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Summary

  1. Nigerian police question Davido over friend's death
  2. Charges dropped against three men in South Africa cannibalism case
  3. Street vendor boss who 'insulted' Mugabe bailed
  4. Arsenal manager fooled by fake George Weah news
  5. Kenyan fruit-sellers "admit possessing illegal bags"
  6. Kenya bans city protests amid election row
  7. Justice for South African family after 46 years

Live Reporting

By Natasha Booty and Farouk Chothia

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Thursday'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:

You cannot run and scratch your bottom at the same time."

A Kanuri proverb sent by Yerima Mustapha Othman in Lagos, Nigeria

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

And we leave you with this picture taken in Ghana's capital, Accra:

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Do US dogs have better cancer treatment than Nigerians?

The claim by US venture capitalist Sean Murphy: A dog in the US is more likely to receive radiotherapy than a person in Nigeria.

BBC Reality Check's verdict: There are far fewer radiotherapy machines serving people in Nigeria than dogs in the US. But more US pets are diagnosed with cancer than Nigerian people - so there are more machines per cancer patient in Nigeria than per pet with cancer in the US.

A graph showing the number of radiotherapy machines in Nigeria versus other countries
BBC
Radiotherapy machines in Nigeria vs other countries

If the story intrigues you read more on the BBC News website.

Street vendor boss who jibed Mugabe is freed on bail

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe addresses a meeting of the ruling party's youth league in Harare, Zimbabwe, October 7, 2017
Reuters
Mr Mugabe says he wants Harare to look smart

A court in Zimbabwe has released a man on $200 (£150) bail for saying President Robert Mugabe, 93, is "daydreaming and old", a rights group has tweeted:

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Sten Zvorwadza, the chairman of Zimbabwe's National Vendors Union, was arrested on Tuesday on a charge of undermining the authority of the president and insulting him.

Mr Zvorwadza's arrest came after he condemned Mr Mugabe's call for street vendors in Harare to immediately move to designated areas because he wanted the capital to be the "smartest of all towns".

The city - including the road that bears his name - had become dirty and should be cleared, Mr Mugabe said at a rally at the weekend.

In his response, Mr Zvorwadza told the privately owned Daily News site

As an informal sector we will not listen to such nonsense. Mugabe is daydreaming...

Mugabe must appreciate the role of the informal sector. Zimbabweans must understand that Mugabe is old and a dead man walking."

Meanwhile, the state-owned Herald newspaper reports that police were deployed in and around Harare today as as a crackdown on illegal street vendors and pirate taxis was launched.

Some vendors stayed away from their usual selling points, but others parts of the city were still bustling, says the BBC's Shingai Nyoka in Harare.

Landmark paternity ruling in Morocco overturned

A Morocccan court has reversed an earlier ruling which had - for the first time in the country's history - recognised a man as the father of a child born outside of marriage, reports Reuters news agency.

The decision by the appeals court in the coastal city of Tangiers has angered human rights activists.

A lower court had ruled in January that the man was the father of a girl born to a woman who was not his wife, based on DNA test results provided by the mother.

Following that decision, the father was ordered to pay the mother 100,000 Dirhams ($10,600; £8,000), Reuters reports, adding that the child was however not granted inheritance rights.

Today's ruling overturns that judgement, and the mother has been ordered to pay legal costs, AFP quotes her defence lawyer as saying.

The lawyer, Ahmed Guennoun, added:

This is a great disappointment for the mother and her loved ones. We are going to appeal to the Court of Cassation [Morocco's top court] and place our hopes in its judges."

An anonymous woman walks down the street in Morocco
AFP
Morocco is a deeply conservative society

Sex outside of marriage is banned in Morocco, where nearly 30,000 single mothers give birth every year according to a joint report in 2011 by the UN and women's rights NGO Insaf.

Abortion has been legal in the country since 2015 in select cases such as pregnancies resulting from rape or malformation of the foetus.

Insaf has criticised today's ruling, saying the Moroccan justice system was helping men avoid "taking responsibility for their actions... to the detriment of a newborn".

The organisation says single mothers in Morocco deal with "exclusion, rejection, discrimination and even exploitation".

Death of the Nile?

Peter Schwartzstein

Cairo

A fisherman with an empty net
Leyland Cecco

The world's longest river is sick - and getting sicker.

Booming populations have dirtied and drained it, while climate change threatens to cut its flow.

And some fear that competition over its dwindling waters could trigger a regional conflict.

The rot starts at the source. For as long as the Nile has flowed, Ethiopia’s rains have made up the great bulk – over 80% – of its waters.

A map of the Nile
Google

Though slightly longer, the White Nile, which originates in East Africa's Lake Victoria and merges with the Ethiopian branch at Khartoum, carries a fraction of the volume.

But these rains are not falling as they used to. And that is potentially catastrophic for the entire basin.

Waterfall in Ethiopian section of Nile
Jonathan Rashad
Inconsistent rainfall in Ethiopia causes crops to wither and food prices to soar
People sit on the banks of the Nile in Khartoum
Jonathan Rashad
Sudan's capital Khartoum is where the two sections of the Nile meet

Read the full story on the BBC News website.

'I thought Wenger had inside info about Weah'

Stanley Kwenda

BBC Africa, London

Former international Liberian football star turned politician George Weah, addresses supporters during a campaign rally in Monrovia on October 8, 2017, three days ahead of the country's elections
AFP
George Weah is currently a lawmaker in Liberia

At Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger's press conference, I asked him whether he was surprised that his former player, Kolo Toure, had made the transition to assistant coach for Scottish side Celtic and the Ivory Coast national team.

In his response Mr Wenger chose to first congratulate another of his former players, George Weah on, he said, becoming the new president of Liberia.

For a moment I thought he had received a call from Weah confirming the result of Tuesday's presidential election.

I knew the official results are not yet out but I thought Wenger may have better intelligence than me. His eyes were glinting, and he spoke with much excitement and a genuine congratulatory feel.

Wenger and Weah share a very special relationship and I will not be surprised if the Arsenal manager goes to Liberia for Weah's inauguration - that is if he wins.

See our earlier post for more details.

Three men suspected of cannibalism freed in SA

Items used in rituals can be seen through a crack in the door
BBC
Police found several human body parts during a raid in a traditional healer's house in August

Three men accused of cannibalism in South Africa have been released from police custody after charges against them were provisionally withdrawn, a local newspaper reports.

They had been charged with murder and conspiracy to murder, as South Africa does not have a specific charge of cannibalism.

Prosecutors told a court in the farming town of Estcourt that the charges against the three had been provisionally withdrawn, and they may or may not be re-instated at a later stage, the Estcourt and Midlands News site reports.

AFP news agency gives a different account, saying the three had been acquitted because of a lack of evidence.

Four other men charged with them remained in police custody.

Police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse crowds of people who hurled insults at the accused as they appeared in court, AFP news agency reports.

The men sat in the dock, hiding their faces with their hands and hooded tops, it adds.

The seven were arrested after police said one of them walked into a police station in August with a leg and a hand, and said he was tired of eating human flesh.

Avoidable blindness to treble in next 40 years

Sammy Awami

BBC Africa, Dar es Salaam

Eye test
AFP
Routine eye tests can help to detect and prevent cataracts, glaucoma and blurred vision

Global rates of avoidable blindness are set to increase threefold in the next four decades, warns a report by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB).

Countries in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia are feared to be most at risk.

The research points to 30 years of stagnation in tackling the leading cause of avoidable blindness, especially among people aged over 50.

The IAPB, an international alliance of eye care organisations, believes this stagnation is partly due to a rise in the world's ageing population

Cataracts, glaucoma and untreated cases of blurred vision are some of the leading causes of blindness, according to the report published in the Lancet medical journal.

A lack of resources is blamed for sub-Saharan Africa's failure to match the progress seen in higher income countries, the report says, highlighting the need for a massive increase in eye care provision.

'Eight killed' in latest unrest in Ethiopia

Mary Harper

Africa editor, BBC World Service

People mourn the death a man who was shot dead by the Ethiopian forces the day earlier, in the Yubdo Village, about 100km from Addis Ababa in the Oromia region, on 17 December 2015
AFP
The Oromo are the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia

Local officials in Ethiopia say at least eight people have been killed and 30 wounded in renewed disturbances in the Oromia region.

The anti-government protests are reported to have taken place in a number of towns.

Hundreds were killed during widespread protests in the Oromia and Amhara regions last year.

The government imposed a state of emergency, which was lifted in August.

Read: What do Oromo protests mean for Ethiopian unity?

Namibia's reparations and Germany's first genocide

Namibia's reparations and Germany's first genocide

Between 1904-1908 German colonial forces wiped out over 80% of the Nama and Herero people's population in what historians now call "the forgotten genocide".

A class action suit is being brought against the German government for reparations. Hear descendants of the Herero victims tell their story.

Arsene Wenger fooled by fake news

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Arsenal football club manager Arsene Wenger has been duped by false reports that former football star George Weah has won Liberia's presidential election, when in fact the final result have not yet been announced.

On Arsenal's website Wenger says:

I would like to congratulate one of my former players, who became president of Liberia, George Weah.

It is not often that you have a former player who becomes a president of a country and so well done Georgie and I would say just for him to keep his enthusiasm and his desire to learn and to win."

Arsene Wenger was Weah's manager at Monaco in the 1990s.

Weah, a former Fifa World Footballer of the Year, ran for Liberia's presidency in Tuesday's election.

He failed in his two previous attempts to become president.

Man arrested with '$740,000 stuffed in suitcases'

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A 38-year-old man is due in court today in South Africa accused of trying to travel with suitcases stuffed with more than 10m Rand ($740,000; £560,000) in cash, the local eNCA news site reports.

Customs officials detained the man and seized the cash yesterday at Cape Town International airport. He had been planning to fly to Dubai, a spokesman for the elite police unit, the Hawks, was quoted as saying.

He added:

Obviously our probe in this will be to determine the trail and origin of the money. We cannot rule out unearthing illicit activities as we go along.”

The suspect is expected to appear at Bellville Magistrate’s Court in Cape Town on charges of contravening the Customs and Excise Act by failing to declare the cash, the news site reports.

Justice after 47 years in South Africa

An apartheid-era policeman in South Africa, Joao Rodrigues, should be investigated on charges of accessory to murder and purgery over the 1971 death of political activist Ahmed Timol, an inquest judge has ruled.

Ahmed Timol's brother, Mohamed, has welcomed the ruling.
AFP
Ahmed Timol's brother, Mohamed, has welcomed the ruling

Judge Billy Mothle rejected Mr Rodrigues' testimony that Mr Timol had "dived" out of the 10th floor window of the police headquarters in the main city, Johannesburg.

Mr Timol had been "pushed" to his death, and had been murdered, the judge ruled.

Mr Timol's family welcomed the ruling, saying it felt "vindicated" after a decades-long campaign for the truth to emerge.

More than 70 activists had died in detention during apartheid, and the ruling is expected to lead to increased pressure on the democratically elected government to investigate their deaths.

Read the full BBC story here.

Police question Nigerian music star Davido over death

Helen Oyibo

BBC News, Lagos

Davido
Getty Images
Davido and others brought in for questioning are not considered suspects at this stage

Police in Nigeria's commercial capital Lagos say they are investigating Davido, whose birth name is David Adeleke, over the circumstances leading to the death of his friend, Tagbo Umeike.

A police spokesman told BBC News Pidgin that Davido is not considered a suspect at this stage, but confirmed that the afrobeats star had been called in for an interview, along with relatives of the deceased who were there at the time of his death.

The spokesman added:

We are investigating where he [Davido] went to, video footage, just to give a clearer picture of what happened.”

Mr Tagbo, a friend of Davido, died on 3 October and his body was reportedly abandoned in front of a hospital in Lagos.

Davido has consistently denied any involvement in the death.

Trans popstar Titica shakes her way to success

Trans Angolan popstar Titica shakes her way to success

Trans singer and dancer Titica has become a big star among young Angolans and an icon for anti-LGBT discrimination. But her path to the top wasn't easy.

The BBC went to meet her in the Angolan capital Luanda.

Video journalist: Horaci Garcia

Producer: Clare Spencer

House arrest for Burkina Faso politician accused of treason

Djibril Bassolé is Burkina Faso's former foreign minister
GETTY IMAGES

Burkina Faso's former foreign minister, Djibril Bassolé, is being placed under house arrest following his release from military custody over treason charges.

He is under scrutiny for his alleged role in the failed coup in 2015.

Mr Bassolé will be held in a presidential villa under military surveillance.

His family say they do not know his exact location, and they had been expecting him to return home.

Read more: What was behind the coup in Burkina Faso?

Cartoonist Gado on lampooning the powerful in Africa

It's often difficult to find reasons to smile in a headline. But Godfrey Mwampembwa - also known as Gado - does just that.

The Kenya-based artist is one of the continent's most respected political cartoonists.

When he visited BBC Newsday's studio he answered a number of listeners' questions. First off, Ernest in Belgium asked Gado whether he had ever been intimidated:

Political satirist Gado answers listeners' questions about his life and work

Kenya bans protests in city centres

Mary Harper

Africa editor, BBC World Service

Demonstrations have been banned in the central business districts of three major Kenyan cities - the capital Nairobi, Mombasa and the opposition stronghold of Kisumu.

The minister of internal security, Fred Matiang'i, said protest organisers would be held personally liable for any damage caused.

There has been growing tension in the country since the Supreme Court annulled the results of August's presidential election.

The main opposition leader, Raila Odinga, has announced his withdrawal from a planned re-run and his supporters have been holding regular protests.

An opposition supporter holds a placard during their protest against Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officials over claims of bungling the August presidential vote, which was nullified by the Supreme Court, in Kisumu, Kenya, on October 11, 2017
AFP
The opposition is demanding electoral reforms

Anti-apartheid activist 'pushed' from police building

A judge in South Africa has ruled that prominent anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol had been murdered after being pushed from a police building, overturning a 1972 ruling that he had jumped from the 10th floor and had committed suicide.

Imtiaz Cajee, the nephew of Ahmed Timol, an anti-apartheid activist brutally murdered in police custody in October 1971, holds a portrait of his uncle at his house on May 25, 2017 in Pretoria
AFP
Timol's nephew, Imtiaz Cajee, holds a portrait of his uncle

Timol's death in police custody in October 1971 had caused global outrage, and his family had been campaigning since the end of apartheid in 1994 for the inquest to be reopened.

His family rejected the findings of the original inquest, saying it was a cover-up by the apartheid regime.

Timol died six days before his 30th birthday.

This picture taken on June 12, 2017 shows a general view of the Johannesburg Central Police Station, formerly known as John Vorster Square which was the site of the death of political activist and detainee Ahmed Timol
AFP
Timol was thrown out of this building

This is the first time since the racist system of apartheid ended that a new inquest into the death of an activist has been held.

Mr Timol's relatives put intense pressure on the democratic state to re-open the inquest after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission - set up to investigate apartheid era atrocities - failed to investigate his death.

Lion bites car tyre... and gets a shock

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A website for wildlife enthusiasts has shared a video of a curious lion biting a car tyre which then explodes.

The comic moment was caught on video in South Africa's Kruger national park by 13-year-old Sean Obeirne, who was sitting in a car across the road at the time. He tells Latest Sightings:

There was an almighty bang and the lion investigating the car ran off in fright.

We were running late for breakfast with friends, but my parents' philosophy is that if we encounter an incredible sighting then breakfast can wait."

Sean says he recognised one of the passengers in the car from school, and his father duly helped to change the punctured tyre before setting off.

Chaning the car tyre
Latest Sightings

Ebola vaccine trials 'successful'

BBC World Service

Health workers in Liberia during Ebola outbreak
Getty Images
Liberia was one of the hardest hit countries by the Ebola outbreak

The first study of two separate vaccines against the Ebola virus has found that they can both protect against the haemorrhagic fever for at least a year.

The research, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, was conducted in Liberia and involved 1,500 patients.

Those given the vaccines successfully created a powerful antibody response for a year.

The trial suggests that both vaccines could be used to save lives in any future epidemic of the disease.

Ebola killed more than 11,000 people in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea in an outbreak in 2014-15.

Kenya convictions for selling fruit in plastic bags

A man collects plastic bags from a dumping site
Reuters

A total of 11 people have pleaded guilty to possessing banned plastic bags in Kenya's coastal city of Mombasa, the privately owned Business Daily newspaper has reported.

The group - which included street vendors selling apples and sugar cane in plastic bags - were arrested two days ago following a raid by environment officials, the newspaper added.

Magistrate Martin Rabera let them go free, saying:

The court sympathises with you as you are first offenders. However, we are sending a strong warning to the accused and the public that as long as you continue breaking the law, we will be here for you."

Business Daily also quoted Jane Alango, who was prosecuting, as saying:

Besides polluting the environment, the bags have killed many animals. People can use baskets and other containers in place of the bags.

Today these people should be used to set an example to those still using the banned bags."

A ban on plastic carrier bags came into force in Kenya in August.

The law provides for a fine of up to $38,000 (£29,000) or a prison sentence of up to four years for anyone caught selling, manufacturing or carrying them.

Liberia poll hit by fraud claims

BBC World Service

A Liberian woman casts her ballot to vote in presidential and general elections in West Point, Monrovia, Liberia, 10 October 2017
AFP
Liberians are hoping that violence will not break out after results are announced

One of Liberia's leading political parties has called for a halt in announcing results of Tuesday's presidential election.

In a statement, the Liberty Party said it was deeply troubled by the discovery of irregularities and fraud, and threatened the National Elections Commission (NEC) with legal action.

The first official results had been expected later today.

The party's candidate, Charles Brumskine, was one of the contenders to succeed Africa's first elected female president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Correspondents say that irregularities would taint the country's first democratic transfer of power in more than 70 years.

An NEC spokesman told Reuters that it was unaware of the Liberty Party's complaint.

* An earlier version of this entry incorrectly referred to the Liberty Party as the Liberal Party.

Good morning

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