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Summary

  1. South African police launch a manhunt after 20 prisoners escape
  2. IS militants say they beheaded 11 in Libya
  3. Chad orders closure of Qatar's embassy
  4. All print media in Tanzania ordered to re-register
  5. Zulu monarch condemns 'teachers who are drunkards'
  6. First rhino horn online auction under way in SA
  7. Buhari fails to hold first cabinet meeting after illness
  8. Angolans choose new leader after 38 years
  9. No ban on popular Nigerian rapper's song

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, including in the Angola elections by listening to the Africa Today podcast or checking the BBC News website.

A reminder of today's wise words:

If you want to improve your memory, lend someone money."

Sent by Donald Chanaiwa in Harare, Zimbabwe

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

And we leave you with this picture of a man cycling home as the sun sets in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare.

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Angola's '3G generation' guard their election closely

Clare Spencer

BBC News, Luanda

Sergio Lopez
BBC
Sergio says whatsapp groups will prevent election fraud

An opposition activist has urged Angolans to watch every step of the vote-counting process following today's general election, and to take pictures of everything they see in an effort to record fraud, should it happen.

This kind of surveillance is part of the culture now, one young voter told me.

I met Sergio Lopez, 28, after he had voted in the business district of Angola's capital, Luanda.

He said that he felt there wouldn't be much trouble with the counting of votes because it would be all over WhatsApp if there were.

He said he was part of the "3G generation", referring to people who were constantly connected to the internet on their phone.

If anything suspicious happened, people would make it known to their WhatsApp groups, he said.

This is a significant departure for Angola which has had the same president for 38 years - ten years longer than Mr Lopez has been alive - and where it is illegal to insult the president.

Egypt arrests doctors over 'organ removals'

BBC World Service

The authorities in Egypt say they have broken up a ring of criminals who were involved in the trafficking of human organs.

Police have shut down a medical centre near the capital, Cairo, that specialised in kidney transplant, and have arrested a dozen doctors and members of staff.

The doctors are alleged to have removed organs from poor people, including some refugees, for use by wealthy Egyptian and foreign patients.

Seven years ago, Egypt criminalised the trade in human organs after the World Health Organization ranked it among the top five offenders in the world.

Niger police jailed for assaulting student

Three policemen in Niger have been sentenced to one year in prison and fined 15 million CFA francs ($27,000; £21,000) for assaulting a student in an incident that caused an uproar in the country last April, BBC Afrique reports.

The officers beat a university student with a truncheon during a student demonstration to demand better studying conditions and access to scholarships.

The court found the police officers guilty of premeditated assault.

Niger students take part in a march on February 16, 2016 in Niamey called by 'Union des Scolaires Nigeriens' (USN - Niger Students Union) to commemorate the 26th anniversary of the peaceful February 9, 1990 USN demonstration where three students were killed by police forces on Niamey's Kennedy bridge
AFP
Many students complain that the cost of education is too high in Niger

Mozambique police bust trafficking ring

Jose Tembe

BBC Africa, Maputo

An attempt to illegally take 15 young women from northern Mozambique to Saudi Arabia has been foiled, police say.

The alleged traffickers were Mozambicans, Saudis and Tanzanians, some of whom had been arrested, police spokeswoman Malva Brito said.

The women, aged between 21 and 28, were allegedly offered job and education opportunities in Saudi Arabia.

Most Mozambican women who are trafficked to other countries, including neighbouring South Africa, are forced to do hard labour, farming and prostitution.

Many African women complain that in Saudi Arabia they are forced to work in slavery-like conditions, and are abused by their employers.

Islamic State behind Libya beheadings

The militant Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the beheading of nine Libyan soldiers and two civilians at a military checkpoint about 500km (300 miles) south of the capital, Tripoli, a website that monitors its activities has reported:

View more on twitter

See earlier post for more details

Kenyans irked by pay demands of MP

The hashtag #MPsPay is trending in Kenya as people react to a comment by MP Gladys Wanga, who serves in a parliamentary commission that deal with lawmakers' welfare, that their salaries should not be cut.

In June, the Salaries and Remuneration Commission proposed a 15% cut on their monthly salary of $7,200 (£5,500), as well as a reduction of some of their generous allowances, as part of a plan to slash the public sector wage bill.

Here's a sample of reactions to Ms Wanga's opposition to the idea:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter
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See earlier post for more details

Kidnapped Libyan leader freed

Rana Jawad

BBC North Africa correspondent, Tunis

Ali Zidan
AFP
Mr Zeidan has previously been accused of corruption

Libya’s former Prime Minister Ali Zidan has been released by his abductors in the capital, Tripoli.

The city’s most powerful militia, the Tripoli Revolutionary Brigade, kidnapped him from a hotel in the capital ten days ago, according to witnesses.

This armed group is nominally under the internationally recognised government in Tripoli.

It’s still not clear why the militia kidnapped the former prime minister, but his family has confirmed to the BBC that he was released on Tuesday night, and that he’s in good health.

They also say that he will remain in Tripoli until Friday, and plans to hold a news conference in an effort to "clear his name" over corruption allegations made against him in the past.

Mr Zidan led the Libyan government from 2012 to 2014, when he was ousted by parliament.

At that time, the prosecutor-general’s office imposed a travel ban on him for alleged financial irregularities, which he denied.

Johnson: 'Libya in the frontline against illegal migration'

BBC World Service

Boris Johnson (L) speaks during a press conference with Mohamed al-Taher Siala (R), Foreign Minister of the UN-backed Libyan Government of National Accord, in the capital Tripoli on August 23, 2017
AFP
Mr Johnson is visiting politically unstable Libya

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has said that Libya was Europe's frontline in its struggle against illegal migration and terrorism.

Mr Johnson, on a visit to the capital, Tripoli, agreed with Libya's Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj that the EU need to do more to help tackle the migration crisis.

He said different countries had conflicting agendas in its response to the migration crisis.

Mr Johnson said Britain would help Libya to set up an electronic border in its southern desert.

Africa to bid for 2025 World Athletics Championships

Piers Edwards

BBC Africa Sport

Hamad Kalkaba Malboum and Lord Coe
Valery Hache
Hamad Kalkaba Malboum says that IAAF President Lord Coe supports an African bid

The head of African athletics says the continent will bid to host the 2025 World Championships.

Africa has never staged the biennial event, which started in 1983, despite being home to many world champions.

Hamad Kalkaba Malboum says he believes a bid is set to come from one of six African nations.

"We are talking with Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco - those countries have the facilities," said the Cameroonian.

People said that Africa could not host the World Cup in football, but we did it very successfullyHamad Kalkaba Malboum, Confederation of African Athletics

"I have very positive sounds from some of them," added the president of the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA).

Read my full story here

Chad orders closure of Qatari embassy

Sammy Maina

BBC Monitoring

Chad has ordered the closure of Qatar's embassy in the capital, N'Djamena, and the departure of its diplomats after accusing it of trying to destabilise the country from neighbouring Libya.

It gave the ambassador - along with the rest of the embassy staff - 10 days to leave.

A statement from the foreign office said the decision had been taken because of Qatar's "continued involvement in activities meant to destabilise Chad from Libya".

A general view shows an exhibition of artworks, which were donated by members of the community, depicting Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani titled 'Glorious Tamim: in celebration of national unity ' at the garden of the Islamic Museum in Doha on August 20, 2017
AFP
The emir of Qatar is under pressure from other Gulf leaders

It is unclear if this latest move is a result of a proxy battle being waged between Qatar and its Arab neighbours in the region.

Chad recalled its ambassador to Qatar when the dispute broke out in June.

Saudi Arabia and its allies imposed sanctions on Qatar after accusing it of supporting extremist groups - an allegation Qatar strongly denied.

Read: Qatar crisis: What you need to know

Tanzania revokes newspaper licences

Aboubakar Famau

BBC Africa, Arusha

Locals look at newspaper headlines in Stone Town,
AFP
The directive affects more than 100 publications

Newspapers and magazines in Tanzania will have to apply for new licences after a government directive revoked permits which allowed them to publish.

The government's Director of Communication, Hassan Abbas, told journalists in the main city, Dar es Salaam, that the media groups have until 15 October to apply for the licences.

The move is likely to be seen as another affront on press freedom by President John Magufuli's government, and an attempt to silence publications deemed to be critical of his administration.

Bakari Machumu, the executive editor of the publishing group behind The Citizen newspaper, told the BBC that the new licences would have to be renewed annually.

The move would burden operating costs across the industry and negatively affect businesses, he said.

Mr Machumu added that the directive meant that publications which failed to comply will be forced to close, and this would "infringe on the right of the public to get information from the various media outlets".

The government has, however, dismissed the criticism.

It says the move will enhance professionalism.

The directive, which will affect more than 100 newspapers and magazines, has caused worry among owners of electronic media organisations that they are next in line.

Elected Kenyan MPs oppose pay cut

Some newly elected MPs in Kenya have opposed a plan to cut their salaries by 15%, a local TV station has tweeted:

View more on twitter

The pay cut, which includes a reduction on some generous allowances, was due to come into effect after the 8 August election.

In June, the Salaries and Remuneration Commission said the cut was part of a plan to reduce Kenya's public sector wages by 35%.

Kenyan MPs are some of the best-paid lawmakers in the world, and the pay cut is part of a government plan to reduce spending on public sector wages.

The average income in Kenya is $150 (£117) per month.

Angola elections: A look at a voting station

Voting is under way in Angola, where President José Eduardo Dos Santos is stepping down after 38 years in power.

He is not contesting this election and the current Defence Minister Joao Lourenco is standing for the governing MPLA party.

BBC Africa's Mayeni Jones goes inside a polling station in the country's capital, Luanda:

Angola election: Voters queue at polling stations

Gang frees prisoners in South Africa

Gunmen have freed 20 prisoners after ambushing a police lorry in South Africa's main city, Johannesburg, police have said.

The men, armed with rifles, surrounded the lorry and broke a lock to free the prisoners who were being transported from court to jail, police added.

In a statement, police spokesman Col Lungelo Dlamini said:

They were awaiting trial prisoners charged with various crimes including armed robbery‚ housebreaking and theft and possession of drugs."

Polie have launched a manhunt for the gunmen and the prisoners.

Controversial rhino horn auction starts

The first online rhino horn auction in South Africa is under way on rhinohornauction.com

Potential buyers have to pay a refundable deposit to register and bidding will continuing until Friday.

Auction organiser John Hume, who runs the world's biggest rhino farm, hopes to sell hundreds of horns by the time the auction closes.

A South African court ruled that the auction can take place, despite opposition from the government and some conservationists who fear that the sale will fuel the illegal market.

A ranger measures a rhino's horn to be trimmed at John Hume's Rhino Ranch in Klerksdorp, in the North Western Province of South Africa, on February 3, 2016.
AFP
A ranger measures a rhino's horn to be trimmed at Mr Hume's ranch

Ethiopia strike 'partially observed'

Mary Harper

Africa editor, BBC World Service

A five-day strike call by the opposition in Ethiopia's Oromia region is being partially observed.

Businesses and transport services are closed in some areas in protest against a recent hike in taxes for small businesses and the imprisonment of opposition politicians.

There is a heavy security presence in some towns. Other areas are relatively unaffected.

Deadly opposition protests in the Oromia and Amhara regions led to the imposition of a state of emergency last year. It was lifted earlier this month.

Read: What was behind the protests?

Oromo protesters took to the streets of the capital, Addis Ababa
Reuters
More than 650 people died during anti-government protests that began in 2015.

Libyan soldiers 'beheaded'

At least 11 people have been beheaded in an attack on a checkpoint controlled by Libyan military strongman Khalifa Haftar, a spokesman for his forces has said, AFP news agency reports.

The dead included nine soldiers and two civilians were beheaded, Col Ahmad al-Mesmari said.

He blamed the militant Islamic State (IS) group for the attack on the checkpoint, about 500km (300 miles) south of the capital, Tripoli, AFP quoted him as saying.

Read: Beheadings and racial tension in Libya

A Libyan soldier, loyal to Libya's internationally recognised government of Abdullah al-Thani and General Khalifa Haftar, rests on a sidewalk in the eastern coastal city of Benghazi on February 28, 2015.
AFP
Libya has been unstable since the overthrow of Col Muammar Gaddafi in 2011

Angola elections: 'Voter turnout at 40%'

Angolan officials are reporting a high voter turnout in the general election which heralds the end of President Eduardo dos Santos' 38-year rule.

From the capital Angola, BBC Focus on Africa's Mayeni Jones has tweeted:

View more on twitter

She has also shared this gem:

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No ban on Olamide music video

Didi Akinyelure

BBC Africa, Lagos

A music video by renowned Nigerian artist Olamide caught the eye of the Federal Ministry of Health for allegedly violating the Tobacco Control Act.

It is a song that will make you move your feet but it has caused some controversy in Nigeria.

The award-winning Olamide wanted to show the lifestyle in the area he grew up, in the video for his hit song Wo.

The video, which has close to one million views on YouTube, has a scene showing young people smoking.

Nigeria’s Ministry of Health tweeted that this violated the country’s Tobacco Control Act, and reports alleged that the song was banned by the National Broadcasting Commission.

But a spokesperson for the commission has confirmed to the BBC that there was never a ban on the music video.

And Olamide retweeted a tweet to this effect:

View more on twitter

Olamide has edited his video with a tobacco health warning and an age restriction on television.

He tweeted:

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In response, the Health Ministry tweeted:

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Niger's 'husband school'

Niger is trying to slow the world's highest birth rate.

Women in the country have an average of more than seven children each.

Having more children is considered to be a sign of success, however there are new efforts to manage the birth rate.

A "husband school" is one way of trying to reduce this:

How Niger is trying to slow the world's highest birth rate

Controversial SA tycoons sell coal mines

Mary Harper

Africa editor, BBC World Service

Coal mines belonging to South Africa's controversial Gupta family are being sold to a Swiss company for more than $200m.

Earlier this week, Gupta-linked Oakbay Investments said it would sell its media business.

The Guptas have been accused of using their friendship with South Africa's president Jacob Zuma to wield undue influence. Both deny the allegations.

Last year, the Guptas said they would sell their businesses in South Africa after the country's four major banks severed links with Oakbay, citing reputational risks.

Read: Will the 'Zuptas' fall in South Africa?

Demonstrators protesting against the South African president and calling for his resignation hold placards and shout slogans outside the Gupta Family compound in Johannesburg on April 7, 2017
AFP
Mass protests have taken place in South Africa against Mr Zuma and the Guptas

Opposition supporters burn banner celebrating Kenyatta's re-election

Supporters of Kenya's opposition leader Raila Odinga in the western lakeside city of Kisumu have burned a banner that was to have been put up, congratulating President Uhuru Kenyatta on his victory in the 8 August election, privately-owned Star newspaper reports.

It quoted a man in the city saying that the banner was "disturbing peace" .

"We are still mourning. Uhuru should give us a break. Let him not disturb our peace," the man said.

Another said that Mr Odinga had filed a petition in the Supreme court challenging Mr Kenyatta's re-election, and it was not right to put up the banner before the case ends.

View more on youtube

President Kenyatta beat Mr Odinga with more than one million votes but the opposition leader alleges that the results were changed after hackers gained access to the electoral commission's database.

The commission said there had been an attempt to hack its IT system, but it had failed.

Somalia politicians' annual salary bill is '$27m'

A non-governmental organisation has tweeted that Somalia - where more than three million people need food aid because of drought and instability - spends more than $2m (£1.5m) a month - or $27m a year - on the salaries of government ministers, deputy ministers and lawmakers:

View more on twitter

Zimbabwe wants celebrity at carnival 'if she wears panties'

View more on twitter

A popular South African celebrity has been invited to grace Zimbabwe's week-long Harare International Carnival in September, but with a caveat.

Zodwa Wabantu, known for her ostentatious skimpy dressing, has been asked by Zimbabwe's Tourism Authority (ZTA) to “cover the essentials” or she will be dropped from the event, South Africa's Sowetan Live news site reports.

ZTA Chief Executive Officer Karikoga Kaseke told journalists at a press conference that Ms Wabantu would offend traditional leaders if she did not dress appropriately:

I hope she will have her panties. If she cannot perform in panties then we don’t want her because chiefs [traditional leaders] will not like it.”

Ms Wabantu famously told South Africa's Daily Star newspaper that wearing underwear made her feel uncomfortable:

Underwear makes me uncomfortable. I don’t feel sexy when I’m wearing panties. It’s a preference. And people should deal with it."

Mr Kaseke said that they had chosen her to headline the event because of her popularity:

She is going to be one of the star attractions at the samba night on September 6. She’s popular in the region and through her we want to target regional tourists.”

The carnival will also feature at least 10 samba girls from Brazil and nearly 20 Cuban dancers‚ with Ms Wabantu billed as the headline act, the report says.

Egypt criticises US for withholding military aid

Sameh Shoukry
AFP
No reason was given for the cancellation of Sameh Shoukry's meeting with Jared Kushner

Egypt has criticised the United States after it reportedly withheld $195m (£152m) in military aid and cut $96m in other aid over human rights concerns.

An Egyptian foreign ministry statement said the move - which has not yet been announced - reflected "poor judgement".

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry also cancelled a meeting with Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law.

Sources told Reuters news agency that US officials were unhappy that a new law regulating NGOs had been ratified.

Eight civil society organisations warned in June that the legislation ushered in "unprecedented levels of repression" and would criminalise the work of many NGOs in Egypt, making it impossible for them to function independently.

Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has launched a sweeping crackdown on dissent since leading the military's overthrow of his predecessor, Mohammed Morsi, in 2013 following mass opposition protests.

Angola elections: 'Voting for better education'

Clare Spencer

BBC News, Luanda

Voters
BBC

I have just visited a polling station in Cazenga in Angola's capital, Luanda.

I met a group of young voters who proudly showed me their inked fingers as they exited the polling station.

They told me they want education and healthcare to improve in the country.

Political analyst Dalvan Costa told me that the youth vote is important in this election because most of the population is under the age of 35.

Angola elections: 'Opposition observers arrested'

Clare Spencer

BBC News, Luanda

Opposition supporter
BBC
The coalition has called on Angolans to vote for change

Angola's opposition coalition Casa-CE says that up to 20 of its election observers were arrested last night in the capital, Luanda, for protesting.

They were demanding their accreditation to observe voting, which they had not been given, Casa-CE says.

Protest was banned by the government during campaigning, which ended on Monday.

It is not clear if they are still in custody or the exact nature of the charges against them.

Casa-CE is expected to come out third in today's general election, after the MPLA and Unita.

Angola elections: Fun facts

Clare Spencer

BBC News, Luanda

Jose Eduardo Dos Santos
AFP

Jose Eduardo dos Santos is 74 years old. He has been Angola's president since September 1979.

He has been in power just shy of 38 years - 37 years, 10 months, three weeks, and six days to be precise.

The man who wants to sell rhino horns

Global trade in rhino horn is banned under a UN convention, but the first legal auction is due to be held in South Africa.

It will be an online auction, with a timer giving the countdown to its start.

Rhino breeder John Hume says open trade is the only way to raise vital funds for the species and stop poaching.

The man who wants to sell rhino horns

Angolans turn up for voting day

Clare Spencer

BBC News, Luanda

Ballot Paper
.
Ballot paper says the presidential candidates and the parties they are running for

Voters queued for the opening of polling stations this morning in Angola's capital, Luanda. The elderly were let in first to decide who will replace long-serving President Jose Eduardo dos Santos who is standing down after almost 38 years In office.

The mood in the business district of the city is relaxed and everyone has the day off as polling day is a public holiday.

VOTER
BBC
The elderly have been given priority in the queues
Voters
.
The mood in the capital is relaxed

The two main contenders are long-time rivals - the governing MPLA party, whose candidate is Defence Minister Joao Lourenco, and the opposition Unita party, represented by Isaias Samakuva.

The opposition won 18% of the vote in the last elections. Analysts will be watching closely to see whether it is able to increase its share of the vote this time round.

Angolans go to the polls

Clare Spencer

BBC News, Luanda

Jose Eduardo dos Santos greets crowds at the ruling MPLA party"s final election rally in Luanda, Angola, August 19, 2017
Reuters
Mr Dos Santos surprised many observers by announcing in last year that he was stepping down

Angolans are heading to the polls today in a general election marking the end of President Jose Eduardo dos Santos 38-year rule.

The ruling MPLA party is almost certain to win the election, opening the way for Mr Dos Santos to hand power to his chosen successor, Defence Minister Joao Lourenco, analysts say.

The MPLA has ruled Angola since independence from Portugal in 1975, while Mr Dos Santos has been in office since September 1979, making him the world's second-longest serving president behind Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea.

The young have however very different priorities to their elders when they are going to the ballot box.

The priority previously has been on stability because Angola went through a 27-year civil war which only ended in 2002.

But the young people I met have been telling me that they want one thing - jobs.

They have a lot of voting power - the 2014 census shows that the majority of the population is below 35.

After the war, Angola was one of the fastest growing economies in the world because the country is rich in oil. But when the global oil price dropped, it affected the whole economy.

Read: Is Dos Santos really giving up power?

An Angolan voter marks his ballot at a polling station in Luanda, on August 23, 2017 during general elections.
AFP
Only one party has been in power in Angola since independence

Zulu king: 'Some schools worse than during apartheid'

Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini
AFP
The king told teachers that their profession is a calling

Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini has criticised the quality of education in South Africa, saying some schools are in a state that was “never even imagined during apartheid”, the IOL news site reports.

The monarch, who was addressing school principals on Tuesday in his heartland of Ulundi in the coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal, cited interference by unions, the selling of teacher and principal posts, alcohol, drugs, the proximity of taverns to schools and the lack of dedicated teachers for the current state of education, the report says.

The monarch - who is influential among Zulu traditionalists - was quoted as saying that the time for blaming apartheid for the state of education was over:

While some of these problems could be attributed to the lack of resources during apartheid, we cannot run away from taking responsibility as parents and teachers and you as principals.”

He added that the country now ranks lower than some of the poorest nations on the continent, citing a study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development which showed that South Africa was ranked 75 out of 76 countries.

He called on teachers to prioritise education by being dedicated to their pupils, saying that teaching " is a calling":

In some areas, the word teacher has become synonymous with drunkard. The profession is in danger of losing its integrity because there are many who enter the profession because they are seeking employment...

Teaching is not a place to hide, it is a calling."

Nigeria cabinet meeting cancelled

Muhammadu Buhari is seen at Nnamdi Azikiwe airport in Abuja, Nigeria August 19, 2017
Reuters
Mr Buhari's health has caused much concern in NIgeria

The first cabinet meeting that Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari was due to attend since returning from three months' medical leave in the UK has been cancelled, his special adviser Femi Adesina has said in a statement.

He did not give any reasons for the decision, but Mr Buhari, 74, has been working from home since he returned to Nigeria on Saturday.

Government spokesman Garba Shehu said his office required renovation because rats damaged the furniture and air conditioning in his absence.

Mr Adesina said Mr Buhari would receive a report from a panel which investigated allegations of corruption against two suspended oficials - National Intelligence Agency chief Ayo Oke and government secretary Babachir Lawal.

The panel is headed by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, who was acting president in Mr Buhari's absence.

Some Nigerians had called for him to resign during his prolonged absence, saying he was unfit to run the country.

Others were angered by officials' refusal to disclose what Mr Buhari was treated for.

Today's wise words

Our African proverb of the day:

If you want to improve your memory, lend someone money."

Sent by Donald Chanaiwa in Harare, Zimbabwe

Good mornng

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