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Live Reporting

By Clare Spencer

All times stated are UK

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  1. Ugandan imam who married man 'released on bail'

    A Ugandan imam who was arrested after marrying a man in a wedding dress, has been released on bail, according to Daily Monitor newspaper.

    Human rights organisations represented the two men in court and filed a bail application which was ruled in their favour.

    Activist Stella Nyanzi was present in court and told Daily Monitor the two should not have been arrested.

    Sheikh Mohammed Mutumba and his fake bride Richard Tumushabe, whose alias is Swabullah Nabukeera, were ordered to pay 1m Ugandan shillings ($270; £209) as bond.

    Sheikh Mutumba married Mr Tumushabe who had pretended to be a woman and dressed in a bridal gown.

    Mr Tumushabe's cover was blown when neighbours accused him of stealing and during a search police discovered he wasn't a woman.

    The imam was arrested and both charged with having with having carnal knowledge with a person against the order of nature.

  2. Ugandan seeks $1.6m from Museveni for Twitter block

    A Ugandan court will on 20 May rule on a case in which a student has sued the president for blocking him on Twitter.

    The Harvard University student, who is Ugandan, wants the court to compel President Yoweri Museveni and other senior government officials to unblock him on Twitter.

    Hillary Innocent Seguya also wants a compensation of 6bn Ugandan shillings ($1.6m; £1.2m) for "mental anguish", according to Uganda's New Vision newspaper.

    In his case, he argued that Mr Museveni's decision infringed on his right against discrimination. He said as a Ugandan living abroad he deserved to get information from the Twitter handles of government officials.

    The state had urged the court to dismiss Mr Seguya's case because it lacked merit.

  3. Calls for calm as Nigerians react to coronavirus case

    Yemisi Adegoke

    BBC News, Lagos

    News of the first confirmed case of coronavirus in Nigeria has prompted fierce debate on social media, with #CoronavirusNigeria now the top Twitter trend across the country.

    Nigerian authorities have urged the public to remain calm.

    But some people say they fear the country, which is already battling an outbreak of Lassa fever, may struggle to cope if coronavirus spreads:

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter

    Others say that the quick response of health authorities to the 2014 Ebola outbreak is proof the country will be able to contain the threat:

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter

    Nigerians are also encouraging each other to take basic preventive measures to protect themselves, such as washing hands.

    That's one of the key steps recommended by the World Health Organization. Here's their full list:

    • Wash your hands frequently
    • Maintain social distancing
    • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
    • Practice respiratory hygiene
    • If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early
    • Stay informed and follow advice given by your healthcare provider.

    Nigeria is the first country in sub-Saharan to record a positive case of coronavirus, after authorities confirmed an Italian citizen, who flew into Lagos from Milan, tested positive for the disease.

    Egypt and Algeria have also recorded positive cases.

  4. US warns of a repeat of Kenya hotel attack

    Nairobi Dusit hotel attack
    Image caption: Kenya's government praised the security forces' response to attack on the DusitD2 hotel

    The US embassy in Kenya has warned of a terrorist attack at a major hotel in the capital, Nairobi, although the exact place has not been identified.

    In a security alert issued on Thursday, the embassy said that "terrorist groups" might be "plotting an attack" on a target that was "popular with tourists and business travellers".

    The warning has prompted fears of a repeat of the January 2019 terror attack when Islamist al-Shabab militants stormed the DusitD2 hotel and business complex and killed at least 21 people.

    The US urged its citizens to "exercise increased vigilance when visiting or staying at hotels in the Nairobi area".

    The head of Kenya's police has said they have enhanced police deployment in the city and border surveillance, but warned the public to be "extra-vigilant".

    He tweeted a statement moments after the US embassy had issued its alert:

    View more on twitter

    Kenya has been a target for al-Shabab since October 2011, when it sent its army into Somalia to fight the jihadist group.

  5. Two South Africans test positive for coronavirus

    Two South African nationals working aboard a cruise ship quarantined at sea have contracted coronavirus, according to the country's health ministry.

    It quoted Japanese officials as saying the two patients were not outwardly displaying symptoms of the virus but were being treated in Japan.

    The vessel had at least 3,700 people on board, South Africa's authorities said in a statement.

    When a passenger, who disembarked in Hong Kong, tested positive for the virus at the end of January, the ship was quarantined for a four-week period, the statement added.

    Ten other South African crew members are still on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship, and won't be allowed to disembark until they pass a two-week quarantine period and test negative for the virus.

    Passengers are being prioritised for disembarking before crew, the South African health ministry said quoting the cruise company.

    The Diamond Princess
    Image caption: Ten other South African crew members remain on board the Diamond Princess
  6. DR Congo to sign peace deal with armed militia

    Gaius Kowene

    BBC News, Kinshasa

    The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo is set to sign a peace deal with leaders of an armed militia that's been active in the north-east of the country for nearly 20 years.

    The Patriotic Resistance Front (FRPI) was a key player in the conflict in the Ituri region that left tens of thousands dead in a four year-period from 1999 until 2003.

    A Congolese government negotiator told the BBC the group's demands included an amnesty for former combatants.

    More than 1,000 of them are waiting in a camp for the agreement to be signed.

    DR Congo's interior minister said he hoped other armed groups would lay down their guns and join the peace process.

  7. Kenyans sign petition to stop flights from China

    Rhoda Odhiambo

    BBC Health, Nairobi

    Two online petitions have been created asking the Kenyan government to suspend direct flights from China over coronavirus fears.

    Thousands have signed the petitions within hours as criticism grows after the government allowed a China Southern Airlines flight into the country on Wednesday and asked passengers to self-isolate.

    Capital FM news quoted the government as saying it would be discriminatory to ban flights from China as many other countries had been hit by coronavirus.

    One of the people who started the petition, Ahmed Papa, says Kenya is not prepared to handle a coronavirus outbreak and so it should prevent all cases.

    "We're simply not ready to fight the scourge. Not economically and certainly not technologically," he wrote.

    Mr Papa has addressed his petition to the ministries of health and security, and the Kenya Airports Authority.

    View more on twitter

    Read more on this topic:

  8. 'Baby factory' raided in Nigeria

    Mary Harper

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    A woman looking at a baby.
    Image caption: Police say they rescued four pregnant teenagers and more than 20 children (file photo)

    Police in Nigeria have raided what they say is a child-trafficking facility in south-eastern Rivers State.

    They say they rescued four pregnant teenagers and more than 20 children between the ages of one and four.

    They arrested three people suspected of running what is known locally as a "baby factory", where young women are held until they give birth.

    Their babies are then sold to other families.

    Dozens of children and young women have been freed from such facilities in recent months, mainly in southern Nigeria.

  9. South Africa to repatriate citizens from virus epicentre

    Nomsa Maseko

    BBC News, Johannesburg

    South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa
    Image caption: President Ramaphosa's order follows requests from families

    South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa has ordered the repatriation of some 132 South Africans living in China's Wuhan city, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak

    The decision was announced on Thursday following a cabinet meeting and after requests from families of South Africans living in the city, the president's office said.

    No timeframe for the repatriation was given but the government said the 132 citizens - out of a total of 199 South Africans living there - have put in requests to be returned home.

    None of them has been diagnosed with the virus or exhibited any symptom of the disease, but they will be quarantined for 21 days upon arrival in South Africa as a "precautionary measure", the president's office announced in a statement.

    "[The] government has been in constant communication with the families of all affected individuals and relevant departments have made the necessary arrangements to receive them," it added.

    Health and military personnel will be deployed to provide assistance during the repatriation and quarantine processes.

    The country's national carrier, South African Airlines, had already cancelled direct flights to China.

    Nigeria on Thursday became the first sub-Saharan country to report a confirmed case of coronavirus. The patient is an Italian citizen who works in Nigeria and flew into the commercial capital Lagos from Milan on 25 February.

  10. Kenya expands coronavirus guidance amid backlash

    Rhoda Odhiambo

    BBC Health, Nairobi

    The Kenyan government has said it will monitor passengers who arrive from China after it was criticised for asking them to self-isolate for 14 days.

    A health ministry spokesman, Rashid Aman, said self-isolation was one of the recommendations by the World Health Organization, but added that health workers would keep a close eye on recent arrivals through regular phone calls and visits.

    Criticism has increased after the Kenyan government allowed the first direct flight from China in two weeks.

    The 239 passengers who landed on that China Southern Airlines flight at Nairobi's main airport on Wednesday have been asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

    Ethiopian Airlines and China Southern Airlines are the only carriers operating flights between Kenya and China.

    Kenyan newspaper headlines have expressed outrage at the ministers for security, foreign affairs, transport and health for, they say, risking the lives of millions of Kenyans:

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
  11. Nigeria confirms first case of coronavirus

    Mayeni Jones

    BBC News

    Screening at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos
    Image caption: Travellers are screened on arrival as a precaution

    The first case of the coronavirus in sub-Saharan Africa has been reported in Nigeria.

    The patient is an Italian citizen who works in Nigeria and flew into the commercial capital Lagos from Milan on 25 February.

    Authorities say he is stable with no serious symptoms and is being treated at a hospital in Lagos.

    The Nigerian government said it had prepared for this eventuality and had activated its national emergency operations centre to implement control measures.

    The authorities have started identifying all those who may have come into contact with the patient since his return to Nigeria.

    More than 80,000 people are now known to be infected in 40 countries. More than 60 people are known to have died outside China, where the outbreak began. However, the number of infections reported within mainland China continues to fall.

    Elsewhere on the African continent, Algeria and Egypt have also confirmed cases of the disease.

    Read more:

  12. Friday's wise words

    Our proverb of the day:

    Quote Message: Poverty does not have roots." from A Kikuyu proverb sent by Moses Maina in Kenya, and Rose Maina in the US
    A Kikuyu proverb sent by Moses Maina in Kenya, and Rose Maina in the US
    A drawing of hands holding a bowl

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

  13. Scroll down for Thursday's stories

    We'll be back on Friday

    That's all from the BBC Africa Live team for now. There will be an automated feed until Friday morning.

    You can also keep up-to-date with what's happening across the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast or visiting the BBC News website.

    A reminder of our wise words of the day:

    Quote Message: The cry of the dove is a speech that only the discerning can understand." from A Hausa proverb sent by Shamsuddeen Saminu and Auwalu Musa Solo, both from Kano, Nigeria
    A Hausa proverb sent by Shamsuddeen Saminu and Auwalu Musa Solo, both from Kano, Nigeria

    Click here to send in your African proverbs.

    And we leave you with this photo by Stephen Tayo posted on Instagram by the art fair Art X Lagos showing female sapeurs, who are known for dressing like dandies, in Congo-Brazzaville:

    View more on instagram
  14. Malawi legalises growing of cannabis

    Mary Harper

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    Cannabis being grown in Lesotho
    Image caption: Other southern African countries have relaxed rules on growing the drug

    Malawi has become the latest southern African country to legalise the growing, selling and exporting of cannabis.

    Recreational smokers consider, "Malawi Gold", as they call it, to be one of the finest forms of the drug.

    But the authorities have stopped short of legalising it for personal use.

    It will be used to make medicines and hemp fibres, which are used to make clothes, biofuel, paper and other products.

    Cannabis sales could supplement the tobacco trade, upon which Malawi is highly dependent.

    Other southern African countries, including Zambia, Lesotho and Zimbabwe, have relaxed rules on growing the plant.

    But South Africa is the only one to decriminalise it for personal use.

  15. Beetles line Sudan streets for German leader

    Mohanad Hashim

    BBC Focus on Africa

    Beetles of all colours have lined the streets of Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, to welcome Germany’s president to the country.

    Frank-Walter Steinmeier is the first high-level world leader to visit Sudan since long-time President Omar al-Bashir was ousted last year.

    The country’s Volkswagen Beetle Club organised the display in his honour - and the German president's name has been trending on social media.

    One person tweeted photos of the German-made vehicles:

    View more on twitter

    And you can watch him stopping his motorcade to take photos with VW Beetle fans:

    View more on twitter

    Popular singer Mohamad al-Amin has also re-released one of his songs in German to celebrate the visit.

    Many Sudanese hope investment from abroad will solve the country’s severe economic crisis after years of sanctions and international isolation.

  16. Somalis filmed 'saving whale shark'

    A Somali journalist working for China Global Television Network has tweeted a video of people in Garacad, north-eastern Somalia, trying to save a spotted whale shark.

    He quotes officials as saying it sustained injuries from foreign fishing trawlers operating illegally along the country’s coast:

    View more on twitter
  17. Liberian apology over failure to probe 'beating'

    Jonathan Paye-Layleh

    BBC News, Monrovia

    Zenu Miller
    Image caption: Zenu Miller was a popular radio talk show host

    Liberia’s information minister has apologised for the government’s failure to investigate the alleged beating of an investigative journalist that some suspect led to his death.

    Zenu Miller died 12 days ago - three weeks after he said he was assaulted by presidential security guards.

    The beating allegedly took place at a stadium where he had gone to do the commentary for a football match.

    The journalist hosted discussion shows on national issues under the rule of President George Weah, who was at the stadium to watch the game.

    Information Minister Eugene Nagbe made the apology at the headquarters of the local journalists’ association in the capital, Monrovia, when he went to sign the book of condolence in memory of the popular radio talk-show host.

    He did not say whether the government still intended to investigate the guards accused of taking part in the assault.

    Miller's family said a medical report attributed his death to high blood pressure.

  18. Brazilian jailed in Mozambique for drug trafficking

    Jose Tembe

    BBC News, Maputo

    A 24-year-old Brazilian woman has been sentenced to 17 years in prison in Mozambique for drug trafficking.

    Ariane Monteiro Aragão was detained on 26 June 2019 at Maputo International Airport in possession of 5.4kg (about 11lb) of cocaine. She had travelled from Brazil via Ethiopia.

    On the day of her detention, Aragão said she had come to Mozambique as a tourist and knew nothing about the drugs.

    But she admitted during her trial at a court in the capital, Maputo, that she was recruited in Brazil to carry the drugs to sell in Mozambique in exchange for about $2,500 (£1,940).

    During her confession she also said that she was a drug user and apologised.

    This did little to mitigate the length of her sentence.

    Judge Rui Dauane said:

    Quote Message: The accused is a person who did not make things difficult. During the trial, she admitted the facts.
    Quote Message: But she perfectly knew about the ills caused by drugs. Furthermore, she knew that carrying and possessing the drug was illicit.
    Quote Message: We regard the sentence of 17 years in prison as just."
    Quote Message: However, we urge that during the period of incarceration, she must keep away from this kind of substances.”

    Aragão is the second foreign citizen to be found guilty in Mozambique of trafficking cocaine this month.

    A 66-year-old US citizen was sentenced to 18 years last week.

    Last year, the UN office fighting drugs warned that Mozambique had become a corridor for high volumes of illicit substances.

  19. The Ethiopians returning home to start businesses

    An Ethiopia travel campaign poster at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport

    Need something to read on your commute home?

    Check out this piece about the hundreds of Ethiopians returning to the country, following reforms brought in by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

    Mr Abiy's reforms include changing the law to enable more Ethiopians living abroad to come back and help rebuild the economy.

    For years, Ethiopia's economy has been tightly controlled by the state and closed to many international investors.

    About two million Ethiopians live in the diaspora, the government estimates.

    Abiy Bister owns an Ethiopian restaurant in Washington DC. He hasn't seen his homeland in almost two decades, but he's now considering returning to Ethiopia to start a business there.