, Taita-Taveta, Kwale, Kakamega and Bungom, Kenyan officials say.

The pest has a ravenous appetite and can destroy up to three-quarters of crops.

Eluid Krieger, director general of the Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organisation, told Capital FM Kenya : "A field survey conducted in March 2017 and other current reports have confirmed the presence of fall armyworm." 

The government is reassuring farmers that the impact on crops may not be that big as the pest is not yet in its productive stage and can be contained before causing damage.

FAW infestation was first detected in the country at the beginning of March 2017 in Trans Nzoia County.  

Initial reports of the fall armyworm in West Africa came in September 2016 and greatly affected neighbouring countries, Uganda and Tanzania.

Read more about the  fall armyworm in Africa .

Sumgong: 'Do not be anxious'

Kenya's Olympic marathon champion Jemima Sumgong has reacted to news of her failed drugs test by posting a verse from the Bible on her Facebook page:

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How big are the crowds at anti-Zuma marches?

Whether it's Donald Trump's inauguration or protests calling for Jacob Zuma's removal, the size of crowds can become a source of great contention among different sides in a political debate. 

So to avoid sticking our heads above the parapet, here are some videos from the ground to help you make your own mind up. 

This one is from Cape Town:

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Outside the Union Buildings, the government headquarters in the capital Pretoria:

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This was the scene in Johannesburg at the event organised by the main opposition Democratic Alliance:

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Mr Zuma's supporters mobilised around his ruling ANC party's headquarters in the central business district:

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Durban....

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... where supporters of the president were also out on the streets:

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Athletics Kenya: Sumgong result 'shocking if true'

sumgong
EPA

Athletics Kenya has issued a statement on the failed drugs test of Olympic marathon champion Jemima Sumgong.

The body said it would issue a comprehensive statement once investigations had been completed, but said the failed drugs test would be "shocking and disappointing if true".

We confirm that we have received from IAAF a copy of a notification of an anti-doping rule violation against Jemimah Sumgong, who won a gold medal for Kenya in the last Olympics.

The information contained in the notification and also carried in the press, if true, is extremely shocking and disappointing not only to Athletics Kenya but to the entire Nation of Kenya.

Athletics Kenya frowns and condemns in the strongest terms any case of anti-doping rule violation whether in Kenya or elsewhere in the world."

Twenty inmates flee in Liberia prison break

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More than 20 inmates have fled Gbarnga prison in central Liberia, local reports say. At least one officer was seriously injured in the escape, the New Dawn newspaper reported.

Officials in Bong County have declared a curfew, with motorcyclists told to be off the streets by 21:00 and pedestrians by 22:00.

Gbarnga prison suffers from overcrowding, according to the Front Page Africa website.

map
Google

SA protesters march against Zuma

South Africa protesters march against President Zuma
Protesters took to the streets in major South African cities calling for President Jacob Zuma to step down after the sacking of a respected finance minister.
Thousands marched in nationwide demonstrations in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and the capital, Pretoria.

Ghana lawyers condemn Delta Force court raid

Thomas Naadi

BBC Africa, Accra

ghana papers
BBC

Lawyers in Ghana have condemned the violent attack on a court in Kumasi by youths believed to be affiliated with the ruling party. 

Since the beginning of the year, vigilante groups said to be affiliated to the ruling party have gone on the rampage, seizing state property and attacking public officials.  

Ghana’s national security minister Albert Kan-Dapaah says the existence of vigilante groups poses a serious threat to state security and they must be dealt with in accordance with the laws of Ghana.

Eight of the Kumasi court invaders have so far been arrested and all those freed have handed themselves in to the authorities. 

'We can't go back to the dark days of apartheid'

The BBC's Milton Nkosi has been reporting live for the BBC News Facebook page outside the ANC headquarters in Johannesburg. 

Supporters of President Jacob Zuma have been surrounding the building, saying they want to protect it from opposition groups who are "planning to do something wrong". 

He spoke to one supporter, who liked the president's promises for radical socio-economic transformation. His policies "scare the hell out of the white monopoly capitalists", he said.   

On attempts to force Mr Zuma to step down, he said:

You can't force regime change in South Africa, otherwise you are going back to the dark ages of apartheid."

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Ratings agency Fitch downgrades South Africa to junk status

South Africa rand bills
BBC

South Africa's credit rating has been cut to junk status by ratings agency Fitch. 

It follows a similar move by S&P Global on Monday, which means the country has now been downgraded by two of the three major ratings agencies.

Because of this, many international investment funds, under their owns rules, will be unable to lend to the South African government by buying its bonds, which are glorified IOUs.

Fitch cited the recent political instability prompted by a cabinet reshuffle for the decision.

It downgraded the country's sovereign debt rating from BBB- to BB+, but kept the outlook stable.  

In a statement , it said:

Recent political events, including a major cabinet reshuffle, will weaken standards of governance and public finances.

In Fitch's view, the cabinet reshuffle, which involved the replacement of the finance minister, Pravin Gordhan... is likely to result in a change in the direction of economic policy.

The new finance minister has stated that he does not intend to change fiscal policy and remains committed to expenditure ceilings that have been a pillar of fiscal consolidation. However, Fitch believes that following the government reshuffle, fiscal consolidation will be less of a priority given the president's focus on 'radical socio-economic transformation'."

Archbishop Tutu joins nationwide anti-Zuma protests

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has joined protests calling for President Jacob Zuma to step down.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate and anti-apartheid campaigner was pictured with his wife outside the Cape Town retirement home they are staying in.

His foundation has shared photos and a quote from the 85-year old, who is a fierce critic of the president:

We will pray for the downfall of a government that misrepresents us"

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

South Sudan leader acknowledges famine

BBC Monitoring

News from around the globe

Farmer in South Sudan
AFP

President Salva Kiir has acknowledged that the world’s youngest nation faces a famine that has left almost half of the population in dire need. 

President Kiir issued a statement through his information minister, Michael Makuei, at the State House in the capital, Juba, yesterday.

"I passionately desire to share with each and everyone of you that once more our country is struck yet again by another national challenge, that of famine and poverty," said part of Mr Kiir’s statement.

Last month, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres accused the South Sudan government of refusing to express any meaningful concern about the estimated 100,000 South Sudanese suffering famine, the 7.5m in need of humanitarian assistance and the thousands more fleeing due to insecurity.

President Kiir also urged South Sudanese to donate money to famine relief efforts.

His statement comes ahead of the Great South Sudan Run, which aims to raise money to tackle the country's many challenges.

The race begins on Sunday and will be attended by six athletes from neighbouring Ethiopia led by the legendary runner Haile Gebre-Selassie as well as three other athletes from Kenya.

Read more: Why are there still famines?

Sadio Mane out for the season

mane
Getty Images

Senegal's Liverpool forward Sadio Mane is set to miss the last seven games of the season with a knee injury.

Mane, 24, was taken off after colliding with Leighton Baines in  Saturday's 3-1 home victory over Everton.

Manager Jurgen Klopp said he was "pretty sure" Mane needed surgery, leaving it "pretty much impossible he will play again this season".

The £34m signing from Southampton has started all but five of Liverpool's league games this campaign.

Of those, three were drawn and two were lost. The Reds are third in the Premier League table with seven games left.

Read the full story here

Ghana court escapees 'hand themselves in'

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The members of a vigilante group who were freed from a court in Kumasi when their fellow vigilantes stormed it on Thursday have turned themselves in to police, reports say.

The men - who belonged to Delta Force, which is linked to the ruling New Patriotic Party - were freed when a 50-strong group besieged the Kumasi Circuit Court and broke into court cells. The mob also destroyed court property, My Starr Online reported.

The raid has shocked many in Ghana, with former justice minister Dominic Ayine saying Delta Force had "done the unthinkable".

The opposition NDC party of former president John Mahama meanwhile strongly condemned the attack by "government-sponsored goons".

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The vigilantes were facing charges for causing trouble at a meeting of the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council.  

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Google

Gambia's UDP wins sweeping election victory

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The Gambia's longtime opposition won an absolute majority in parliamentary elections, easily defeating the party of ousted leader Yahya Jammeh, according to official results, AFP news agency reports.

The United Democratic Party (UDP) won 31 of the 53 available elected seats in the country's National Assembly, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) announced.

IEC chairman Alieu Momar Njai, who fled the country in January after presiding over the electoral defeat of former strongman Jammeh, announced the results.

He said that turnout was low at 42%, with more civic education needed to persuade people to come out and vote in legislative polls, AFP adds.

Mr Jammeh's APRC party won just five seats.

The UDP was one of seven parties who united to propel President Adama Barrow to power in December last year, but that coalition broke apart for parliamentary elections.

The party has long considered itself a government-in-waiting, and Barrow was UDP treasurer until resigning to become the flagbearer candidate for the coalition. 

Their victory is likely to make it easier for the new president Barrow to get a raft of promised reforms passed, with UDP leader Ousainou Darboe a personal friend and longtime ally of the president. 

A local journalist has tweeted what appears to be a copy of the declaration of results from the IEC:

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In pictures: 'Fire Zuma' protests

Thousands of South Africans are on the streets demanding that President Jacob Zuma resign.

Here are pictures from the commercial capital Johannesburg:

Jburg
AFP/Getty
jburg
Reuters
jburg
Reuters

And Durban:

Durban
Reuters
Durban
Reuters

But supporters of Mr Zuma's ANC party are also out on the streets. Some veterans of the ANC's armed wing, which dates back to the anti-apartheid struggle, have gathered outside the party's headquarters in Johannesburg to wait for the marchers.

Other supporters of Mr Zuma are also out in force in the city.

anc
Reuters
Joburg
Reuters

Al-Shabab dismisses Farmajo war declaration

BBC Monitoring

News from around the globe

farmajo
Villa Somalia
Mr Farmajo, centre-left, had offered a 60-day amnesty

Al-Shabab has dismissed Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo's declaration of war, a website affiliated to the militant group reports. 

"Every Somali federal government leader has threatened to wipe out jihadists in this country. Farmajo just did what his former friends have done. His statements were just to please the West but will damage his reputation if he had one," said Warfaa Kheyrdoon, an al-Shabab spokesman. 

The group had increased its capabilities since Mr Farmajo was prime minister in 2010, the spokesman said.

On Thursday Mr Farmajo said Somalia was in a "state of war" against the group, and offered a 60-day amnesty for militants who have been "misled to believe the al-Qaeda ideology". 

He also reshuffled the country's top security officials, appointing new chiefs of national security and intelligence, the commander of police and head of prison forces.

In February, the president said that al-Shabab had killed some 900 civilians in 2016. 

Families evicted for Burundi palace

Prime Ndikumagenge

BBC Africa, Bujumbura

Dozens of families are being evicted from their properties to the north-east of the capital Bujumbura today to clear an area where a presidential palace is being constructed.

They were given until yesterday to have evacuated and cleared any structures that had been erected on the plot. 

Now the police is reported to have moved in to force them to do so.

The government says it has compensated families who were on 40 hectares of the 200 hectare plot where the state house will sit, but some of the families say they have not received anything.

The presidency had promised investigations to establish the truth more than two weeks ago. 

This is what the palace - being built by the Chinese - will look like:

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Thousands take to the streets as Zuma divides South Africa

A BBC correspondent is tweeting from the South African capital Pretoria, where hundreds of protesters have gathered at Church Square, before a planned march later to the Union Buildings, the government headquarters.

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Meanwhile in Johannesburg, another BBC reporter tweets from the ANC's party headquarters, where supporters have surrounded the building. Thousands of opposition protesters have gathered in another part of the city. 

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View more on twitter

And what about protests in the country's other major cities? 

In Durban, thousands of supporters of the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) are out on the streets: 

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And in Cape Town, where there are also hundreds of protesters out on the streets, traffic has been badly disrupted after roads were blocked by trucks.

The Sowetan picked up on this particularly creative protest sign from a trio of truckers:

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Floods in Kampala cause destruction

An early downpour in the Ugandan capital Kampala this morning left homes flooded and one of the city's main roads blocked by a fallen tree, according to reports by New Vision.

Traffic was brought to a standstill after trees were felled by the strong winds.

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View more on twitter

The destruction went as far as Wankulukuku and Nuguru, areas on the outskirts of Kampala, where cars were swept away by water and crushed by trees.  

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View more on twitter

Zuma supporters also out in force

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Hundreds of veterans of the ANC's armed anti-apartheid struggle and members of the ruling party's youth wing have gathered outside its headquarters in Johannesburg. 

They've been in full voice, singing struggle songs outside Luthuli House in a show of support for President Jacob Zuma, prior to several anti-Zuma marches planned across the country today.

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View more on twitter

Read more: Fallout after Zuma's 'ministerial massacre '

'Voter apathy' in The Gambia as UDP 'wins half the vote'

polling station
Getty Images

Gambian media say Thursday's elections in the country were greeted with "major voter apathy", with the US-based Freedom Newspaper website saying a "good chunk" of registered voters "failed to show up to vote on election day".

Observers said the election was one of the most "poorly attended" legislative polls the country had seen, the newspaper said.

Pierre Gomez from Banjul University told the BBC that Gambians were less interested in voting now that former ruler Yahya Jammeh had finally left.

"Now that he is gone they are not really motivated," he said. Some of the candidates were also not well known to voters, he added.

Gambian media said the main opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) got nearly 50% of the vote and got 31 seats in the 53-seat parliament.

However the party "grossly underperformed" in the capital Banjul, where it reportedly failed to win a single seat.

President Adama Barrow used to be a member of the United Democratic Party (UDP), but quit after being chosen as the opposition coalition's presidential candidate so as not to be seen as favouring one party within the grouping.  

The former ruling Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) party got five seats and the People's Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS) also got five seats, the website said. 

The Gambian Democratic Congress (GDC) headed by Mama Kandeh won four seats. The opposition National Reconciliation Party (NRP) which has formed an alliance with the UDP also won four seats. Two independent candidates also won seats.

Analysts told the website that voting had taken place more or less along ethnic lines, with the UDP winning in ethnic Mandinka areas and the GDC winning in areas where people from the Fulani and Wollof tribes were most numerous. The APRC won in the Fonis region, where Mr Jammeh came from.

Kenya's Sumgong fails drugs test

BBC World Service

sumgong
AFP/Getty

The Kenyan long-distance runner Jemima Sumgong, who won the marathon at last year's Rio Olympics and the London marathon, has tested positive for a banned performance enhancing substance. 

The world athletics body the IAAF said that an out-of-competition test showed she had traces of the blood-booster EPO.

It delays the onset of fatigue, enabling an athlete to run harder and for longer. There's been no word so far about what action the authorities will take as a result of the test. 

Kenya was last year declared  in breach of anti-doping rules,  and athletes underwent special testing for Rio 2016.

The East African country was deemed "non-compliant" by the World Anti-Doping Agency, but was  reinstated before last summer's Games.

Between 2011 and 2016, more than 40 Kenyan track-and-field athletes failed doping tests.

Read the full story here

Thousands expected for day of mass action against Zuma

Mass marches are expected to take place in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Mbombela and other cities today, South Africa's national broadcaster SABC reports

Some of the biggest rallies are being organised by the main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA). 

The party has been tweeting from its Johannesburg protest:

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Wise words

Today’s African proverb: 

People shouldn’t be given advice on their departure but on their return."

A Nuer proverb sent by Deng Nhial Chioh, Juba, South Sudan, and Kalany Tekjiek Nyany, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Arrival sign
LordRunar

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