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Summary

  1. Gunmen attack offices of Nigeria's anti- corruption agency
  2. Kenya's opposition to challenge election result
  3. South Africa marks fifth anniversary of Marikana massacre
  4. LRA rebels 'kidnap 40' in north-eastern DR Congo
  5. Kenyan NGO blocks police raid at offices
  6. First Nigerian comic superhero unveiled
  7. Sierra Leone to observe seven days of mourning mudslide victims
  8. Grace Mugabe still in South Africa
  9. Female suicide bombers kill 27 in Nigeria
  10. Zambian opposition leader has been released

Live Reporting

By Natasha Booty and Dickens Olewe

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 in Sierra Leone and elsewhere on the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast or checking the BBC News website.

A reminder of today's African proverb:

A chameleon learns to run only when the bush is on fire."

An Igbo proverb sent by Chukwu Felix Ifeanyi in Abakaliki, Nigeria

And we leave you with this photo taken near Damaturu in north-eastern Nigeria:

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Sierra Leone mudslide: Families rush to identify victims

Our reporter Ayo Bello has sent these photos of scenes at the University of Sierra Leone teaching hospital, where people have been gathering to identify the bodies of their dead relatives:

People seen outside University of Sierra Leone teaching hospital
Ayo Bello/BBC
People seen outside University of Sierra Leone teaching hospital
Ayo Bello/BBC

Nearly 400 people are reported dead and 600 are still unaccounted for as rescue efforts continue in the capital, Freetown, following the devastating mudslide three days ago.

Our reporter Umaru Fofana, who visited the scene of the mudslide this morning, has said he was "drenched in tears" and almost overwhelmed by the scale of the disaster.

The authorities have said that mass burials will not take place today, contrary to previous reports.

Meanwhile, Focus on Africa's Mohammed Fajah Barrie has been speaking to some of the victims about their loss:

Gunmen attack Nigeria corruption agency offices

EFCC agents
.
EFCC agents are known to make daring raids to recover stolen money

Authorities in Nigeria's capital, Abuja, say unidentified gunmen have attacked the offices of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the agency which fights corruption and economic crimes.

A source at the agency told the BBC that the gunmen shot at the empty offices early this morning, and left a letter addressed to one of the officials warning that they would kill him.

The source added that, while the motive was unclear, the agency suspects it could be linked to cases it is prosecuting in court.

No arrests have yet been made, according to Police Commissioner Spokesperson Wilson Uwujaren.

In June, a senior EFCC executive officer was shot at but survived in Port Harcourt, in the southern Rivers State.

The agency has been known to make daring raids to recover stolen money.

During one such operation in April, it uncovered $43m (£34m) in a flat in Lagos.

Opposition supporters celebrate Hichilema release

Supporters of Zambia's main opposition party, UPND, have been celebrating the release of their leader, Hakainde Hichilema, after his treason case was closed and he was set free.

The BBC's Kennedy Gondwe snapped a few pictures of the scene in the capital, Lusaka:

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Marikana miners remembered: 'Every day is difficult now'

Thousands of people have been gathering in Marikana today to commemorate the massacre of 34 miners who were shot dead by police during a protest against low wages.

Family members, workers and activists all attended the event which was organised by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), and held on the hillside where the killings happened.

Our reporter Pumza Filhani spoke to one woman, Nokwandisa Mkwedini, whose brother was among those killed.

She told the BBC:

It's a sad day for me. It reminds me that my brother died violently.

We are still trying to make ends meet but he was the breadwinner... Every day is difficult now."

Nokwandisa Mkwedini speaks to the BBC
Karen Schoonbee/BBC
Nokwandisa Mkwedini (R) speaks to the BBC
Nokwandisa Mkwedini speaks to the BBC
Karen Schoonbee/BBC
Thousands have gathered today on the hillside where the massacre took place

South Africa remembers Marikana massacre

South Africa today marked the fifth anniversary of the Marikana massacre in which 34 miners, who were protesting against low wages, were shot dead by police.

The striking miners who worked for mining company, Lonmin, were demanding that their monthly salaries be nearly tripled to 12,500 Rand ( $945; £734).

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) organised the commemoration event, which was held on the hillside where the massacre occurred.

The miners' killings is believed to be the most lethal use of force by South African police since the dawn of democracy, News 24 reports.

A local South African news publication says no-one has been prosecuted for the killings:

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Living day-to-day under Boko Haram

Tens of thousands of people have been killed by the Islamist insurgency in north-eastern Nigeria, and more than 2 million others have been forced from their homes.

Boko Haram, the militant group responsible whose name translates as “western education is forbidden”, has frequently targeted schools and learning institutions.

BBC Minute talks to Jimeh Saleh of the BBC Hausa Service about the effect this is having on people's everyday lives:

Timeline for Kenya's election results appeal

We reported that Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga has announced in a media briefing that he will move to court to challenge the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Mr Odinga said that he was challenging what he described as "computer-generated leaders," alleging that the electoral commission's systems had been compromised to deliver a victory for Kenyatta.

So what comes next?

Constitutional Lawyer Peter Wanyama explains:

The deadline to file a petition challenging the presidential results in the just-concluded general elections in Kenya will expire on Friday 18 August. The Petitioner will then have three days to serve the respondent and the respondent must reply in a period of three days. "

A pre-trial conference is called by the Supreme Court in six days after the petition has been filed. The hearing then begins and everything must be concluded within 14 days of the petition having been filed. The Supreme Court must then make a formal judgement on the petition after 21 days of the petition having being filed.”

The BBC's Michael Kaloki snapped these people in a pub watching Mr Odinga's televised announcement:

People in a pub
Michael Kaloki

Official from Kenya's electoral commission removed from plane

Sammy Maina

BBC Monitoring

A senior Kenya electoral commission official who wanted to fly to the US for official business was last night removed from a plane at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and taken into police custody.

Dr Roselyne Akombe, an IEBC commissioner, was forced to spend the night at the airport after she was asked to leave her flight on Tuesday night.

It is not clear why she was prevented from flying but the Daily Nation newspaper said "Sources, however, told the Nation that some State operatives feared that Dr Akombe, who reportedly holds both Kenyan and US passports, was fleeing from Kenya".

The commission, however, clarified on its official Twitter account that the incident was a misunderstanding and Dr Akombe was later allowed to travel this morning:

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Dr Akombe became known to the wider public last Fridaywhen official election results were being announced after she famously said "I am really going to be disappointing a lot of beautiful, young women out there. Because too bad, our CEO has been taken. He is happily married and he is not Muslim" referring to the IEBC chief executive Ezra Chiloba.

Akombe said Chiloba – or Chilobae as lovingly nicknamed by his female admirers - was Kenya's top-trending search term on Google at the time as Kenyans anxiously awaited the announcement of the results.

Prior to joining IEBC,Ms Akombe worked as a senior advisor to the UN under-secretary general for political affairs at the UN Secretariat in New York, USA.

Grace Mugabe still in South Africa

Grace Mugabe
AFP
Police say Zimbabwe officials had sought Mrs Mugabe's diplomatic immunity

South Africa's ministry of police has confirmed that Zimbabwe's First Lady Grace Mugabe is still in the country, contrary to reports that she had returned home after she allegedly assaulted a woman in Johannesburg.

The statement says that Mrs Mugabe failed to report to Sandton police station yesterday after several postponements.

The purpose for her appearance was to obtain "a warning statement and get her version of events if any", the ministry adds.

It says that officials from Zimbabwe's high commission had been in touch and had sought diplomatic immunity for Mrs Muagbe.

The ministry added:

Discussions with the suspect’s lawyers and the Zimbabwean High Commission representatives are taking place to make sure that the suspects is processed through the legal system."

It also says that Mrs Mugabe is in the country attending to private and state matters:

The suspect remains in South Africa and has not departed the Republic, we are advised her itenerary includes amongst private matters her attendance and participation at the scheduled SADC Heads of States/Governments Summit and Bi-lateral Diplomatic Meetings already underway in Pretoria."

Kenya elections: Opposition to challenge results in court

Odinga at press conference
KNTV

Raila Odinga, the leader of Kenya's opposition alliance Nasa has announced that he will challenge the results of the disputed presidential election in the Supreme Court.

Reading from a statement at press conference in Nairobi, Mr Odinga said:

We have now decided to move to the Supreme Court to lay bare to the world the making of a computer-generated presidency."

Raila OdingaKenyan opposition leader

Mr Odinga says that last week's elections were electronically rigged to give President Uhuru Kenyatta victory.

Kenya's electoral commission, the IEBC, and foreign observers said the elections were free and fair.

Mr Odinga called for Kenyans to protest peacefully, and added:

This is just the beginning, we will not accept and move on."

Robert Mugabe 'flying to SA over assault claims against wife'

South African news site Eyewitness News reports that Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has "changed his travelling plans to deal with the matter involving his wife".

A 20-year-old South African woman has accused First Lady Grace Mugabe of hitting her over the head with an extension cord during a row at a hotel on Sunday evening.

Mrs Mugabe did not report to police in Johannesburg after saying she would do so, and so far she has not commented publicly about the allegations.

Contrary to earlier reports that Mrs Mugabe had returned to Zimbabwe, Eyewitness News also says that Mrs Mugabe is in fact still in South Africa.

Presdent Mugabe was due to attend the 37th Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit in South Africa's capital Pretoria this week.

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LRA rebels 'kidnap 40 in DR Congo'

Rebels from the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) have kidnapped at least ten, but possibly up to 40 people from Kunu village in the north-eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), the AFP news agency is reporting.

The news agency quotes local official Dungu Christophe Ikando as saying the rebels identified as LRA:

"We condemn the kidnapping of 10 people from the village of Kunu by gunmen identified as LRA rebels."

The UN's radio station says that at least 40 people had been taken including two members of the electoral commission.

Etienne Akangiabe, an executive secretary with the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), confirmed the news:

"Two of our agents who were on their way back from a voter registration centre were ambushed by armed men."

He said one of team members had manged to escape.

Joseph Kony
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LRA leader Joseph Kony is wanted for war crimes

The LRA has been operating in Uganda, DR Congo, Central African Republic and Sudan for decades but its presence has diminished following regional and international military operations.

The UN estimates the LRA has killed more than 100,000 people and abducted 60,000 children since it was established by the self-styled mystic and prophet Joseph Kony in northern Uganda in 1987.

In May, Ugandan and American troops announced they were ending their "capture or kill" mission for Kony, who was convicted in 2005 of war crimes and crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

Political tension has been rising in DR Congo as the pressure mounts on President Joseph Kabila to organise a general election.

His mandate expired in December last year and an agreement was reached to hold the elections by the end of 2017.

Media stake out for Kenya's opposition leader

A foreign journalist based in Kenya has shared this picture of his media colleagues who are gathering for an anticipated media briefing by opposition leader Raila Odinga.

Mr Odinga has promised to release "compelling evidence" about how he was cheated out of a victory in last week's election which he lost to President Uhuru Kenyatta.

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Mr Odinga had alleged that hackers had infiltrated the electoral commission's database and planted an algorithm that tweaked the results in favour of Mr Kenyatta.

His claim has however been dismissed by the commission who said there was an attempt to access the database and that it had failed.

'I'm now ten times stronger,' says Zambia's freed opposition leader

Kennedy Gondwe

BBC World Service, Lusaka

Hakainde Hichelema
Reuters

Zambia’s main opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema has told the BBC that he is even more determined to rule the country after his release from prison today:

Nobody who understands that what they stand for is correct can get intimidated because of incarceration.

If anything, this brutal arrest and detention has probably made us ten times stronger."

Mr Hichelema, the leader of the United Party for National Development (UPND), also said he was grateful to his supporters across Zambia:

We are delighted to be out of detention.

I just want to thank all our supporters in this country who in a way were also in detention with us."

Mr Hichilema and five others had been in jail since April for treason - a charge he denies - following his motorcade’s alleged refusal to give way to that of President Edgar Lungu.

His release follows pressure from the Roman Catholic church, former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo and the Commonwealth.

The news was met with jubilant scenes at the Lusaka High Court and his motorcade drove around the streets of the capital in celebration.

Mr Hichilema is currently waiting to address crowds of supporters who have gathered at the UPND party offices in the capital, Lusaka.

How road rage led to treason charge in Zambia

Idi Amin’s orders banished my family from Uganda

In August 1972, Ugandan dictator Idi Amin announced his plans to expel the country's Asian population. About 60,000 people were given just 90 days to leave Uganda.

Gita Watts tells the BBC's Witness programme about the trauma her family felt on leaving their home:

Kenyan rights group moves to court

We reported earlier that a Kenyan rights group had blocked an attempted raid by police at its offices over allegations that it was operating illegally.

A local newspaper is now reporting that the Africa Cente for Open Governance (Africog) has moved to court to stop the NGO Coordinating Board, the government agency that regulates the industry, from interfering with its operations:

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Sierra Leone mudslide: 'No mass burials today'

Umaru Fofana

BBC Africa, Banjul

I have been told by officials that mass burials will not take place today, contrary to what we were previously told.

Nearly 400 people are reported dead and 600 are still unaccounted for as rescue efforts continue in the capital, Freetown, following a devastating mudslide.

Sierra Leone mudslide: 'I was drenched in tears'

Umaru Fofana

BBC Africa, Freetown

It's now three days since mudslides and flash floods rocked Sierra Leone's capital Freetown.

As if we have not already seen them, expect raw emotions today.

Families are today expected to identify the corpses of their loved ones.

They will file past to inspect bodies, too hard to look at even for a second, before a mass burial is performed.

My own emotions reached a crescendo yesterday and I am finding it hard to sleep.

While at the scene of the disaster, even though the sun shone brightly, I was drenched in tears to the point that I went to the washroom.

The emergency workers thought it was for reasons of hygiene, but it was to wash away my tears.

Listen to my full report here:

The aftermath of the Freetown disaster through the eyes of our reporter

Kenyan rights group blocks police raid

Kenya's Interior Minister Fred Matiang'i has blocked a move by Kenya's NGO regulatory body to close two prominent human rights organisations.

The NGOs Coordinating Board made the move over allegations that the pair - Africa Centre for Open Governance (Africog) and Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) - were operating illegally and had been avoiding paying taxes, Capital FM reports.

The two organisations have denied the allegations.

Mr Matiang'i says that no action should be taken against the organisations for 90 days and that a government committee will look into the compliance status of the two organisations.

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His order comes hours after police and officials from the revenue authority attempted to raid the offices of Africa Centre for Open Governance (Africog), in the capital Nairobi, the Daily Nation reported.

The organisation's lawyer, Harun Ndubi, said the officers wanted to search for tax returns and other “unclear issues”.

He said the raid was blocked because it was illegal and that the warrant presented was forged:

“It is a forgery or careless work. It is shameful we can have this kind of action.”

View more on twitter

Marvel Comics unveils its first Nigerian superhero

Spider-man, The Incredible Hulk and Captain America have a new stablemate at Marvel comics.

A young girl called Ngozi is the star of new title Blessing in Disguise, which is set in Nigeria's commercial capital Lagos.

It is the publishing heavyweight's first comic to feature a Nigerian superhero and here its creator, Nnedi Okorafor, explains the concept behind the main character:

Blessing in Disguise is set in the "vibrancy, action and adventure" of Lagos

More highlights from BBC Newsday

'No prosecution if you killed white farmers' - President Mugabe

Zimbabwe's President Mugabe told crowds at a Heroes' Day celebration earlier this week in the capital, Harare, that people who had killed white farmers during the country's land reform programme should not face prosecution:

Yes, we have those who were killed when they resisted. We will never prosecute those who killed them. I ask, why we should arrest them?”

Social media users are still reacting to Mr Mugabe's comments:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

During the colonial era, the best farmland in Zimbabwe was reserved for the white population and in 2000, Mr Mugabe spearheaded the seizure of the land from some 4,000 white farmers.

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has previously admitted failures in the country's controversial land reform programme, saying in 2015:

"I think the farms we gave to people are too large. They can't manage them".

The sudden seizure of land from white farmers is seen as a key factor in Zimbabwe's economic meltdown since 2000.

Sierra Leone mudslide: At least 600 still missing in Freetown

Rescue workers in Sierra Leone
Reuters
The hillside collapsed on to dozens of houses in Regent after heavy rain

At least 600 people are still missing following a mudslide and flooding that devastated parts of Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown, a spokesman for the president has told the BBC.

President Ernest Bai Koroma earlier pleaded for "urgent support", saying entire communities had been wiped out.

Nearly 400 people are confirmed dead after a mudslide in the Regent area and floods elsewhere in Freetown on Monday.

The Red Cross has warned it is a race against time to find survivors.

A mass burial of victims is planned on Wednesday to free up space in mortuaries.

Read the full story on BBC Africa

Grace Mugabe back from SA despite assault claim

Zimbabwe's First Lady Grace Mugabe has returned home from South Africa after failing to turn herself in to police in Johannesburg to face accusations of assault, officials say.

It was not immediately clear why Mrs Mugabe did not report to police after saying she would do so.

A 20-year-old South African woman has accused Mrs Mugabe of hitting her over the head with an extension cord during a row at a hotel on Sunday evening.

Mrs Mugabe has so far not commented.

Zimbabwean government sources confirmed that Mrs Mugabe, wife of President Robert Mugabe, had returned home.

"Yes, she is back in the country. We don't know where this issue of assault charges is coming from," said one senior official quoted by Reuters.

Read the full story on BBC Africa

Robert Mugabe and Grace Mugabe
Reuters
Grace Mugabe is the second wife of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe

Nigeria violence: Female suicide bombers kill 27

Three female suicide bombers carried out an attack that killed at least 27 people in north-eastern Nigeria, officials say.

Dozens were injured when the women blew themselves up outside a refugee camp near Maiduguri in Borno state, a stronghold of the Islamist militant group Boko Haram.

There has been an upsurge in violence in the city in recent months.

Boko Haram has been fighting to set up an Islamic state since 2009.

A report published by US anti-terrorist researchers last week said it is the first insurgency in history to use more women suicide bombers than men.

Baba Kura, a member of a vigilante force set up to fight the jihadists, told AFP news agency on Tuesday that the first bomber blew herself up near the camp, triggering panic.

"People were trying to close their shops when two other female bombers triggered their explosives, causing most of the casualties," he said.

Read the full story on BBC Africa

Nigerian soldier
AFP
The Nigerian army has failed to stop violence by militants in Maiduguri

Sierra Leone mudslide: victims to be remembered

Sierra Leone has declared seven days of mourning after Monday's devastating mudslide claimed the lives of nearly 400 people in the Regent area near the capital, Freetown, the BBC's Umaru Fofana reports:

View more on twitter

Authorities say hundreds are still feared missing.

President Ernest Bai Koroma said on Tuesday that entire communities had been wiped out and appealed for "urgent support" for the thousands of people affected.

Watch: Sierra Leone mudslides: Rescue and recovery operation in Freetown

Zambia opposition leader Hichilema 'released'

Zambia's opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema, who was facing treason charges, has been released his party has said.

It has shared the news on its Twitter handle:

View more on twitter

Mr Hichilema was arrested in April after his motorcade allegedly refused to give way to President Edgar Lungu's as the two leaders headed to a traditional ceremony in western Zambia.

He was accused of endangering the president's life.

The UPND leader along with five of his supporters had been charged with treason which is a non-bailable offence under Zambian law. They "strongly" denied the charge.

A source had earlier told the BBC about the impending release and that it was part of a deal brokered by the Commonwealth:

"He is definitely being released today through a nolle prosequi [dismissal of a case] unless there's a last minute development."

Once a nolle prosequi is entered it means that the prosecution team will no longer prosecute a case, though the suspect may be re-arrested in future on the same case.

Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland was in Zambia last week and met up with President Lungu and Mr Hichilema.

She later hinted Mr Hichilema could be released in public interest.

Today's wise words

Our African proverb of the day:

A chameleon learns to run only when the bush is on fire."

An Igbo proverb sent by Chukwu Felix Ifeanyi in Abakaliki, Nigeria
A chameleon
Getty Images

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