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  1. Zimbabwe "bond notes" to be in circulation in October despite protests
  2. Piglet protest over Ugandan MPs' benefits
  3. A group of hungry elephants terrorises a Liberian town
  4. Nigerian powerlifter Josephine Orji wins country's eighth Paralympic gold
  5. Fuel 'too dirty for Europe' sold to Africa instead
  6. Controversial Libyan Gen Khalifa Haftar promoted
  7. Murdered Kenyan cleric's widow in court
  8. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive WhatsApp: +44 7341070844
  9. Email stories and comments to - Thursday 15 September 2016

Live Reporting

By Hugo Williams and Lucy Fleming

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Scroll down for Thursday's stories

    We'll be back tomorrow

    That's all from the BBC Africa Livepage 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:

    Quote Message: It is famine that makes one eat the fruit of strange trees." from A Yoruba proverb sent by Dapo Tiwo in Lagos, Nigeria
    A Yoruba proverb sent by Dapo Tiwo in Lagos, Nigeria

    Click here to send your African proverbs.  

    And we leave you with this photo of Niger's Ibrahim Dayabou competing in the men's long jump T47 final on day seven of the Rio 2016 Paralympics:

    Ibrahim Dayabou lands chest first in the pit after his jump
  2. Analysis: Zimbabweans fear bond notes

    Brian Hungwe

    BBC Africa, Harare

    A man with old Zimbabwean dollars on a hat
    Image caption: Protesters fear a return to hyperinflation with trillion and billion dollar notes

    Many business people in Zimbabwe are worried about the introduction of bond notes (see earlier post), fearing it is a way of reintroducing the Zimbabwean dollar. The country has mainly used the US dollar and South African rand since abandoning its own currency in 2009.

    There is no disputing the cash crisis is biting in Zimbabwe.

    Banks have put a cap on the amount of money people can withdraw and long queues are commonplace at most banks.

    The central bank governor hopes bond notes, which will have no value outside Zimbabwe and are a cash substitute, will help exporters – because at the moment Zimbabwe imports more than it exports.

    But most Zimbabweans I spoke to today are not convinced by the move, fearing a return of hyperinflation:

    Quote Message: This is just a declaration for new confrontation because the people are coming from a background where we used to use our own currency which was reduced to rubble because of inflation."
    Quote Message: I don’t want bond notes. Considering the state of our economy right now if our bond notes are to be introduced the current US dollar will vanish from the country and we will end up to 2008."
    Quote Message: It’s a stupid agenda and a stupid decision when the nation is crumbling... to introduce tissues... and say it’s currency."

    I did find one person who supported the introduction:

    Quote Message: I have a small business and since the time that cash became a problem things have gone very low, so I think with bond notes people will be able to transact."

    Former Finance Minister Tendayi Biti, who is a member of an opposition party, says the introduction is a sign of bigger problems regarding the management of the economy.

    Quote Message: It's a disastrous situation, revenue is being revised downward to $3.7bn but expenditure is being increased by an extra $1bn. It’s a disaster, a complete mess, a pure dog’s breakfast – but one that my own dogs would not touch by a long mile."
  3. Senior South African state prosecutor barred

    President Jacob Zuma
    Image caption: President Jacob Zuma could face 783 charges relating to a 1999 arms deal

    One of South Africa's top public prosecutors has been barred from practising law, in an ongoing row over the politicisation of the country's judiciary. 

    The High Court disbarred deputy prosecutions chief Nomgcobo Jiba, widely seen as an ally of President Jacob Zuma, describing her as "no longer fit and proper" to serve as an advocate.

    Whether Ms Jiba is removed from her role will now lie with Mr Zuma, the same man who appointed her, reports the BBC's Milton Nkosi from Johannesburg. 

    Ms Jiba has said she will appeal the ruling.    

    Lawrence Mrwebi, head of the commercial crimes unit at the National Prosecuting Authority's (NPA), was also disbarred in the High Court ruling.

    The NPA, which decides who gets charged with crimes and who does not, has become a battleground between different factions of the governing African National Congress (ANC).    

    That includes deciding whether to pursue corruption charges against the president himself, which the High Court recommended in a ruling in April. 

    Originally, the 783 charges, linked to a 1999 arms deal worth billions of dollars, were dropped weeks before the 2009 election which led to Mr Zuma becoming president.

    In a statement reacting to today's ruling, the opposition Democratic Alliance said: 

    Quote Message: The fact that she is still in office, without an inquiry, is proof of presidential protection. If the president is at all serious about restoring integrity to the NPA he must fire her and failing that he should, without delay, make her the subject of a probe that ultimately sees her discharged from the NPA.
  4. Piglet protest over Ugandan MPs' funeral costs

    Activists in Uganda released piglets outside parliament in the capital, Kampala, this morning in protest at plans to allow $15,000 (£11,300) to be spent on the funeral of any MP who should die in office.

    They were also protesting about other benefits such as the $44,000 that is being given to each of the 427 MPs for a car.

    Youths from the Jobless Brotherhood had taped names of MPs to the backs of the piglets, as these tweets show:

    View more on twitter

    “There are no efforts made to see that teachers get good pay and hospitals are equipped with drugs but only money issues to MPs are debated,” a Jobless Brotherhood leaflet dropped near parliament reportedly said

    Last week, parliament invited bids to identify service providers who are interested in offering funeral services for MPs if needed.

    This prompted the media to investigate the amount budgeted for the funerals.

    This was the front page of the private Daily Monitor today:

    Daily Monitor front page

    The BBC’s Catherine Byaruhanga in Kampala has been asking residents for their view on the issue:

    Quote Message: It’s sad when you go to different hospitals, most of them don’t have ambulances and stuff like that. At the end of the day the taxpayers' money is going into the pocket of the few." from Female resident of Kampala
    Female resident of Kampala
    Quote Message: It’s a sign of gluttony – wanting to eat the egg, the hen, the chicks – you want to finish everything” from Male resident of Kampala
    Male resident of Kampala

    But MPs in parliament have defended the move:

    Quote Message: When you die serving the country, then they have to take care of your funeral… the government takes care of funerals of fallen soldiers, so what is so different from a member of parliament?" from MP Muhammad Nsereko
    MP Muhammad Nsereko
  5. International Criminal Court 'planning to try land grab cases'

    BBC World Service

    Adam and Nebiyu are herders from Gambella
    Image caption: Large-scale acquisitions of farmland in Africa have proved highly contentious

    The International Criminal Court (ICC) is planning to expand its scope from crimes committed during war, to cover the destruction of the environment and land-grabbing in peacetime. 

    It would be the first time such crimes are brought under the jurisdiction of an international court, and campaigners have called the move a historic one. 

    There's been a growing trend of private investors secretly buying land in poor countries, with local people often forced out of their homes. 

    The BBC's Anna Holligan in The Hague says the ICC will require the co-operation of the countries involved, but that the move could act as a deterrent.  

  6. Get Involved: Fuel 'too dirty' for Europe sold to Africa

    Buses burp out dirty fumes on road in Nairobi
    Image caption: Sulphur particles in diesel emissions have been linked to a range of health problems

    Many of you have been reacting on the BBC Africa Facebook page to a new report, which criticises European commodity trading firms for selling African countries diesel containing toxin levels that would be illegal in Europe (see earlier entry).

    Here's a selection of your comments:

    Quote Message: We are still being exploited. To make matters worse, it's our own unpatriotic citizens making illicit money over such things." from Mulenga Kasonde, Nigeria
    Mulenga Kasonde, Nigeria
    Quote Message: Africa sends out pure resources and get back contaminated goods!" from Peter Osunbade, Nigeria
    Peter Osunbade, Nigeria
    Quote Message: Why is Europe and the so-called advanced world wicked, callous and biased against Africa? They uphold their standards and yet come to Africa and abuse our own with impunity." from Theophilus Gblorkpor, Ghana
    Theophilus Gblorkpor, Ghana
    Quote Message: How dare we continue to treat our Mother continent as a trashcan?" from Nicole Benros, Denmark
    Nicole Benros, Denmark

    The report by Swiss campaign group Public Eye alleges that some diesel samples collected in eight African countries contained sulphur levels that were more than 300 times the amount permitted in Europe.

    Although this is within legal limits set by the national governments in Africa, diesel fumes from such fuel could increase respiratory illnesses like asthma and bronchitis.

    Two of the Swiss companies named by the report say that it is misconceived and that they operate at arm's length from the retailers who work within strict legal limits in these countries. 

    Read more: Why are African sulphur regulations so lax?

  7. English-speaking schools packed out in Cameroon

    Randy Joe Sa'ah

    BBC Africa, Yaounde

    Schools in Cameroon were reminded a few weeks ago, at the start of the academic year, that there should be no more than 60 pupils in a class.

    But this is proving difficult to adhere to as there are not enough schools or teachers to cope with the number of students.

    A teacher at a primary school in the Etut-Ebge suburb of the capital, Yaounde, told me she had 85 children in her class this year:

    A class at Government Bilingual Primary School Etut-Ebge in Yaounde, Cameroon

    The problem has been exacerbated by the recent demand for places at English-speaking schools – even in Francophone parts of the country.

    Eight out of Cameroon’s 10 provinces are French-speaking.

  8. The rise and rise of Lupita

    Kenyan Oscar-winner Lupita Ny’ongo has made Vogue magazine's front cover for its October issue. In one of the shots for the fashion bible, she appears alongside her grandmother:

    View more on instagram

    Ny’ongo's new film, Disney's The Queen of Katwe, tells the story of a Ugandan girl who grew up in a Kampala slum, before going on to becoming a chess grandmaster. 

    The BBC has spent some time with Phiona Mutesi, on whose life the film is based: 

    Video content

    Video caption: Uganda's Disney chess queen
  9. Tentative breakthrough in DR Congo election crisis

    Joseph Kabila
    Image caption: President Kabila is suspected of seeking to stay in power beyond his second term

    The negotiators in the Democratic Republic of Congo's "national dialogue" say the parties involved have agreed on the order in which elections should be held, one of the obstacles that had led the only opposition group taking part in the talks to pull out earlier this week.

    Suspicions that President Joseph Kabila will try to extend his stay in power beyond a second term, in violation of the constitution, have contributed to a growing political crisis in the country. 

    Justice Minister Alexis Thambwe Mwamba said that under the agreement, which has yet to be signed, "presidential, national and provincial elections will all take place on the same day".

    Mr Mwamba added that an interim government including opposition members would be formed to help break the deadlock over elections. 

    Most opposition groups have boycotted the talks, not wishing to lend legitimacy to the process. 

    Earlier, Amnesty International published a report in which it accused the DR Congo authorities of organising systematic repression of Mr Kabila's opponents: 

    View more on twitter

    Anaylsis: DR Congo president unlikely to give up power

  10. 'Bid continues' to challenge Pistorius sentence

    South African state prosecutors are again trying to challenge the six-year sentence for murder handed down to Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius for murdering his girlfriend, according to a senior EyeWitness News reporter:

    Last month, Judge Thokozile Masipa ruled that their petition had no reasonable prospect of success.  

    But under South African law the state had 21 days to take its case to the Supreme Court of Appeal.

    Pistorius shot dead Reeva Steenkamp through a locked toilet door in February 2013 and said in his defence that he mistook her for an intruder.  

  11. Deadly dump blast in Benin: Officials suspended

    Site of the explosion in Benin
    Image caption: The explosion was in Avame district of Tori, around 40km (25 miles) from Cotonou

    Three officials have been suspended in Benin after a blast at a rubbish dump outside the city of Cotonou, which killed 16 and injured 92 people, the AFP news agency reports.

    A company had reportedly dumped flour and spoilt wheat at the landfill, setting it on fire last week.

    But local people flocked to sections that were not burning to try and take the foodstuffs when there was an explosion last Thursday evening.

    A regional commissioner, local paramilitary police chief and a customs official have been temporarily relieved of their duties, said the secretary of state in the presidency.

    Pascal Irenee Koupaki added:  

    Quote Message: The operator did not have the necessary permission for this activity... adequate safety measures were not taken." from Pascal Irenee Koupaki, secretary of state in the presidency
    Pascal Irenee Koupaki, secretary of state in the presidency
  12. Zimbabwe bond notes 'will be printed'

    People smoking old bearer cheques at a protest in Harare, Zimbabwe - August 2016
    Image caption: People smoked old notes at one protest to show their opposition to the bond notes

    Zimbabwe’s central bank governor has ignored the protests and widespread opposition to so-called “bond notes” and said today that they will be introduced as a cash substitute next month, the AFP news agency reports.

    Quote Message: The bond notes will start to circulate by the end of October and will be at par with the US dollar.
    Quote Message: We anticipate by the end of the year $75m [£56.6m] will be in the market." from John Mangudya, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor
    John Mangudya, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor

    The two, five, 10 and 20 dollar notes are being introduced as the country is suffering from a severe cash shortage. 

    It has forced the government to delay paying salaries each month to civil servants and those in the security forces.

    These salaries have to be paid in foreign currency as Zimbabwe abandoned its own currency in 2009 in order to stem runaway inflation.

    But the memories of hyperinflation, when the highest denomination was a $100 trillion Zimbabwean dollar note - and prices would go up by millions from one hour to the next - are still fresh.

    Protesters fear there will a repeat of the excessive printing that led to the hyperinflation.

    The plan was put forward in May and is backed by a $200m (£151m) bond facility from the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank).

    The notes will have no value outside Zimbabwe.

    For more: Zimbabwe's unofficial kick-start currency

    Zimbabwean protest against bond notes
    Image caption: Many Zimbabweans fear a repeat of the excessive printing that led to hyperinflation
  13. Wing flap found in Tanzania 'is MH370 plane'

    Officials inspecting a large piece of debris found in Tanzania
    Image caption: The wing flap was found in Pemba in June

     A wing flap that washed ashore on Pemba, part of the archipelago of Zanzibar, in Tanzania, has been identified as belonging to missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, Australian officials say.

    MH370, flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, had 239 people on board when it vanished in March 2014.  

    The flight is presumed to have crashed into the southern Indian Ocean after veering off course.  

    A number of other pieces of debris, some confirmed to have come from MH370, have been found in countries near Madagascar.  

  14. Kenyan cleric's widow probed for aiding attacker

    Ferdinand Omondi

    BBC Africa, Mombasa

    Hania Saga Rogo (R) talking to her lawyer (L) in court in Mombasa, Kenya
    Image caption: Hania Saga Rogo's lawyers say she is not a flight risk

    Kenyan prosecutors have applied for Hania Saga Rogo, the widow of a murdered Muslim cleric, to remain in custody for 14 days as they investigate her alleged links with a recent attack in Mombasa (see earlier post).

    They told the court in Mombasa that Mrs Rogo was arrested for having direct connections with one of the three women killed when they attacked a police station on Sunday.

    The court heard that her phone had been taken for forensic examination and she was being investigated for the offence of collecting funds for the benefit of people involved in organising acts of terror.

    Her lawyers objected to the application, saying there was no evidence she intended to leave the jurisdiction of the court.

    Magistrate Emmanuel Mutunga said serious issues have been raised by both sides – and he would make his ruling on Friday morning.

    Mrs Rogo, whose husband Aboud Rogo Mohammed was accused of recruiting for al-Shabab before his death in 2012, will remain in custody until then.

  15. Fuel 'too dirty for Europe' sold to Africa instead

    A man pours diesel into a tractor in Nigeria
    Image caption: Most industrial vehicles take diesel

    A new report by Swiss-based non-governmental organisation, Public Eye has criticised commodity-trading firms in Switzerland for their links to the trade of fuel to African countries, which has toxin levels that would be illegal in Europe.

    The report titled Dirty Diesel says that diesel retailers are exploiting weak regulatory standards to profit from “dirty” fuel sold to African consumers. 

    The report alleges that some diesel samples collected in eight African countries contained sulphur levels that were more than 300 times that which is permitted in Europe. 

    Although this is within legal limits set by national governments, diesel fumes from such fuel could increase respiratory illnesses like asthma and bronchitis in affected countries. 

    The report says that four Swiss commodity companies Vitol, Trafigura, Addax & Oryx and Lynx Energy benefit from this trade as shareholders in the distribution companies.

    But Trafigura and Vitol say that the report is misconceived and that they operate at arms length from the retailers who work within strict legal limits in these countries. 

    Of the distribution companies involved, three have responded to the report saying that they meet the regulatory requirements of the market and have no vested interest in keeping sulphur levels higher than they need to be.

    Legal sulphur levels differ greatly between African countries as shown by the map below:

    Map of Africa showing diesel fuel sulphur levels
    Image caption: Somalia, Congo-Brazzaville, Tunisia and Egypt (all in red) have the highest legal sulphur levels
  16. Elephants terrorise Liberian town

    Jonathan Paye-Layleh

    BBC Africa, Monrovia

    Liberian forest
    Image caption: Elephants rarely leave the forested areas where they live

    Elephants are terrorising the town of Galo and its surrounding farms in the far north of Liberia.

    The agency responsible for managing Liberia’s forests, the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), has now dispatched a team to the northern county of Gbarpolu to quell the invasion, reports state-run Liberia Broadcasting System.

    Elephants rarely venture out of the jungles where they live – with most staying in the county’s Belle National Forest, which is inaccessible by road.

    The invading elephants around Galo first reportedly attacked and destroyed rice paddies and other farms.

    They then moved into the town itself to eat up food from trees such as bananas and plantains.

    FDA officials are warning residents not to use firearms to confront the animals as they fear this could worsen the situation.

  17. Champions League theme tune 'woke up Riyad Mahrez'

    Mahrez celebrates goal

    Claudio Ranieri said the Champions League music "woke up" Riyad Mahrez, who scored twice as Leicester beat Club Brugge 3-0 on their competition debut.

    "It was good because he scored twice, including a fantastic free-kick, and he worked so hard," the Foxes boss said of the Algerian international's performance.

    "Now we have to stay calm and put our mind to the next match on Saturday."

    Mahrez had scored once in four Premier League appearances before Wednesday's European tie.

    Champions Leicester have only one win in their first four games of the season and are currently 16th in the English Premier League table. 

    Read the full BBC Sport story 

  18. Murdered Kenyan cleric's widow in court

    Ferdinand Omondi

    BBC Africa, Mombasa

    Hania Saga Rogo

    The widow of a Muslim cleric in Kenya who was killed in a drive-by shooting in Mombasa in 2012 has been arrested.

    Hania Saga Rogo is in court this morning. Police say she had links with one of the three women killed when they attacked Mombasa Central Police station on Sunday.

    Her arrest has triggered a lot of interest – and the courtroom here in Mombasa isn't big enough for all the people who have turned up:

    Full courtroom in Mombasa

    Her husband, Aboud Rogo Mohammed, was an outspoken cleric who openly called for the killing of non-Muslims. DVDs of him preaching were sold in coastal areas – and he made no secret of his hatred of the West and of the Kenyan government.

    He was on US and UN sanctions lists for allegedly supporting Somalia's al-Shabab militants. According to a UN report, he had helped al-Shabab obtain funding and new recruits at Mombasa’s Masjid Musa mosque.

    He was also facing charges of plotting attacks in Mombasa at the time he was killed by unknown gunmen. His death triggered days of violent protests in the city.

    There have been high emotions in court - and Mrs Rogo's son lashed out at journalists and smacked a camera to the floor.

    He was comforted afterwards by his mother before proceedings got under way:

    Mrs Rogo comforts her son in court in Mombasa, Kenya
  19. Rivals unite to celebrate Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's 80th

    There was a rare outbreak of peace among South Africa's political elite last night as they come together to celebrate the 80th birthday of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. 

    The ex-wife of South Africa's first black president Nelson Mandela, dubbed "the mother of the nation", welcomed guests from all sides of the political spectrum for a lavish party at the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town.

    Opposition leader Julius Malema, whose Economic Freedom Fighters party has fought bitterly against the governing African National Congress, was even pictured (see below) holding hands with Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa in a rare show of unity. 

    View more on twitter

    Employing some diplomatic understatement given the brawls that have broken out in parliament in recent months, the deputy president thanked Mrs Madikizela-Mandela - in comments carried by local ENCA news:

    Quote Message: Mama, thank you for bringing... people together. Even people who may disagree a little bit here or there from time to time. Bringing Patricia de Lille, myself and others in the ANC and Julius and Dali, wow. You are indeed the mother of the nation."

    #WinnieMandela has been trending across South Africa, with many people astonished at how young she looks for her age:

    View more on twitter

    Profile: Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

  20. Cartoonist on South Africa's visa conundrum

    Omar al-Bashir
    Image caption: Steven Anderson's church says that homosexuality is an abomination punishable by the death penalty

    South Africa's decision earlier this week to bar controversial US pastor Steven Anderson from visiting the country because of his critical remarks about homosexuality is the subject of Zapiro's pen today.   

    The South African cartoonist compares it to the trip last year by Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir, who visited South Africa for an African Union meeting without being arrested.

    Mr Bashir denies the charges he faces at the International Criminal Court (ICC) of genocide and war crimes.

    View more on twitter