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Summary

  1. Top Ugandan reporter Joy Doreen Biira charged with "abetting terrorism" during Kasese violence
  2. Death toll in western Uganda kingdom clashes rises to 62
  3. African leaders pay tribute to Fidel Castro
  4. Gambia's president halts campaign for fifth term following Cuban leader's death
  5. New Zimbabwe bond notes released
  6. SA President Jacob Zuma faces no confidence vote
  7. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive WhatsApp: +44 7341070844
  8. Email stories and comments to africalive@bbc.co.uk - Monday 28 November 2016

Live reporting

By Tom Spender and Hugo Williams

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Monday'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:

The donkey said: ‘After I die let no more grass grow.’

An Amharic proverb sent by Million Tadege, Debre Markos, Ethiopia

Click here to send us your African proverbs.

And we leave you with this picture of an girl in Ivory Coast with a flower in her hair:

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Castro's Africa - Part II

Earlier we shared some archive photos and tributes from African leaders to the late Cuban leader Fidel Castro, who died on Friday aged 90. 

Castro's influence on Africa was huge (see earlier post) and he counted some of the continent's most iconic political figures among his close allies. 

Here he is with fellow Marxist revolutionary Thomas Sankara, the late Burkina Faso leader. Sankara was often described as "Africa's Che Guevara", in reference to Castro's legendary fellow fighter in the Cuban revolution: 

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Castro's support for African liberation movements also brought him into contact with Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana's first post-independence leader: 

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And not to forget the former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, his fellow member in the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) of countries which backed neither the Soviet Union nor Washington during the Cold War. 

Castro condemned Nato for its 2011 campaign against the Libyan strongman, which ended in his death: 

Gaddafi's body has been kidnapped and displayed as a trophy of war, a conduct that violates the most elementary principles of Islamic rules and other religious beliefs prevailing in the world."

Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi (C) and Cuban president Fidel Castro (R) walk along with Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega (L) during the non-aligned countries summit, on September 4, 1986 in Harare, Zimbabwe
AFP

Deadly clashes between nomads and al-Shabab over taxes

Mary Harper

Africa editor, BBC World Service

At least 10 people have been killed and dozens wounded in fighting between Somali nomads and the Islamist group al-Shabab. 

The clashes erupted after Islamists in the coastal town of Harardhere ordered locals to pay taxes. 

The nomads, who have lost much of their livestock in the current drought, refused and attacked Al Shabaab. It is unusual for civilians to resist Al Shabaab in Somalia. 

The group controls large areas of territory and carries out harsh punishments against those it accuses of opposing its rule.

100 Women 2016: Female Arab cartoonists challenge authority

cartoon
riham el hour

In some Arab countries women still have to ask permission from a male relative to get a passport, marry or leave the country. Although the practice of "male guardianship" is not always enshrined in law, it persists in everyday life within many families.

As part of the 100 Women season, the BBC asked three female cartoonists from North Africa to take up their pens and illustrate how the custom continues to affect women's lives in their countries.    

Read the full piece here

Doom congregation defend spraying pastor

rabalago spraying
mountzion general assembly
Lethebo Rabalago claims insecticide Doom can cure cancer and HIV

Members of a church in Limpopo have defended their pastor, who has taken to spraying them with Doom pesticide as a "healing" technique.

Broadcaster SABC says it was invited to a session with self-proclaimed prophet Lethebo Rabalago at the Mountzion Assembly and saw Mr Rabalago spray both himself and worshippers.

During the visit, one worshipper praised the pastor and said he "stands tall before the Goliath of this world, the media".

Mr Rabalago quoted the Bible and included a mention for Doom.

"Those who believe in my name they shall pick up snakes, they shall spray doom and it will not do anything to them, Mark 16," SABC quoted him as saying.

Read more: South Africa's 'Prophet of Doom' condemned

Ugandan TV anchor charged with 'abetting terrorism' amid Kasese violence

Joy Doreen Biira may have been released from detention after a hashtag campaign swept across Uganda (see earlier entries), but there is still plenty to be concerned about for supporters of the leading news presenter. 

According to this police document shared by her lawyer on Twitter, Ms Biira and four others have been charged with "abetting terrorism" after being detained in Kasese, western Uganda, following deadly violence over the weekend. 

Her lawyer Nicholas Opiyo called the charges "ridiculous": 

View more on twitter

Supporters have been sharing photos of her following her release from detention in Kasese:

View more on twitter

DR Congo ethnic clashes leave 34 dead

The group of attackers is made up of vigilantes from of Nande ethnicity
Reuters
The attackers were ethnic Nande vigilantes

At least 34 civilians were killed in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo as violence flared up between feuding ethnic groups, officials say. 

The deaths happened during an attack by a militia from the Nande ethnic group on the Hutu village of Luhanga in Nord-Kivu province. 

AFP quoted local official Joy Bokele as saying: 

They started by attacking the FARDC (DR Congo military) position. While they were attacking the FARDC, another group was executing the population with bladed weapons or bullets."

Tensions between the Nande and Hutu peoples have been running high in the restive east, shaken by two decades of fighting over land, ethnic tensions and mineral riches, AFP says. 

What do we know about Uganda's restive Rwenzururu kingdom?

Rachel Akidi, Editor – BBC Focus on Africa radio

mumbere
BBC
King Charles Wesley Mumbere and his supporters have been accused of plotting secession

The Rwenzururu kingdom is a traditional monarchy around the mountains of Rwenzori – 340km (210 miles) west of the Ugandan capital Kampala.

Its people - the Bakonzo - straddle both Uganda and the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

Tension has been high in the kingdom for in recent years. 

Land disputes have led to bitter divisions over plans to divide up Kasese – one of the seven districts in the Rwenzori region.

Now the King Charles Wesley Mumbere and some of his supporters have been accused of launching a secessionist movement to create a new republic known as Yiira.

The authorities blame a recent spate of attacks on security installations in the area on this new movement.

The kingdom has denied any links to the "secessionist group".

“We’ve never sat down as a kingdom to discuss this Yiira state,” Rwenzururu kingdom spokesman Clarence Bwambale told Focus on Africa radio. 

He denied that they were harbouring any militia in the palace as claimed by the army.

The weekend clashes in what is an opposition stronghold appear to have intensified following February’s general elections.

In April, President Yoweri Museveni ordered a heavy deployment of the army and police to the area to "hunt down people responsible for the violence". 

“We can’t entertain banditry and we can’t negotiate with bandits. They either come out or we shall get them out of their hide outs”, he said at the time.

The police say at least 60 people have been killed in two days of clashes, hundreds injured and many more arrested.

Graphic photographs showing dozens of dead bodies have gone viral on social media.

The Uganda Law Society has called for an inquiry to investigate the violence and propose "permanent solutions to the conflict".

Traditional kingdoms, which are barred constitutionally from taking part in national politics were abolished in 1966, but then restored by President Museveni in the 1990s.

King Wesley Mumbere was crowned king of the Rwenzururu kingdom in 2009, after living and working in a US nursing home for many years.

See earlier entries for more details

Zuma and Museveni meet as events unfold elsewhere

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

President Jacob Zuma will find time to host his Ugandan counterpart president Yoweri Museveni even as his comrades in the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the governing African National Congress (ANC) are locked in a room debating his fate.

Mr Museveni meanwhile is travelling following deadly clashes between security forces and a militia loyal to a traditional king in western Uganda in which at least 62 people died.

Mr Zuma’s office announced late on Monday that the beleaguered president would meet Mr Museveni at the Presidential Guesthouse in Pretoria.

The ANC announced on Sunday that it would be extending its NEC meeting following tourism minister Derek Hanekom tabling a motion to recall the president.

Those, within the ANC, who want president Zuma to step down have complained about corruption allegations surrounding the 74 year old leader and his close relationship to his family friends the controversial Gupta family. 

The accusations by a corruption watchdog points to evidence of corruption in government contracts worth millions of dollars.

President Zuma and the Gupta family deny any wrongdoing.

The debate is expected to continue late into Monday night.

Kasese clashes: Reporter Joy Doreen Biira released

Catherine Byaruhanga

BBC Africa, Kampala

View more on twitter

Joy Doreen Biira, a presenter on Kenya's KTN TV news channel, has been released from a police station where she was held earlier today. She had been detained amid the deadly unrest in western Uganda, where she is from.

She told the BBC she was fine and thankful for the support she has received.

Police accuse her of trespassing into a cordoned off area at the King of Rwenzururu's palace after his arrest. Her family denies this. 

Security forces had fought with militia loyal to the king, Charles Mumbere.

Kasese is Ms Biira's home district and she had posted emotional messages online, describing seeing her heritage "going up in flames" and asking: "Where did it all go wrong? Why the killings?"

See earlier posts for more details

#PowerWomen: 'I knew I wanted to be a boss by the age of 35'

'I knew I wanted to be a boss by the age of 35'

Phyllis Wakiaga aimed to be a top executive by 35. Now she is the head of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers.

Women of Africa is a BBC season recognising inspiring women across the continent. The third series, Power Women, introduces six women, who are chief executive officers or company heads, who are finding success in their country and beyond.

Kasese clashes: Who is traditional Ugandan king Charles Mumbere?

Kasese clashes: Who is traditional Ugandan king Charles Mumbere?

Rwenzururu king Charles Mumbere has been arrested after deadly clashes around his palace in Kasese, western Uganda, killed at least 62 people. 

His Bakonzo community on the border with the DR Congo has long been at loggerheads with the dominant Toro kingdom in the region. 

Mr Mumbere assumed his title in 2009 when President Yoweri Museveni officially recognised the kingdom. 

Before he was king, he lived in the US state of Pennsylvania and worked in a care home.

Here's the BBC TV report from his coronation seven years ago: 

See earlier posts for more details

Africa mourns Castro, giant of the continent

The death of Fidel Castro, Cuba's revolutionary leader and one of the iconic political figures of the 20th Century, has reverberated around the world. 

Many African leaders have been paying tribute to the late Communist leader, who had a huge influence on the continent, especially with the Angolan struggle for independence and the fight against apartheid in southern Africa. 

We've brought together some of the archive photos of Fidel Castro in Africa to look back at his relationship with the continent. 

Here he is with Angolan President Eduardo Dos Santos in 1980. Castro supported Dos Santos, who is still ruler of the oil-rich state, for many years. 

Cuban revolutionary and president Fidel Ruz Castro (L) welcomes 24 March 1980 in Havana Angolan President Eduardo dos Santos upon his arrival in Cuba for 3-day official visit.
AFP
Fidel Castro backed Angolan President Eduardo dos Santos for many years

In 1998, he travelled to South Africa to meet with Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first black president. Cuba's earlier intervention in Angola helped turn the US against South Africa's white minority rule.

The late South African President Nelson Mandela greets Cuban leader Fidel Castro
AFP

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has shared an old photo of him with Castro as part of a personal tribute on Twitter: 

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Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta also praised Castro's legacy:

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In 1976, Castro welcomed Ethiopia's former Marxist leader Mengistu Haile Mariam, who was later found guilty of genocide. 

Photo dated 25 April 1975 shows Ethiopian President Lieutenant Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam (R) making the V sign as he stands with Fidel Castro (C) and Raul Castro (L) during an official visit in La Havana, Cuba. An Ethiopian court sentenced 11 January 2007 the country's former dictator, Mengistu Haile Mariam, currently in exile in Zimbabwe,
AFP

Castro welcomed President Robert Mugabe to Cuba in 2005, one of many visits by the Zimbabwean leader: 

Cuban President Fidel Castro (R) shakes hands with Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe 12 September, 2005 at the State Council in Havana.
AFP

Read more: How Castro changed southern Africa

Somali-American vies for Miss Minnesota title

Halima Aden poses for a photo at St. Cloud State University
AP

A Somali-American woman has become the first to compete in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant while fully clothed. 

Halima Aden made the semifinals of the competition over the weekend while wearing a hijab. She also wore a full-body outfit called a burkini during the swimsuit competition. 

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports Ms Aden's swim outfit stood in contrast to those of the other 44 contestants, most of whom wore bikinis. 

Before the competition, the 19-year-old told Minnesota Public Radio News that the pageant was "a great platform to show the world who I am".

Earlier this month a Somali-born former refugee made history by becoming the first Somali-American legislator in the US. 

Ilhan Omar, 34, who also wears the hijab, was elected to serve in Minnesota's state house of representatives.

DR Congo students protest over China land transfer

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More than 300 students staged a protest on Monday in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, to oppose the transfer of a plot of land to the Chinese embassy, the AFP news agency reports. 

The students are from the upscale La Gombe Institute, an elite school complex in the north of Kinshasa. 

They poured outside at 07:00 local time shouting anti-Chinese slogans and proceeded to disrupt traffic around the headquarters of the Ministry of Education. 

A Ministry official told AFP that the Chinese embassy will use the plot of land to build a training centre for new technology.

But protesters say the transfer of the land is the last straw. 

They complain that their school complex had already been deprived of facilities such their water pool and playground which now belong to a club that they say is owned by President Joseph Kabila's brother. 

The students' protest appears to have no connection with the wave of discontent sweeping across DR Congo over the delaying of a presidential election, originally due to take place this month.   

Morocco TV apologises after advising women to hide bruises

The segment on Channel 2M demonstrated how it was possible to hide bruising with makeup
channel 2m
The segment on Channel 2M demonstrated how it was possible to hide bruising with makeup

A Moroccan TV channel has apologised after broadcasting a show advising women how to hide signs of domestic violence using makeup.

Channel 2M, which featured the clip last week, has admitted that the footage was "completely inappropriate".

In the broadcast, a woman is seen resting in a chair while makeup is applied to conceal fake bruises around her eyes.

The video was later removed from the channel's website.

In the clip, featured on the show Sabahiyat, the host of the show offers tips on how to make the appearance of bruising "disappear" using foundation and toners.

"We hope these beauty tips will help you carry on with your daily life," the host suggests after demonstrating how to mask the signs of violence.

The controversial video was shared on Twitter and Facebook, receiving widespread condemnation.

Read the full story here

EU extends Somalia anti-piracy mission

BBC World Service

Armed militiamen and some pirates stand among fishing boats on the coast in the central Somali town of Hobyo on August 20, 2010.
AFP
The number of pirate attacks off Somalia has sharply declined

The European Union has extended for another two years its anti-piracy naval patrols off the coast of Somalia.

The number of pirate attacks has fallen sharply since its peak in 2011 when they occurred nearly every day. 

Last week, NATO ended its anti-piracy mission in the Indian Ocean. 

EU warships also protect vessels delivering aid to Somalia and monitor fishing activities. 

Analysts say pirate attacks could resume if naval patrols cease and ships passing through the area stop having armed guards on board.

Danger zone: Chasing West Africa’s pirates

Mombasa fishermen eye big catches with launch of deep-sea vessel

Ferdinand Omondi

BBC Africa, Mombasa

Picture of the new boat MV Mombasa 001 with a dozen or so passengers on board, cruising through green-blue waters
BBC

Kenyan authorities in the coastal city of Mombasa have launched the country’s first locally manufactured and owned deep-sea fishing vessel. 

Local fishermen usually use low-powered motorboats, known as dhows. 

Kelly Konde, head of the Mombasa Beach Management Units, says they can barely fish beyond the reefs, or further than five nautical miles from the coast.

It is expected the boat will enable fishermen to travel as far as Kenya's marine borders, which stretch 200 nautical miles into the Indian Ocean. 

Experts say the new vessel is likely to boost fish production in the county. 

Fisherman places hand on side of a large tuna caught in the new boat
BBC
A 70kg tuna was the first catch from the new boat

Research shows Kenya's waters can produce between 150-000 to 300,000 tonnes of fish per year

But last year Kenya's fishermen only managed 9,000 tonnes. 

That's about 15 times less than the figure for the Somali fisheries sector. 

Nigeria's Nollywood boss: 'They thought I was the make-up lady'

The Nigerian film industry, Nollywood, is reportedly worth as much as $3bn (£2.4bn) a year.

But filmmaker Tope Oshin told BBC Focus on Africa's Mayeni Jones there were fewer than 20 female directors in Nigeria, while there were hundreds if not thousands of men behind the camera.

She's been interviewing Nollywood's top women directors for a new documentary: 

Nigeria's Nollywood boss: 'They thought I was the make-up lady'

China 'is the largest fishing power in West Africa'

China is now the largest fishing power in West Africa, according to the environmental organisation Greenpeace.

And that's not necessarily a good thing, it says. 

Green Peace says reported catches have increased almost 12 times to 3.6m tonnes and illegal fishing is also becoming more common. 

It points to China's long-distance fishing fleet, numbering more than 2,000 vessels, which is 10 times more than the US. 

Yuyang Liu is a Chinese photographer who spent time in Senegal and Mauritania with Greenpeace earlier this year, watching the influx of Chinese fishing fleets and their impact.

She spoke to the BBC World Service about what she saw:

Greenpeace blames China's fleet for over-fishing in the waters of West Africa

Ugandan king could face treason charges over violence

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The king of Rwenzururu Kingdom could face treason charges if he is found guilty of being behind the deadly violence this weekend in western Uganda, the state-owned New Vision newspaper quotes police as saying. 

Charles Wesley Mumbere was flown to the capital Kampala following his arrest, police spokesman Andrew Felix Kaweesi told the paper. 

The king is accused of inciting violence after militiamen reportedly attacked a police post in his hometown of Kasese.

Security forces stormed his palace amid claims he was harbouring fighters. The king has denied any involvement.

It is seven years since President Yoweri Museveni recognised the kingdom, which has a long history of separatism and whose community complains of being marginalised by central government. 

See earlier posts for more details

When is a currency not a currency?

Matthew Davies, Editor of BBC Africa Business Report

new bond note
Reuters

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has always steered clear of referring to the new bond notes as currency.

For ordinary Zimbabweans, memories of the collapse and demise of the Zimbabwean dollar in 2009, and the hyperinflation that caused its destruction, still rankle.

So, it's a question of "when is a currency not a currency?"

Withdraw from a bank today in Zimbabwe and you'll be issued with bond notes, which are officially interchangeable with the US dollar at a rate of one to one.

You can take the notes to the shops and exchange them for goods. All very well and good, you'd think.

But what a currency needs is confidence, and on the streets of Harare there seems to be precious little of that.

There were few alternatives for the Reserve Bank - the economy is experiencing a chronic shortage of US dollars, which have been the main currency of use for the past seven years.

But such is the fear that the bond notes will be unable to hold their parity with the dollar that their introduction has sparked the largest anti-government protests in years.

If the current experiment with bond notes even looks like taking a step backward to the hyperinflation of seven years ago, not only will the economy's very survival be in jeopardy, so too will the government's.

Read the full BBC Business story here

See earlier posts for more details

Zimbabwe's 2008-9 hyperinflation crisis in numbers

An egg cost 50 billion Zimbabwean dollars in 2008

A loaf of bread cost the same as 12 brand new cars would have cost ten years previously

Inflation rates reached 231,000,000%

To keep up with the rising prices, a 100 trillion dollar note was issued - enough for a weekly bus ticket - before the Zimbabwean dollar was scrapped in 2009

AFOTY - Get your votes in!

You have until 18:00 GMT today to vote for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Andre Ayew, Riyad Mahrez, Sadio Mane or Yaya Toure to be the BBC African Footballer of the Year 2016.

Fans from across the world will decide the winner and have been voting for their favourite since the five-man shortlist was revealed during a special live launch broadcast on Saturday 12 November.

The 2016 recipient of the award will be announced on Monday, 12 December, live on BBC Focus on Africa TV and radio, starting from 17:35 GMT.

VOTE HERE NOW!

#Sudan_Civil_Disobedience_On_Its _Second_Day

Ibrahim Haithar

BBC Monitoring, Nairobi

Sudanese activists on social media have called for three days of civil disobedience, starting yesterday.

Today marks the second day. The call is in response to the government's decision to lift subsidies on fuel, medicines and electricity which has led to skyrocketing prices of important commodities in the country.

Sudanese on have been posting photos on Twitter of empty streets in Khartoum and other parts of the country. 

They are using an Arabic-language hashtag that translates to #Sudan_Civil_Disobedience_On_Its _Second_Day, as well as #SudanCivilDisobedience2 in English. 

Meanwhile Sudanese security officials this morning confiscated copies of the privately-owned daily Al-Ayyam and Al-Jareeda newspapers from the printing press without giving any reasons for the step. 

The confiscation was carried out after the printing process had been completed, journalists from the two papers said. 

They told Al-Tareeq news website that the confiscation could most likely be punishment for them covering the calls for civil disobedience in the country.

Sudanese security imposes severe restrictions on press freedoms that include pre-publication censorship and a "red lines policy".

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Uganda opposition leader decries Kasese 'massacre'

Ugandan opposition leader Kizza Besigye has decried the killings over the weekend in K western town of Kasese in the Rwenzori region (see earlier entries).

In a tweet that is too disturbing for us to link to here, the four-time presidential candidate shares a photo appearing to show more than 30 bodies lying outside the gates of the royal palace in Kasese, with the accompanying text: 

"GENOCIDE IN KASESE?? Can't find what else to call this type of massacre! God save our country from this senseless violence."

Here is privately-owned NTV's report on the clashes from Sunday:

View more on youtube

See earlier posts for more details

'US to include al-Shabab in war on al-Qaeda' - NYT

car bomb in mogadishu
EPA
Al-Shabab are suspected of being behind a car bomb attack on Saturday that killed at least 11 people

President Barack Obama has expanded the legal scope of US military action against al-Qaeda - launched following the 9/11 attacks in 2001 - to include the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab militant group in Somalia, the New York Times reports.

The move is seen as necessary to bolster the legal basis for increasingly wide-ranging operations against the group, which are being carried out to support African Union (AU) and Somali government forces, the newspaper says.

It says special operations troops, private contractors, air strikes and allied African countries are all being used against the militants.

The new legal framework is reportedly expected to be revealed in a letter to the US Congress next month.

Earlier moves to expand the legal scope of military action against al-Qaeda to new countries have faced criticism from some legal experts.

More than 22,000 peacekeepers are currently deployed in Somalia in the multi-national AU force.

Al-Shabab, which wants Somalia to follow a strict version of Shariah law, opposes their presence.

Despite being ousted from most of its key strongholds in south and central Somalia, the Islamist group continues to launch deadly guerrilla attacks against the Somali government and foreign troops.

The group is suspected of being behind a car bomb attack on a market in Mogadishu on Saturday that killed at least 11 people.

#FreeJoyDoreen - Top Uganda journalist detained amid Kasese unrest

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One of East Africa's leading journalists has been arrested after deadly violence broke out in her hometown of Kasese over the weekend, killing at least 62 people. 

Joy Doreen Biira, a presenter on Kenya's KTN TV news channel, was posting to her Twitter and Facebook accounts about the violence between security forces and guards loyal to the local king of Rwenzururu, who is accused of separatism. 

Her employer says she has been detained over her coverage of the unrest and a police spokesman was quoted in local media saying that she had "crossed the line". 

In a Facebook post on Sunday, Ms Biira alleged that the violence had broken out after negotiations between the two sides failed and said she had "watched part of her heritage burn up in flames". 

View more on twitter

A photo of the media personality at the local police station in Kasese this morning has been circulating on social media, where the hashtag #FreeJoyDoreen is now trending. 

See earlier post for more details

View more on twitter

Uganda law student: 'My skirt really wasn't short'

Last week Joaninne Nanyange wrote a Facebook post saying she had been barred from class because her knee-length skirt was deemed 'distracting to men and boys'.

She said such rules reinforced a system under which women were being made responsible for the actions of men who harass and attack them.

The story attracted a lot of interest, with hundreds of people commenting on the BBC Africa Facebook page.

Here Ms Nanyange tells the BBC's World Have Your Say programme that she believes attitudes need to change.

Uganda law student: 'My skirt really wasn't short'

New Zimbabwe currency released

Shingai Nyoka

BBC Africa, Harare

new 2 dollar bond note
Reuters
A new two-dollar bond note. A five-dollar bond note is also being released

Zimbabwe authorities are rolling out a new national currency today despite widespread public condemnation of the move.

The central bank says the notes are on par in value to US dollars and will be released on a limited basis to avoid flooding the market. 

For years, Zimbabwe has used the US dollar and other international currencies after it abandoned the inflation-hit Zimbabwe dollar. 

Seven years after abandoning its local dollar, Zimbabwe once again has its own money. 

The so-called bond note becomes one of nine currencies accepted as legal tender in the country. 

The central bank has assured the public, that the notes’ release will be measured. 

Initially, $10m worth will be introduced into circulation in two and five dollar denominations. 

The bank is limiting individual weekly withdrawals to $150 dollars. 

The notes were introduced as part of a scheme to pay incentives to exporters and to overcome a shortage of international currencies.  

While the move has received the backing of major business groups, it’s faced stiff public resistance. 

This week, major opposition parties, workers and civil society groups are planning separate protests against the bond notes. 

The central bank is taking steps to prevent the abuse of new notes. Under a proposed law anyone found guilty of defacing the bond notes could face up to seven years in prison.

Read more: Why Zimbabweans are spending the night outside banks

Zaha chooses Ivory Coast over England

zaha
fedivoir.com
Zaha (C) with Ivorian football federation president Augustin Sidy Diallo (L) and manager Michel Dussuyer

Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha has submitted a request to Fifa to swap his international allegiance from England to the Ivory Coast.

Abidjan-born Zaha grew up in England and won two caps for the Three Lions, but because they were in friendly games he is allowed to switch.

Zaha, 24, would be eligible to feature in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.

The tournament in Gabon, which starts on 14 January, could see Zaha miss up to six weeks of the season for Palace.

An Ivorian Football Federation statement said Zaha had sent a letter to Fifa on Sunday requesting a nationality change.

Palace boss Alan Pardew said on Friday that Zaha had been "pushed forward, probably by his agent or people around him" to make the change but could "understand his frustration" at not being picked for England.

Read the full story here

UN workers abducted in Darfur

BBC World Service

Solider
AFP

Officials in Sudan say three United Nations workers have been abducted in the western region of Darfur. 

One was Sudanese, the other two from Nepal. 

They are said to have been seized near the office of the UN refugee agency in the town of Geneina. 

The abduction of aid workers is common in Darfur, which has been affected by conflict for more than 13 years. 

Fidel Castro's legacy in Africa

There have been widely contrasting reactions to the death of Cuba's Fidel Castro, Communist revolutionary and president of the Caribbean island nation for nearly half a century. 

He was of course a major opponent of the West, especially during the Cold War. 

But what about his reputation in Africa, especially given the tens of thousands of doctors Cuba sent to the continent and the assistance it gave to those fighting to end apartheid rule in South Africa? 

South African journalist Lynsey Chutel says there is more than a little nostalgia about the iconic leader: 

'They look at Castro the same way they look at their founding fathers - lots of nostalgia'

Read more: How Castro survived '638 death plots'

Royal guards' families demand bodies after Uganda clashes

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Ugandan police have dispersed people trying to reach a mortuary to recover the bodies of their relatives killed in violence in the western town of Kasese over the weekend, the state-owned New Vision newspaper reports. 

More than 40 royal guards, considered by the Ugandan authorities to be part of a militia group, were killed after security forces stormed the palace of the king of Rwenzururu, who has been arrested.

The king denies harbouring militiamen and inciting violence. 

"We need the bodies of our relatives to accord them a decent burial some of the bodies are still laying at the entrance of the palace and we are not being allowed to get them," local resident Joy Biira told the paper.

It quotes another resident, Francis Bwambale, saying:

My wife was shot and killed on Saturday at the kingdom administrative offices but even up to now I have not yet known were the body was kept or buried."

A military spokesman told the paper that operations were still ongoing. 

The privately owned Daily Monitor newspaper leads on what it calls a "shoot-to-kill" policy of security forces involved in the raid on the royal palace: 

Zuma facing ANC no confidence vote

Karen Allen

BBC southern Africa correspondent, Johannesburg

zuma
Reuters

President Jacob Zuma is facing what could be the toughest battle of his career after one of his own ministers tabled a vote of no confidence in him. 

A meeting of the governing party's top brass has been extended to consider the proposal by the tourism minister Derek Hanekom for the leader to step down. 

Although President Zuma has faced challenges to step down - in the past - this time the motion of no confidence is coming from one of his own ministers. 

Mr Hanekom laid down the gauntlet at a gathering of the National Executive Committee - the ANC's top brass and the only body which can remove its leader. 

Local media reports that Mr Hanecome has the support of at least two other prominent ministers in his bold bid to force the president to step down. 

Although Mr Zuma has long enjoyed the backing of many on the party's top table, there are suggestions that if put to a secret ballot, loyalty could fall away. 

The hashtag #ANCNEC is trending in South Africa as people discuss Zuma's fate.

A leadership contest is not expected until this time next year but after concerns about the influence of the wealthy business family the Guptas and the ANC's poor performance in local government elections earlier this year, Mr Zuma's tenure is looking decidedly more fragile.

Read more: The Guptas and their links to South Africa's Jacob Zuma

Death toll in Uganda violence rises

Map shows Uganda, with capital Kampala and Kasese in the west marked
BBC

The number of people killed in fighting in western Uganda over the weekend has risen to 62, according to police, Reuters news agency reports. 

Police clashed with members of an armed group fighting to create a separate state in the country's west. 

The king of Rwenzururu, Charles Wesley Mumbere, has been arrested and taken to the capital Kampala, accused of inciting the violence, which he denies.

The police say they also arrested several fighters when they stormed the king's palace, in the town of Kasese near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

The small kingdom has a long history of tension with the Ugandan government and the region's larger Toro kingdom.

Jammeh 'suspends campaign' out of respect for Castro

castro
AP
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Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh has suspended his campaign for next Thursday's election as a mark of respect for former Cuban leader Fidel Castro, the BBC has been told.

The country's information minister said the move was to mourn the death of Castro, who ruled Cuba as a one-party state for almost half a century, died on Friday aged 90.

Mr Jammeh had close links to him and Cuba was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with Banjul after Mr Jammeh took power in 1994 following a coup.

Cuban doctors have also been working in The Gambia.

Mr Jammeh is seeking re-election for a fifth term and for the first time he will be facing a single major opposition candidate.

Earlier this month, Human Rights Watch accused him of using violence to silence critics ahead of the poll and said two activists had died in custody and dozens of people had been jailed and denied medical or legal help.

Read more: The crack in Gambia's smile

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