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Summary

  1. Zambian politician Hakainde Hichilema accused of endangering president's life
  2. Anti-Zuma protest marches in South Africa
  3. Nigeria 'disrupts Boko Haram plan to attack foreign embassies'
  4. Celebrated South African woman with rare genetic disease dies
  5. Sailors taken hostage by Somali pirates freed
  6. Egypt's Coptic Christians cut back on Easter celebrations
  7. Nigeria's ex-President Jonathan dismisses oil corruption story
  8. Email stories and comments to africalive@bbc.co.uk - Wednesday 12 April 2017

Live Reporting

By Dickens Olewe and Damian Zane

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 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 proverb:

    Quote Message: When a fowl perches on a rope both the rope and the fowl feel uneasy. " from A Yoruba proverb sent by Oludimite Austin Moor, Okeluse, Nigeria
    A Yoruba proverb sent by Oludimite Austin Moor, Okeluse, Nigeria

    Click here to send us your African proverbs

    We leave you with a photo of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe who has been sporting a new look today at a funeral for a national hero General James Murozvi:

    Robert Mugabe
  2. Zuma: I'm not attached to being president

    South Africa's President Jacob Zuma has told his supporters during his birthday celebrations that he is not attached to being president and he could step down tomorrow if that is what the ANC wants.

    Calls for Mr Zuma to step down have escalated in recent weeks with some close allies of the ANC telling him to go.

    Opposition supporters came together earlier today in the capital, Pretoria, demanding the president's resignation.

    Mr Zuma has faced a series of challenges to his authority since becoming president in 2009, but he has fought them all off earning him the nickname the Teflon Don.

    View more on twitter
  3. Zuma planned to gift Ontlametse with a car

    South Africa's President Jacob Zuma has told supporters gathered to celebrate his birthday party that he had planned to gift Ontlametse Phalatse with a car today. 

    The 18-year-old young woman has just died and had progeria, a rare genetic disorder that causes rapid ageing (see earlier entry).

    She became something of a national heroine.

    Our reporter has been tweeting Mr Zuma's speech: 

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
  4. Semi-naked protest for Zambian opposition leader

    The party of Zambia's opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema, who has been charged with treason, has posted a picture of a lone semi-naked protester on its Twitter account.

    View more on twitter

    Naked protests are sometimes used to shame people in authority.

    Mr Hichilema was arrested after the convoy he was travelling in allegedly did not make way for the president's motorcade.

    The police say that this endangered the life of President Edgar Lungu.

  5. Zuma thanks supporters

    South Africa's President Jacob Zuma is now addressing supporters at a celebration event to mark his birthday being held in a township in the city of Johannesburg. 

    Before his speech a folk singer had sang his praises in a song, part of which asks, what has Zuma done wrong? 

    View more on twitter

    The BBC's Pumza Fihlani is now tweeting Mr Zuma's remarks:   

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
  6. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf - saint or human?

    A New York Times opinion piece by author Dayo Olopade aims to rebalance the saintly image of Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa's first elected female leader.

    She was widely hailed as a reformer when she was elected in 2005 and still has a good reputation overseas. But at home things are not so rosy.

    Mr Olopade points out that the failure of Liberia's health system in the face of the Ebola outbreak was an indictment of the president's leadership.

    He writes:

    Quote Message: Ms Johnson Sirleaf’s early history as a crusader for reform has been tarnished by a decade of rule in which her judgement and integrity have been repeatedly called into question.
    Quote Message: But the West’s adulation of Ms Johnson Sirleaf seems to persist without any consideration as to whether she upholds liberal democratic values. Likewise, the gap between Liberians’ perception of Ms. Johnson Sirleaf and her international reputation is rarely given a fair hearing."

    Liberia is due to elect a new president in October. Ms Johnson Sirleaf will not be running as she has already served two terms.

    Ellen Johnson Sirleaf President of Liberia, one of three joint winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, during the Nobel Peace Prize Award ceremony at Oslo City Hall on December 10, 2011
    Image caption: Ellen Johsnon Sirleaf received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011
  7. Tanzanian 'spies' in Malawi given suspended sentence

    Chipiliro Kansilanga

    Malawi

    Eight Tanzanians have been given four-month suspended sentences for trespassing by a magistrates court in Malawi's northern city of Mzuzu.

    The eight men were arrested in December and last week convicted of criminal trespass and carrying out a reconnaissance operation without a permit at Kayerekera uranium mine in Karonga on the shores of Lake Malawi.

    The court ordered the ministry of home affairs to immediately facilitate their repatriation.

    View more on twitter
  8. Somalia drought-hit region celebrates rain downpour

    Abdullahi Abdi

    BBC Africa, Nairobi

    Residents of Somalia's south-western town of Afgoye town have started celebrations and are gathering on the banks of River Shabelle after its water started streaming again. 

    The river has been dry for close to four months now. 

    Afgoye is the breadbasket of southern Somalia and has been hit hard by the ongoing drought. 

    The river started streaming following rains in Ethiopian highlands, its source.

    Abdullahi Hassan Abdi, a government official in the town said the community was celebrating: 

    Quote Message: The river was dry for January, February, and March, and part of April. Thanks to God, the Shabelle, which was the source of water for our farms and animals, has today started streaming in Afgoye.
    Quote Message: Residents have started gathering around it and celebrating. Afgoye has experienced a severe drought, but thanks to God, people are now celebrating, braving the scorching sun and gathering at the shores of the river.”
  9. The tale of two birthday gatherings in South Africa

    Milton Nkosi

    BBC Africa, Johannesburg

    Standing here in this massive tent listening to thousands of people singing President Jacob Zuma's praises as they celebrate his 75th birthday, one would be hard pressed to believe that not far away in Pretoria, thousands others marched calling for him to step down. 

    Members of various opposition parties came together to voice their anger with the head of state.

    The septuagenarian himself has been on stage dancing like nothing happened that would make him stop and think about his political existence. 

    Video content

    Video caption: President Zuma dancing

    There is no better example to illustrate the wide chasm that has split the governing ANC down the middle. 

    Some of those who marched alongside the opposition came from Mr Zuma's own party. 

    Take for instance the president of the trades union federation Cosatu, Sdumo Dlamini, whose organisation has publicly called for Mr Zuma to go. 

    He has just been at the podium here singing President Zuma's praises. 

    While there have been demands from many quarters in South Africa for Mr Zuma to resign, make no mistake, the embattled president still commands considerable support on the ground. 

    And that is what those who marched need to contend with as their campaign gains momentum.

    Video content

    Video caption: South Africa protest march
  10. Former street kid Tricky talks social justice through comedy

    Kenyan comedian MCA Tricky is a former street kid who slept rough in the capital, Nairobi. 

    He was forced to the streets after finishing his primary school education because his parents struggled to make ends meet.

    The comedian, whose first name is Frank, uses his life experience in his acts which has won him a lot of fans. 

    He uses his acts to talk about social justice and to raise awareness of the plight of the homeless. 

    Video content

    Video caption: Former Nairobi street kid, Tricky seeks social justice for the homeless through his comedy
  11. Attack on Chad prisoner convoy kills 10

    At least 10 people were killed in Chad in an attack against a convoy carrying prisoners, security sources told the BBC.

    The attack happened while prison guards were transferring detainees from the capital, Ndjamena, to a maximum security detention facility in the north.

    Two guards are among the dead.

    The bodies were taken to a mortuary in Ndjamena. Security has been tightened in the area around the mortuary.

    The attack is believed to be the result of a feud between two clans, a BBC correspondent in the country says.

    It is rare for a security convoy to be targeted by attackers in Chad.

    We have confirmed that 10 people were killed but some local news agencies are reporting that 12 died in the attack.

  12. UK 'grateful' to Nigeria security services

    The British government has thanked Nigeria for the "support it receives in protecting UK diplomatic staff and premises in Nigeria".

    The statement comes after Nigeria security services announced it had foiled an attack on the UK and US embassies by Islamist militants Boko Haram. 

    It's worth pointing out that the statement is not confirming knowledge of the alleged attack.

  13. Zuma still has the moves at 75

    While some South Africans have been using President Jacob Zuma's 75th birthday as an excuse to protest against his leadership others have been marking it.

    The president took to the stage at a party in the Johannesburg township of Kliptown and showed that he's still a good dancer.

    The BBC's Milton Nkosi captured the president in mid-move.

    President Zuma
    Jacob Zuma dancing

    Kliptown was chosen because it's where the Freedom Charter was signed in 1955. The charter is seen as the foundation document for the South African constitution.

  14. 'It's not about the skirt, it's about rapists'

    Ghanaians have been sharing and discussing a video debunking the idea that if a woman is wearing a short skirt she is consenting to have sex.

    "My clothes they are not my consent," says one woman.

    And another woman has a simple message for men: "Just don't rape!"

    View more on twitter

    The film concludes:

    • Don't tell her to dress, tell him not to rape
    • No-one ever avoided rape by wearing a long skirt
    • If you're sexualising me I'm not the problem you are
    • If she's too drunk to consent to sex it's rape 
    • Rape is not about desire it's about power and domination
    • Victims are not to blame
  15. Zambia's opposition leader wanted to 'cause unnecessary anarchy'

    Zambia's main opposition UPND party has tweeted the police's statement on the charging of its leader Hakainde Hichilema with treason (see earlier post).

    He was charged following an incident where Mr Hichilema's convoy allegedly failed to give way to President Edgar Lungu's motorcade.

    Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja said:

    Quote Message: I wish to reiterate that the actions of the opposition leader were unreasonable, reckless and criminal... we are not going to watch such kind of behaviour by any person irrespective of their status or political affiliation.
    Quote Message: We shall ensure that all those that would want to cause unnecessary anarchy are arrested and prosecuted."
    View more on twitter
  16. US 'appreciates work' of Nigeria security services

    The US embassy in Abuja has responded to the statement by  Nigeria's spy agency that it thwarted a plot by militant Islamist group Boko Haram to attack its premises.

    In a statement it says:

    Quote Message: The US Embassy appreciates the work of... Nigerian security forces in fighting terrorism and keeping citizens and residents safe. Nigeria and the US continue to have a strong partnership in countering violent extremism."
  17. More 'unhappy birthday' messages for President Zuma

    Our colleagues in South Africa have been posting pictures of today's protest march in the capital, Pretoria.

    The demonstration coincides with the president's 75th birthday.

    Opposition parties have come together to call for Mr Zuma to step down.

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter

    Opposition leader Julius Malema has been addressing the crowd:

    View more on twitter
  18. Video of Zambia's motorcade combat

    Zambia's opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema has been charged with treason for allegedly endangering the life of President Edgar Lungu after a convoy he was travelling in reportedly refused to give way to the presidential motorcade. 

    Local media reports that the two leaders were heading to the same traditional ceremony when the confrontation happened. 

    In the video, a police car can be seen blaring its sirens in what looks like a bid to clear the road but the convoy of cars stays the course:

    Video content

    Video caption: Zambia opposition convoy
  19. Nigeria 'disrupts plan to attack foreign embassies'

    Nigerian security authorities say they have disrupted a planned attack on the US and UK embassies in the capital, Abuja by members of Islamist militant group Boko Haram, who are allied to the so-called Islamic State group. 

    The statement says five suspects were arrested between 25 and 26 March in Benue state and in the capital. 

    It adds that a 20-year-old member of the Islamist group had confessed to his involvement in the planned attacks.

    There has been no comment yet from the UK and US embassies. 

    The militants have carried out a series of bombings and kidnapping that have destabilised the north-east.

    Read: Who are Nigeria's Boko Haram Islamist group?

  20. Zambia opposition leader 'charged with treason'

    Zambia's opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema has been formally charged with treason, the country's police chief says.

    He was arrested in connection with allegations that a convoy he was travelling in refused to give way to President Edgar Lungu's motorcade.

    "It has been established that the opposition leader disobeyed police orders to clear the way, thereby putting the life of the head of state in danger," the Reuters news agency quotes police chief Kakoma Kanganja as saying. 

    Hakainde Hichilema
    Image caption: Hakainde Hichilema narrowly lost last year's presidential election