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  1. South African artist criticised over anti-Zuma paintings
  2. 'Cowardly' killing of Burundian MP and former journalist
  3. Zimbabwean pastor charged with trying to topple government
  4. Mass evacuation of foreigners trapped in South Sudan
  5. Nigeria's Buhari in new pledge to tackle "bandits"
  6. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive WhatsApp: +44 7341070844
  7. Email stories and comments to - Wednesday 13 July 2016

Live Reporting

By Clare Spencer 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 by listening to the Africa Today podcast or checking the BBC News website.

A reminder of today's wise words:

A fish and bird may fall in love but they cannot build a home together."

Sent by Jersy Solomon Kwsei in Koforidua, Ghana

Click here to send us your African proverbs.

And we leave you with this picture of the innovative solar-powered plane touching down on its second-to-last stop on its world tour in Cairo, Egypt: 

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Malala in Kenya

Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai has visited the office of a rights group in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, to offer condolences for the killing of one of its lawyers, the Associated Press news agency reports. 

Willie Kimani, who worked for the International Justice Mission, was shot dead in a suspected extrajudicial killing last month. 

Four police officers face murder charges over his death, and that of his client Josephat Mwenda and taxi driver Joseph Muiruri.  

Lawyers protested across Kenya after their bodies were pulled out of a river on 1 July with autopsy results show they were tortured. 

Mr Kimani was representing Mr Mwenda in pursuing charges against a police officer for shooting him in April 2015. 

Malala Yousafzai
Malala Yousafzai spoke at Dadaab refugee camp on Tuesday

Riot police 'stop singing in Zimbabwean court'

A reporter inside the courtroom in Zimbabwe where Pastor Evan Mawarire has been charged with trying to overthrow the government is tweeting dramatic scenes from there. 

Simon Allison tweeted that supporters of the pastor started singing in the packed court room, and then police intervened: 

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Read: Zimbabwe's #ThisFlag protests.

Africa's cartoon superhero

Most comic book superheroes are Europeans or white Americans but one artist in South Africa has been trying to change that.

"Kwezi" (star in Xhosa and Zulu) is the brainchild of Loyiso Mkize, who describes it as a coming-of-age story about finding one's heritage.

He's been speaking to the BBC about his work in visual art and why he feels Africa needs to have its own superheroes:

Meet Kwezi - Africa's cartoon superhero

Pastor's supporters remain outside court in Zimbabwe

Although night has fallen in Zimbabwe, supporters of Pastor Evan Mawarire have remained outside court in the capital, Harare, as his bail hearing continues.

Here's a tweet about the atmosphere there: 

View more on twitter

Zimbabwe pastor in bail bid

Brian Hungwe

BBC Africa, Harare

A Zimbabwean anti-riot police stand guard outside the Harare Magistrates court before the arrival of arrested Pastor Evan Mawarire, in the capital Harare, Zimbabwe
Anti-riot police have been deployed outside court

Zimbabwe's Pastor Evan Mawarire is applying for bail after being charged with subversion - an offence which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years. 

The hearing - at a magistrate's court in the capital, Harare - is still in its early stages. I'll bring you more details as soon as I can.  

Zimbabwean pastor's supporters pray for him

Prayers have been held in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, for Pastor Evan Mawarire, who has been charged with attempting to overthrow President Robert Mugabe's government. 

Zimbabwean newspaper publisher Trevor Ncube has tweeted about it: 

View more on twitter

Kiir 'declares amnesty'

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir on Wednesday has said he is granting an amnesty to troops loyal to his rival, Vice-President Riek Machar, AFP news agency reports. 

Forces loyal to Mr Kiir and Machar fought each other for four days in the capital, Juba, leaving more than 270 people dead. 

Families leave Saint Joseph's church compound in Juba, after receiving small food ratios by the Red cross and other NGO"s on July 12, 2016 in Juba.
Families to shelter in churches and UN bases during the clashes

Somali militant leader accuses AU of being 'looters'

The leader of Somalia's militant Islamist group al-Shabab has released his first audio message since he took over in 2014 following the killing of his predecessor Ahmed Godane in a UN airstrike. 

Ahmed Umar, who is often known as Abu Ubaidah, condemned the presence of African Union troops in Somalia. 

He said they were there to loot the country's resources. 

He also criticised Turkey, which has stepped up its investment and aid work in Somalia. 

There are indications that the message was recorded before last week's Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr. 

soldiers of the Kenyan Contingent serving with the African Union Mission in Somalia October 2012
African Union troops have been in Somalia since 2007

South Sudan death toll 'tip of iceberg'

In this Tuesday July 12, 2016 photo, a woman sits with her child near a church in Juba, South Sudan.
The violence has worsened the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan

The head of United Nations peacekeeping operations, Hervy Ladsous, has described the number of people reported dead in recent clashes in South Sudan as just the tip of the iceberg. 

"We remain very worried about the potential for the resumption of violence and spill-over into other parts of the country, as we have seen in the past," Mr Ladsous told the UN Security Council.  

The authorities in the capital, Juba, say more than 270 people died in the outbreak of violence between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and his rival, Vice-President Riek Machar. 

A ceasefire was declared on Monday and a spokesman for Machar said he and his forces had now left the capital, Juba. 

He called on UN peacekeepers to be deployed as a buffer between the opposing sides. 

Read: We want peace - and ice cream

ANC fury over anti-Zuma paintings

South African president and African National Congress (ANC)'s president Jacob Zuma sings and dances during the Party official launch of the Municipal Elections manifesto on April 16, 2016 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Mr Zuma has repeatedly been accused of corruption

South Africa's governing African National Congress (ANC) has condemned artist Ayanda Mabulu's latest paintings of President Jacob Zuma as a "grotesque act of vulgarity". 

He had illustrated Mr Zuma, 74, in a "demeaning and hyper-sexualized manner", and had "abused" free speech, the party said in a statement

It added: 

The ANC also notes that Mr Mabulu has consistently, over a long time, relied on a particular symbolism to advance his commentary.

Common amongst these include the portrayal of black leaders in the form of baboons and, as in this instance, crude sexualization.

These are all symbols of colonial anthropology that views black people as hyper-sexual beasts who think through their genitalia and are only intellectually competent on a scale similar to baboons."

See our earlier post for more details.

Burundian MP 'shot in the chest'

Anne Soy

BBC Africa, Nairobi

Hafsa Mossi
East Africa Paliament
Before joining politics, Ms Mossi was a presenter for BBC Swahili

Police in Burundi have given the BBC more details about the killing of East African MP and former BBC producer Hafsa Mossi.

They say she was leaving her home when an unidentified vehicle hit her car. 

When she got out to find out what was going on, she was shot in the chest. 

Ms Hafsa was then rushed to hospital where she died while undergoing treatment.

She leaves behind three children. 

We reported earlier that President Pierre Nkurunziza led his government’s condemnation of the killing, calling it an assassination, and a vile and cowardly act.

Egypt's top goalscorer faces assault trial

Hossam Hassan

Egypt's all-time top goal-scorer Hossam Hassan will go on trial on Saturday for allegedly assaulting a government photographer, reports AFP news agency.

A court official told the agency that the incident is alleged to have happened during clashes after a match on Friday between players of Al-Masry - the Port Said team where Hassan is now head coach - and Ghazl el-Mahalla. They drew 2-2.

Hassan was filmed apparently chasing the photographer across the pitch then punching him in the head, taking his camera and smashing it on the ground next to the pitch, AFP reports. 

On Saturday, the Egyptian Football Association suspended Hassan from taking part in his club's next three matches and fined him 10,000 Egyptian pounds ($1,100; £830). 

The club was also fined 20,000 Egyptian pounds.   

South African artist 'exposes the beast'

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

Mr Zuma has been dogged by allegations of corruption throughout his term in goverrnment

South African artist Ayanda Mabulu has done it again - this time showing President Jacob Zuma licking the bottom of one of the Gupta bothers in a painting that has got South Africans talking. 

In another painting, he shows Mr Zuma reclining on a throne and seemingly falling asleep with his genitals exposed.

The works are on exhibition at Constitutional Hill in the main city, Johannesburg, and have been released ahead of crucial local government elections next month.

I asked Mr Mabulu what he was trying to achieve. He told me he was trying to show who are Mr Zuma's "masters" - a reference to allegations that the Gupta family has been involved in "state capture" through it business interests and government contacts. 

Both the Gupta brothers and Mr Zuma have strongly denied the allegation.

Mr Mabulu also said:  

“I’m trying to expose him [Mr Zuma]. People need to know who they are voting for ahead of the polls. They need to know this beast!”

Last year the president’s son Edward Zuma denounced Mr Mbulu for the way he portrayed his father in a painting called Pornography of Power.  

Mr Mabulu denied he is only focusing on Mr Zuma, pointing out he has done some work on the Black Lives Matter movement campaigning against racism in the US. 

See earlier post for more details

Zimbabwean pastor charged with subversion

Brian Hungwe

BBC Africa, Harare

In this Tuesday May 3, 2016 file photo, shows Evans Mawarire, a young pastor, posing with a Zimbabwean flag in Harare, Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe police have charged Mawarire on Tuesday July 12, 2016, with inciting violence and disturbing the peace.
The pastor, seen in this photo taken in May, has become a symbol of opposition to the government

Zimbabwe's Pastor Evan Mawarire is in court draped in the national flag. He looks defiant and unfazed. 

Dozens of lawyers showed their practicing certificates, all eager to represent the preacher who launched the #ThisFlag campaign to draw attention to the growing economic crisis in Zimbabwe.

Charges of inciting violence and - more significantly - subverting the constitutionally elected government through civil unrest have been read out in court.

One of his lawyers responded that Mr Mawarire was never told of the subversion charge,  which carries a 20-year prison term.

He is urging the court not to entertain the new charge as it would be tantamount to "eating fruit from a poisoned tree".

Zimbabwe crowd
Supporters f the pastor were in court to show solidarity with him

'50 lawyers turn up' to defend Zimbabwean pastor

The Zimbabwean pastor Evan Mawarire, who is behind the #ThisFlag protests, is in court at the moment charged with inciting violence. 

A reporter with neighbouring South Africa's Daily Maverick newspaper is tweeting from the court in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare:

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

Meanwhile outside, supporters are singing:

View more on twitter

Pastor Evan Mawarire had called for people to stay at home today to protest against the deteriorating economic situation.  

'No need' to airlift Kenyans out of South Sudan

Emmanuel Igunza

BBC Africa, Nairobi

We reported earlier that Kenya intends to airlift its citizens out South Sudan.

Kenya's foreign minister Amina Mohamed has now said there is no need at the moment for a full scale evacuation of Kenyans from South Sudan. 

She said the airport in Juba has been reopened and any Kenyan wishing to leave can do so. 

She added regional body Igad, which brokered the fragile peace deal, will be holding a crisis meeting at the sidelines of the African Union heads of State meeting in Kigali Rwanda to discuss South Sudan. 

Why Zimbabwe's stay away has flopped

Stanley Kwenda

BBC Africa

News stand in Harare

It's not surprising that the call for a nationwide stay away in Zimbabwe to highlight the deepening economic crisis has gone mostly unheeded. 

The reasons are the following:  

  • Civil servants who contributed significantly to the success of a similar stay away last week have since been paid their salaries by the government
  • Public transport operators have been placated by the partial reduction in roadblocks, a grievance which boosted last week’s protest
  • Self-employed people were worried about the loss of income yet again  
  • The arrest of leaders behind the protest action 
  • A warning by the government that anyone who took part in the protests would face the full wrath of the law
  • Poor coordination among protest group with some feeling that today's stay away was hastily organised.  
This file photo taken on July 06, 2016 shows a protester shouting anti-Mugabe slogans in front of burning tyres during a demonstration on July 6 2016, in Makokoba, Bulawayo Zimbabw
Many people protested against the government last week

Besigye in defiant mood after release

Patience Atuhaire

BBC Africa, Kampala

Mr Besigye's bail conditions prevent him from taking part in protests

Uganda's opposition leader Kizza Besigye has held his first press conference since being released on bail on Tuesday. 

He had been in prison on charges of treason for close to two months after he challenged President Yoweri Museveni's victory in elections in February as fraudulent.

When releasing him on bail, a judge ordered the defeated presidential candidate to keep the peace and not to engage in any protests.

At the press conference at his party's headquarters on the outskirts of the capital, Kampala, Mr Besigye said: 

I have absolutely no intention of compromising my rights as a full citizen of this country. I am a free, independent citizen of this country with full rights. Before I left prison, I pointed out that I will continue to be defiant.

Government wants to create the impression that defiance is illegal. There is nothing illegal about defiance."

Police were heavily deployed along the Kampala-Entebbe highway, to control the jubilant crowds welcoming Mr Besigye.

Anti-riot officers were seen wielding sticks, which they used to hit Besigye supporters.

He condemned the violence:  

There is a war between the citizens and the rulers. That is why the rulers are beating up the citizens because they see them as their enemies.

What happens in the system that we have is really organized crime. And we want to have the rule of law."

Italians to be be airlifted from South Sudan

Italy's foreign ministry says one of its military planes has landed in South Sudan's capital, Juuba, to evacuate 30 of its citizens who have decided to leave the war-torn country. 

Mass evacuation of foreigners from South Sudan

Emmanuel Igunza

BBC Africa, Nairobi

At least five countries have started to evacuate their citizens from South Sudan after four days of fighting between rival government forces in the capital, Juba. 

They include Uganda, the UK, Germany, Japan and India. 

The US and Kenya have also announced that they intend to airlift their citizens out of the country. 

A handout photograph released on 12 July 2016 by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) shows UNPOL and Military components of the UNMISS helping civilians and the UN staff during volatile events in Juba, South Sudan, 12 July 2016
More than 35,000 people have been left homeless by the conflict

Burundi president denounces shooting

Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza has condemned as "cowardly" the killing of Hafsa Mossi, the country's representative to the East Africa legislative assembly and a former BBC Swahili producer:

In a tweet in French, he said:

View more on twitter

The tweet reads: "The assassination of the Hon. Hafsa Mossi is a despicable and cowardly act. This is an inestimable loss for Burundi, her family and all [of] the EAC [East African Community]".

She was shot dead this morning in the capital, Bujumbura, by unknown gunmen. 

Mr Nkurunziza's spokesman Willy Nyamitwe tweeted:

View more on twitter

Read more about Burundi's tit-for-tat killings.

Nigerian army's fight against deadly cattle rustlers

Haruna Shehu Tangaza

BBC Africa, Abuja


We reported earlier that Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari is in the north-western state of Zamfara to launch a military operation against deadly gangs of cattle rustlers.

The heavily-armed bandits kill hundreds of people each year and steal livestock.

The Nigerian Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali told the BBC that up to one battalion would initially be deployed into the bush where the gangs are based with the aim  of flushing them. 

Mr Dan Ali said the military campaign was likely to last for about six months and more troops would join the operation. 

There has been an outcry by residents over what they call the failure of local authorities to defend them. 

Hundreds of families are now homeless after they fled their villages where bandits warned farmers not to farm - eight farmers have been shot dead so far for ignoring the warning, according to local media. 

There are fears that fighters from militant Islamist group Boko Haram have infiltrated the gangs after having been dislodged from their strongholds in the north-east, but there is no confirmation of this.

Read: Making sense of the Fulani-farmer conflict

South Sudan's vice-president 'leaves Juba'

South Sudan's Vice-President Riek Machar has left the capital, Juba, with his troops, his spokesman has told Reuters news agency.

"We had to move away from our base [in Juba] to avoid further confrontation," James Gatdet Dak told Reuters news agency from Kenya's capital, Nairobi. 

He said he was in contact with Machar's forces. 

"He is around the capital. I cannot say the location," he added. 

President Salva Kiir and his rival, Mr Machar, announced a ceasefire which came into force on Monday after their troops clashed for four days in Juba.  

In this photo dated Friday July 8 2016, South Sudan Riek Machar, left. Salva Kiir, South Sudan President, and James Wani Igga, Vice president during a press conference at Presidential palace in Juba, South Sudan, after fighting started erupted when a group of unidentified soldiers tried to enter the palace.

Last week heavy fighting between rival forces left more than 270 people dead.

It seems a disagreement at a checkpoint between rival soldiers led to a shootout on Thursday night in which five soldiers died. This quickly escalated into serious fighting from Friday onwards.  

Foreigners airlifted from South Sudan

Germany has begun evacuating foreigners from South Sudan's capital, Juba, amid fears for their safety, as this tweet shows:  

View more on twitter

 It follows the killing of more than 270 people in four days of fighting.   

The evacuations came despite the fact that a ceasefire has been holding since Monday evening to end three days of heavy fighting in Juba between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and his rival, Vice-President Riek Machar. 

More than 270 people, including two Chinese UN peacekeepers, were killed in the clashes. 

The US, Japan, Kenya and Uganda have also announced that they are evacuating their citizens. 

Tweeters disgusted with Zuma-Gupta sex-act painting

Tweeters have reacted with disgust at paintings depicting South African President Jacob Zuma naked, and committing a sex act on businessman Atul Gupta.

Some say that artist Ayanda Mabulu - whose paintings are being shown at a gallery in the main city, Johannesburg - has crossed the line:

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

While others don't have so much sympathy:

View more on twitter

Mr Zuma has been at the centre of a spate of corruption scandals in  South Africa and the Gupta family has been accused of having undue influence over him - a charge they both deny.

Artist Ayanda Mabulu told South Africa’s Culture review that the painting is more about the Gupta family  than the president:

The work is really aimed at the masters who are controlling our leader. And the Guptas are one of those masters. It’s not personal because it goes beyond the president."

Read more on the Guptas and their relationship with President Jacob Zuma.

Zimbabwean pastor arrives in court

Brian Hungwe

BBC Africa, Harare

Zimbabwe's pastor Evan Mawarire has been brought to court in the capital, Harare, to face charges of inciting violence following his arrest yesterday. 

Hundreds of people have come to court in solidarity with him. 

Anti-riot police are manning the main entrance, forcing people to queue to get in.

Police in Harare

Police outside court in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwean anti-riot police clear journalist waiting outside the Harare Central Police station in Zimbabwe, July 12, 2016

Dozens of anti-riot police have surrounded the court in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, where preacher Evan Mawarire is due to appear on charges of inciting violence. 

The pastor was arrested yesterday after he called for "stay at home" protests against President Robert Mugabe's government.

 Read: What is behind the anger and despair in Zimbabwe?

Solar-powered plane lands in Cairo

The Sun-powered aircraft Solar Impulse has finished its penultimate flight, landing in Egypt's capital, Cairo.

Andre Borschberg flew over the pyramids before landing:

above the pyramids
Solar Impulse

The zero-fuel aircraft is now in the home straight of its bid to circumnavigate the globe. Its final stop is Abu Dhabi, where the challenge began in March 2015. 


The pilot tweeted the final approach was a bit bumpy:

View more on twitter

The plane has 17,000 solar cells.

Read more on the BBC News website.

Zimbabwe stay away call goes 'unheeded'

Early signs are that most people in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, have not heeded a call for a stay away to protest against the economic crisis in the country, Reuters news agency reports. 

Queues built up as normal at bus and taxi ranks to ferry people to work, while most businesses, including banks, are open, it reports. 

Teachers reported for duty at most public schools, which are conducting mid-year examinations, while nurses and doctors were at work at state-run hospitals, Reuters says. 

Zimbabwean pastor due in court

Zimbabwean preacher Evan Mawarire is due to appear in court  today on charges of inciting public violence after he called for "stay at home" protests against the deteriorating economic situation, his lawyer has said, Reuters news agency reports. 

Mr Mawarire spent the night in police cells after officers searched his house, church and office in the capital Harare as part of their investigations. 

People have been tweeting about his arrest: 

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

New military unit to tackle Nigerian 'bandits'

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to launch a special military task force today to fight "bandits" in north-western Nigeria's Zamfara state, reports the BBC's Abuja bureau. 

A recent attack by suspected Fulani herdsmen claimed 15 lives in the state.   

In 2014, more than 100 people were killed by unknown gunmen in the Maru area. 

Muhammadu Buhari
Mr Buhari is ruing to end numerous conflicts in NIgeria

Call for strike in Zimbabwe

Evan Mawarire
Evan Mawarire posted videos asking people "to be bold" and protest

Zimbabweans are being urged on social media and the messaging service WhatsApp to observe a two-day national "shutdown" in protest at the government's alleged mismanagement of the country.

A one-day stay away was organised last week and led to a complete shutdown of schools, businesses and shops across the country.

On Tuesday, police arrested pastor Evan Mawarire who organised the protest under the hashtag #ThisFlag on Twitter. 

Home Affairs Minister Ignatius Chombo warned that anyone who took part in the two-day strike would face "the full wrath of the law". 

Today's wise words

Our African proverb of the day:  

A fish and bird may fall in love but they cannot build a home together."

Sent by Jersy Solomon Kwsei in Koforidua, Ghana

Click here to send us your African proverbs.

Ducks and fish at an aquarium

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