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Summary

  1. US senator dismisses Kiir's claim that he and Trump are friends
  2. Facebook founder backs Female IN group
  3. Police warn bald men in Mozambique after five killed
  4. Ghana-born technology boss moves from Apple to Uber
  5. Cape Town storm kills eight
  6. Kenyan Muslim-owned restaurant 'wins case against Catholic bishops'
  7. Mauritania 'cuts ties with Qatar'
  8. Email stories and comments to africalive@bbc.co.uk - Wednesday 7 June 2017

Live Reporting

By Dickens Olewe 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 proverb:

The panther may have no teeth in its mouth, but its tail will never be a toy for goats."

A Bulu proverb sent by Gervais Meyomesse in Douala, Cameroon

Click here to send us your African proverbs

We leave you with this photo from africashowboy Instagram account:

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South Africa's DA 'breaks with the past'

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

By suspending ex-leader Helen Zille, South Africa's main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), has signalled a break with the past.

The party has thrown its weight behind Mmusi Maimane, the young and charismatic leader who succeeded Ms Zille.

A one-time protégé of Ms Zille, he has worked tirelessly to increase the support of the DA, once seen as primarily concerned about the interests of racial minorities, in black areas in the hope of ending the dominance of the African National Congress in the 2019 general election.

Helen Zille
Getty Images
Helen Zille became a divisive figure in South Africa

Newcastle fans start petition to honour Tiote

Cheick Tiote of Newcastle United during Premier League Football match between Newcastle United and Hull City at St James' Park on September 20, 2014 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England
AFP

Fans of newly promoted English Premier League club Newcastle United have started an online petition to get the club to retire the jersey number 24 worn by former player Chiek Tiote who died on Monday during a training session.

The Ivory Coast midfielder played for the club for seven years. He left in February to join China League One side Beijing Enterprises.

The petition calls on fans to back the move:

In the light of the legends death, The shirt number should be retired in honour of his life. A Newcastle legend taken too soon.

Get your friends and family to sign. Share on social media. Let's show Tiote how much we loved him."

View more on twitter

DA confirms Helen Zille's suspension

The former leader of South Africa's main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) party, Helen Zille, has failed in her bid to prevent her suspension over a series of tweets which said that colonialism was not all bad.

On Saturday, Mmusi Maimane, the DA's first black leader, gave Ms Zille 72 hours to explain why she should not be suspended.

In a statement, the DA said that after considering her reasons it had decided to suspend her with immediate effect, and her disciplinary hearing would begin on Friday.

The statement said that Ms Zille's original tweets and her subsequent justifications had damaged the party's standing.

Ms Zille will however, continue in her government role as Premier of the Western Cape.

A BBC reporter has tweeted about the DA's decision:

View more on twitter

Qatar crisis: Where do African states stand?

Tomi Oladipo

BBC Monitoring's Africa security correspondent

Saudi Arabia should have significant support in Africa in its dispute with Qatar.

It has pumped billions of dollars over the years in economic and religious programmes across the continent.

African countries already make up more than half of the Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen.

But so far, Mauritania is the only country in sub-Saharan Africa to cut ties with Qatar after Saudi Arabia and other states in the Gulf Co-operation Council accused Qatar of backing militant Islamists and Iran - a charge it strongly denies.

Oil-producing Gabon has also criticised Doha, accusing it of showing “constant support for terrorist groups”.

Qatar vehemently denies the allegation.

Map
BBC

Qatar is also a major investor in Africa. It has provided humanitarian aid and has mediated to try and end conflicts on the continent.

So, many African states are trying to avoid taking sides in the dispute. Both Somalia and Sudan have called for reconciliation among the Gulf states, while Kenya says it is keeping its head down for now.

Read: Food, flights and football at risk

Cape Town weather report

Heavy rains are expected to continue in South Africa's Cape Town city and surrounding areas - just two weeks after a drought disaster was declared .

BBC Weather's Phil Avery has the details:

Five killed in Mozambique 'for being bald'

Jose Tembe

BBC Africa, Maputo

A new superstitious belief has emerged in some areas of Mozambique - that bald men have gold in their head.

However, the head has to be taken to a witchdoctor who will use magical powers to extract the gold - and make them rich.

As a result, police say five bald men have been killed in central Mozambique - two in May in Milange district, close to the border with Malawi, and three this month in Morrumbala district.

Two young people have so far been arrested over the killings.

Mozambique police spokesman Inacio Dina said a team had been sent to the remote region to investigate the murders:

Our preliminary conclusion indicates that the phenomenon is due to cultural beliefs. We are currently investigating the case to find out more and to understand the dimension of the problem.

The phenomenon can lead bald people to be pursued and killed. This is a serious homicide crime. Our current interest is to catch and hold responsible all those involved."

See earlier post for more details

Cameroon's pro-English activists denied bail

Protesters
BBC
Many English-speaking people complain of discrimination

A military tribunal in mainly French-speaking Cameroon has refused to give bail to leaders and activists of the Anglophone community detained on terrorism-related charges following an unprecedented wave of protests over language rights, AFP news agency reports.

The tribunal ruled that lawyer Felix Agbor Nkongho, teacher Neba Fontem Aforteka'a and broadcaster Mancho Bibixy should remain in custody until their trial on 29 June, AFP adds.

The judge also rejected an appeal for the release of 24 other members of the Anglophone community charged with "acts of terrorism" and complicity to commit such acts.

All charges are punishable by death.

The group was arrested in January after the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium (Cacsc) called a strike to campaign for the the rights of the English-speaking minority.

The mainly-English regions of South-West and North-West were hit by protests last year and early this year over the use of French in courts and schools.

English speakers make up about 20% of Cameroon's population of 22 million.

Read: Why Cameroon blocked the internet

Cape Town storm kills eight

The number of people killed in the worst winter storm to hit South Africa's Cape Town city in some three decades has risen to eight, officials say.

Millions of people in shanty towns have been worst-affected, with floods and heavy rain washing away homes built of planks and zinc sheets.

The heavy rains came about two weeks after the drought in Western Cape province, which includes Cape Town, was declared a disaster.

A spokesman for the Western Cape local government ministry confirmed that eight people had been killed - including a family of four in a fire caused by lightning.

A woman and a child run across the road, in makeshift raincoats in an informal settlement, in Langa, during one of the most intense storms that has hit the Western Cape Province in more than a decade, on June 07, 2016, in Cape Town
AFP
Schools were shut because of the storm

France backs new African force to 'fight terror'

A French soldier stands inside a military helicopter during a visit by French President to France's Barkhane counter-terrorism operation in Africa's Sahel region in Gao, northern Mali, on May 19, 2017
AFP
France says that the Sahel has become a haven for militants

France has asked the UN Security Council to authorize the deployment of a new five-nation military force to the Sahel region to "combat terrorism, drug trafficking and trafficking in persons".

It circulated a draft resolution, urging the 15-member Security Council to give the force the power to "use all necessary means" to tackle instability in the region.

Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger agreed in March to set up the special counter-terrorism operation of 5,000 troops for the Sahel.

The force will have its headquarters in Mali, but will be under a separate command from UN troops deployed in the country since 2013.

The Security Council is due to vote on the resolution next week, with France's UN Ambassador Francois Delattre saying:

We cannot afford to let the Sahel region become a new safe haven for terrorists from across the region."

How many British African MPs will there be on Friday?

British citizens will be voting tomorrow to elect members of parliament and may possibly get a new Prime Minister if main opposition party Labour gets more seats than the ruling Conservatives.

In the last British parliament there were nine MPs with at least one African parent.

Will the share of MPs with African heritage increase?

How many British African MPs will there be on Friday?

Kenyan MPs threaten to arm residents to fight al-Shabab

Seven Kenyan MPs who represent three counties bordering Somalia have threatened to arm residents in the region to fight Islamist militant group al-Shabab, the Star publication reports.

Bare Shill, who spoke on behalf of other lawmakers, said security officials were sitting in their "comfort zones and claim to be fighting terrorists".

He said they would buy the guns from Somalia:

"Why are you not giving us guns? If you don't want to protect us, we will cross over to Somalia and buy guns."

Wajir, Garissa, and Mandera counties have experienced several attacks in recent days.

The latest happened on Tuesday, when four people died after a vehicle belonging to an NGO hit an improvised explosive device on the Daadab-Kulan road in Garissa county.

The MPs said the government was not implementing the same security measures it had adopted in other regions.

View more on twitter

Ethiopia's Teddy Afro goes global

Popular Ethiopian artist Teddy Afro is winning fans beyond his home nation.

His latest album titled Ethiopia has topped the Billboard World Albums charts selling more than 500,000 copies.

He says his music is about love and reconciliation which he says Ethiopia needs following months of anti-government protests:

Sudanese human rights campaigner facing death penalty

Prominent Sudanese human rights activist Mudawi Ibrahim Adam remains in jail after being detained by the authorities six months ago.

So far no date has been set for a trial. International campaigners have called for him to be released.

His daughter Wafa, who is in the capital, Khartoum, told BBC Newsday's James Copnall that her father was probably being held for reporting human rights violations in the western region of Darfur.

However Mr Mudawi denies the government's accusation that he worked with the rights organisation Amnesty International to compile its report last year which alleged that the Sudanese military used chemical weapons in Darfur.

Listen to the full interview:

Zambia deports Chinese illegal miners

Mary Harper

Africa editor, BBC World Service

Zambia's President Edgar Lungu visited China in 2015 to strengthen ties between the two countries
Get
Zambia's President Edgar Lungu visited China in 2015 to strengthen ties between the two countries

Thirty-one Chinese nationals, held for illegal mining in Zambia, have been deported.

China said Zambia had provided insufficient evidence to justify the arrests.

It said one of those detained in the copper mining town of Chingola was a pregnant woman.

Zambian media said the Chinese were using children to steal copper from the mines.

There has been animosity between the Chinese and local communities in recent years, with Zambians complaining of abusive treatment and low pay.

China has invested more than $1bn (£980m) in Zambia, mainly in copper mines.

Somalia worried about rift among Arab states

BBC Monitoring

News from around the globe

A picture taken on June 5, 2017 shows a man standing outside the Qatar Airways branch in the Saudi capital Riyadh, after it had suspended all flights to Saudi Arabia following a severing of relations between major gulf states and gas-rich Qatar.
AFP
Qatar Airways has been badly affected by the escalating row

Somalia has appealed for a diplomatic solution to the deepening crisis between Qatar and a powerful bloc of Arab states, led by Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Qatar Airways has been flying through Somalia's airspace since rival states cut travel and embassy links with Qatar on Monday.

"The Federal Government of Somalia is deeply concerned about the diplomatic row between the brotherly Arab countries," read a government statement.

Somalia is a member of the Arab League and has good relations with all the Arab states involved in the dispute.

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister called on Qatar to cut ties with Palestinian group Hamas in the occupied territories, and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, if it wanted to end its isolation in the Gulf region.

Read: The Qatar diplomatic crisis explained

Nigeria pays anti-corruption whistleblowers

A detail of some Nigerian Naira,(NGN) being counted in an exchange office on July 15, 2008 in Lagos, Nigeria.
AFP

Nigeria's government has paid 375.8m naira ($1.2m; £930,000) to 20 people who blew the whistle on corruption, helping to recover 11.63bn naira, the Ministry of Finance has said.

The payments were the first since the government unveiled its whistleblower policy in December 2016, promising to reward people who came forward with information that led to the recovery of stolen sate assets.

Minister for Finance Kemi Adeosun said the policy was "an essential tool in the fight against corruption”, and had been improved to ensure that the identity of whistleblowers was protected.

The payments the 20 received - an average of around $60,000 each - were taxable, and were made only "upon confirmation of the final recovery of assets", she added.

In December 2016, the government said whistleblowers would get up to 5% of the recovered amount.

Read: Sharing Nigeria's cake

Deadly storm hits Cape Town

Alex De Kock watched on Signal Hill in Cape Town as the storm approached
Image copyright
Alex De Kock watched on Signal Hill in Cape Town as the storm approached

Five people have been killed by a storm in Cape Town that South African media dubbed "the mother of all storms".

Schools and universities have had to shut, roofs were blown off and shelters have been opened for those left destitute.

The storm comes at a time when the region has been been experiencing its worst drought in a century.

Read the full BBC story here

Kanu backs Wenger's stay at Arsenal

Stanley Kwenda

BBC Africa

Wenger
AFP
Arsene Wenger celebrates Arsenal's victory in FA Cup final

Former Nigeria and Arsenal striker Nwanko Kanu has told BBC Africa that Arsene Wenger, who signed a new two year contract last week, should stay in the job until the club's board comes up with a proper succession plan.

Kanu says that Wenger's eventual departure has to be handled well to avoid the mistake Manchester United made when Alex Ferguson left the club in 2013, after managing it for 26 years.

"He's a good coach. For Arsenal to let him go, we have to plan very well. We don't want what happened with Manchester United to happen to us," Kanu said.

The club has had four managers since Ferguson's departure and is yet to win the coveted Premier League title.

Under Ferguson's reign Manchester United won 13 Premier League titles and a host of other titles.

Kanu said Arsenal had to back Wenger in the transfer market to strengthen the team.

"Everywhere you go everyone is making jokes about Arsenal so it doesn't sound good.This year we have to go to the market and get more players, maybe next season is going to be our season," he added.

Will the UK election affect foreign aid?

The main political parties in the UK have pledged to keep spending 0.7% of the country's national income on foreign aid if they win Thursday's general election.

But critics question whether countries which do not have a good human rights record should get aid.

Muslim-owned restaurant wins case against Kenyan bishops

A Kenyan court has ruled in favour of a Muslim-owned restaurant over a discrimination case against it by Catholic Bishops, the Star newspaper reports.

Owners of Al Yusra restaurant went to court in 2014 after a breach of lease contract.

The restaurant had leased part of a building owned by the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops in the capital, Nairobi, but the owners say they were evicted without warning because of their faith.

The court awarded the owners $125,000 (£97,000) to cover costs for refurbishment that had already been done and for discrimination.

The bishops denied discriminating against the owners of the restaurant.

View more on twitter

Fake storm hits Cape Town

Fact-checking website Africa Check has been looking at some of the social media posts about the storm that has hit South Africa's Western Cape region.

One video shows a menacing tornado approaching a residential estate, but Africa Check says it is fake:

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

Zuckerberg praises Nigeria secret Facebook group

View more on facebook

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has praised a US-based Nigerian woman who runs a secret Facebook group where members discuss "everything from marriage and sex to health issues and work problems".

Female IN or FIN group was founded two years ago and has more than one million members.

Mr Zuckerberg said the group was also "helping end the culture of silence that exists for women in some parts of the world".

He added that he was looking forward to working with Lola Omolola and see how Facebook could help her build a community.

He said in a post on his page that the move was part of Facebook plans to help people building communities "both in the physical world and online:"

For the past decade, Facebook has been focused on making the world more open and connected -- and we're always going to keep doing that. But now it's clear we have to do more.

We also need to bring people closer together and build common understanding. One of the best ways to do that is by helping people build community, both in the physical world and online."

Witchdoctors 'switch tactics'

Jose Tembe

BBC Africa, Maputo

Police in Mozambique say witchdoctors appear to have switched tactics, targeting bald men rather than people with albinism.

"The belief is that the head of a bald man contains gold. The killers think they can enrich themselves out of it,” said Afonso Dias, a police commander in Mozambique's central Zambezia province.

He said two people had been arrested over the killing of three bald men, not two as earlier reported, last month.

“This is not different from the previous belief that people with albinism had magic powers to enrich other people. Now, criminals here have ceased to target albinos. They are now after people who are bald," Mr Dias said.

Read: I am too scared to sleep

Woman
BBC

See earlier post for more details

Mauritania 'severs ties with Qatar'

Mauritania has become the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to cut ties with Qatar over allegations that it "supports terrorists", the foreign ministry has said, Reuters news agency reports.

The decision by Mauritania - a member of the Arab League - comes after Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Maldives and Libya's eastern-based government cut ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting Iran and militant Islamists.

Qatar has strongly denied the allegation.

Trump 'has never heard of Salva Kiir'

Donald Trump
Getty Images
Mr Trump has reportedly never heard of South Sudan's president

US Senator Christopher Coons has revealed details of a conversation he had with South Sudan's President Salva Kiir, the Washington correspondent of the UK-based Guardian newspaper has reported.

Mr Coons said Mr Kiir told him that US President Donald Trump is his friend and he was looking forward to visit the White House.

The senator, who heads the Foreign Relations committee, told Mr Kiir that the US president had never heard of him, according to The Guardian's correspondent:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

'Mother of all storms' hits Cape Town

A heavy storm has hit South Africa's Cape Town city, where a drought has led to the worst water shortage in 113 years.

Schools have been shut, roofs have been blown away, trees have been uprooted and power supplies have been cut as a the "mother of all storms" - to quote locals - batters the city and other parts of Western Cape province.

Cape Town’s Disaster Risk Management Centre said a woman and a four-year-old child were injured when powerful winds ripped the roof off their home in the Lavender Hil neighbourhood.

Some people have been putting photos of the storm on Twitter:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Ghanaian tech exec leaves Apple for Uber

View more on twitter

One of Silicon Valley's top black female executives, Bozoma Saint John, has left tech giant Apple to join ride-hailing service Uber.

Ms Saint John, who was born in Ghana before moving to the US when she was a teenager, was a marketing executive at Apple and has now taken on the role of Uber’s new Chief Brand Officer, the company announced on Twitter:

View more on twitter

Her appointment comes at a time when Uber has been criticised for its management practices and company culture, TechCrunch reports

The company has just fired 20 workers after an investigation on sexual harassment.

Ms Saint John was widely praised for her presentation last year at Apple's annual Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, where the company shows off its latest innovations.

During her presentation about new features on Apple Music app she played Ghanaian High Life hit Ye Wo Krom.

Watch the presentation here:

View more on youtube

Mozambique bald men 'targeted for attack'

Bald
Getty Images

Police in Mozambique have warned that bald men could be the targets of ritual attacks, after the killing of two of them last month.

The two bald men, one of whom was found with his head cut off and organs removed, were killed in the central Zambezia province, AFp news agency reports.

"Last month, the murders of two bald people led to the arrest of two suspects," national police spokesman Inacio Dina said at a news conference in the capital, Maputo.

"Their motivations come from superstition and culture - the local community thinks bald individuals are rich," he said.

The BBC's Jose Tembe reports from Maputo that some people hold the false belief that bald people have gold in their heads.

The phenomenon of targeting bald people in ritual killings had not been reported before, he adds.

The suspects were two young Mozambicans who told police that the organs were to be used by healers in rituals to promote the fortunes of clients in Tanzania and Malawi, Miguel Caetano, a spokesman for the security forces in Zambezia, was quoted by AFP as saying.

Read: The albino who confronted a witchdoctor

Today's wise words

Our African proverb of the day:

The panther may have no teeth in its mouth, but its tail will never be a toy for goats."

A Bulu proverb sent by Gervais Meyomesse in Douala, Cameroon

Click here to send us your African proverbs

Good morning

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