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  1. Zimbabwean war veterans 'arrested for insulting President Mugabe'
  2. Tanzania's government appeals against ban on child marriages
  3. Snatched South African baby's dad weeps in court
  4. Kenya detains 'UK national and two others over $3m cocaine haul'
  5. Alleged ringleader of $60m internet scam arrested in Nigeria
  6. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive WhatsApp: +44 7341070844
  7. Email stories and comments to - Monday 1 August 2016

Live Reporting

By Clare Spencer and Farouk Chothia

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Scroll down for Monday's stories

    We'll be back on Tuesday

    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 today's wise words:

    Quote Message: Whenever a person wakes up is his own morning. from An Igbo proverb sent by Tunji Babalola and Ikechukwu Iyeke, both from Nigeria
    An Igbo proverb sent by Tunji Babalola and Ikechukwu Iyeke, both from Nigeria

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

    And we leave you with this picture from a village called Lady Grey near the South African border with Lesotho:

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  2. Internet scams a 'global problem'

    Following the arrest of Nigerian man for allegedly heading a network of 40 individuals behind global scams worth more than $60m (£45m), we asked cyber-security blogger Graham Clueley to share his thoughts with us: 

    They are considered something of a joke by most of the millions of people who receive scam emails in their inbox every day - but they only have to be believed by a tiny percentage of people.

    The numbers quickly add up, and the money which can be made by the online criminals is considerable.

    In recent years the scam campaigns have become more malicious, involving hijacking someone's PC or luring naive internet users into believing they have found love online with the aim of emptying their bank accounts.

    Screen grab

    Although there is a thriving cottage industry of fraudsters in Nigeria, the reality is that scammers are based in every country. 

    Wherever criminals see an opportunity to make money, they will. 

    And they know that if they are careful in how they use the internet, they can cover their tracks and reduce their chances of identification.

  3. Tanzanians 'shocked' by bid to overturn child marriage ban

    Tulanana Bohela

    BBC Africa, Dar es Salaam

    Girl in school

    We just reported that the Tanzanian government has filed court papers indicating that it will appeal against a child marriage ban.

    The news of the appeal is a shock to many Tanzanians, who are finding it difficult to  understand why the Attorney General would want to overturn the ruling.

    He has not yet give his reasons.  

    Last month, the High Court gave the government a year to make the legal age for marriage 18-years-old for both boys and girls. 

    Previously, the law allowed girls as young as 14 to get married, while boys had to be 18.

    The ruling has put the brakes on plans by child rights groups to popularise the High Court ruling. 

    Read more on the original ruling.

  4. Zambian women 'arrested for murdering baby'

    Meluse Kapatamoyo

    BBC Africa, Lusaka

    Zambian police have arrested two women for allegedly murdering five people, including a baby, who were found at an unfinished building site in the capital, Lusaka.

    One of the deceased is the caretaker of the building and his wife is one of those arrested, police deputy spokesperson Esther Mwaata Katongo told me.

    The two women not yet responded to the accusation.

    A baby and two young girls were among those found.

    Their bodies were decomposing and at least one was beheaded.

    A post-mortem examination is yet to be concluded.

  5. Nigerian traditional ruler and children 'abducted'

    Ishaq Khalid

    BBC Africa, Bauchi

    Nigeria's security forces have launched an operation to rescue a traditional ruler and two children who were abducted by unknown gunmen at a village in north-eastern Bauchi state in the early hours of Sunday. 

    The search for 49-year-old Alhaji Adamu Yakubu, as well as a 12-year-old boy and 11-year-old girl, is focusing on a forest near Tama village. 

    Mr Yakubu, the district head of Tama, was abducted from his home, and the children from a different home. 

    The traditional ruler's younger brother, Abubakar Yakubu, told me that he was in the house when the abductors arrived. 

    They went room to room to search for Alhaji Adamu Yakubu who eventually came out of a room he was hiding in and handed himself over, his brother said. 

    According to witnesses, there were around ten kidnappers and they looked young. 

    The motive for the abductions is unclear, but it appears that they intend to extort money as they left behind a telephone number, witnesses said. 

    A police spokesman in Bauchi told me that frantic efforts are being made to arrest the group and rescue the three. 

    A picture taken on April 18, 2011 shows Nigerian police enforcing a curfew in the capital of Bauchi state, nothern Nigeria, after riots, run by muslim youth, broke out in Bauchi.
    Image caption: Nigeria is facing security threats on several fronts

    Villagers say dozens of people have been abducted in recent weeks. 

    Kidnappings for ransom in villages near forests in Bauchi state seems to have been increasing in recent months. 

    Security analysts say this may be because the military onslaught on militant Islamist group Boko Haram in the far north-eastern states of Borno and Yobe has led to its fighters taking refuge. 

    Armed robbers and cattle rustlers in the north-west may have also fled to the forests in Bauchi state after the security forces launched an operation against them. 

  6. Tanzanian government appeals against child marriage ban

    Tulanana Bohela

    BBC Africa, Dar es Salaam

    The Tanzanian government has said it will appeal against a historic ruling which outlawed marriage for children under the age of 18. 

    Last month, the High Court ruled that sections of the 1971 Marriage Act, which allowed girls to be married at an age as young as 14, were unconstitutional.

  7. Another Zimbabwean war veteran 'arrested'

    Zimbabwean police have arrested the political commissar of a war veterans association which has denounced President Robert Mugabe, the Associated Press news agency quotes a lawyer as saying. 

    Francis Nhando was arrested today along with the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association's secretary-general Victor Matemadanda, AP reports. 

    Zimbabwe War Veterans Secretary General Victor Matemadanda reacts as he is escorted by Zimbabwean Policemen to a court hearing on August 1, 2016 in Harare after being arrested
    Image caption: Mr Matemadanda was arrested in the capital, Harare

    A third war veteran was arrested last week after the association issued a statement accusing Mr Mugabe of being "dictatorial".

    Zimbabwe's Zanu-PF has been hit by a succession battle as rival factions position themselves to take power from the 92-year-old president. 

    See earlier post for more details   

  8. What matters to young South African voters?

    South Africa’s forthcoming local elections are hotly contested. 

    The governing African National Congress (ANC) faces a strong challenge from the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), which hope to gain control of big cities like Johannesburg and the capital, Pretoria. 

    The BBC went out to talk to young people and to find out what issues matter to them and how that will affect their vote. Video journalist: Christian Parkinson

    Video content

    Video caption: What matters to young South African voters?
  9. US launches 'air strikes against IS in Libya'

    The US military has carried out air strikes against positions of the militant Islamic State (IS) group in the Libyan city of Sirte, a Pentagon spokesman has said, AFP news agency reports. 

    The strikes were conducted at the request of the UN-backed Libyan government formed in April, the spokesman is quoted as saying. 

    Read: The Libyans fighting IS

  10. Nigeria prosecutions recommended over Shia deaths

    Isa Sanusi

    BBC Africa, Abuja

      A Nigerian judicial commission has recommended prosecutions over the killing of Shia Musllims in Zaria city in northern Kaduna state.  


    The commission submitted the report into the December clashes on 15 July and it was leaked a day later so the Kaduna State government decided to release the report last night.

    Here are some of the key points:

    • Maj-Gen Adeniyi Oyebade was blamed for deploying men and ammunition for an operation that killed 389 people from a minority Shia sect
    • The military violated all rules of engagement when they entered the Shia Muslim base in Gyallesu Zaria
    • The force was disproportionate to the threat faced

    Maj-Gen Oyebade has not yet commented, but the military has repeatedly allegations of heavy handedness and has said that only seven Shia Muslims were killed in the clashes in December. 

    A spokesman for the Shia Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), Ibraheem Musa, told the BBC that up to 800 of their members that had gone missing since the day of the clashes could not be accounted for.  

    The IMN is a pro-Iranian group, and the clashes in March caused diplomatic tensions between the Iranian and Nigerian governments. 

    Nigeria's military said it had cracked down on the IMN after its members tried to assassinate army chief Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai, an allegation they denied. 

    Shia protesters in Nigeria
    Image caption: The IMN says up 800 people are still missing

    Read: investigating the violence in Zaria

  11. Snatched baby's father breaks down in court

    Nomsa Maseko

    BBC Africa, Johannesburg

    Zephany Nurse's biological father, Morne Nurse broke down as he testified about the longing for his daughter who was kidnapped three days after she was born, back in 1997. 

    He was testifying in the sentencing hearing of a 51-year-old woman who kidnapped her from a hospital in South Africa.

    He told the court his marriage to his wife Celeste suffered and they struggled to repair relations. 

    Mr Nurse says they never gave up hope of finding her alive and would celebrate her birthday every year. 

    The woman who raised Zephany as her own has been found guilty of kidnapping and faces a possible 10-year jail sentence. 

    She maintains her innocence and says she is the primary victim in the matter after adopting the child 19 years ago.

  12. Senior war veteran 'arrested' in Zimbabwe

    Zimbabwe's police have arrested a leading official of the war veterans association as he stepped out of a courthouse where a colleague was answering charges of insulting President Robert Mugabe, the Associated Press news agency reports. 

    Victor Matemadanda, the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association's secretary-general, was the second official detained in a crackdown on the association's leaders, it adds. 

    Last week, Mr Mugabe said war veterans who were behind a statement which accused him of being dictatorial and egotistical would be identified and severely punished. 

    Mr Matemadanda would be charged with insulting or undermining the authority of the president, said Irene Petras, the director of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights group, AP reports. 

    This is the same charge that the association's spokesman Douglas Mahiya is facing following his arrest on Wednesday, she is quoted as saying. 

    The statement issued by the war veterans said they would not support Mr Mugabe, 91, in elections due in 2018. 

    Douglas Mahiya (C), information secretary of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) sits handcuffed in an unmarked police vehicle after a court appearance in Harare, Zimbabwe, 29 July 2016.
    Image caption: Mr Mahiya was handcuffed and bundled into a police van last week

    Mr Mugabe, who has been in power since independence in 1980, has vowed to rule until he dies. 

    Police had a heavy presence at the courthouse in the capital, Harare, forming a human chain to block the entrance, AP reports. 

    A group of veterans gathered, singing wartime songs, it adds. 

    Read: What is behind the protests

  13. Emotions run high at baby's snatcher's sentencing

    Celeste Nurse, biological mother of Zephany Nurse (not pictured), leaves the Cape Town high court on August 1, 2016, in Cape Town
    Image caption: Celeste Nurse says she fears losing her daughter allover again

    The biological mother of Zephany Nurse is testifying at the sentencing hearing of the 51-year-old woman who kidnapped her three-day-old baby from a hospital in South Africa in 1997. 

    A BBC reporter is tweeting from court in the coastal city of Cape Town: 

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    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
  14. Nationalities changed for Olympics

    Nick Cavell

    BBC Africa Sport

    Morgan Snow, Dezerea Bryant, Jennifer Madu and Shayla Sanders of United States pose after winning the gold medal on the Women's 4x100 metres Relay Final on the day five of the 14th IAAF World Junior Championships at Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys on July 14, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain
    Image caption: Jennifer Madu (second right) will run for Nigeria

    Three athletes have changed their nationalities just in time for the Olympics. 

    Sprinter Jennifer Madu has switched allegiance from the US to Nigeria, Hungary's Iszlam Monier will compete in judo for Sudan and Javier Garcia, who has represented Spain in water polo at two World Championships, will represent Croatia. 

    The changes were approved by the executive board of the International Olympic Committee as athletes get ready for the start of the Games in Rio on Friday. 

  15. Tomato prices crash in Nigeria

    Image caption: A pest wiped out crops

    Tomato prices have fallen sharply across Nigeria following rainfall across tomato-producing areas of the north.

    Nigeria went through its worst tomato shortage this year as a result of a moth which invaded many farms. But it does not survive during the rainy season, and so production has now risen once more. 

    A basket of tomatoes that sold for for 40,000 naira ($125; £95) in May now sells for 800 naira in the northern city of Kaduna. 

    In May, Kaduna declared an emergency in the tomato sector and and dispatched experts to find ways of getting rid of the pest which had infected the tomato crop.

    Read: Can you make stew without tomatoes?

  16. Amnesty calls for release of Mauritania's anti-slavery activists

    ropean Photopress Agency
    Image caption: Mauritania hosted a one-day Arab League summit on 25 July

    Authorities in Mauritania must drop all charges and immediately release 13 anti-slavery activists, rights group Amnesty International has said. 

    The activists are due to appear in court on Wednesday on a wide range of charges, including being part of a rebellion and attacking a public authority, Amnesty added. 

    They were arrested between 30 June and 9 July after a protest by members of a poor community in the capital, Nouakchott, who were being threatened with relocation as preparations were made for an Arab League Summit.

    Amnesty added: 

    Quote Message: None of the 13 activists had organised the protest or taken part in it. Since being charged, they have been allowed to contact their lawyers and families on only one occasion.
    Quote Message: These activists are prisoners of conscience who have been falsely accused and are behind bars in order to impede their legitimate work. They have been targeted persistently for their views and must be released immediately and unconditionally."

    Mauritania's government has not yet commented on Amnesty's statement. 

  17. Facebook status lost in translation

    We have been looking at the language translation in the social networking site Facebook.

    We counted over 100 languages available now on Facebook, including Hausa, Somali, Swahili, Afrikaans and Kinyawrwanda and a made-up language called "pirate English".

    Facebook screengrab

    So, if you go to settings and change your language to Hausa, for example, instead of being asked "what's on your mind" you'll be asked "Mene ne a zuciyarka".

    But we noticed that they don't translate all the words. 

    For example, the word status has not yet been translated into Hausa:

    Facebook screengrab

    Our colleagues in the BBC Hausa service suggest this may be because there just isn't a suitable word.

    The closest we came to were either yanayi, which could be misconstrued to mean weather, or matsayi which refers to if you are married or single.

    Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly said that Facebook has just launched in Hausa.

  18. Kidnapped daughter will 'not be in court'

    Two South African journalists are tweeting that Zephany Nurse will not testify today at the sentencing hearing of the woman who snatched her when she was three days old and brought her up until she was caught last year:  

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
  19. South Africans cast special ballots in local polls

    Milton Nkosi

    BBC Africa, Johannesburg

    Election posters and crowd
    Image caption: The ANC is fighting to retain control of the capital

    On this cold winter’s day, South Africans have begun voting in the most fiercely contested election since the end of apartheid in 1994.

    Today and tomorrow, about 250,000 people who qualify to cast special ballots will vote in local government elections.

    These are pregnant women, people with disabilities and those who will be away from their voting districts on Wednesday - the polling day for the rest of the population.

    The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has said it is confident that the elections will be free and fair, despite the volatile climate during campaigning. 

    IEC chairman Glen Mashinini also voted today. He called on South Africans to “cast their votes peacefully”. 

    The governing African National Congress (ANC) is facing its strongest challenge since it took power in 1994 in the metropolitan councils of Johannesburg, Tshwane (which includes the capital, Pretoria) and Nelson Mandela Bay (which includes Port Elizabeth). 

    The two main opposition parties - the Democratic Alliance (DA) and Economic Freedom Fighters - are hoping to take control of the three big councils, but the ANC is confident of retaining its majority. 

    Read: Testing times for ANC

  20. Internet scammers 'conned firms worldwide'

    The alleged Nigerian ringleader of an online fraud network will face charges of hacking, conspiracy and obtaining money under false pretences, Interpol has said. 

    The 40-year-old and a 38-year-old who was arrested with him on similar charges are out on administrative bail in Nigeria as investigations continue, it added. 

    The alleged ringleader was suspected to be behind scams totaling more than $60m (£45m) involving hundreds of victims worldwide, Interpol said. 

    The global police body added:

    Quote Message: The [alleged] network compromised email accounts of small to medium businesses around the world, including in Australia, Canada, India, Malaysia, Romania, South Africa, Thailand and the US, with the financial victims mainly other companies dealing with these compromised accounts."
    Quote Message: The 40-year-old Nigerian national, known as ‘Mike’, is believed to be behind scams totalling more than USD 60 million involving hundreds of victims worldwide.