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Summary

  1. Zimbabwe's first lady sues over $1.35m diamond ring
  2. Somalis protest against al-Shabab
  3. Kenya election official Roselyn Akombe flees to US
  4. Foreign missionaries kidnapped in Nigeria
  5. Test show no plague in Seychelles
  6. Madagascar plague kills 74 people
  7. Uganda police ban Bobi Wine concert
  8. Two wounded in suspected gang-related shooting at SA airport
  9. Somali cameraman among Mogadishu victims
  10. Libyan fuel-smuggling ring broken up
  11. Rio Tinto fraud charges over Mozambique coal

Live Reporting

By Dickens Olewe and Lucy Fleming

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. 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:

    Quote Message: The elephant’s tusks are heavy yet it still carries them." from Sent by Chris Asigaci in Moyo, Uganda
    Sent by Chris Asigaci in Moyo, Uganda

    Click here and scroll to the bottom to send us your African proverbs.

    And we leave you with this Instagram picture of a young woman in Democratic Republic of Congo in the south-eastern city of Lubumbashi:

    View more on instagram
  2. Kenyan VP scoffs at 'yellow card' warning

    The head of Kenya's electoral commission Wafula Chebukati told a media briefing earlier today that politicians were frustrating his team's preparations for the re-run pf presidential election due next week.

    He said that he would not accept to be intimidated and that he was giving them a "yellow card".

    He also offered to broker a conciliatory meeting between President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga.

    Deputy President WIllaim Ruto has just tweeted that Mr Chebukati "should stop lecturing us":

    View more on twitter

    Earlier, Mr Odinga called for countrywide rallies on the election day and repeated his call that there should be no election on 26 October.

    View more on twitter
  3. Who is Roselyn Akombe?

    Judith Wambare

    BBA Africa, Nairobi

    Roselyn Kwamboka Akombe
    Image caption: Rosely Akombe went to study in the US, which she made her home

    Roselyn Akombe, the Kenyan electoral commissioner who dramatically announced her resignation this morning, has fled to the US, saying it is not safe for her to remain in Kenya.

    The US has actually been her home for 15 years.

    She was working as an under-secretary at the UN headquarters in New York when she took a sabbatical to take up her appointment at the Kenyan electoral commission (IEBC) in January.

    As an electoral commissioner she took a pay cut of up to 70%, a sacrifice she says she took as a patriot willing to serve her country.

    During her interview for the IEBC position, the 41-year-old, born in western Kenya, told the parliamentary committee that her strongest skill was diplomacy and her ability to resolve conflicts.

    She became the public face of the commission - the reliable guest that journalists could go to for information.

    Her easy-going nature also enabled her to take the lead at IEBC public functions - the perfect foil for the more reserved Wafula Chebukati, the commission's chairman.

  4. Tests show no plague in Seychelles

    Samples from patients in Seychelles suspected of being ill with pneumonic plague have tested negative, the World Health Organization says.

    Ten samples were shipped to a laboratory in France for testing after a 34-year-old Seychelles national returned from Madagascar with plague-like symptoms.

    Madagascar is facing an unprecedented outbreak, which at has killed more than 70 people since August.

  5. Who was Oxford University's first black student?

    A cartoon of Christian Cole
    Image caption: Christian Cole was depicted in cartoons during his time at Oxford

    The UK's University of Oxford has paid tribute to its first black student, who was from Sierra Leone.

    Christian Cole was always likely to turn heads when he arrived in Oxford to read classics, writes the BBC's Marcus Liddell.

    He arrived in Oxford in 1873 as a 21-year-old black man from Waterloo in Sierra Leone and was studying alongside young men from the elite families of Victorian England.

    Cole was the grandson of a slave and the adopted son of a Church of England minister in Sierra Leone.

    He had studied at Fourah Bay College in the country's capital, Freetown, before arriving in Oxford.

    He was a non-collegiate student at Oxford - to help poorer students who might not be able to afford college fees, it was possible to study without being part of a college at the time.

    Cole received an allowance from his uncle to support him, which he supplemented by tutoring and giving music lessons.

    These extra commitments did not prevent him from making an impression on Oxford life, according to an archivist at the university.

    He spoke at the university's debating society, the Oxford Union, and seems to have been a well-known figure.

    Read more: Remarkable pioneer

  6. Niger joy after 'red pepper ban lifted'

    Small farmers in south-eastern Niger are rejoicing in the wake of the lifting of a two-year ban on the growing of red peppers, the AFP news agency reports.

    It was imposed as part of measures to fight Boko Haram Islamist militants.

    The jihadists, based in neighbouring Nigeria, were suspected of extorting money from the red-pepper trade in the Diffa region.

    Bako Mamadou, the mayor of Bosso, told AFP it had been a multi-million dollar trade before the insurgency.

    Quote Message: We lifted the ban on growing two weeks ago... The farmers here have heaved a huge sign of relief."

    Popularly known as "tatassaye," the pepper is dried in the sun and sold as a spice.

  7. Grace Mugabe sues over $1.35m diamond ring

    Robert Mugabe and Grace Mugabe
    Image caption: The Mugabes have been married for more than 20 years

    Zimbabwe’s First Lady Grace Mugabe is suing a Lebanese businessman for failing to deliver a $1.35m (£1m) diamond ring, the country’s state-run Herald paper reports.

    Jamal Ahmed is reported to have provided Mrs Mugabe with a ring worth $30,000 instead of the one she ordered.

    It is the latest in the legal saga over the 100-carat ring that was meant to be President Robert Mugabe’s present to his wife for their 20th wedding anniversary.

    Last year, Mr Ahmed took the first lady and her son from her first marriage to court after they seized three of his properties in a dispute over the ring.

    He said in court documents at the time that Mrs Mugabe had demanded a refund after the diamond ring, purchased in Dubai, was delivered to her after it had been polished by a third party.

    When he failed to repay the money to an account in Dubai, even though he says it was remitted through a Zimbabwe bank, the first lady forcibly took over his houses.

    Mr Ahmed said he had suffered a "reign of terror and harassment" and was "verbally threatened, harassed, insulted" and told that he could not do anything about it "as the parties involved [Mrs Mugabe and her son] were in fact 'Zimbabwe'".

    Last December, a judge ordered Mrs Mugabe to return the seized property.

    Now she is suing Mr Ahmed, who has a Zimbabwean residence permit and businesses in the country, for $1.23m to settle the alleged debt.

  8. 2018 World Cup: Injured Mane named in Senegal squad

    Sadio Mane has been included in Senegal's squad for next month's World Cup qualifiers despite his existing hamstring strain.

    Mane had been an injury doubt for the home and away games against South Africa on 10 and 14 November.

    "In my mind there's no doubt he will be with us for the double header against South Africa and that he will be 100% fit," said Senegal coach Aliou Cisse.

    Liverpool said the forward could be out for up to six weeks on 10 October.

    Three days earlier, he had damaged his hamstring in the 2-0 win over Cape Verde in Praia and was substituted in the 89th minute.

    Read the BBC Sport story for more

    Sadio Mane
    Image caption: Sadio Mane will be "100% fit" for the World Cup qualifiers against South Africa, says Senegal coach Aliou Cisse
  9. Heavy rains hit parched Kenyan Maasai area

    Emmanuel Igunza

    BBC Africa, Kenya

    Heavy rains are drenching Kenya’s Kajiado county, which is south of the capital Nairobi - one of the areas most-affected by the ongoing drought.

    Rains began not long ago and some roads have now been heavily flooded.

    Flooded road in Kajiado county

    I passed a seasonal river two hours ago on my way to cover the effects of the drought and on my way back found it completely flooded and about to burst its banks.

    October is the beginning of the short rains and residents here hope they will bring some relief to an area that hasn't seen proper rainfall in more than two years.

    This is a mainly pastoralist area.

    Many of the Maasai herders have been telling the BBC how they have lost most of their livestock - which is their mainstay.

    Thin cattle in Kenya - 18/10/2017
    Dead cattle in Kenya - 18/10/2017

    However, experts warn that these rains might not be enough to replenish pastures, often overgrazed because of poor rains in the past.

  10. Somalis protest against al-Shabab

    Ahmed Adan

    BBC Africa, Nairobi

    Protests

    With red bands wrapped around their heads, hundreds of people took to the streets of Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, to denounce militant Islamist group al-Shabab, blaming it for the bombing which killed more than 280 people in the city on Saturday.

    “We reject al-Shabab. We reject their heinous massacre,” the protesters chanted.

    Simlar protests took place in other towns.

    Some of the young protesters forced businesses to shut down, as they kept venting their anger against the al-Qaeda-linked militants.

    Mogadishu's mayor called on young men and women to "liberate" the city from killings and ‘massacres’.

    The prime minister is expected to address some of the demonstrators at Banadir Stadium.

    Meanwhile, the search for missing people is continuing at the scene of the attack, where buildings were completely destroyed.

    Countries, including the US, Turkey, Qatar and Kenya, have sent medical aid to Somalia.

    Some of the seriously wounded have been airlifted to Turkey and other countries for treatment.

    Protests
  11. Missionaries kidnapped in Nigeria

    Stephanie Hegarty

    BBC Africa, Lagos

    The four people believed to be British, who have been kidnapped in Nigeria’s southern Delta state (see earlier entry), were missionaries.

    A couple and two others were taken around 02:00 local time last Friday.

    A local chief told the BBC they had been living in a rural community providing free medical aid for up to 10 years.

    Police spokesman Andrew Aniamaka said no ransom demand had yet been made.

    He said militants, calling themselves the Karowei, were the main suspects.

    Kidnapping for ransom is common in the oil-rich Niger Delta.

    Police believe this incident could be a response to a recent surge in efforts to tackle militancy in the region.

    Nigerian security forces in the Niger Delta
    Image caption: Nigerian security forces struggle to police Niger Delta's creeks
  12. Odinga plans big protest on Kenya poll day

    Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga has called for a huge protest on the day of next week's presidential election.

    "Demonstrations will continue. October 26 will be the biggest demonstration of them all," Reuters news agency quotes him as saying at a rally in the capital, Nairobi.

    Mr Odinga is boycotting next Thursday's elections, saying conditions for a free and fair poll do not exist.

  13. Libyan fuel-smuggling ring broken up

    An oil refinery in Zawiya
    Image caption: The illegal fuel came from an oil refinery in Zawiya

    Italy’s financial police say they have broken up a smuggling ring selling cheap Libyan diesel at service stations in Sicily and elsewhere in Europe.

    The smugglers were allegedly obtaining fuel destined for ships from a refinery operated by Libya's National Oil Corporation at Zawiyah, about 40km (25 miles) west of Tripoli, the AFP news agency reports.

    According to the Italian media, during a year-long investigation, the police documented more than 30 journeys in which fuel worth 30m euros ($35m, £27m) was imported illegally.

    Italy's La Sicilia paper says six arrest warrants have been issued - for two Maltese, two Libyans and four Italians.

    According to AFP, the warrants include one for the head of the Italian company implicated in the alleged fraud and an Italian go-between suspected of having mafia links.

    A prosecutor in the Sicilian city of Catania, Carmelo Zuccaro, said he could not rule out the proceeds had gone to Islamic State militants, but there was no evidence for this, La Sicilia reports.

  14. Sexual harassment 'was notorious in Nollywood'

    The slew of accusations surrounding US film producer Harvey Weinstein has raised concerns about the treatment of women in Hollywood.

    BBC Newsday's Nkem Ifejika interviewed Meg Otanwa, an actress who has starred in many Nollywood films, about whether sexual harassment was a problem in the Nigerian film industry:

    Quote Message: I would be lying if I said it doesn't happen... [but] it doesn't happen as often as it used to. Nollywood used to notorious for that."

    Listen to the full interview:

    Video content

    Video caption: Do women in the Nigerian film industry face similar issues to those in Hollywood?
  15. Kenya 'yellow card' for warring politicians

    The head of Kenya's electoral commission, Wafula Chebukati, has reacted to the bombshell resignation of one of his top officials.

    He said of Roselyne Akombe:

    Quote Message: She is one of our finest best brains in the country and that it is sad, very sad, to see that we could not provide an environment for such minds, that the country could not find space for her."

    Ms Akombe, who has fled to the US, told the BBC today that the electoral commission (IEBC) was beset by internal wrangles and partisan interests.

    She also said that she had been receiving death threats.

    She revealed that attempts by Mr Chebukati to make changes at the commission were being undermined by other officials.

    Mr Chebukati confirmed this frustration in his media briefing.

    Some of the officials who had been "adversely named" - meaning those the opposition had wanted to be removed before a new vote - should step aside as requested, he said.

    A special team that he had appointed should be in charge of the fresh poll, he added.

    .
    Image caption: Wafula Chebukati said that his team was ready to conduct the coming election

    The commission chairman said he would "not allow anyone destroy to this country".

    The IEBC was ready to hold the presidential re-run next week but was being frustrated by a lack of co-operation from political leaders:

    Quote Message: I have given them a yellow card."

    He invited President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga, who withdrew from the race last week, to meet to resolve the current stand-off.

    Mr Chebukati also warned that Mr Odinga's withdrawal could affect the economy as had happened in Zimbabwe and Burundi in recent years when candidates refused to participate in elections.

  16. 'Nigeria militants abduct four foreigners'

    Suspected militants have kidnapped four UK nationals in Nigeria's oil rich Niger Delta, the AFP news agency is quoting police and community leaders as saying.

    The had been working in the Burutu area of Delta state in the south of the country, a local leader said.

    Delta state police spokesperson Andrew Aniamaka told AFP that they had been abducted on Friday.

    "The victims are of British nationality, two of whom are a couple, and have been rendering humanitarian services in the area for a while," he said.

    "But unfortunately, they didn't let the authorities know of their presence in the area all this while.

    "There is a militant group that has been operating in the area and we believe they are the ones behind the abduction."

    Creeks of the Niger Delta, Nigeria
    Image caption: The foreigners were reportedly taken into the creeks by the militants

    Kidnapping for ransom of high-profile figures by criminal gangs is common in the region.

  17. Somali cameraman died in Mogadishu attack

    A freelance cameraman, Ali Nur Siad, was among those killed in the devastating bomb in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, on Saturday, US broadcaster Voice of Amercia (VOA) has said.

    He was on duty when a lorry full of explosives detonated at a busy junction destroying hotels, government offices and restaurants, killing more than 280 people.

    He was working with VOA reporter Abdulkadir Mohamed Abdulle, who was among those wounded in the attack.

    Mr Abdulle suffered a broken hand, burns to his body, wounds to his head and neck and was receiving medical care in Turkey, VOA said.

    Scene of the blast in Mogadishu, Somalia
    Image caption: The bombing was deadliest terror attack in Somalia in 10 years

    VOA Director Amanda Bennett said in a statement:

    Quote Message: I am proud of the work our journalists do each and every day, often putting their lives on the line to bring news and information to the world.
    Quote Message: On behalf of the entire agency, my deepest condolences go out to Mr Siad’s family. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the injured and those who lost their lives in Mogadishu."

    Meanwhile, 28 Somalis injured in the blast have arrived in Sudan for treatment, the Paris-based Sudan Tribune reports.

    They were flown by a Qatari military plane from Mogadishu to Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, it says.

    More patients are expected in the coming days.

    Read more: Somali victims - searching for clues

  18. Uganda police ban Bobi Wine concert

    Police in Uganda have refused to give permission for an event which was to be headlined by Afrobeats artist-turned-politician Bobi Wine because he "uttered words that are inciteful to the public".

    He had made the offending comments during a previous concert, the police said.

    The lawmaker, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, is now under investigation for the remarks.

    A journalist with local TV station NTV Uganda has tweeted the police statement:

    View more on twitter

    Since being elected to parliament in June, Mr Wine has been a thorn to the governing NRM party.

    He is among opposition MPs who have been opposing a plan to scrap the presidential age limit, which is currently 75.

    Its removal is seen as a plot to remove barriers that would allow 73-year-old President Yoweri Museveni to run in 2021.

  19. Kenya rival 'trapped' in home of 'James Bond'

    Police in Kenya blocked opposition leader Raila Odinga from leaving the house of an influential businessman on Tuesday night, privately owned Daily Nation is reporting.

    View more on twitter

    Mr Odinga arrived at the house of Jimmy Wanjigi, nicknamed "James Bond" after the fictional British spy because of his stylish lifestyle, amid a police search for guns.

    Kenyan media have been showing pictures of assault weapons allegedly recovered from the house, in an affluent suburb of the capital, Nairobi.

    Mr Wanjigi, who has been funding Mr Odinga's opposition coalition, says he has a licence for the weapons.

    Mr Odinga was allowed to leave Mr Wanjigi's home this morning after the raid, which reportedly lasted 72 hours, ended.

    Four years ago, when Uhuru Kenyatta was first elected president, Mr Wanjigi was his ally - but the pair have since reportedly fallen out.

    After police left, Mr Wanjigi spoke to the press outside his home, saying he was being "persecuted":

    View more on twitter

    The opposition coalition Nasa said the raid was an attempt to intimidate them.

    Last week, Mr Odinga withdrew from the presidential re-run scheduled for 26 October, saying the vote would not be free or fair.

  20. Rio Tinto fraud charges over Mozambique coal

    Hywel Griffith

    BBC News, Sydney

    The Australian mining company Rio Tinto and two of its former executives have been charged with fraud in the US.

    The firm denies trying to cover-up multi-billion dollar losses in its investments in Africa.

    In 2011, Rio Tinto bought mining assets in Mozambique for $3.7bn (£2.8bn) - three years later they were sold off for just $50m.

    The company, its former chief executive and chief financial officer have all been accused of failing to warn investors about problems with the assets.

    It is claimed the company soon realised there was less coal, and it was of a lower quality than anticipated.

    Rio Tinto and its two former executives have all denied the allegations - with the company saying it will vigorously defend its reputation.

    A lump of coal in Mozambique
    Image caption: Much of Mozambique's coal is the country's Tete province