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Summary

  1. Autopsy finds that murdered Kenyan election official Chris Msando was tortured
  2. Liberia's president to back women in October vote
  3. #GuptaLeaks messages were fabricated, Gupta family says
  4. Botswana's parliament votes to give schoolgirls sanitary products
  5. Chinese firm accused of toxic dumping in The Gambia
  6. Nigerian policemen arrested over burglary at Goodluck Jonathan's home
  7. Thieves in South Africa 'use donkeys to drag a car across a river'
  8. Bolt anoints South Africa's Van Niekerk as his successor
  9. Tributes pour in for South Africa's Mixon Tholo

Live Reporting

By Damian Zane, Farouk Chothia and Natasha Booty

All times stated are UK

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Scroll down for Wednesday's stories

We’ll be back tomorrow

That's all from BBC Africa Live today. Keep up-to-date with what's happening across the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast or check the BBC News website.

A reminder of today's wise words:

When two locusts fight, it is the crow that feasts."

An Igbo proverb sent by Okechukwu Iroegbu in Isuikwuato, Nigeria

Click here to send us your African proverbs

And we leave you with this photo of a young Zanzibari man, Anwar striking a pose for the camera:

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Fans pay tribute to Fela Kuti 20 years on

Tributes are being paid on social media to music icon Fela Kuti who died 20 years ago today, aged 58.

The Nigerian star pioneered the Afrobeat musical genre in the 1970s which became hugely influential.

Fela was also a vocal critic of corruption in Nigeria and the legacy of colonialism, and explored this in his music:

View more on youtube

He was also known for his dramatic stage presence and maverick disregard for cultural norms, including his marriage to 27 wives.

His son and musical heir Femi Kuti tweeted this tribute in the early hours of this morning:

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Fans of Fela have followed suit:

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Call for apartheid policeman to be charged with murder

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

As the inquest in South Africa continues into the 1971 death of anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol, his family has called for the 78-year-old former policeman they believe was responsible to be charged with murder.

Jan Rodrigues denied at the inquest that he pushed Mr Timol out of a 10th floor window of a police building, but rather that he "dived" through the window.

But Timol family lawyer Howard Varney said this was inconsistent with the truth.

He also emphasised that he will ask the court to instruct the National Prosecution Authority to “criminally prosecute” Mr Rodrigues for perjury.

Mr Rodrigues is believed to be the last person to have seen the anti-apartheid activist alive.

At times during this inquest, it has felt like the whole apartheid system has been on trial with details emerging about how the security forces operated including crushing the testicles of activists.

Imtiaz Cajee, the nephew of Ahmed Timol
AFP
Mr Timor's nephew, Imtiaz Cajee, had been campaigning for the inquest into his uncle's death

Murdered Kenyan election official was 'tortured'

Chris Msando
Reuters

An autopsy on the body of Christopher Msando, the man in charge of Kenya's electronic voting system, has revealed that he was tortured and strangled to death.

Mr Msanda was reported missing on Friday and his body was discovered in a city mortuary three days later.

Deep scratches were found on his back, indicating the body was either dragged on a rough surface or scratched, according to the report.

The autopsy was performed by Kenya's chief government pathologist and a family pathologist.

A 21-year-old student, Carol Ngumbu, died along with Mr Msando and an autopsy is due to be performed on her body tomorrow.

Mr Msando's family has urged the Kenyan authorities to accept the offer of help by the US and the UK governments to investigate the murder.

In a statement, the family calls upon Kenyans to be mindful of what they are posting on social media during their time of mourning, given that photos of the deceased are being circulated on social media.

Thousands march against Guinea's president

Thousands of opposition supporters have been marching in Guinea's capital, Conakry, in a protest against President Alpha Conde.

They are calling on the president to respect an agreement signed last October to organise local elections.

The polls have been postponed numerous times since they were last held in 2005.

Many protesters also said they were worried that Mr Conde would change the constitution to allow him to run for a third term in the elections due in three years' time.

One of the protest's organisers told the BBC's Alhassan Sillah:

The people of Guinea have decided to come out in these massive numbers today to give a yellow card to President Alpha Conde and his regime who have failed the people.

The red card will come in the next march on the other side of town. This regime calls us street boys and delinquents forgetting that it was through our struggles that democracy was won for this country."

Opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo has been tweeting from the demonstrations:

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Liberia's Sirleaf to back female candidates in next election

Liberian presidential candidate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf wades through supporters at a campaign rally October 4, 2005
Getty Images
President Sirleaf said that women were instrumental in her two election victories

Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has said she will be backing all the female candidates in October's elections.

President Sirleaf became Africa's first female elected head of state after she won the 2005 vote, but will not be running again as she is coming to the end of her second term.

A report on Liberia's state house website says that the president told women activists that "she will be on her feet everywhere in her own little way to campaign for women listed and certified" by the electoral commission.

She said that she wanted to reciprocate "the Liberian women who stood under the sun and the rain, telling the Liberian people: 'We, the women of Liberia, this is our time.'"

Just over 15% of candidates running in the presidential and parliamentary elections are women, AFP news agency reports.

But there is only one female candidate for president - MacDella Cooper - running against 19 men.

Ms Sirleaf did not explicitly say that she was backing her for president.

Restoration to begin around Africa's first Unesco site

Sukur
National Commission for Museums and Monument
Sukur was once home to a "flourishing iron industry", Unesco says.

The area surrounding a world heritage site in Nigeria that had been threatened by Islamist militants is to receive support from the government and the UN's cultural agency, Unesco.

Known as the Sukur Cultural Landscape, the Unesco-protected site in north-eastern Adamawa state was attacked by insurgents in 2014.

"They tried to wreak havoc with some of Sukur's features," says Yusuf Abdallah, head of the national monuments commission.

"The major features of the site that convey its outstanding universal value are still intact, but the primary school and interpretation centres were destroyed," he adds.

The insurgency has also prevented communities from holding festivals and initiation ceremonies over security fears.

Mr Abdallah says these concerns have prevented any intervention until now, but that the site is now safe to access.

Sukur
National Commission for Museums and Monument
Sukur was the first site in Africa to be given Unesco world heritage status

'Three dead' in Kenya al-Shabab attack

BBC World Service

Three people have been killed in a suspected al-Shabab attack on a bus in Kenya's coastal county of Lamu, local media are reporting.

Kenya's Star newspaper says suspected al-Shabab militants attacked the passenger bus on the Lamu-Garsen highway.

On 27 July, Coast Regional Coordinator Nelson Marwa warned that all public and private vehicles travelling the Lamu-Mombasa route without armed police escort would be impounded and licences withdrawn, due to the level of al-Shabab attacks.

Islamist militant group al-Shabab is based in neighbouring Somalia, but has carried out attacks in Kenya including on a university campus in Garissa, in April 2015, in which 148 people died.

Italian MPs back plan for navy to support Libyan coastguard

BBC World Service

The Italian parliament has approved proposals to send its navy to help the Libyan coastguard combat people-traffickers.

A force commanded by an Italian admiral and led by a frigate will help Libyans carry out measures ordered by the UN-recognised Government of National Accord in Tripoli.

Several members of parliament said they hoped other European countries would join the effort to stem the flow of migrants across the Mediterranean.

Defence staff said an Italian vessel had already entered Libyan waters with permission on a reconnaissance mission.

A Libyan militia in the east has threatened a strong response to what it called a reckless Italian intervention.

Women rescued at sea arrive aboard the Italian Navy ship Vega
AFP
Italy's navy has been picking up stranded migrants in the Mediterranean

'Deadly ambush' in South Sudan

BBC Monitoring

The world through its media

At least five people have been killed in South Sudan after their vehicle was ambushed on the main road between the capital, Juba, and Nimule town, along the border with Uganda, police have been quoted by The National Courier newspaper as saying.

It is unclear who was behind the ambush.

There have been a spate of attacks irecent months on roads in South Sudan.

In early June, gunmen killed 14 people in an ambush on a convoy of buses.

The newspaper has posted details of the latest attack on its Facebook account:

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Why does someone need six TVs?

In his bid to dampen speculation that Nigeria's former President Goodluck Jonathan had lost 36 TVs in a burglary, his spokesman said that only six had been taken when his house in the capital, Abuja, was broken into.

But six is still a lot - so why so many?

Nigerian writer and critic Elnathan John has the answer:

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Survey reveals extent of rape in South Sudan civil war

James Copnall

Africa editor, BBC World Service

Research carried out in Uganda among South Sudanese refugees has revealed that more than 20% of the women surveyed, and about 4% of the men, say they have been raped.

Almost a million South Sudanese have fled the civil war in their country into neighbouring Uganda, with most having arrived in the last year.

Sexual violence is an extremely sensitive subject in South Sudan, particularly when the victims are men.

But male and female refugees told the researchers from Uganda's Refugee Law Project about rapes, gang rapes, and many other forms of sexual violence.

Several women also said they had been forced into sexual slavery.

In some cases the alleged attackers were known to the victims, but more often they were armed men.

Government soldiers were blamed most frequently, though rebels and unidentified armed men were also accused.

South Sudanese refugees cross a small wooden bridge over a river from South Sudan into Uganda
Getty Images
Nearly a million South Sudan refugees have crossed into Uganda

Nigeria's President Buhari absent for 87 days

Abdulwasiu Hassan

BBC Hausa, Abuja

With Nigeria's ailing President Muahammadu Buhari absent from duty for 87 days, some people are speculating that he will be removed from office if he is away for three more days.

He is currently in London getting treatment for an undisclosed illness.

But barrister Muhammad Yusuf told BBC Hausa that there is no constitutional requirement for the president to step down or to be replaced if he is away for 90 consecutive days.

He said the president can lose power for the following reasons:

  1. A court nullifies his election
  2. Parliament impeaches him if he commits an offence
  3. He is incapacitated for health reasons
  4. He resigns.

When some opposition politicians fuelled speculation last month that Mr Buhari was on a life support machine, senior members of the governing party flew to London to meet him.

Later, some governors from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were also invited to visit him.

Both delegations said that Mr Buhari, 74, was not incapacitated.

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari having lunch in Abuja House in London
Reuters
Mr Buhari met Nigerian politicians at Abuja House in London nearly two weeks ago

Mr Buhari was also in London from January to March for treatment. When he returned, he said he had never been so ill and hinted that he had had a blood transfusion.

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has been filling in for Mr Buhari in his absence.

This is the first time a Nigerian president has been absent for so long, although there was a case of a state governor, Danbaba Suntai being absent for about three years after he sustained serious injuries in a plane crash.

His deputy, Umar Garba, served as acting goverrnor in his absence.

Bodies of Ugandan troops brought home from Somalia

Patience Atuhaire

BBC Africa, Kampala

The bodies of the 12 Ugandan soldiers who were killed in an ambush in Somalia on Sunday have been flown home.

Soldiers with coffin
BBC
Soldiers with coffin
BBC

A military ceremony was held when their bodies arrived at Entebbe airport.

Family members were also present, and some were in tears when the plane touched down.

People sitting on chairs in a gazebo
BBC

Ugandan troops make up the largest contingent of Amisom - the African Union force which is supporting the government in Somalia in its fight against al-Shabab militants.

This was the largest loss of life suffered by Uganda in Somalia since September 2015 when 19 soldiers were killed in an al-Shabab attack.

Nigeria police: Only 'some items' missing from ex-leader's home

Nigeria's police have launched a fully-fledged investigation into the burglary at the home of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan in the capital, Abuja, a police statement has said.

A preliminary investigation showed that "some items" were missing from the residence, the statement added.

This contradicts the claim by Mr Jonathan's spokesman, who said that the house had been "stripped bare" by the burglars.

The policemen who were supposed to be on guard duty at the house have been detained for questioning, the police statement said.

See earlier post for more details

Emails linking Gupta family to Zuma 'not authenitc'

In South Africa, a member of the controversial Gupta family has told the BBC that leaked emails indicating a close relationship between the family and President Jacob Zuma are fake.

The recent publication of the emails, known as the Gupta leaks, is the latest episode in the long-running saga of allegations that the three Gupta brothers were attempting to influence political decisions for their own gain.

In a rare interview, one of the brothers, Atul, told the BBC that there was "no authenticity" to the Gupta leaks. He said the emails were created by people to "drive their own agenda".

Mr Gupta also denied that his company used British PR firm Bell Pottinger to support a strategy that stressed the power of white-owned businesses and promote the #WhiteMonopolyCapital hashtag.

Gupta leaks are 'not authentic'

Bell Pottinger has apologised over the controversial social media campaign that critics say inflamed racial tensions.

Zimbabwe averts power blackout

Zimbabwe has averted an electricity blackout by paying $8m (£6m) to its power suppliers in South Africa and Mozambique, the state-owned Herald newspaper reports.

This was the second time in as many months that Zimbabwe was threatened with load-shedding for failing to meet its payments to the power utilities of the two neighbouring states, the newspaper adds.

Zimbabwe, which is facing a severe shortage of cash, is battling to wipe out arrears amounting to about $50m.

A family sit outside and share food by torchlight, after darkness falls in the Harare suburb of Chitungwiza where electricity is only provided for a few hours, usually after around 9pm, Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe on October 8th 2015
AFP
Zimbabweans have had to cope with load-shedding in the past

Sending Italian navy to Libyan waters debated

BBC World Service

The Italian parliament is debating proposals to send the navy into Libyan waters to help their coastguard combat people-traffickers.

The lower house has backed the idea, with 328 in favour and 113 against.

The Italian cabinet wants to send a force commanded by an Italian admiral to protect Libyans carrying out measures ordered by the UN-recognised Government of National Accord.

They will also discuss helping to set up a maritime surveillance centre on Libyan soil.

A Libyan militia in the east has threatened a strong response to what it called a reckless Italian intervention if it goes ahead.

Migrants stand in line after disembarking from the Italian Navy vessel Bersagliare at the Sicilian port of Augusta
Reuters
The Italian navy has been involved in the rescue of migrants in the Mediterranean Sea

'Elections are not war'

Emmanuel Igunza

BBC Africa, Eldoret

People at demonstration
BBC

Residents in Kenya's western town of Eldoret have held a peace march ahead of Tuesday's general election.

Eldoret, which is in Uasin county, was the epicentre of the violence that followed the disputed 2007 election - an estimated 1,200 people were killed across Kenya and about 600,000 fled their homes.

There are reports here that hate leaflets have been circulating ahead of the election, targeting one community and some have actually started leaving the area in fear for their lives.

The marchers shouted "amani", meaning "peace" in Swahili, as well as the same word in other Kenyan languages:

Sam Kiplagat and Juliet Cheptoo were both nine when the post-election violence happened nearly a decade ago and have vivid memories of the horrors.

Two young Kenyans
BBC

They are now part of the Peace Ambassadors group.

Sam's T-shirt says "Kenya first" and Juliet's says "elections are not war".

'I never thought we would choose corruption'

Makhosi Khoza, a member of the governing African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa, has received death threats against her and her children after branding President Jacob Zuma "a disgrace".

She says her treatment for speaking out has been more fitting of a dictatorship than a democracy.

Parliament is expected to vote on a motion of no-confidence in President Zuma on 8 August.

Video journalist: Christian Parkinson

Man buried '22 migrants in desert with his own hands'

Most of the refugees and migrants from sub-Saharan Africa who cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe have to travel for days in the Sahara desert on their way to Libya.

Many die on the journey in the desert.

Italian journalist Giacomo Zandonini has just returned from Niger where he spent a month meeting people walking through the Sahara.

He spoke to BBC Newsday:

Botswana parliament pushes for free sanitary pads

Botswana's parliament has passed a motion calling on the government to consider giving free sanitary pads to girls in all state and private schools.

The move would improve access to education in a country where many cannot afford sanitary products, said MP Polson Majaga, who sponsored the motion.

MP Ngaka Ngaka backed the motion, saying one of the reasons why schools in his rural Takatokwane constituency were performing badly was that some some girls were forced to miss classes during their periods because parents lacked the money to buy sanitary pads for them.

The government has put up a Facebook post about the motion:

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The push to give free santiary pads to schoolgirls comes after a similar decision was taken by Kenya's government in June.

Read: The unlikely sanitary pad missionary

Attempt to 'steal car using donkeys foiled'

A stolen Mercedes car was abandoned in the sand by the Limpopo River, which runs along the border of South Africa and Zimbabwe, after the donkeys that were being used to move it failed to get it out of the dry river bed, the Johannesburg-based Times Live news site reports.

It quotes a South African police spokesperson as saying that policemen were able to "pounce" on the thieves "after the donkeys were apparently no longer able to pull [the car] through the sand".

South Africa's police minister has been tweeting about the incident:

View more on twitter

Times Live reports that the suspects fled into Zimbabwe and "the donkeys were unharmed".

A condom to save a new mum's life

Many women in the developing world die during childbirth. A cheap kit containing a condom could save hundreds of thousands of lives.

A film by Richard Kenny for BBC World Hacks.

Bolt anoints South Africa's Van Niekerk as his successor

Usain Bolt of Jamaica (R) chats with Wayde Van Niekerk of South Africa
AFP

South African athlete Wayde van Niekerk is set to take up the mantle of being the global star of athletics after the retirement of Usain Bolt, according to the Jamaican himself.

Bolt is due to retire from the sport after the World Athletics Championships, which start in London on Friday.

He has been the big draw at athletics championships since he dominated the 100m and 200m sprints at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

The BBC's Dan Roan asked Bolt who he thinks is now "best equipped to take your place as the preeminent star in track and field".

Bolt replied:

Van Niekerk is really proving that he is a world star.... He's proven that he can step up to the plate."

The South African won the gold in the 400m at last year's Rio Olympics in a world-record time of 43.03 seconds:

View more on youtube

He has also run the 300m faster than anyone, and will compete in the 200m as well as the 400m at the World Athletics Championships.

Chinese firm accused of toxic dumping in The Gambia

BBC World Service

Environmentalists from a small coastal town in The Gambia have taken a Chinese firm to court, accusing it of dumping toxic waste in the sea.

It comes after the government reached an out-of-court settlement with the company, Golden Lead.

Residents of Gunjur, about 50km (31 miles) south of the capital, Banjul, say that hundreds of dead fish have been washing up in a lagoon since Golden Lead set up a fish meal factory in the town in 2016.

They say people swimming there have suffered health problems. The company is contesting the allegations.

Golden Lead settled out of court with Gambia National Environment Agency last month over similar accusations.

Sunset over the sea
Thi
The Gambia is a popular tourist destination

South African music star dies

Tributes are pouring in for South African music star Mixon Tholo, popularly known as Tsekeleke, after he died last night in hospital.

A close friend of the musician, Max Mjamba, told the local Times Live news site that he begged for his life to end after doctors were forced to amputate parts of his body because of debilitating diabetes.

"He was crying and screaming like a baby," Mr Mjamba was quoted as saying.

"There was nothing more to cut," he added.

On Twitter, South Africa's culture minister has led tributes to the musician:

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Kwaito is a South African genre of music which emerged in the 1990s, it is a unique dance and house style often likened to US hip-hop.

With most songs being about street culture, it was the sound of South Africa's new found freedom from white minority rule.

Nigeria ex-President Jonathan's house 'stripped bare'

The home of Nigeria's former President Goodluck Jonathan in the capital, Abuja, has been "stripped bare" by burglars, according to a statement from his spokesperson quoted by the Premium Times newspaper.

The burglary happened last month but Ikechukwu Eze said that he was releasing the details after questions from journalists.

He said the thieves "stole every movable item in the house including furniture sets, beds, electronics, toilet and electrical fittings, as well as all internal doors and frames".

But he wanted to correct false reports that 36 plasma TVs were stolen along with 25 refrigerators:

Only six television sets, 3 refrigerators and one gas cooker were stolen."

A number of suspects, including six policemen, have been arrested, the former president's spokesperson said.

Goodluck Jonathan
AFP
Goodluck Jonathan was head of state from 2010 to 2015 when he handed over power to Muhammadu Buhari after losing the election.

Today's wise words

Our African proverb of the day:

When two locusts fight, it is the crow that feasts."

An Igbo proverb sent by Okechukwu Iroegbu in Isuikwuato, Nigeria

Click here to send us your African proverbs

Good morning

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