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  1. South African court rules president failed to uphold constitution
  2. Opposition calls for President Zuma's impeachment
  3. Kenya president gives highest award to Muslim who shielded Christians from al-Shabab
  4. Ugandan court rejects presidential election challenge
  5. More donors 'withdraw Tanzania aid'
  6. At least eight killed in central Somalia blast
  7. A South African game park lion called Sylvester who escaped is found and tranquilised
  8. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive
  9. Email stories and comments to - Thursday 31 March 2016

Live Reporting

By Hugo Williams and Damian Zane

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Scroll down for Thursday's stories

    We'll be back tomorrow

    That's where we end the BBC Africa Live page for this Thursday, which has been a difficult day for some of the continent's presidents:

    We'll be back tomorrow but in the meantime, keep up-to-date with what is happening across the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast and checking the BBC News website

    Today's African proverb:

    Quote Message: Lightening does not strike the same tree twice." from A Luhya proverb sent by Ahnez Ruud Okubasu, Nairobi, Kenya
    A Luhya proverb sent by Ahnez Ruud Okubasu, Nairobi, Kenya

    We leave you with this picture of an Egyptian souvenir vendor waiting for customers today at Egypt's Valley of the Kings in Luxor, which has been hit by a downturn in tourism.

    An Egyptian souvenir vendor waits for customers at the Valley of the Kings in Luxor
  2. Besigye son runs for president - in Oxford

    A Besigye running for president? It sounds like a familiar story doesn't it?

    But this time it's not Kizza, but Anslem, the son of the embattled Ugandan opposition leader, who is running to become a president. He wants to become the head of the Oxford Union, probably the most prestigious university debating society in the world. 

    He's even trying to canvass support with an election video, which has already been viewed more than 50,000 times on Facebook. 

    But Mr Besigye Jr is unlikely to be placed under house arrest to maintain public order. 

    His father has been detained at his home since he threatened to protest following President Yoweri Museveni's election victory last month.

    Anslem Besigye
  3. Why are Western donors withdrawing aid from Tanzania?

    The embassies of Sweden and the Republic of Ireland in Tanzania have confirmed that they are no longer providing the Tanzanian government with budgetary support, the BBC's Sammy Awami reports from the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.

    The Tanzanian finance ministry said on Wednesday that 10 Western donors were withdrawing the direct financial support they give the government (see earlier entry at 09:39).

    It leaves the European Union (EU), the World Bank, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Denmark as the four remaining donors, according to the finance ministry, local media reports.

    It represents another blow to the government of President John Magafuli after the US pulled $472m (£331m) of funding for development projects because of concerns over recent elections in Zanzibar.    

    The Swedish embassy said in a statement that their decision was not connected to Zanzibar, but rather due to "corruption surrounding the energy sector" and the scheduled expiration of the current agreement.

    The Republic of Ireland embassy said it had "no further plans to release budget support" and that the last payment was made in June 2015. 

    One regional analyst has tweeted a cartoon that Tanzania's privately-owned Guardian newspaper, portraying the apparent dash for the exit by donors in recent days: 

    View more on twitter
  4. What will President Zuma be tucking into tonight?

    The South African fast-food chain Nando's has become well known for its adverts inspired by current affairs.

    And it's been quick off the mark today, with a poster reflecting the Constitutional Court decision that President Jacob Zuma failed to uphold the constitution.

    A BBC reporter in South Africa has tweeted Nando's latest cheeky offering:

    View more on twitter

    The ANC's top leaders are expected to meet later today to discuss the implications of the ruling for the future of Mr Zuma.

  5. Rhodes has fallen but SA university now wants to rename campus buildings

    South Africa's University of Cape Town (UCT) has asked staff, students and alumni to suggest new names for some of its buildings.

    The call comes in the wake of the controversy over the successful campaign to remove a statue of UCT benefactor Cecil Rhodes, which many saw as a symbol of racist colonial values.

    The campaign sparked a debate about how historical South African heroes should be memorialised.

    There have been concerns that the names of some of the university buildings reflect the history of a non-democratic South Africa.

    In a statement, UCT Vice-Chancellor Max Price said he was looking for "a diversity of views leading to name changes that will give our campus an inclusive and diverse character and symbolise the living democracy we strive for".

    Rhodes statue being removed
    Image caption: The #RhodesMustFall campaign gained international media attention
  6. Kenya Airways to make 600 staff redundant

    Kenya's national airline Kenya Airways has announced that it is cutting 600 jobs to cut costs.

    The airline made the announcement in a series of tweets:

    View more on twitter

    Kenya Airways, one of the continent's biggest airlines, is trying to return to profitability after announcing its biggest ever annual loss in July last year.

    It's facing competition from Gulf carriers as well as the expanding Ethiopian Airlines.

  7. Moise Katumbi challenges DR Congo's President Kabila to step down

    The owner of African's top football club has told the president of Democratic Republic of Congo to step down when his second term in office ends in December.

    Moise Katumbi urged President Joseph Kabila to stick to the constitution.

    Mr Katumbi has been nominated by seven opposition parties to be their presidential candidate in the elections expected in November.

    Mr Kabila took power in 2001 after his father Laurent Kabila was assassinated.

    He has since won two disputed elections since he took power in 2001, and is constitutionally barred from contesting the poll.  

    Read more from the BBC News Online story.

    Moise Katumbi
    Image caption: Moise Katumbi is the owner of TP Mazembe, five-time winners of the African champions league
  8. A tasty Nigerian snack: Fried grasshoppers and chilli

    Isa Sanusi

    BBC Africa, Abuja

    Grasshoppers are a delicacy in Nigeria, especially in the north-east. 

    I spotted someone selling them in Masaka, which is about 10km (six miles) outside the capital, Abuja:

    Grasshoppers for sale in Masaka, Nigeria

    The grasshopper trader said he’d got them from Yobe state – and they’d been washed and fried for his customers.

    Some people like to eat them with a sprinkle of chilli: 

    A grasshopper seller's bag of chilli powder in Masaka, Nigeria

    Each portion is sold for 50 naira ($0.25, £0.17) – but this man was bargaining to buy a cup at lower cost:  

    A grasshopper customer in Masaka, Nigeria

    His haggling paid off - and he got a tasty snack for just 20 naira.

  9. Giant rats trained to detect tuberculosis in prisons

    Rats are already used to sniff out landmines, but now they are going to be used to sniff out tuberculosis (TB) in Tanzania and Mozambique.

    Scientists from Apopo, a non-governmental organisation, have trained African giant pouched rats to detect the disease.

    The organisation will use them in crowded prisons, where TB often goes undiagnosed, because prisoners do not have money or awareness to go to screenings.

    Video content

    Video caption: Giant rats trained to detect tuberculosis in prisons

    Video produced by Alexi Peristianis

  10. Top honour for Kenyan Muslim who shielded Christians from al-Shabab

    Salah Farah called for Muslims and Christians to look after each other
    Image caption: Salah Farah called for Muslims and Christians to look after each other

    The Kenyan Muslim teacher who was shot and later died after shielding Christian fellow passengers when their bus was attacked by al-Shabab militants has been awarded a top honour for his bravery.

    The story made global headlines in December, with many online praising the passengers' show of unity.  

    Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who announced the award in his State of the Nation address, has been giving more details on his Twitter feed:

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter

    Salah Farah was on a bus travelling through Mandera in Kenya when it was attacked by al-Shabab in December.

    The attackers told the Muslims and Christians to split up but he was among Muslim passengers who refused.

    A bullet hit Mr Farah, who died from his injuries a month later. 

    al-Shabab militants pose with guns
    Image caption: Somali-based al-Shabab has launched several attacks over the border in Kenya
  11. Nigeria campaign to stop women giving birth in churches

    Activists in Nigeria are campaigning to stop women giving birth in churches. 

    It's a popular practice in Cross River state in the south of the country. 

    Many women believe that a church will offer more protection during childbirth than a medical facility. 

    One told the BBC she could get an injection in a hospital but no-one would pray for her there. 

    Nigerian churches sometimes employ traditional birth attendants, but they lack formal training and all but the most basic equipment. 

    Campaigners say that some women who died in childbirth in churches would have survived in a health facility. 

    The BBC's Chris Ewokor has been to Calabar city to find out more from Dr Lynda Ayade, one of those leading the campaign. You can listen to his report below.

    View more on Soundcloud
  12. EU 'to impose sanctions on those who block Libya peace process'

    Three Libyans who are accused of obstructing the peace process are set to face European Union sanctions, the AFP news agency reports, quoting EU sources.

    The source said that there will be "a ban on travelling in the European Union and a freeze on assets in the EU, which could be effective as it seems they have assets in Malta".

    The report does not name those who are facing the sanctions. 

    The leadership of a UN-backed government arrived in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, on Wednesday, but some militia forces have refused to recognise it.

    Libyan government meeting
    Image caption: The UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj (second from right) met with members of the presidential council in Tripoli today
  13. Analysis: What South Africa's court ruling means for Zuma

    Milton Nkosi

    BBC Africa, Johannesburg

    It is very difficult to see how the ANC can continue to have President Jacob Zuma at the helm, following the stinging rebuke he received from the Constitutional Court.

    Earlier today it ruled that he violated the constitution when he failed to repay government money spent on his private home.

    Opposition parties now plan to strike against the 73-year-old leader, and hope that ANC MPs will vote with them to impeach him. Another option is for the ANC to recall Mr Zuma, as it did with his predecessor, Thabo Mbeki, in 2008.

    A third option would be to say "better the devil you know" and to stick with Mr Zuma, at least until after this year's crucial local government elections.

    As for South Africans, they are celebrating the independence of the Constitutional Court.

    It has shown that it will protect the public from the abuse of power and will not be a political crony of the government. 

    This is likely to embolden South Africans to continue fighting corruption and demanding accountability from the government.

    Jacob Zuma
    Image caption: The ANC's top leaders, including the president, are expected to discuss Mr Zuma's future later today
  14. Criticism can be reckless, Kenya's president says

    Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta was earlier interrupted while delivering his state of the nation address by opposition MPs blowing whistles.

    And during his speech he had a go at people who oppose the government just for the sake of it, according to a tweet from the Kenyan presidency.

    View more on twitter

    And people have been debating the whistling and other highlights from Mr Kenyatta's address using #SOTN2016 on Twitter.

    Some were not impressed by the protest by the opposition:

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter

    But others thought the MPs did a good job:

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
  15. Somalia in 'urgent need of drought help'

    The United Nations has appealed for more than $100m (£70m) in emergency aid for Somalia to avert the risk of starvation facing more than a million people. 

    The UN aid co-ordinator for Somalia has been tweeting details of the appeal: 

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter

    Mr de Clercq said communities were already losing their means of survival, and funds were required to come back from the tipping point to avoid an even greater crisis. 

  16. Life-saving drugs could soon be made more affordable

    Will Ross

    BBC News

    The drugs company, GlaxoSmithKline or GSK, says it will make it easier for manufacturers in the world's poorest countries to copy its medicines.  

    It announced it won't file patents in what are described as least developed and low income countries, which include many in Africa. 

    Pharmaceutical firms are often criticised because their drugs are unaffordable to the world's poorest.  

    They say that patenting their products is the only way to ensure research for new treatments can be funded.

    GSK's announcement should be good news for people struggling to afford medicine.

    Some progress has been made in recent years. 

    Increased competition among generic drug manufacturers led to a huge drop in the price of medicine for people living with HIV/Aids.  

    But cancer cases in Africa are on the increase and treatment can cost many thousands of dollars.

    GSK says its next generation of cancer medicine will be more affordable.

    GSK sign
  17. South African lion Sylvester found and tranquilised

    South African National Parks (SANParks) has tweeted that its search team has tranquillised the lion, known as Sylvester, which had escaped from a park in a remote part of the country.

    View more on twitter

    A #SaveSylvester Twitter campaign was launched on Wednesday when SANParks had said it may kill the lion.

    It looks like the pressure worked.

    SANParks has been tweeting details of the tranquillisation:

    View more on twitter

    SANParks has tweeted that it will be looking at what to do with Sylvester - this being the second time that he has escaped - in the meantime he will be kept in an enclosure, or boma. 

    View more on twitter
  18. 'Witnesses in Uganda election petition intimidated'

    Ugandan opposition presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi has been responding to the rejection of his court case challenging the election of President Yoweri Museveni last month.

    Amama Mbabazi press conference

    The BBC's Patience Atuhaire reports from the capital, Kampala, that Mr Mbabazi said he is studying the court's ruling.

    But he said he was not able to present the case he wanted.

    "The court dismissed the petition citing a lack of evidence, but our production of evidence was hampered by many factors. 

    "One, which is publicly known, is that our lawyers' chambers were raided." 

    He said that up to 300 affidavits were seized in the raid. 

    Mr Mbabazi added that most potential witnesses were either arrested or intimidated, or are now in hiding.

  19. How much will President Zuma have to pay back?

    South Africa's anti-corruption watchdog, known as the Public Protector, has been discussing the amount of money President Jacob Zuma will be expected to pay back after this morning's dramatic ruling by the Constitutional Court.

    Thuli Madonsela said that the cost of non-security upgrades to his private Nkandla residence were thought to be $700,000 (£500,000), Reuters news agency reports.

    However, she said that this would probably not be the final figure the president has to repay given the higher total cost of the improvements, reported to be $20m.

    The court praised Ms Madonsela for being a "David" against the "Goliath" of corruption in South Africa. 

    It was her office's investigation in 2014 which shed light on details of the scandal over Nkandla. 

    Nkandla residence
    Image caption: The improvements at Nkandla included a swimming pool and cattle enclosure
  20. Kenya's president interrupted by whistling in parliament

    Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has been interrupted by opposition MPs whistling while giving his state of the nation address.

    The KTN TV channel has been tweeting about what's been happening:

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter

    The speaker then threw some members of parliament out of the chamber:

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter