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Live Reporting

By Flora Drury and Natasha Booty

All times stated are UK

  1. Scroll down for Thursday'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 our proverb of the day:

    Quote Message: The foot doesn't like thorns." from A Zarma proverb sent by Abdullah Salisu in Dosso, Niger
    A Zarma proverb sent by Abdullah Salisu in Dosso, Niger

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

    And we leave you with this photo of South Africa's finance minister, Malusi Gigaba, who was caught playing Candy Crush in parliament today while his new boss, President Cyril Ramaphosa, addressed the chamber:

    South Africa's Finance Ministe Malusi Gigaba playing Candy Crush whilst his new boss, Cyril Ramaphosa, is speaking.
  2. Africans fighting for their Olympic dreams

    There may not be many Africans competing in the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, but those there are were out in force earlier today.

    Kenya's Sabrina Simader, Madagascar's Mialitiana Clerc and Mathilde-Amivi Petitjean of Togo all hit the slopes to fight for their Olympic dreams.

    Unfortunately, the results were not the best.

    Togo’s Mathilde-Amivi Petitjean finished 83rd of 90 in the 10km freestyle cross-country skiing, seven minutes and 34.7 seconds behind gold medalist Ragnhild Haga of Norway.

    Mialitiana Clerc from Madagascar came 48th out of 58 finishers in the women’s giant slalom, nearly 19 seconds behind the USA’s Mikaela Shiffrin, who won gold.

    Meanwhile, Kenya’s Sabrina Simader failed to finish her second run.

    Kenya's Sabrina Simader reacts after competing in the Women's Giant Slalom at the Yongpyong Alpine Centre during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang on
    Image caption: Kenya's Sabrina Simader failed to finish
    Madagascar's Mialitiana Clerc competes in the Women's Giant Slalom at the Yongpyong Alpine Centre during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang on February 15, 2018
    Image caption: Madagascar's Mialitiana Clerc competes in South Korea
    : Mathilde-Amivi Petitjean of Togo skis during the Cross-Country Skiing Ladies' 10 km Free on day six of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Alpensia Cross-Country Centre on February 15, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.
    Image caption: Mathilde-Amivi Petitjean of Togo was more than seven minutes behind the winner

    Tomorrow, Olympic fans can see Morocco’s Samir Azzimani in the men’s 15km freestyle cross-country skiing.

    Ghana’s Akwasi Frimpong will be hoping to improve on his current position - last - in the skeleton, while Nigeria will be making its Winter Olympics debut with Simidele Adeagbo in the women's skeleton.

  3. Tsvangirai's successor named in Zimbabwe

    Zimbabwe opposition party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) acting President Nelson Chamisa (R) speaks during a press conference at Harvest House, the party headquarters, in Harare February 15, 2018 following the death of the veteran opposition leader. Zimbabwe was plunged into grief on February 15 following the death of veteran opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, roundly praised as a hero, champion of democracy and symbol of resistance who will be hard to replace.
    Image caption: Nelson Chamisa (R) succeeds Morgan Tsvangirai as leader of the Movement for Democratic Change

    Zimbabwe’s main opposition MDC party has appointed an acting president following the death of its leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who passed away last night after a long illness.

    Nelson Chamisa, the party's former deputy, was nominated as interim president as hundreds of party supporters gathered outside the headquarters today to grieve and celebrate Mr Tsvangirai's life.

    The party said they had lost 65-year-old Tsvangirai at a crucial period, just months from elections.

    But even as they mourn, a feud over who should succeed Tsvangirai as leader.

    One vice-president - Elias Mudzuri - and several senior party members were absent from the national executive meeting.

    Details of when the late leader's body will return to Zimbabwe remain sketchy.

  4. Ramaphosa has great potential as leader - SA activist

    Veteran anti-apartheid activist Denis Goldberg has praised South Africa's newly elected president, saying Cyril Ramaphosa has "very great potential as a leader".

    "No politician has an absolutely clean slate," Mr Goldberg - who stood trial alongside Nelson Mandela - told the BBC.

    But, he added, President Ramaphosa had demonstrated impressive skills as a negotiator, and also lauded his role in founding a trade union.

    Mr Goldberg,a former member of the African National Congress (ANC) military wing, served 22 years behind bars after being convicted of armed resistance as part of the Rivonia Trial.

    He didn't lay the blame for South Africa's economic woes at the feet of the ANC, instead saying such problems have been "inherent in apartheid South Africa forever".

    Listen to his interview with BBC World at One:

    View more on twitter
  5. Desmond Tutu severs ties with Oxfam over sex scandal

    The Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu at the offices of The Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation during a visit with Prince Harry on the first day of his visit to South Africa on November 30, 2015 in Cape Town, South Africa.

    The South African Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, has become the latest high-profile personality to end his ties with Oxfam after the charity was his with sexual misconduct claims.

    He is stepping down from his role as an ambassador for the charity.

    "The Archbishop is deeply disappointed by allegations of immorality and possible criminality involving humanitarian workers linked to the charity," said a statement from his office in South Africa.

    Revelations over the past week have prompted the British government to re-evaluate its relationship with the charity.

    Oxfam staff in Chad are alleged to have used prostitutes in the charity's premises in 2006, according to UK newspaper The Observer, claims that Oxfam said it could not corroborate.

  6. Analysis: Why did Ethiopia's PM Hailemariam resign?

    Kalkidan Yibeltal

    BBC Amharic Service, Addis Ababa

    Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn looks on during a joint press conference at the national palace of Ethiopia in Addis Ababa

    Since coming to power, Hailemariam Desalegn has been seen by the political elite as weak and lacking in leadership.

    His resignation could be a move by the coalition to find a stronger leader, or it could signal divisions among the constituent parties along ethnic lines.

    Particularly visible is the tension between the Tigrayan People's Liberation Front, which has seen its dominance and influence wane, and the Oromo People's Democratic Organisation, which is becoming increasingly more assertive.

    Replacing Mr Hailemariam might also be one way to meet the demands of Oromo protesters who have accused the authorities of marginalisation.

    The coalition has repeatedly promised reforms over the past three years. Two of its member parties have already changed their leaders while the remaining two are expected to follow suit.

    Read our earlier post on the shock resignation here.

  7. Gupta case: Seven released on bail

    Peter Thabethe, Ashu Chawla,Ronica Ragavan, Nazeem Howa Vuran Gupta, Takisi Masileng and Sylvia Dlamini, the suspects linked to the Estina dairy farm fraud and corruption investigation appear on February 15, 2018 at the Bloemfontein Regional Court
    Image caption: Peter Thabethe, Ashu Chawla,Ronica Ragavan, Nazeem Howa, Vuran Gupta, Takisi Masileng and Sylvia Dlamini, the suspects linked to the Estina dairy farm fraud and corruption investigation, in court today

    Seven people arrested following the raid on Gupta family properties on Wednesday have been released on bail by a South African court.

    Three government officials and four people linked directly to the family - including the Gupta brothers' nephew Varun - appeared in court in Bloemfontein, in the Free State, on Thursday.

    They are facing various charges, including theft and fraud, in connection with the multi-million rand Vrede dairy farm scheme.

    An eighth person's bail is yet to be set due to problems with his home address, News24 reported.

    All indicated they would plead not guilty to the charges - some of which are laid out in the documents below:

    View more on twitter

    Among those who appeared in the dock today were two former chief executives and the current chief executive of Oakbay, the holding company for the Gupta family's businesses, according to its website.

    The three officials included two people who worked as Free State agricultural officials‚ and the chief of staff of national mining department, TimesLive reports.

    The case has been postponed until August.

    The Gupta family rose to prominence in South Africa after they were accused of using their friendship with former President Jacob Zuma to wield enormous political influence in order to help their business interests.

    Read our earlier post on South Africa's police hunt for one of the Gupta brothers here, or take a look at how the Zuma and Gupta families are linked here.

  8. Ex-Oxfam director rejects prostitution 'lies'

    Roland Van Hauwermeiren
    Image caption: Roland Van Hauwermeiren worked in Chad from 2006-09 before taking up a job in Haiti

    The former Oxfam worker accused of paying for prostitutes while working in Chad and Haiti has written an open letter clarifying his involvement.

    In a four-page document, Roland van Hauwermeiren describes how he handled situations in Liberia, Chad and Haiti.

    He denied paying for sex and said that an event he attended in Haiti was not - as alleged - a sex party.

    A UK charity watchdog is investigating claims that Oxfam covered up the case.

    The Belgian aid worker has also been accused of using prostitutes while working for British health charity Merlin in Liberia from 2002-04, a former colleague told the IRIN website.

    He was later hired by Oxfam as a country director in Chad. Under his leadership there, in 2006, staff used prostitutes in the charity's premises, according to UK newspaper Observer, claims that Oxfam said it could not corroborate.

    From Chad he moved to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Haiti.

    After he resigned his Oxfam post in Haiti, Mr Van Hauwermeiren ended up taking another high-profile position, as the head of mission for Action Against Hunger in Bangladesh.

    In today's document, Mr van Hauwermeiren defended himself, saying he had been nicknamed the terminator, because of his severe response to two international workers who had been visited by prostitutes in their rooms.

  9. Rats destroy Nigerian rice crops

    Chris Ewokor

    BBC Africa, Abuja

    Rats eat grains of puffed rice in Allahabad, India, on July 28, 2015

    Farmers in north-west Nigeria are fearing for their future after rats invaded their farms and destroyed their rice crops.

    The damage to the farms in Kebbi State could lead to a severe shortage of locally grown rice, officials warned.

    The area is one of the biggest rice producers in the country.

    It is the worst rodent invasion since the boom in rice farming in Kebbi state, and farmers are calling for quick intervention from government.

    In addition to the rodents, the farmers are also faced with the problem of birds which feed on the rice seeds before they mature.

    The state Deputy Governor, Samaila Yombe Dabai, says he has visited some of the affected areas and explained that the government would take necessary measures to dislodge the rodents.

    The rise in the population of rodents and their menace to rice farms was reported by the Kebbi state Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

    Last year the farmers suffered huge losses due to poor weather.

  10. Libyan elections 'one step closer' as voters register

    Rana Jawad

    BBC North Africa correspondent, Tunis

    Voter registration in Libya ends later today, as the country’s electoral commission makes a last public appeal for people to sign up.

    No date has been set for an election in the conflict-ridden country yet, but there have been calls for one to be held by the end of the year.

    The Election Commission says over 2.3 million people have registered so far.

    A Libyan woman casts her ballot at a polling station during legislative elections in the capital Tripoli on June 25, 2014. Polling was under way across Libya in a general election seen as crucial for the future of a country hit by months of political chaos and growing unrest. Voters are choosing from among 1,628 candidates, with 32 seats in the 200-strong General National Congress reserved for women and would-be MPs banned from belonging to any political party.
    Image caption: Rival governments have claimed authority in Libya since the results of a 2014 vote (pictured) were disputed

    Voter registration in Libya is seen as a first step towards eventually holding an election.

    But there are still some political, military and legal obstacles for any nationwide vote, including the adoption of a new constitution and electoral laws.

    Yesterday, a supreme court in Libya blocked all legal challenges against a draft constitution – which could allow a long-stalled referendum to be held on it.

    Libya’s speaker of Parliament reportedly said that lawmakers would issue a new election law after the adoption of a constitution.

    The international community has been pushing the country’s divided political actors to work towards a legislative and presidential election this year.

    However, few believe it can be held without a legal framework, and enough assurances from the country’s bitterly divided armed groups to accept any election result.

  11. How are the Guptas linked to Zuma?

    We are talking a lot about how the Gupta family are related to the Zuma family, but know all the various links are not always easy to follow - especially if you are new to the story.

    So some of our colleagues have created this handy graph, which shows no only how the Zumas are linked to the Guptas and their businesses, but also how the family of Ace Magashule - Free State premier and current ANC secretary-general - are connected.

    A graph showing how Zuma is related to the Guptas

    Read our earlier posts on today's developments in the Gupta court case here, or find out more about the scandal which has gripped South Africa in this piece.

  12. Fears for Uganda journalist investigating a death

    Patience Atuhaire

    BBC Africa, Kampala

    Concerns are rising for a missing Ugandan journalist investigating the death of a Finnish businessman who died in mysterious circumstances in a Kampala hotel.

    Charles Etukuri, who works for The New Vision newspaper, disappeared three days ago, had published a story about the death, which implicated some officials in the Internal Security Organisation (ISO).

    Etukuri was picked up from outside his workplace at the state-owned newspaper on his way to lunch on Tuesday. He was last seen surrounded by about five men in plain clothes, who bundled him into a double-cabin pick-up truck and drove off.

    There are suspicions he has been detained by forces related to security agencies.

    View more on twitter

    Barbara Kaija, the New Vision’s editor-in-chief told the BBC that Etukuri tried to reach out to his editor by phone on Tuesday evening.

    The conversation lasted only a few seconds - just enough time for him to tell his editor that he was being held “over the story”.

    Neither his employers nor his family have heard from him since.

    Ms Kaija says this is the first time any of her investigative journalists have been kidnapped by unknown people.

    She added that the New Vision management has taken all formal channels to try to trace their journalist’s whereabouts, in vain. No security agency has admitted holding him.

    She told the BBC:

    Quote Message: The act that established the New Vision as a newspaper gives us permission to criticise the government or any government agencies, as long as we have our facts..
    Quote Message: When you do investigative reporting, you will always make some people angry. But in the past we have received complaints and we addressed them through formal and legal channels.
    Quote Message: This is an extreme. And that is why we are worried. I want to believe that it is individuals, and that those individuals will be brought to book.
    Quote Message: But if it is an institution [holding him] then I would be very worried. Because investigative journalism is important to developing a young democracy."
  13. Ajay Gupta 'is a fugitive from justice'

    Peter Thabethe, Ashu Chawla,Ronica Ragavan, Nazeem Howa Vuran Gupta, Takisi Masileng and Sylvia Dlamini, the suspects linked to the Estina dairy farm fraud and corruption investigation appear on February 15, 2018 at the Bloemfontein Regional Court.
    Image caption: Seven people appeared in court in Bloemfontein earlier today

    Ajay Gupta - one of the three brothers accused of using their friendship with Jacob Zuma to wield enormous political influence - is a "fugitive from justice", South Africa's chief prosecutor said.

    Shaun Abrahams, head of South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority, said Ajay had failed to hand himself in when asked.

    "I've been advised by my prosecuting team that Mr. Ajay Gupta is a fugitive from justice," he told Reuters. He did not provide further details.

    Eight people have been arrested in connection with the case so far, including Ajay's nephew Varun.

    They have all denied all charges.

    Three other people are out the country, including two Indian nationals, police said earlier.

    Read Africa Live's post on exactly what happened in court here, and the earlier developments in the Gupta investigation here.

  14. A big task for South Africa's president-in-waiting

    Lebo Diseko

    BBC News, Johannesburg

    Cyril Ramaphosa
    Image caption: Cyril Ramaphosa says fixing the economy is his priority

    Now Cyril Ramaphosa has been elected South Africa's president, the BBC's Lebo Diseko looks at the challenges he faces:

    It is often said that Mr Ramaphosa has had his eye on the position of president since the ANC came to power in 1994.

    The story goes that he was so upset at not having been chosen by Nelson Mandela as his successor that he left politics and went into business.

    But Mr Ramaphosa has now finally realised that dream.

    He has said his priority is reviving South Africa's battered economy. But it won't be easy: Unemployment is currently at almost 30%, a rate which rises to nearly 40% for young people.

    Low growth rates and dwindling investor confidence were compounded by two credit agencies downgrading the economy to junk status.

    One of the first steps in improving that investor confidence is addressing the persistent claims of corruption at the heart of government.

    Read more: What's next for South Africa?

  15. Corruption is on my radar - Ramaphosa

    Acting President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa reacts as he arrives at Parliament in Cape Town, on February 15, 2018 for a session to officially deal with former President Zuma's resignation and his possible election and swearing.

    South Africa's newly elected President Cyril Ramaphosa has told parliament that "issues of corruption and how we deal with state capture are on our [the ANC's] radar".

    He made the comments in response to The Inkatha Freedom Party's (IFP) Narend Singh, who had called on the governing ANC to remove ministers accused of state capture involvement and deal with crime.

    President Ramaphosa gave a tongue-in-cheek reply to Mmusu Maimane of the Democratic Alliance (DA), who had said moments earlier that he welcomed the new appointment but also said South Africa had an "ANC problem". He dismissed the DA's leader comment as "grandstanding", telling parliament:

    Quote Message: Mr Maimane almost soils his honourable words by saying, 'I'm going to see you in 2019'. But he's running ahead of himself because I'm going to see him here in the house on an ongoing basis.
    Quote Message: Let's work together on how we will improve lives rather than grandstanding."

    Mr Ramaphosa appealed to parliament for cross-party unity, saying: "South Africa must come first in everything we do."

  16. Kenyan opposition lawyer's deportation 'was illegal'

    Raila Odinga hold a copy of the Bible as he is "sworn in" as "people's presiednt" at a mock ceremoney
    Image caption: Miguna Miguna (L) was at Raila Odinga's side during a rival presidential "swearing-in"

    A Kenyan court has reversed the decision to deport a lawyer who had "sworn in" opposition leader as the "people's president" last month.

    Judge Luka Kimaru declared as "illegal" last week's deportation of Miguna Miguna, a dual Kenyan and Canadian citizen. He also ordered the government to reissue Mr Miguna with his Kenyan passport within seven days.

    Mr Miguna, who is now in Canada, has welcomed the court ruling, reports the Reuters news agency.

  17. Reaction as Ramaphosa elected SA's president

    Now that Cyril Ramaphosa's appointment as the President of South Africa is official, other members of parliament are giving their take on what he needs to change.

    Mmusu Maimane, leader of the Democratic Alliance which made significant gains in 2016's local elections, said that South Africa did not have a Zuma problem, but an "ANC problem".

    Speaking at today's parliament sitting, he added:

    "You sitting on this [ANC] side could not even tell him what he had done wrong."

    However, he added: "I want you to know, if you act in the interests of the people of South Africa, we will cooperate as best as we can to assist you."

    Mr Maimune also called for elections "so we can bring a new beginning to South Africa".

    The Inkatha Freedom Party's (IFP) Narend Singh called on the governing ANC to: Remove ministers accused of state capture involvement, provide certainty on free education university, deal with crime and gangsterism,

    "This is not carte-blanche support," he warned. "We will keep you and your cabinet on your toes."

    View more on twitter
  18. Ethiopian PM resigns 'for peace and democracy'

    Hailemariam Desalegn

    Ethiopia's Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, whose shock resignation we reported on a short while ago, has now given some explanation for his decision:

    "The main reason for tendering my resignation is my belief that it’s important to be part of the solution to ensure sustainable peace and unwavering democracy in our country," he has said on state television.

  19. Ramaphosa elected South Africa's president

    In a move which is a surprise to no one, Cyril Ramaphosa was nominated by the ANC as its candidate to be the South Africa's next president.

    Nominating the leader, Dr Patrick Maesela said: "Africa and the world are pinning their hopes on your revolutionary leadership."

    But because no one stood against him, no vote was taken, and he was declared president - a declaration which was met with singing by ANC MPs and their supporters.

    View more on twitter