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Live Reporting

Dickens Olewe and Farouk Chothia

All times stated are UK

  1. Scroll down for this week's stories

    We'll be back on Monday

    That's all from the BBC Africa Live page for this week. 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: When the bird which flies in the sky is about to die, its legs usually point to the ground." from Sent by David A., Nigeria
    Sent by David A., Nigeria

    And we leave you with this shot from our selection of this week's best photos:

    Model in Ghana
  2. Our best stories this week

    Highlights from BBC Africa Live

    Here's our pick of the best stories of the week from across Africa:

    The state broadcaster says it has suspended broadcasts by so-called prosperity prophets while it investigates listeners' complaints about them, reports the private Daily News paper.

    The clerics say the stronger one's faith the more one gives to the church and the more wealth one will ultimately receive from God.

    They have been accused of making money out of poor people.

    A street preacher reads the Bible aloud on April 9, 2012 in Lilongwe.
    • Snails, once spurned by those who do not like the tedious process of getting them ready to cook, are now popular in Nigeria because they are low in calories, considered a “sperm booster” and thought to help those recovering from malaria

    A private university in Nigeria has been criticised for punishing students by shaving a strip into their hair.

    View more on twitter

    Convicted South African racist Vicky Momberg was in court this week in cornrows. The hairstyle is more usually worn by people of African descent - the very people Momberg insulted so terribly when she went on a rant at the police, using one of South Africa's most racist words a total of 48 times.

    View more on twitter

    The UK could return to Ethiopia treasures taken 150 years ago - including a gold crown and a royal wedding dress - on a long-term loan.


    Organisers of the Commonwealth Games copped it - the official souvenir placed England in Africa.

    A Union flag and a sign reading "Sale on" are pictured near the Elizabeth Tower, better known as "Big Ben", and the Houses of Parliament in central London on March 6, 2017
  3. Robbers blow up Nigerian banks

    Joshua Ajayi

    BBC Yoruba, Lagos

    Robbed bank
    Image caption: It is unclear how much was stolen during the robberies

    Armed robbers blew up the entrances of five banks in central Nigeria's Offa town with dynamite, in an operation which lasted for more than an hour after the close of business and left six policemen and six civilians dead.

    Kwara State police spokesman Ajayi Okasanmi told BBC Yoruba that the police are investigating and working with the bank managers to ascertain how much was carted away.

    The incident has drawn widespread condemnation with graphic pictures of killed policemen and residents posted on social media.

    The heavily armed gang had attacked the Owode Police Station where they killed the policemen, before raiding the banks within the market area.

    Police had recovered some of the vehicles stolen during the raid, Mr Okasanmi said.

    Officers were unable to stop the robbers because they were firing sporadically in a densely populated business district, he added.

    Robberies like this one have become a regular occurrence in Offa.

  4. UN troops killed in Mali

    Alex Duval Smith

    BBC Africa, Dakar

    Two United Nations peacekeepers have been killed in a mortar attack in the far north of Mali.

    The two Chadians were killed and 10 other peacekeepers were injured in the attack on the UN base at Agelhok at nightfall on Thursday.

    Agelhok is close to Mali's border with Algeria. It's a staging post on a desert trade route, below a mountain hideout used by armed groups, including Islamists.

    In eastern Mali earlier this week, the French military said paratroopers killed 30 people, in a gun battle close to the border with Niger.

    They were described as jihadists in an area sheltering members of the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara.

    The latest quarterly UN report on Mali describes a deterioration in security.

    It says 141 Malian and UN security personnel were killed last year -twice as many as in 2016.

    The north of Mali was occupied by Islamists in 2012. France intervened the following year and the UN sent peacekeepers.

    Since then, fighting has spread to other parts of the country and to neighbouring Niger and Burkina Faso.

  5. SA swimmer bags Commonwealth record

    Chad le Clos

    South African Chad le Clos became the most successful male swimmer in history at the Commonwealth Games after winning the 50m butterfly - his 13th medal.

    Failing to claim a medal in the 200m freestyle means his hopes of overtaking the record number for any sport - 18 - is over, but he could still equal that mark were he to be successful in his remaining events.

    Realistically though - as the South African relay teams aren’t as strong as four years ago - he’s probably going to have to wait until Birmingham 2022 for the overall record, the BBC's Nick Hope reports.

    More Commonwealth Games coverage on the BBC Sport website.

  6. Picture of toothbrush swallowed by Kenyan man

    We reported earlier that doctors in Kenya had retrieved a toothbrush from a man who had swallowed it.

    David Charo said he had swallowed the toothbrush accidentally on Sunday, while brushing his teeth.

    A local TV station has shared a picture of the toothbrush:

    View more on facebook
  7. Ransom paid for DR Congo priest


    A catholic priest in the Democratic Republic of Congo has been released after ransom was paid to his kidnappers, news agency AFP reports quoting a church official.

    Father Celestin Ngango was taken away on Sunday by armed men in the eastern city of Goma in North Kivu province shortly after he finished leading an Easter mass.

    His kidnappers demanded $500,000 (£355,000) for his release, the church said.

    Father Louis de Gonzague Nzabanita from the Goma diocese said that a ransom had been paid after negotiation with the kidnappers but did not say how much.

    "We paid a ransom, which led to the release of our brother," he said.

    The priest was one of 10 people kidnapped in North Kivu's Rutshuru administrative district in less than a week, according to a local campaign group, the Study Centre for the Promotion of Peace, Democracy and Human Rights.

    Three of those taken were however executed after their families failed to pay ransoms. One was freed, while the rest, all local farmers, are still missing.

    Militias operate freely in Kivu province and they often extort money from civilians while fighting each other for control of mineral resources.

  8. Counting the cost of SA's listeriosis

    South Africa's government has said the outbreak of listeriosis in the country, that has killed more than 180 people, could have a financial impact beyond the companies directly affected by it.

    The bacterium that causes the disease was found in processed meat.

    Several countries in Africa have banned the import of the products and class action lawsuits are set to be launched in South Africa.

    BBC's Africa Business Report looks at the cost of the ban:

    Video content

    Video caption: Counting the cost of South Africa's listeriosis outbreak
  9. Ethiopia closes notorious prison

    Emmanuel Igunza

    BBC Africa, Addis Ababa

    Abiy Ahmed
    Image caption: New Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed promised to oversee reforms after months of anti-government protests

    State media in Ethiopia is reporting the closure of a notorious prison that human rights groups have described as a torture chamber.

    State-linked Fana Broadcasting announced in a terse statement that the government had closed the Maekelewi interrogation Center and all prisoners that had been detained there have been sent elsewhere.

    The closure was part of the commitment made by the ruling EPRDF coalition last December as it tried to end anti-government protests

    The closure marks a significant point in Ethiopia’s history as Maekelawi has become a symbol of the torture that detainees have experienced over many years.

    It comes just days after Abiy Ahmed took over as Ethiopia’s new prime minister following the abrupt resignation of his predecessor.

    Mr Abiy’s inaugural speech promised to bring reforms to Ethiopia with many seeing his rise to power as a turning point in a country where the government has long been accused of gross human rights violations.

    Ethiopia is currently under a second state of emergency in just two years, imposed to quell nearly three years of anti-government protests.

    Hundreds of people have died and tens of thousands more detained during that period.

  10. Bank robbers kills 12 in Nigeria

    Chris Ewokor

    BBC Africa, Abuja

    At least 12 people were killed on Thursday when a gang of armed men invaded a police station and robbed five commercial banks in the central Nigerian town of Offa.

    The gang of about 15 stormed Offa in several vehicles, and sporadically shot in the air to scare away passers-by. They also blocked roads leading into Offa.

    Operating in commando-style, the men first invaded the community police station and shot police officers.

    They then split themselves into teams and stormed the five commercial banks where they reportedly made away with huge amounts of money.

  11. Kenyan has toothbrush removed from stomach

    Victor Kenani

    BBC Africa, Nairobi

    A toothbrush with toothpaste sits on a sink in Arlington, Virginia, 17 July 2007

    As unbelievable as it sounds, doctors in Kenya’s coastal city of Mombasa say they have successfully removed a toothbrush from a man’s stomach.

    David Charo said he had swallowed the toothbrush accidentally on Sunday, while brushing his teeth.

    He had moved from one hospital to another for five days as he tried to seek medical attention.

    Most of the hospitals turned him away, saying they did not have specialists to carry out such an operation.

    An X-ray showed the toothbrush lodged in Mr Charo's stomach.

    The incident has left Twitter users baffled, as this tweet shows:

    View more on twitter
  12. 'I can make better doors here in Rwanda'

    A civil engineer by training, entrepreneur Patrick Dufitimana noticed that much of the wooden furniture used in Rwanda's construction and home building market was imported. So he decided to set up his own business.

    Video content

    Video caption: 'I can manufacture better doors here in Rwanda'
  13. Asamoah Gyan seeking crew for new airline

    Ghanaian footballer Asamoah Gyan has tweeted an advertisement seeking a crew for the airline he plans to launch.

    Apart from a "sparkling personality", applicants for the Baby Jet Airlines should, among other requirements, know how to swim:

    View more on twitter

    Gyan tweeted back to the BBC's Akwasi Sarpong, who had highlighted that swimming was a condition of employment, that they were "following standard requirements lol".


    Ghana's news site Citifmonline reported in October that Gyan had obtained official approval to operate an airline.

    The news site also reported that BabyJet Airlines would be the third local air company when it begins operations.

  14. Uganda 'bans charcoal export to Kenya'

    Authorities in Uganda have banned the export of charcoal to neighbouring Kenya as a measure to protect its forests, a local TV station reports.

    Hussein Kato Matanda, the top state official in charge of the border town of Busia, told traders that it was now illegal to sell charcoal across the border.

    The booming business has seen prices double from 35,000 Ugandan shillings ($10; £7) to 80,000 Ugandan shillings per sack in one week, NTV says:

    View more on twitter

    Yesterday, a news site reported that a month-long ban on charcoal burning in the Kenya had led to the rise of nyama choma ( roasted meat).

  15. Police 'closing in on Grace Mugabe'

    Grace Mugabe
    Image caption: Grace Mugabe had been positioning herself as a potential successor to her husband

    Police in Zimbabwe are closing in on former First Lady Grace Mugabe as they investigate her alleged involvement in the smuggling of ivory, the state-run Herald newspaper reports.

    Mrs Mugabe is alleged to have overseen the export of large consignments of ivory to several destinations around the world, including China, the United Arab Emirates and the US.

    The Herald reports, quoting a source, that officers have questioned officials from the country's Parks and Wildlife Management Authority.

    Mrs Mugabe is alleged to have acquired export permits under the pretext that she was sending the ivory to leaders of various countries as “gifts”, the report says.

    The beleaguered former first lady has not commented on the allegations.

    She has been targeted after her husband - the former Zimbabwe leader Robert Mugabe - was forced out of office following a military takeover in November.

    Her farm was invaded last week by illegal miners looking for gold.

    Read more: Polarising Garae Mugabe

  16. US air strike kills 'militants' in Somalia

    A US air strike has killed three militant Islamists and destroyed a vehicle with a mounted heavy machine gun near Jilib town in southern Somalia, the US Africa Command has tweeted:

    View more on twitter

    The US has repeatedly been accused of killing civilians during the strikes. It denies the allegation.

  17. Ethiopia restores internet services

    Emmanuel Igunza

    BBC Africa, Addis Ababa

    Residents of Bishoftu crossed their wrists above their heads as a symbol for the Oromo anti-government protesting movement during the Oromo new year holiday Irreechaa in Bishoftu on October 2, 2016.
    Image caption: Ethiopia has been hit by a wave of anti-government protests

    Mobile internet services have been restored in many areas of Ethiopia following a shutdown of months.

    It comes after new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed promised to bring about reforms in the country, which has had two state of emergencies declared in the past year.

    The majority of areas outside the capital, Addis Ababa, have had no connectivity for nearly three months now.

    They include Oromia, Amhara and the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Regions which have seen some of the biggest anti government protests for nearly three years now.

    BBC correspondents have also confirmed that services have resumed in Tigray in the north and Harar in the east.

    Most Ethiopians access internet via their mobile phones.

    It’s not clear why the services were shut in the first place but the government has long blamed opposition activists based in the diaspora of inciting violence and hate speech through popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.

    The government has on several occasions shut down the internet in a bid to contain widespread protests that are in part organised online.

    Internet and telephone services are controlled by only one provider, state-owned Ethio Telecom.

    Despite being one of Africa’s fastest growing economies, internet penetration in Ethiopian remains very low - at just 15%, according to the 2017 Freedom of the Net report conducted by US based Freedom House .

  18. Zuma: Crowd-pleaser, charmer

    Pumza Fihlani

    BBC News, Durban

    Jacob Zuma greets a crowd of supporters before addressing them outside the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban on April 6, 2018
    Image caption: The scandal-hit Jacob Zuma stepped down as president in January

    The Jacob Zuma of old is still here - the crowd-pleaser, charmer and tactical politician.

    The former South African president boldly addressed his supporters outside the Durban High Court minutes after his brief appearance on 16 charges of corruption over a 1990s arms deal.

    Mr Zuma believes the re-instatement of the charges, which were dropped in 2009 after reports of political interference, are once again politically motivated.

    A confident, perhaps even defiant Zuma, told crowds that he is being targeted by political foes in his own party, the governing African National Congress (ANC), and the opposition who were against his attempts to economically empower black people.

    “I have never seen it before where someone is charged with a crime, those charges are dropped and then years later those same charges are re-instated. This is a just a political conspiracy”, he said in Zulu.

    Former South African president Jacob Zuma supporters outside KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban, South Africa, 06 April 2018

    The crowds cheered as he spoke. He enjoys great support in this part of the country, this is his home region.

    Mr Zuma reminded the crowds that he has survived many a scandal.

    On the face of it he is a man unperturbed by the latest controversy - he is determined to use every legal avenue available to him to fight the corruption charges.

    “I keep asking what has Zuma done and no one has an answer for me”, he said.

    And with that in mind, Mr Zuma fights on.

  19. 'Explosion in Mogadishu'

    A VOA journalist has tweeted a picture of the aftermath of an explosion in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu.

    He says a vehicle packed with explosives detonated at a security checkpoint.

    View more on twitter
  20. Nigeria police 'blocked from arresting senator'

    Kogi West also known as Dino Melaye (L)
    Image caption: Dino Melaye (L) is known for his lavish lifestyle

    A special anti-robbery police unit in Nigeria was prevented yesterday from arresting a wanted senator over allegations of giving weapons to kidnappers, the Vanguard news site reports.

    Dino Melaye had been attending prayers at the home of a deceased senator in central Kogi state when police attempted to arrest him.

    They were, however, prevented from making the arrest by a group of vigilantes "who encircled him and made it impossible for the officers to get close to him", the news site reports.

    The vigilantes then escorted him to a car of Senate President Bukola Saraki, the report says.

    The flamboyant senator, who represents the Kogi West constituency, was last year criticised when he appeared on a music video depicting his lavish lifestyle.

    He is well known for his love of luxury cars, champagne and designer clothes, as his Instagram account shows:

    View more on instagram