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Summary

  1. Man went from hospital to hospital to have toothbrush removed
  2. Robbers blow up five banks in Nigeria
  3. Mobile internet restored in Ethiopia
  4. Zuma in dock on 16 corruption charges
  5. Kenyan video shows 'police kicking man on his head'
  6. Tanzania builds 'Great Wall' to protect gemstones
  7. Mauritian charged with sex assault at Commonwealth Games
  8. Chad le Clos becames most successful male swimmer in history

Live Reporting

By Dickens Olewe and Farouk Chothia

All times stated are UK

Scroll down for this week's stories

We'll be back on Monday

That's all from the BBC Africa Live page for this week. Keep up-to-date with what's happening across the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast or checking the BBC News website.

A reminder of today's wise words:

When the bird which flies in the sky is about to die, its legs usually point to the ground."

Sent by David A., Nigeria

And we leave you with this shot from our selection of this week's best photos:

Model in Ghana
EPA

Our best stories this week

Highlights from BBC Africa Live

Here's our pick of the best stories of the week from across Africa:

The state broadcaster says it has suspended broadcasts by so-called prosperity prophets while it investigates listeners' complaints about them, reports the private Daily News paper.

The clerics say the stronger one's faith the more one gives to the church and the more wealth one will ultimately receive from God.

They have been accused of making money out of poor people.

A street preacher reads the Bible aloud on April 9, 2012 in Lilongwe.
AFP

  • Snails, once spurned by those who do not like the tedious process of getting them ready to cook, are now popular in Nigeria because they are low in calories, considered a “sperm booster” and thought to help those recovering from malaria
Snails
BBC

A private university in Nigeria has been criticised for punishing students by shaving a strip into their hair.

View more on twitter

Convicted South African racist Vicky Momberg was in court this week in cornrows. The hairstyle is more usually worn by people of African descent - the very people Momberg insulted so terribly when she went on a rant at the police, using one of South Africa's most racist words a total of 48 times.

View more on twitter

The UK could return to Ethiopia treasures taken 150 years ago - including a gold crown and a royal wedding dress - on a long-term loan.

Crown
V&A Museum

Organisers of the Commonwealth Games copped it - the official souvenir placed England in Africa.

A Union flag and a sign reading "Sale on" are pictured near the Elizabeth Tower, better known as "Big Ben", and the Houses of Parliament in central London on March 6, 2017
AFP

Robbers blow up Nigerian banks

Joshua Ajayi

BBC Yoruba, Lagos

Robbed bank
Ayobami Agboola
It is unclear how much was stolen during the robberies

Armed robbers blew up the entrances of five banks in central Nigeria's Offa town with dynamite, in an operation which lasted for more than an hour after the close of business and left six policemen and six civilians dead.

Kwara State police spokesman Ajayi Okasanmi told BBC Yoruba that the police are investigating and working with the bank managers to ascertain how much was carted away.

The incident has drawn widespread condemnation with graphic pictures of killed policemen and residents posted on social media.

The heavily armed gang had attacked the Owode Police Station where they killed the policemen, before raiding the banks within the market area.

Police had recovered some of the vehicles stolen during the raid, Mr Okasanmi said.

Officers were unable to stop the robbers because they were firing sporadically in a densely populated business district, he added.

Robberies like this one have become a regular occurrence in Offa.

UN troops killed in Mali

Alex Duval Smith

BBC Africa, Dakar

Two United Nations peacekeepers have been killed in a mortar attack in the far north of Mali.

The two Chadians were killed and 10 other peacekeepers were injured in the attack on the UN base at Agelhok at nightfall on Thursday.

Agelhok is close to Mali's border with Algeria. It's a staging post on a desert trade route, below a mountain hideout used by armed groups, including Islamists.

In eastern Mali earlier this week, the French military said paratroopers killed 30 people, in a gun battle close to the border with Niger.

They were described as jihadists in an area sheltering members of the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara.

The latest quarterly UN report on Mali describes a deterioration in security.

It says 141 Malian and UN security personnel were killed last year -twice as many as in 2016.

The north of Mali was occupied by Islamists in 2012. France intervened the following year and the UN sent peacekeepers.

Since then, fighting has spread to other parts of the country and to neighbouring Niger and Burkina Faso.

SA swimmer bags Commonwealth record

Chad le Clos
AFP

South African Chad le Clos became the most successful male swimmer in history at the Commonwealth Games after winning the 50m butterfly - his 13th medal.

Failing to claim a medal in the 200m freestyle means his hopes of overtaking the record number for any sport - 18 - is over, but he could still equal that mark were he to be successful in his remaining events.

Realistically though - as the South African relay teams aren’t as strong as four years ago - he’s probably going to have to wait until Birmingham 2022 for the overall record, the BBC's Nick Hope reports.

More Commonwealth Games coverage on the BBC Sport website.

Picture of toothbrush swallowed by Kenyan man

We reported earlier that doctors in Kenya had retrieved a toothbrush from a man who had swallowed it.

David Charo said he had swallowed the toothbrush accidentally on Sunday, while brushing his teeth.

A local TV station has shared a picture of the toothbrush:

View more on facebook

Ransom paid for DR Congo priest

Map
BBC

A catholic priest in the Democratic Republic of Congo has been released after ransom was paid to his kidnappers, news agency AFP reports quoting a church official.

Father Celestin Ngango was taken away on Sunday by armed men in the eastern city of Goma in North Kivu province shortly after he finished leading an Easter mass.

His kidnappers demanded $500,000 (£355,000) for his release, the church said.

Father Louis de Gonzague Nzabanita from the Goma diocese said that a ransom had been paid after negotiation with the kidnappers but did not say how much.

"We paid a ransom, which led to the release of our brother," he said.

The priest was one of 10 people kidnapped in North Kivu's Rutshuru administrative district in less than a week, according to a local campaign group, the Study Centre for the Promotion of Peace, Democracy and Human Rights.

Three of those taken were however executed after their families failed to pay ransoms. One was freed, while the rest, all local farmers, are still missing.

Militias operate freely in Kivu province and they often extort money from civilians while fighting each other for control of mineral resources.

Counting the cost of SA's listeriosis

South Africa's government has said the outbreak of listeriosis in the country, that has killed more than 180 people, could have a financial impact beyond the companies directly affected by it.

The bacterium that causes the disease was found in processed meat.

Several countries in Africa have banned the import of the products and class action lawsuits are set to be launched in South Africa.

BBC's Africa Business Report looks at the cost of the ban:

Ethiopia closes notorious prison

Emmanuel Igunza

BBC Africa, Addis Ababa

Abiy Ahmed
AFP
New Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed promised to oversee reforms after months of anti-government protests

State media in Ethiopia is reporting the closure of a notorious prison that human rights groups have described as a torture chamber.

State-linked Fana Broadcasting announced in a terse statement that the government had closed the Maekelewi interrogation Center and all prisoners that had been detained there have been sent elsewhere.

The closure was part of the commitment made by the ruling EPRDF coalition last December as it tried to end anti-government protests

The closure marks a significant point in Ethiopia’s history as Maekelawi has become a symbol of the torture that detainees have experienced over many years.

It comes just days after Abiy Ahmed took over as Ethiopia’s new prime minister following the abrupt resignation of his predecessor.

Mr Abiy’s inaugural speech promised to bring reforms to Ethiopia with many seeing his rise to power as a turning point in a country where the government has long been accused of gross human rights violations.

Ethiopia is currently under a second state of emergency in just two years, imposed to quell nearly three years of anti-government protests.

Hundreds of people have died and tens of thousands more detained during that period.

Bank robbers kills 12 in Nigeria

Chris Ewokor

BBC Africa, Abuja

At least 12 people were killed on Thursday when a gang of armed men invaded a police station and robbed five commercial banks in the central Nigerian town of Offa.

The gang of about 15 stormed Offa in several vehicles, and sporadically shot in the air to scare away passers-by. They also blocked roads leading into Offa.

Operating in commando-style, the men first invaded the community police station and shot police officers.

They then split themselves into teams and stormed the five commercial banks where they reportedly made away with huge amounts of money.

Kenyan has toothbrush removed from stomach

Victor Kenani

BBC Africa, Nairobi

A toothbrush with toothpaste sits on a sink in Arlington, Virginia, 17 July 2007
AFP

As unbelievable as it sounds, doctors in Kenya’s coastal city of Mombasa say they have successfully removed a toothbrush from a man’s stomach.

David Charo said he had swallowed the toothbrush accidentally on Sunday, while brushing his teeth.

He had moved from one hospital to another for five days as he tried to seek medical attention.

Most of the hospitals turned him away, saying they did not have specialists to carry out such an operation.

An X-ray showed the toothbrush lodged in Mr Charo's stomach.

The incident has left Twitter users baffled, as this tweet shows:

View more on twitter

'I can make better doors here in Rwanda'

A civil engineer by training, entrepreneur Patrick Dufitimana noticed that much of the wooden furniture used in Rwanda's construction and home building market was imported. So he decided to set up his own business.

'I can manufacture better doors here in Rwanda'

Asamoah Gyan seeking crew for new airline

Ghanaian footballer Asamoah Gyan has tweeted an advertisement seeking a crew for the airline he plans to launch.

Apart from a "sparkling personality", applicants for the Baby Jet Airlines should, among other requirements, know how to swim:

View more on twitter

Gyan tweeted back to the BBC's Akwasi Sarpong, who had highlighted that swimming was a condition of employment, that they were "following standard requirements lol".

Tweets
Twitter

Ghana's news site Citifmonline reported in October that Gyan had obtained official approval to operate an airline.

The news site also reported that BabyJet Airlines would be the third local air company when it begins operations.

Uganda 'bans charcoal export to Kenya'

Authorities in Uganda have banned the export of charcoal to neighbouring Kenya as a measure to protect its forests, a local TV station reports.

Hussein Kato Matanda, the top state official in charge of the border town of Busia, told traders that it was now illegal to sell charcoal across the border.

The booming business has seen prices double from 35,000 Ugandan shillings ($10; £7) to 80,000 Ugandan shillings per sack in one week, NTV says:

View more on twitter

Yesterday, a news site reported that a month-long ban on charcoal burning in the Kenya had led to the rise of nyama choma ( roasted meat).

Police 'closing in on Grace Mugabe'

Grace Mugabe
Getty Images
Grace Mugabe had been positioning herself as a potential successor to her husband

Police in Zimbabwe are closing in on former First Lady Grace Mugabe as they investigate her alleged involvement in the smuggling of ivory, the state-run Herald newspaper reports.

Mrs Mugabe is alleged to have overseen the export of large consignments of ivory to several destinations around the world, including China, the United Arab Emirates and the US.

The Herald reports, quoting a source, that officers have questioned officials from the country's Parks and Wildlife Management Authority.

Mrs Mugabe is alleged to have acquired export permits under the pretext that she was sending the ivory to leaders of various countries as “gifts”, the report says.

The beleaguered former first lady has not commented on the allegations.

She has been targeted after her husband - the former Zimbabwe leader Robert Mugabe - was forced out of office following a military takeover in November.

Her farm was invaded last week by illegal miners looking for gold.

Read more: Polarising Garae Mugabe

US air strike kills 'militants' in Somalia

A US air strike has killed three militant Islamists and destroyed a vehicle with a mounted heavy machine gun near Jilib town in southern Somalia, the US Africa Command has tweeted:

View more on twitter

The US has repeatedly been accused of killing civilians during the strikes. It denies the allegation.

Ethiopia restores internet services

Emmanuel Igunza

BBC Africa, Addis Ababa

Residents of Bishoftu crossed their wrists above their heads as a symbol for the Oromo anti-government protesting movement during the Oromo new year holiday Irreechaa in Bishoftu on October 2, 2016.
AFP
Ethiopia has been hit by a wave of anti-government protests

Mobile internet services have been restored in many areas of Ethiopia following a shutdown of months.

It comes after new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed promised to bring about reforms in the country, which has had two state of emergencies declared in the past year.

The majority of areas outside the capital, Addis Ababa, have had no connectivity for nearly three months now.

They include Oromia, Amhara and the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Regions which have seen some of the biggest anti government protests for nearly three years now.

BBC correspondents have also confirmed that services have resumed in Tigray in the north and Harar in the east.

Most Ethiopians access internet via their mobile phones.

It’s not clear why the services were shut in the first place but the government has long blamed opposition activists based in the diaspora of inciting violence and hate speech through popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.

The government has on several occasions shut down the internet in a bid to contain widespread protests that are in part organised online.

Internet and telephone services are controlled by only one provider, state-owned Ethio Telecom.

Despite being one of Africa’s fastest growing economies, internet penetration in Ethiopian remains very low - at just 15%, according to the 2017 Freedom of the Net report conducted by US based Freedom House .

Zuma: Crowd-pleaser, charmer

Pumza Fihlani

BBC News, Durban

Jacob Zuma greets a crowd of supporters before addressing them outside the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban on April 6, 2018
AFP
The scandal-hit Jacob Zuma stepped down as president in January

The Jacob Zuma of old is still here - the crowd-pleaser, charmer and tactical politician.

The former South African president boldly addressed his supporters outside the Durban High Court minutes after his brief appearance on 16 charges of corruption over a 1990s arms deal.

Mr Zuma believes the re-instatement of the charges, which were dropped in 2009 after reports of political interference, are once again politically motivated.

A confident, perhaps even defiant Zuma, told crowds that he is being targeted by political foes in his own party, the governing African National Congress (ANC), and the opposition who were against his attempts to economically empower black people.

“I have never seen it before where someone is charged with a crime, those charges are dropped and then years later those same charges are re-instated. This is a just a political conspiracy”, he said in Zulu.

Former South African president Jacob Zuma supporters outside KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban, South Africa, 06 April 2018
EPA

The crowds cheered as he spoke. He enjoys great support in this part of the country, this is his home region.

Mr Zuma reminded the crowds that he has survived many a scandal.

On the face of it he is a man unperturbed by the latest controversy - he is determined to use every legal avenue available to him to fight the corruption charges.

“I keep asking what has Zuma done and no one has an answer for me”, he said.

And with that in mind, Mr Zuma fights on.

'Explosion in Mogadishu'

A VOA journalist has tweeted a picture of the aftermath of an explosion in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu.

He says a vehicle packed with explosives detonated at a security checkpoint.

View more on twitter

Nigeria police 'blocked from arresting senator'

Kogi West also known as Dino Melaye (L)
You Tube
Dino Melaye (L) is known for his lavish lifestyle

A special anti-robbery police unit in Nigeria was prevented yesterday from arresting a wanted senator over allegations of giving weapons to kidnappers, the Vanguard news site reports.

Dino Melaye had been attending prayers at the home of a deceased senator in central Kogi state when police attempted to arrest him.

They were, however, prevented from making the arrest by a group of vigilantes "who encircled him and made it impossible for the officers to get close to him", the news site reports.

The vigilantes then escorted him to a car of Senate President Bukola Saraki, the report says.

The flamboyant senator, who represents the Kogi West constituency, was last year criticised when he appeared on a music video depicting his lavish lifestyle.

He is well known for his love of luxury cars, champagne and designer clothes, as his Instagram account shows:

View more on instagram

Commonwealth Games: England beats Malawi

Matthew Kenyon

BBC Africa Sport

Geva Mentor England defends against Mwai Kumwenda of Malawi during the Netball Preliminary Round Pool B match between Malawi and England on day two of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre on April 6, 2018 on the Gold Coast, Australia.
AFP
Malawi was routed by England

At the Commonwealth Games in Australia, Malawi have been beaten by England in their opening game of the netball competition.

It was a heavy defeat - 74-49.

That's in contrast to the series of matches the two teams played late last year - one of which was a two-point game in England's favour.

Malawi have no time to rest or worry about this game, because they play Uganda - who qualified for the Games by claiming the African title ahead of Malawi last year - at 1300 local time tomorrow morning.

Tonight's game finished at 2000, so it's 17 hours recovery only.

Read: How Uganda's netball captain plans to win gold.

Three-nation Nile talks collapse

Map
BBC

Talks between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt over the use of the River Nile have collapsed, news agency AFP reports, quoting Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour.

A 17-hour discussion between foreign ministers and intelligence officers failed to resolve differences over Ethiopia's $4bn (£2bn) Grand Renaissance Dam being built along the Nile.

"We spent the whole day talking as ordered by the leaders of the three countries, but we didn't reach an agreement... I can't specify what the disagreements were, but they were technical issues," Mr Ghandour told reporters.

Egypt is opposed to Ethiopia's aim to produce 6,000 megawatts of hydro-electric power - the equivalent of six nuclear-powered plants.

It says that upstream diversion of the longest river in the world would have catastrophic effects on its water supply and agriculture.

Moreover it maintains it has historic rights as guaranteed by treaties signed in 1929 and 1959, which gives it access to 87% of the waters and a veto power to upstream projects.

Sudan on the other hand has got over its disapproval of the Ethiopian project and now sees it as a solution to the flooding problem in the country.

The Blue and the White Nile tributaries converge in the the capital, Khartoum.

Read: Damming the Nile: Explore with 360 video

Tanzania builds wall to protect gemstones

Aboubakar Famau

BBC Africa, Dar es Salaam

Great Mirerani Wall
BBC's David Nyaka

Tanzania's President John Magufuli has officially inaugurated the Great Mirerani Wall, built in the north of the country to prevent the theft of tanzanite, a rare gemstone.

Wall
BBC's David Nyaka

In September, Mr Magufuli ordered the military to build the wall, which is 24km (15 miles) long, in order “to control illegal mining and trading activities”.

The blue-violet tanzanite gemstone is found only in the East African state.

This is the first time Tanzania has built a wall to protect its mines, and some believe that other countries grappling with smuggling may also build them.

John Magufuli (C)
BBC's David Nyaka

Mauritian charged with sex assault at Commonwealth Games

Police in Australia have a charged a Mauritian sports official with sexually assaulting an athlete from the island at the Commonwealth Games.

Kaysee Teeroovengadum has previously denied the allegation, describing it as unfounded.

He was forced to quit as chef de mission of Maauritius' delegation to the Games.

Mr Teeroovengaduma, 52, is alleged to have assaulted the 26-year-old woman on 29 March in the athletes' village.

Kenyan hunger striker's 'health deteriorates'

The health of a Kenyan man who has been on a hunger strike to protest against what he says is government abuse of the constitution has worsened, privately owned KTN TV station reports.

View more on twitter

Boniface Ogutu started his strike last Thursday and has camped under a busy road bridge in the western city of Kisumu.

He told The Standard news site that he decided to go on a hunger strike after the government refused to obey several court orders to release opposition politician Miguna Miguna who was eventually deported.

“I do not care even if I die of hunger. I have been very unhappy with the way the state has been abusing the rule of law and have been putting our country at the risk of spiraling to anarchy,” Mr Ogutu told reporters.

He added: “With this peaceful silent protest, I believe the message will reach the government and also our people on the need to respect the constitution."

Supporters have been giving him glucose and warm water.

His protest has attracted crowds and activists have taken advantage of the gathering to educate members of the public about the constitution.

Some local artists are also playing music to encourage him, The Standard reports.

Zuma 'plays on emotions'

South Africa's ex-President Jacob Zuma focused on three emotive issues - land, the economy and race - to win sympathy as he faces 16 counts of corruption over a 1990s arms deal, a local journalist has tweeted:

View more on twitter

Zuma on betrayal

acob Zuma, former president of South Africa addresses his supporters outside the high court in Durban, South Africa, April 6, 2018
Reuters

South Africa's ex-President Jacob Zuma has ended his address with a song about being "wounded by people I grew up with", a news site has tweeted:

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Zuma on being called a dog

What do you when you are called a dog? South Africa's ex-President Jacob Zuma has the answer:

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Zuma on insults

South Africa's ex-President Jacob Zuma has been telling the crowd what he does when he is insulted, as this tweet shows:

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Photo of crowd at Zuma rally

A South African media outlet has posted an aerial image of the crowd listening to ex-President Jacob Zuma speak about his corruption case:

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Zuma thanks supporters

South Africa's ex-President Jacob Zuma is thanking his supporters - including religious leaders - for "standing for the truth", a BBC reporter has tweeted:

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Zuma: Charges are a conspiracy

South Africa's former president is giving a defiant speech outside the Durban High Court after he was formally charged with 16 counts of corruption, a BBC correspondent tweets:

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Zuma 'targeted by white capital'

Supporters of former South African President Jacob Zuma are rallying outside the Durban High Court, accusing "white capital" of being behind his prosecution because he is a strong advocate of radical economic reforms to benefit black people.

Mr Zuma is expected to address the crowd.

Our colleague Pumza Fihlani is at the venue and is tweeting about what other speakers are saying:

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Zuma trial 'unlikely this year'

Former South African President Jacob Zuma's court appearance today on corruption charges was historic - but it will be long before he stands trial, if at all, a local news site has tweeted:

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Video of 'brutal police assault' in Kenya

Police in Kenya are looking into the authenticity of a video purportedly showing a police officer assaulting a man.

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The clip of more than a minute shows the suspected officer repeatedly kicking the man and stamping him on his head.

It is unclear where and when the video was recorded and what led to the assault.

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Zuma to speak

South Africa's ex-President Jacob Zuma is expected to address his supporters outside court:

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Zuma looked calm

South Africa's ex-President Jacob Zuma looked calm and shook hands with his supporters during his brief court appearance on corruption charges, a BBC correspondent has tweeted:

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'Hands off Zuma'

Former South African President Jacob Zuma's supporters have been protesting outside the Durban High Court, as he appeared on corruption and fraud charges.

His supporters see his prosecution as a witch-hunt because of his support for a radical reform agenda, including land expropriation from white farmers without compensation.

News agency Reuters has shared these pictures of Mr Zuma's supporters:

Zuma supporters
Reuters
Zuma supporters
Reuters
Zuma supporters
Reuters
Zuma supporters
Reuters

Zuma case postponed

South Africa's ex-President Jacob Zuma's corruption case has been postponed to 8 June, a journalist has tweeted:

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Zuma in dock

The BBC's Pumza Fihlani remarks on how incredible the appearance in court of former South Africa's President Jacob Zuma really is.

He was president of the country just a few weeks ago.

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News24 has shared a picture of Mr Zuma in the dock:

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