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Summary

  1. Rwandan police deny 'missing' politician is in custody
  2. Chinese donkey delicacy triggers 'price hike' in Kenya
  3. SA student receives $1m loan in error
  4. Two men arrested in Zambia for 'having sex'
  5. Cameroon bans 'opposition' TV channel
  6. Zimbabweans react to immunity for First Lady
  7. Crucial games for Africa's football World Cup hopefuls
  8. Thousands of stalls destroyed in Zambia market fire
  9. Four killed in DR Congo landslide
  10. Senegalese YouTuber kicked out of US
  11. 'Millions' sign petition inviting Russian military to Mali
  12. Cameroon's president orders release of anti-government protestors

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 BBC Africa Live today. Keep up-to-date with what's happening across the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast or check the BBC News website.

A reminder of today's wise words:

In the right season, the ear of corn ripens."

An Awka proverb sent Kenneth Nwachinemelu in Awka, Nigeria

And we leave you with this picture featuring an ear of a different kind, taken in Ghana by Nigerian photographer Yagazie Emezi:

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BreakingCameroon's president orders release of anti-government protestors

Cameroon's President Paul Biya has announced live on radio that protest leaders from the English-speaking regions will be freed from prison.

Among those named are Paul Abine Ayah, Felix Nkongho and Fontem Neba.

It is not yet clear if they have been formally pardoned.

'Millions' sign petition inviting Russian military to Mali

Mali
MINUSMA

The Mali patriots group, a civil society organisation, says several million people have signed its petition calling on Russia to lend military support to Mali's troubled north and central regions.

The group believe that Mali's security problems cannot be solved until the Malian army is better trained and adequately resourced. Group vice-president Dr Djibril Maiga says current security forces are not providing Mali with sufficient support.

Their petition is addressed to the Russian embassy in Mali's capital, Bamako.

Last week, Mali's Defence Minister Tienan Coulibaly attended an international military forum in Russia, saying:

We hope Russia will help to reinforce Mali's army. Russia are great champions in the fight against terrorism, so we hope they will do more in the fight against terrorism in Mali and the wider Sahel."

Map of Mali
BBC

Rwanda politician's family challenges police account of her 'arrest'

Diane Shima Rwigara
AFP
Diane Rwigara was a presidential hopeful in this month's election until she was de-listed

A relative of Rwandan politician, Diane Rwigara, has challenged the police's account of her arrest and and her whereabouts.

An uncle, who is based in Canada, told BBC's Focus on Africa programme that he has been told by people present during the arrest and by neighbours that the police arrested, handcuffed and took away five family members and put them in cells at the CID headquarters.

Police spokesperson Theos Badege had earlier told the same programme that the police did not arrest Ms Rwigara and did not know where she was:

They are said to be where they want to be, and because ours was just to conduct just the search, which is part of the investigation as I said, we don't know where they are. We can only say they are not in police hands, they have not been arrested."

He also said that they had confiscated computers and other communication gadgets to aid in their investigations of Ms Rwigara over alleged forgery and tax evasion.

What would you do if $1m was deposited in your account?

We asked for your comments on what you would do if $1m was mistakenly transferred to your personal bank account, as happened to a student studying at Walter Sisulu University in South Africa.

And the reaction has been mixed with some saying they would return the cash but others are sharing their creative ideas of how they would spend the money.

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

I would deactivate all my social media account and move to Cuba. Call myself James Santana

Sihle Radebe, on Facebook

Some of you are busy saying you would take the money back but deep down you know you would spend it on useless things... Anyway, I would just get that phone which makes me talk to the dead. And after that I would chill and wait to hear if any Illuminati member would call to say that the money is from them."

Roxy Kachupe Kapuka

Take care of 50 needy children at school, build a house, open a business to employ fellow people in the country to ease pressure on government."

Solomon Bosomtwe Essoa

2018 World Cup: Crucial games for Africa's hopefuls

Algeria, Ghana and African champions Cameroon face a crucial week of 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

Cameroon coach Hugo Broos admits their campaign is doomed if they do not take at least four points off Nigeria in back-to-back clashes.

The Group B rivals meet in Uyo on Friday and then in Cameroon's capital Yaounde three days later.

"Should we fail to achieve that target, I do not think it will be possible to qualify for Russia," Broos said.

Nigeria top the group with six points after two rounds, Cameroon have two and Zambia and Algeria one.

Broos is hoping for an away draw and a home victory that would reduce the gap between the countries to one point.

The final two qualifiers will be played in October and November, with only the five group winners progressing to play in Russia.

"My players need little or no reminding of how important the matches against Cameroon are," said Germany-born Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr.

Read the full story on BBC Sport

Cameroon national team
Getty Images
African champions Cameroon have qualified for the World Cup seven times in the past more than any other from the continent

Senegalese YouTuber kicked out of US

Assane Diouf
YouTube

A Senegalese vlogger living in the United States has been expelled from the country.

Assane Diouf is known for his regular posts on YouTube and his outspoken criticism of both President Macky Sall and Senegal's religious and political authorities.

Mr Diouf, who says he supports Macky Sall's predecessor Abdoulaye Wade, is among a number of Senegalese citizens to have been kicked out of the United States because of their status as illegal residents.

Senegalese police have confirmed on local radio that Mr Diouf is being held by criminal investigators in the capital, Dakar.

Zimbabweans react to immunity for First Lady

We reported earlier on a solidarity march staged by supporters of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe and his wife in the capital, Harare.

Mrs Mugabe was accused of assaulting a South African woman in a hotel in Johannesburg but was later granted diplomatic immunity by the South African authorities.

The BBC's Shingai Nyoka has sent these photos from the rally:

Pro-Mugabe marchers
Shingai Nyoka/BBC
Pro-Mugabe marchers
Shingai Nyoka/BBC

Opposition supporters angered by the decision to grant Mrs Mugabe immunity have cancelled their plans for a protest outside South Africa's embassy in Harare.

Nigeria's president leads first cabinet meeting in five months

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has led his first cabinet meeting today in five months after receiving medical treatment in the UK for an undisclosed illness.

The 74-year-old returned to Nigeria from London last week, but has been working from home following complaints of a rodent infestation in the presidential office.

He skipped last week's ministerial meeting which was cancelled without explanation.

Mr Buhari chaired the meeting in "full energy", presidential spokesman Garba Shehu told the BBC's Focus on Africa radio programme.

Muhammadu Buhari greets supporters as he steps off the presidential jet
Reuters
Muhammadu Buhari has returned to Nigeria after two prolonged spells of medical leave this year

Saving South Africa's oldest language from extinction

What do you do if your language is classified as "critically endangered" by the UN? You take action.

At the age of 84, Katrina Esau and her two sisters are the last three speakers of N|uu, one of the languages spoken by South Africa's San community, also known as Bushmen.

The BBC's Pumza Fihlani met the three sisters who have now taken it upon themselves to save their mother tongue by teaching the 112 sounds and 45 distinct clicks of N|uu to a group of local children.

Read more: Trying to save South Africa's first language

Togo opposition supporters jailed

In Togo, 15 supporters of the opposition Pan African National party (PAN), who were arrested during a protest against President Faure Gnassingbe 10 days ago, appeared in court yesterday and were given sentences ranging from five to nine months.

They were part of a group of 100 people arrested at the march held in the capital, Lomé, to call for presidential term limits to be imposed.

One of their defence laywers, Paul Dodi Apévon, says he’s disappointed that the party’s Secretary General, Dr Kossi Sama, was given the toughest sentence.

He says Dr Sama was sentenced to 18 months in prison including 9 months without parole.

He says the trial was politically motivated, and the prosecution did not offer any evidence to back up its case:

All they’ve said today is that people damaged public property, but no-one has testified to this. There is nothing in the prosecution case that names a witness who could prove that they were seen somewhere doing a specific crime."

At the protest, police had clashed with opposition supporters who were chanting "50 years is too long".

Mr Gnassingbe has been in power since the 2005 death of his father, Gnassingbe Eyadema, who had been at the helm for 38 years.

The opposition is planning more protests next week.

The ruling Rally of the Togolese People (RPT) held its counter rally yesterday calling for peace and reconciliation:

View more on twitter

Pro-Grace Mugabe rally held

Supporters of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace Mugabe have held a solidarity march in the capital, Harare.

They carried placards praising the two.

One read: "Gutu South voices it's support for Mr and Mrs Mugabe".

Others read "we are with you forever" and "Mugabe will never be removed by youngsters".

View more on twitter

The march is seen as public backing for Mrs Mugabe after she was accused of assaulting a South African woman in a hotel in Johannesburg.

The issue was only resolved after she was granted a diplomatic immunity by the South African authorities.

A coalition of opposition supporters had vowed to protest the decision outside South Africa's embassy in the capital, Harare, but we have not seen reports that it has taken place.

SA student 'admits receiving $1m loan by mistake'

View more on twitter

We reported earlier about a student from Walter Sisulu University (WSU) in South Africa who had $1m wired to her bank account by mistake and is accused of spending some of it.

News24 has more details about this story, which is currently the top trend on Twitter in the country.

It reports that the university's spokesperson, Yonela Tukwayo, has said that the money transfer was an error that should have been detected by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), which manages the payments.

NSFAS has however denied this in a series of tweets, saying that it is not responsible for the error.

Ms Tukwayo said that the student, who had already spent $38,000 (£30,000), would be held liable "for every cent''.

The report says that the student holds a leadership position in the student body.

A colleague at the student organisation told News24 that a post on a Facebook page allegedly admitting to receiving the money was written by the student and that it was legitimate.

The post says that the money has been returned:

The answer is simple NSFAS made a mistake and allocated more money in a wrong account and that account happened to be mine.

So I am not denying anything, the money was indeed loaded on the 1st of June and reversed on the 13th August .''

Two men arrested in Zambia for 'having sex'

Kennedy Gondwe

BBC World Service, Lusaka

Police in Zambia have arrested two men "allegedly found having sex", reports the state owned Times of Zambia.

The pair - one aged 38 and the other 30 - were discovered in a guesthouse in Kapiri, a town in Zambia's central province, the paper adds.

Police spokesperson Diamond Likashi said the two men are currently in police custody awaiting charge, adding that:

We are still doing investigations so that we can easily prove when the case is taken to court.”

But Dr Mannasseh Phiri, a sexual health activist has told the BBC that Zambia needs to revisit the law on homosexuality:

"There's no law in Zambia that criminalises homosexuality.

The law that's there, which was left by our colonial masters who themselves have legalized same sex marriages, talks about carnal knowledge against the order of nature.

We have had people accused of homosexuality but they have walked to freedom because it's difficult to prove."

Zambia - a conservative society and a Christian nation by constitution - frowns upon same-sex relationships.

Anyone found guilty of "carnal knowledge against the law of nature" can be jailed for up to 15 years.

Two men kiss
AFP
Same-sex relationships are frowned upon in Zambia

Thousands of stalls destroyed in Zambia market fire

Kennedy Gondwe

BBC World Service, Lusaka

Masala Market fire
Paul Shalala

Another market has been burnt down in Zambia nearly two months after the country's biggest trading facility was gutted.

The latest market to catch fire is the main Masala Market, located in Ndola, a town in the Copperbelt region.

The cause of the fire and the extent of the damage has not yet been established, though an estimated 3,000 makeshift stores are thought to have been destroyed.

In early July, Lusaka’s city market was burnt down following a spate of fires that affected other public buildings such as courts and electricity installations.

The series of fires prompted President Edgar Lungu to declare a semi-state of public emergency, which is still in effect.

Masala Market fire
Mwebantu News Media

Donkey delicacy triggers 'price hike' in Kenya

Demand from China means the average price of an adult donkey in Kenya has more than trebled since February this year, reports Baringo News.

China's dwindling donkey population has drawn buyers to East Africa, according to Uganda's Donkey Sanctuary.

Donkey meat is considered a delicacy in China.

The animal's skin is also boiled to produce gelatin, a key ingredient in a traditional Chinese remedy called ejiao which is used to treat coughs, anaemia and heavy menstruation and can sell for up to $388 (£300) per kilo.

Baringo News, which is based near East Africa's biggest donkey slaughterhouse, reports that several new abattoirs have been built this year in Kenya to keep pace with demand.

Other African countries - including Uganda, Tanzania, Botswana, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Senegal - have banned China from buying their donkey skins because demand has become unsustainable.

The demand for donkey hide has also grown in South Africa, as the BBC's Nomsa Maseko reported back in April:

Police raid home of Rwanda opposition figure

Diane Shima Rwigara
.

Police in Rwanda have denied reports that they have arrested a prominent opposition leader, Diane Shima Rwigara, and her mother.

Police spokesperson Theos Badege told the BBC that security officers had conducted a raid at the politician's home in relation to investigations over her alleged use of forged signatures to endorse her failed presidential bid.

This led to her disqualification in this month's election which Paul Kagame won.

He added that her family was also being investigated for alleged tax evasion.

Reports say that unknown armed men dressed in civilian clothes spent a night outside her home before storming in on Wednesday morning.

They then held Ms Rwigara and her family at gunpoint, searching the house for hours.

Her family say that they don't know where she and her mother are now.

Student splurges $1m deposit 'sent in error'

A South African university has said it mistakenly wired 14m Rand ($1m; £774m) to a student's personal bank account from a student financial aid scheme, EWN reports.

Walter Sisulu University said the money was deposited five months ago and only noticed the error when a receipt showing the student's multi-million (rand) account balance was shared on social media:

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The university said that it was investigating why the student did not report the cash transfer, but the student disputes this, the report says.

EWN reports that other pictures have also surfaced online showing how the woman splurged on at least one party and luxury goods, including a mobile phone.

It is understood that she's already spent nearly 400,000 Rand ($30,000)

University spokesperson Yonela Tukwayo has said that the deposit was made in error by a company which administers National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) and that the student will have to refund the money:

We are also looking at the NSFAS rules, which the child did sign an agreement to adhere to... in terms of how that money should be used. So the student will be liable to repay every cent of the money spent even if it takes 20 years to do so."

NSFAS has however denied the allegation, saying that the university is to blame:

View more on twitter

Another South African publication has been asking its readers how they would spend the money if they found themselves in a similar situation:

View more on twitter

Cameroon bans 'opposition' TV channel

The Cameroonian government says it has banned Southern Cameroons Broadcasting Corporation (SCBC TV) from the airwaves, but hasn’t been able to stop transmission.

That’s because the channel is broadcast from South Africa, and Cameroonian officials haven’t been able to persuade South African authorities to take it off air.

Cameroon wants the SCBC TV banned because it is operated by activists who say it "gives authentic and unbiased news and information about the Anglophone struggle for independence".

In recent months there have been increased tensions in the English-speaking regions of the country following protests and strikes against marginalisation by the majority Francophone government. Some say they want to breakaway and form a separate country.

SCBC TV airs programmes about the history and culture of the Anglophone region, interviews with exiled lawyers and documentaries about human rights abuses in Cameroon.

Cable television providers have been warned to remove the channel from their roster or face sanctions.

But the ban, announced by Communications Minister Issa Tchiroma, has had the unintended effect of providing free publicity for SCBC TV and triggering a rush among many to install or download the channel, which can also be streamed on mobile devices.

SCBC TV screen grab
SCBC TV

Four killed in DR Congo landslide

BBC Monitoring

The world through its media

Four people have died after a mine collapsed in the southern city of Kolwezi, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, local authorities say.

Local media reports had put the death toll at 28.

The area is an important mining centre for copper and cobalt.

A recent mudslide in the north-east killed some 200 people, following heavy rains that caused a hill to cave in on a fishing village on the shores of Lake Albert.

This entry has been updated to correct the number of people found dead.

Protest planned over Grace Mugabe alleged assault

Grace Mugabe
AFP
Mrs Mugabe failed to show at a summit in South Africa's capital, Pretoria, on Saturday

A coalition of opposition parties in Zimbabwe is expected to hold a protest today outside the South African embassy in the capital, Harare, over the country's handling of the First Lady Grace Mugabe's alleged assault of a woman in a upmarket hotel in Johannesburg two weeks ago, eNCA reports.

Davis Junior Mukushwa, the spokesman for the coalition, said they will push on with their peaceful protest against granting immunity to Mrs Mugabe, and warned that the police did not have any right under Zimbabwe's constitution to deny or clear their protest.

He added that the parties feel that South Africa's decision to grant immunity would "perpetuate impunity":

The general populace [in Zimbabwe] which finds Grace to be untouchable on the domestic terrain always hoped that the South African justice system was going to be exemplary.

But we notice that more than human freedoms and liberties, the ANC government sought to preserve its historical ties with Mugabe’s Zanu PF and government.

Diplomatic immunity should never be used to perpetuate impunity. If Grace cannot be tried at home for evicting helpless farmers in Mazowe, at least she must face trial for grievously assaulting Gabriella Engels.”

He said that Zimbabweans feel betrayed by South Africans justice system for not preferring charges against Mrs Mugabe:

We feel betrayed by the South African justice system, particularly the department of international relations and cooperation. Facts are clear, that Grace Mugabe was not on any formal or official government of Zimbabwe business."

Mr Mukushwa said that they supported what they see as a push to get justice for Gabriella Engels, the 20-year-old, model who was allegedly assaulted by Mrs Mugabe.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's governing Zanu-PF is also set to hold a march in Harare in support of the first lady.

Good morning

Welcome to the BBC Africa Live page where we'll be keeping you up-to-date with news stories on the continent.