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  1. Outrage as Mugabe's son-in-law gets top job
  2. Nigerian 'babies among 11 kidnapped for ransom'
  3. Zambia's main opposition leader arrested
  4. American woman killed in unrest-hit Ethiopia
  5. Ethiopia-Djibouti railway line officially opens
  6. Nigeria's leader orders sale of presidential jets
  7. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive WhatsApp: +44 7341070844
  8. Email stories and comments to - Wednesday 5 October 2016

Live Reporting

By Dickens Olewe, Farouk Chothia and Lamine Konkobo

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Scroll down for Wednesday'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: The pear baked in ash makes the king eat ash." from An Igbo proverb sent by Chima Chiazor Coscen, Obior, Delta State, Nigeria
    An Igbo proverb sent by Chima Chiazor Coscen, Obior, Delta State, Nigeria

    Click here to send your African proverbs.

    And we leave you with this image from nickywoophoto Instagram account of people gathering to watch a music video at a street stall in Bukavu city in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

    View more on instagram
  2. Live from Youth Science Expo

    BBC Focus on Africa's team today reported live on Facebook from the Youth Science Expo in Johannesburg, South Africa. 

    Students from across the continent are showing off their latest projects and inventions at the event. 

    The BBC's Pumza Fihlani guided viewers through the exhibition hall interviewing the students and observing some of the inventions the next generation of African scientists are working on. 

    If you missed the broadcast, you can watch it here:

    The BBC's Pumza Fihlani interviewing one of the exhibitors
    Image caption: The BBC's Pumza Fihlani interviewing one of the exhibitors
  3. Zambia opposition leader 'arrested'

    Hakainde Hichilema
    Image caption: Mr Hichilema lost the presidential election in August

    Zambia's opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema and his deputy Geoffrey Mwamba have been arrested by police, Reuters news agency is reporting. 

    Police say that the two leaders were arrested on suspicion of sedition and will appear in court tomorrow. 

    Mr Hichilema lost to President Edgar Lungu in a close election in August. He said the poll was rigged, but the constitutional court threw out his bid to have the result annulled. 

  4. Move to change Ivory Coast's constitution

    Alassane Ouattara of Ivory Coast
    Image caption: Mr Ouattara had promised constitutional amendments during last year's election campaign

    Ivory Coast's 74-year-old President Alassane Ouattara has presented to the National Assembly a draft constitution which proposes removing the age limit of 75 for presidential candidates. 

    The draft also says that one parent of a candidate has to be born in Ivory Coast. The current constitution says that both  have to be Ivorian-born. 

    Nationality disputes have been at the heart of previous conflicts in Ivory Coast and led to a coup in 1999. 

    Urging lawmakers to support the amendments, Mr Ouattara said: 

    Quote Message: This is the occasion to definitively turn the page on the successive crises our country has known, to write new pages in our history by proposing a new social pact."

    Mr Ouattara first took office in 2010 following the arrest of his predecessor, Laurent Ggagbo, who refused to accept defeat in elections, plunging the West African state into conflict. 

    Mr Gbagbo has been charged by the International Criminal Court (ICC) with war crimes. He has denied the charges. 

    Mr Ouattara won a second term last year, and is required to step down at the next election  in 2020. 

    The two main opposition parties have rejected the proposed amendments, saying there was no need for a new constitution.

    Ivory Coast's National Assembly will vote on the proposed changes, before voters decide in a referendum on whether to approve or reject them. 

  5. Dancing with the dead

    In Madagascar corpses are exhumed by their relatives as an act of love and respect for the ancestors.

    It is a celebratory event, acting as a family reunion between the living and the dead.

    Watch the BBC video here:

    Video content

    Video caption: Dancing with the dead in Madagascar
  6. Kabila warned of 'red card'

    DR Congo opposition leader, Etienne Tshisekedi
    Image caption: Mr Tshisekedi has threatened to organise more protests

    The Democratic Republic of Congo's President Joseph Kabila will be shown the "red card" if he is still in office in December, veteran opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi has said. 

    The opposition has been involved in mass protests to demand that Mr Kabila step down, arguing that the constitution bars him from remaining in office beyond December. 

    However, election officials say that elections, scheduled for November, would have to be delayed because of difficulties in registering voters in a country of more than 30 million. 

    Speaking after a three-day meeting of a coalition of opposition parties in the capital, Kinshasa,, Mr Tshisekedi said the electoral commission should be dissolved for failing to meet the constitutional requirement of calling elections in November. 

    At least 17 people were killed in clashes with the security forces on 19 September after opposition supporters took to the streets to demand an end to Mr Kabila's 15-year rule in December.  

    Referring to the protest, Mr Tshisekedi said: 

    Quote Message: 19 September was a warning to President Kabila. On 19 October, we will issue him a yellow card. And if by December he is still in power, we will show him a red card."

    Read: DR Congo's fearful future

  7. Gunmen 'abduct babies' in northern Nigeria

    Ishaq Khalid

    BBC Africa

    Details are emerging of the abduction of 11 people, including three babies, from a remote village in northern Nigeria's Bauchi state, a lawmaker and a relative of some of them have said.  

    Gunmen seized the 11 from Tipchi village, about 120km (74 miles) north of the state capital, in the early hours of Monday. 

    Ilya Muhammad,  a relative of some of the victims, told me that the abductors have demanded a ransom in a phone call. 

    Three women, four girls and a boy were abducted, along with the three babies, he added. 

    Three people were also wounded during the raid on the village, Mr Muhammad said. 

    A Bauchi state lawmaker representing the area, Abdullahi Sa'ad Abdulkadir, told me that police and troops have been deployed in an effort to rescue the 11. 

    The village is an area where there is thick forest, and many people have been kidnapped around there recently.   

  8. US citizen killed in Ethiopia

    An American woman has become the first foreigner to be killed in the ongoing violent protests in Ethiopia, Associated Press news agency is reporting.  

    The US embassy in Ethiopia said she succumbed to injuries inflicted by rocks thrown by "unknown individuals'' at the vehicle in which she was travelling on the outskirts of the capital, Addis Ababa, yesterday afternoon. 

    An Ethiopian official told AP that the American was an agricultural expert who had gone to the Burayu area in the Oromia region, which has been badly hit by anti-government protests. 


    Fikadu Tessema, a spokesman for the Oromia region's government, said the agricultural team that went to the town "didn't ask police protection at the time,'' AP report. 

    Ethiopia has experienced massive anti-government protests that have claimed the lives of hundreds of protesters since November 2015.

    Read: What is behind Ethiopia's wave of protests?

  9. SA students launch 'back-to-class' campaign

    Milton Nkosi

    BBC Africa, Johannesburg

    Supporters of #takewitsback
    Image caption: These students said that want normalcy restored

    After weeks of protests against plans to raise tuition fees in South Africa's universities, a group of students at the University of Witwatersrand have now launched a "go-back-to-class campaign" to urge their colleagues to stop the demonstrations. 

    They are using the hashtag #TakeWitsBack to call for normally to resume at the university. 

    I met some of the students behind the campaign who told me that they are not against the #FeesMustFall campaign but they are concerned about the disruption it has caused.

    One student, Stuart Young, told me that all he wanted was to finish the academic year.

    Stuart Young, a student at Wits University in South Africa
    Image caption: Stuart said he represented "a silent majority" of the student body

    About 100 other students gathered today holding up banners supporting the #FeesMustFall campaign:

    #FeeMustFall protesters

    But the campus is much calmer today compared to the ugly scenes witnessed yesterday when police and students clashed.   

  10. Tension in CAR after army chief killed

    Members of CAR's armed forces
    Image caption: CAR is trying to recover from a brutal civil war

    Marcel Mombeka, the head of the armed forces in the Central African Republic (CAR), has been shot dead in an attack near a district police station in the capital, Bangui. 

    Mr Mombeka was travelling with his 14-year-old son when the attack happened on Tuesday. 

    The murder took place in the volatile PK5 district and led to several hours of tension in the city, after members of a vigilante group clashed with the unknown assailants, causing panic among residents.

    Public Security Minister Jean Serge Bokassa denounced what he called "acts to destabilise the nation", the Associated Press news agency reports. 

    The UN mission in CAR, which has 12,000 peacekeepers in the country, also condemned the violence. 

    CAR is trying to recover from a brutal civil war that erupted in 2013.  

    The conflict has been fought along religious and ethnic lines, killing thousands of people and forcing hundreds of thousands of others from their homes.

  11. Ethiopia's internet service partially resumes

    Emmanuel Igunza

    BBC Africa, Addis Ababa

    Fixed-line internet services are back up in Ethiopia, but not mobile internet services. So if you are using a 3G network you still can't access the internet in Ethiopia, which has been hit by anti-government protests.

    See earlier post for more details 

  12. Uganda drops out of AU chair post

    r. Specioza Wandira Kazibwe, a former Ugandan Vice President
    Image caption: Specioza Wandira Kazibwe's chances of winning appeared slim

    Uganda has withdrawn its candidate for the post of African Union commission chairperson, days after Kenya announced that its foreign minister, Amina Mohamed, will be running for it, the partly state-owned  New Vision newspaper reports

    Specioza Wandira Kazibwe, a former Ugandan vice-president, had been pulled out of the race following consultations with President Yoweri Museveni and diplomats, the paper quoted James Mugume, the permanent secretary in the ministry of foreign affairs, as saying. 

    Ugana would back other "eastern region candidates" in the election slated for January.   

    Other contenders for the post are the foreign ministers of Botswana and Equatorial-Guinea, Pelomoni Venson-Moitoi and Agapito Mba Mokuy respectively. 

    The current AU commission chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, will be stepping down, amid intense speculation that she harbours ambition to become president of South Africa. 

  13. Facebook Live with young African innovators

    Can you guess what this is? It's something the next generation of African scientists are working on...

    A model landscape at a science fair in Johannesburg, South Africa

    Join the BBC's Pumza Fihlani for a Facebook Live in a moment on the BBC Africa Facebook page from the Expo for #YoungScientists in Johannesburg, South Africa, to find out more.

    Students and judges at the Youth Science expo in South Africa
    Image caption: Students and judges at the Youth Science expo
  14. Fury as Mugabe's son-in-law lands top job

    Brian Hungwe

    BBC Africa, Harare

    There's outrage in Zimbabwe following the appointment of President Robert Mugabe's son-in-law as state-owned Air Zimbabwe's second-in-command. 

    The opposition Movement for Democratic Movement (MDC) has demanded to know when and where interviews were held before Simba Chikore was appointed chief operating officer of the debt-saddled national airline. 

    It also demanded that the airline furnish the nation with Mr Chikore’s professional qualifications and work experience. 

    Air Zimbabwe and Mr Chikore have not yet commented on the furore. 

    He married Bona Mugabe, the 92-year-old leader's daughter, two years ago. 

    Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe (C), lady Grace Mugabe (R) and his daughter Bona (L) attend on February 28, 2015 the celebration of Mugabe's 91st birthday in Victoria Falls.
    Image caption: Bona is the first-born child of Mr Mugabe and his wife Grace

    As chief operating officer, Mr Chikore will report to Chief Executive Ripton Muzenda, son of Zimbabwe's late Vice-President Simon Muzenda.  

    The government earlier this year promised to help the airline overcome its financial crisis.

    It has debts worth £300m (£235m). 

    Parliament's transport committee revealed in June 2015 that it was making a monthly loss of $3m (£2.4m) and was technically insolvent. 

    The airline has been looking for a strategic partner to boost its revenue and reposition itself for growth.

  15. New Ethiopia-Djibouti railway line

    Chinese engineers stand in a line near a train at Furi train station during a media guided tour of the Ethio-Djibouti Railways route near Ethiopia"s capital Addis Ababa, September 24, 2016.
    Image caption: China helped build the railway line

    Ethiopia has officially opened a railway line, linking its capital Addis Ababa with neighbouring Djibouti's capital. 

    The railway line, built at a cost of $4bn (£3bn) and stretching for about 750km (460 miles), will give landlocked Ethiopia easier access to the port in Djibouti city. 

    In an interview with Associated Press news agency, Ethiopian Railway Corporation spokesman Dereje Tefera said:   

    Quote Message: This railway line will greatly reduce the travel time between the two countries and will contribute to the development of Ethiopia's hinterland.
    Quote Message: It is an electrified system and environmentally friendly. This is what makes it different from other railway projects in Africa."
  16. Private Ugandan media snub parliamentary summons

    Patience Atuhaire

    BBC Africa, Kampala

    Four leading media houses in Uganda have defied a summons by a parliamentary committee to appear before it to discuss what lawmakers call "unbalanced coverage of the legislature". 

    Privately owned Daily Monitor, Uganda Radio Network, The Observer and The Red Pepper were invited to appear before the committee on rules, privileges and discipline. 

    The New Vision newspaper, which is party owned by the state, is the only media house that has sent representatives to the hearing. 

    Barbara Kaija, the editor-in-chief of New Vision and John Kakande, a news editor, are currently meeting the MPs. 

    New Visions Barbara Kaija and John Kakande
    Image caption: New Vision's Barbara Kaija and John Kakande are the attending the hearing

    The MPs are unhappy with the media's coverage of their allowances, including a recent car grant of $44,000 (£34,000) each, and funding to cover their funerals if they die in office.

  17. Internet blocked in Ethiopia

    Emmanuel Igunza

    BBC Africa, Addis Ababa

    The internet has been shut down in Ethiopia, amid growing protests against the government (see earlier post). 

    No official reason has been given for the closure. 

    The government has previously accused opposition activists in the diaspora of using Facebook and Twitter to organise protests in the country. 

    The internet was also blocked during anti-government demonstrations in August.    

    At least 55 people died in a stampede at a religious festival in the volatile Oromia region on Sunday after people starting demanding political freedoms. 

    Opposition groups accused security forces of opening fire, causing the stampede. 

    Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn denied the allegation, saying rioters had caused "pre-planned mayhem" that led people to fall to their deaths in ravines.

    A woman mourns during the funeral of Tesfu Tadese Biru, 32, a construction engineer who died during a stampede after police fired warning shots at an anti-government protest in Bishoftu during Irreecha, the thanksgiving festival of the Oromo people, in Denkaka Kebele, Ethiopia, October 3, 2016
    Image caption: Ethiopia declared three days of mourning after Sunday's stampede
  18. Tunisia feminist criticises 'censorship'

    Amina Sboui
    Image caption: This is a cropped version of the picture that caused controversy in 2013

    A controversial Tunisian feminist campaigner has taken to social media to criticise a television talk show for censoring her comments during an appearance, independent online publication Tunisia Live reports. 

    Amina Sboui, who came to fame in 2013 for posting a nude picture of herself on Facebook, was a guest on Liman Yajroe Faqat (To The Only One Who Dares). 

    Its host, Samir Alwafi, said that Amina comments on the show went too far:

    Quote Message: She deliberately forgot that freedom of speech is not unlimited, but has a set of rules and a law that regulates it.”

    He also claimed that she used her television appearance to talk about homosexuality, which had not been agreed beforehand, the report adds. 

    Ms Sboui hit back in a video posted on Facebook, saying she had spoken about being sexually assaulted as a child and  had been attempting to advise parents to:   

    In her critical video, posted on Facebook, Sboui says that what she discussed being sexually assaulted when she was a child and that she had been attempting to advise parents to "teach children what their private parts are, and that nobody is allowed to touch these parts”. 

     Read: Return of a topless rebel

  19. UN mission in DR Congo working on a solution over South Sudanese fighters

    Soldiers loyal to Riek Machar fled into DR Congo after clashes in July
    Image caption: Soldiers loyal to Riek Machar fled into DR Congo after clashes in July

    The UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Monusco) says it has taken note of the seven-day deadline set by the government for the removal from the country of 750 fighters loyal to Riek Machar, the sacked Vice-President of South Sudan. 

    In an interview with the BBC's Newsday programme, Felix Prosper Basse, a Monusco spokesperson, said the UN is trying to find a solution, adding he does not know how long it is going to take. 

    The DR Congo government cited security concerns when they demanded that Riek Machar's men be flown out of the country.

  20. Anti-government protests in Ethiopia

    Emmanuel Igunza

    BBC Africa, Addis Ababa

    Oromo regional police officers wait in a pick up car during the Oromo new year holiday Irreechaa in Bishoftu on October 2, 2016.
    Image caption: Ethiopia's security forces have been battling to quell unrest

    Anti-government demonstrations took place on the outskirts of Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, last night. 

    The signs of the protests in the areas of Alem Gena and Sebeta were visible this morning - access roads were blocked by stones and a truck was smouldering after being torched last night.  

    Many people were walking to work or trying to get rides on the few vehicles that were still on the road.  

    There is a heavy presence of police in riot gear patrolling the areas, which are part of the Oromia region hit by anti-government protests since November 2015. 

    I saw a group of young men who were trying to block a road using stones. But plainclothes police officers quickly moved in and arrested some of them. 

    All shops on the outskirts of Addis Ababa have been closed and I saw many young people just sitting on the roadside. 

    The ruling EPRDF has been in power since 1991. It won every seat in parliamentary elections in June 2015. 

    Opposition groups denounced the poll as a sham, and the country has been hit by a wave of protests in recent months with people, especially in the Oromia and Amhara regions, demanding more political and economic rights. 

    The government has blamed unrest on "terrorists"  and "evil forces", and has dismissed claims that it does not respect the rights of citizens.   

    Read: What do protests mean for Ethiopian unity?