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Summary

  1. Nigeria's president opens new rail service
  2. Zimbabwe will pay civil servants 'as and when it gets money'
  3. Congolese music star Koffi Olomide arrested
  4. Malawian man who sexually initiates girls arrested
  5. Court orders SABC to reinstate sacked journalists
  6. Deadly explosions rip through Somalia's capital
  7. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive WhatsApp: +44 7341070844
  8. Email stories and comments to africalive@bbc.co.uk - Tuesday 26 July 2016

Live Reporting

By Dickens Olewe and Farouk Chothia

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Scroll down for Tuesday'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 today's wise words:

    Quote Message: When a tree falls on a yam farm and kills the farm's owner, you don't waste time counting the number of ruined yams." An Igala proverb from sent by Omaye Joseph Itodo, Agojeju-odoh, Kogi, Nigeria.
    sent by Omaye Joseph Itodo, Agojeju-odoh, Kogi, Nigeria.

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

    And we leave you with this picture of a UN peacekeeper from Ghana during a handover ceremony in southern Lebanon:

    U.N. peacekeeper from Ghana, serving with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon
  2. Ugandans and Sierra Leoneans have become 'shorter'

    The height of an average Uganda and Sierra Leonean man is much a few centimeters

    The average Uganda and Sierra Leonean man is a few centimeters shorter today than in the 1970s, according to new research. 

     It also shows that the shortest men on the planet are to be found in East Timor while the world's shortest women are in Guatemala.   

    Read the full BBC story here

  3. Zimbabwean civil servants 'will be paid when there is money'

    Brian Hungwe

    BBC Africa, Harare

    Bank queue in Harare
    Image caption: Zimbabweans can spend all day in a bank queue in the hope of being able to withdraw cash

    Civil servants in Zimbabwe will only be paid their monthly salaries when the government has money, not on a fixed date, Public Service Minister Prisca Mupfumira has said. 

    The announcement is the latest sign of the worsening economic crisis in the southern African state, and the fact that President Robert Mugabe's government has little money coming in. 

    Ms Mupfumira statement has renewed anxiety among civil servants and could trigger a new wave of protests. 

    The government has in recent months even struggled to pay soldiers and policemen, even though Mr Mugabe relies heavily on them to remain in power. 

    The 92-year-old has ruled since Zimbabwe's independence in 1980.  

    Read: Flag fury

  4. Olomide spends night in detention

    Congolese music star Koffi Olomide will spend the night in police custody following his arrest in the capital, Kinshasa.

    His lawyer, Landry Tanganyi, said that, contrary to earlier reports, he had not yet been charged with assault. 

    The judge had not "been able to establish the offence", Mr Tanganyi added.

    The rumba star was deported from Kenya on Saturday after he was caught on camera apparently kicking one of his female dancers at the airport in the capital, Nairobi. 

    Mr Tanganyi said the 60-year-old musician should be freed from police custody as there was no risk of him fleeing, while investigations continued. 

  5. Court approves amount Zuma must repay for Nkandla home

    Mr Zuma and Nkandla residence
    Image caption: The Nkandla residence has become a political headache for President Zuma

    South Africa's highest court has ordered President Jacob Zuma to repay the government $540,000 (£410,000) for the controversial renovations made to his private home in Nkandla in northerrn KwaZulu-Natal province.

    The Treasury had calculated the amount after getting independent experts to establish how much Mr Zuma should pay back for building of a swimming pool, visitor centre, amphitheatre, a chicken run and cattle enclosure. 

    The Constitutional Court accepted the amount, giving Mr Zuma 45 days to repay the money. 

    The rest of the $23m (£15m) the government spent on the renovations was regarded as security-related expenditure for which Mr Zuma qualified. 

      Read: How Zuma's Nkandla home has grown

  6. How Africa tweets: A guide to decoding the conversation

    A Kenyan blogger Morris Kiruga has published an etiquette guide for  'African twitter sphere' - to help those who wish to decode the volumes of tweets sent across the continent, in an article published in the London-based Guardian newspaper

    He says that a subculture has emerged through interactions on social media where people can forge relationships through shared experiences, trade barbs and fight jingoistic wars using hashtags. 

    These are the broad themes that he says inspire hashtags and viral trends on the continent. 

    • Always defend your country
    • Pan-African camaraderie
    • Politicians: the gift that keeps on giving
    • Power outages
    • Entertainment
    • Shutting down debate
  7. SA mall's roof collapses amid tornado

    Milton Nkosi

    BBC Africa, Johannesburg

    Several people have been injured after the roof of a shopping centre collapsed in South Africa's Tembisa township, east of the main city Johannesburg. 

    A tornado swept through the area, but it is unclear whether it caused the disaster at the Phumulani shopping centre.

    The emergency services are at the scene.

    The weather has been bad following cold and rainy spells in the last couple of days.

    A local newspaper has tweeted a photo of the tornado:

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
  8. The Dadaab camp runners aiming for Rio

    The International Olympic Committee has set up a team to represent refugees at the Rio Olympics, in recognition of the worldwide refugee crisis.  

    Rebecca Nymal and Garkouth Puok Thiep, who fled conflict in South Sudan, and found sanctuary in the world's largest refugee camp in Dadaab in Kenya, have been training for the games. 

    Though neither had any running experience, they were given a chance by former world record holder Tegla Loroupe to earn selection for the Team of Refugee Olympic Athletes.

    For the past few months, they have been running with 28 others in the famous Ngong Hills training area to find out if they will qualify.

    Watch their inspiring story

  9. Pressure on SABC boss to quit

    Milton Nkosi

    BBC Africa, Johannesburg

    Media rights activists and unions have renewed their call for the resignation of the public broadcaster's chief operations officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng. 

    This follows a ruling by the Labour Court ordering the SABC to reinstate four journalists fired unlawfully for challenging a ban on showing footage of violent protests. 

    But do not hold your breath. Mr Motsoeneng has defied all odds to cling to his job at the top of one of Africa’s largest broadcasters.  

    Torched school
    Image caption: The SABc argues that showing footage of unrest incites violence

    It was only a fortnight ago that he unashamedly defended the dismissals, telling protesting journalists, the independent media regulator and civil rights groups that he would not be told what to do by outsiders. 

    This is the second ruling against the SABC - it agreed last week to lift the ban on showing violent protest after its decision was challenged in the High Court by the Helen Suzman Foundation which argued that it amounted to censorship.

    Read: Is the public broadcaster using apartheid tactics?

  10. Pledge to increase African representation at Fifa World Cup

    Africa will get an additional two World Cup finals places should the tournament be expanded to 40 teams from 2026, says Fifa president Gianni Infantino.

    Infantino proposed the expansion from 32 teams before he was elected by world football's governing body in February.

    Africa is currently allocated five places at World Cups.

  11. Buhari launches new rail service

    Abdullahi Kaura Abubakar

    BBC Africa, Abuja

     Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has formally opened a new railway line, linking the capital Abuja with the northern city of Kaduna. 

    The 186km (150 mile) line was upgraded by a Chinese state company at a cost of about $850m (£647m) as part of a wider project to modernise Nigeria's decrepit rail network. 

    Trains will carry passengers and cargo at speeds of up to 150km/h and the journey will take two hours. 

    Many people who work in Abuja commute from Kaduna because of the high cost of living in the capital. 

    train service runs a return trip between Abuja and Kaduna
    Image caption: Train service runs a return trip between Abuja and Kaduna

    Mr Buhari rode on the train to officially open the service to the public. A one-way trip from Abuja  to Kaduna will cost about $1.50 (£1.10)

    The project spans four administrations - those of Olusegun Obasanjo, Musa Yar'Adua, Goodluck Jonathan and the current one. 

    The estimated ticket price is $1:50 (£1.14)
    Image caption: The estimated ticket price is $1:50 (£1.14)

    Although the project was completed in December 2014, the coaches were delivered 15 months later. 

    Despite Nigeria’s oil wealth, the country has been without a functioning railway system. 

    Often goods are transported in trucks over long distances creating many potholes and turning roads into death traps.

    Nigeria has been without a functional railway system for decades.
    Image caption: Nigeria has been without a functional railway system for decades.
  12. Malawi investigation ordered over 'sex cleansing ceremonies'

    Malawi's President Peter Mutharika has ordered police and traditional rulers to investigate "all men and parents" involved in the practice of hiring a man to have sex with girls after they menstruate for the first time as part of a "cleansing" ceremony. 

    In  statement, his office said: 

    Quote Message: All people involved in this malpractice should be held accountable for subjecting their children and and women to this despicable evil."
    Quote Message: These practices not only cast a shadow on the hard-earned achievements my government has made on issues such as violence and HIV prevention but they also go against a vision of development that seeks to ensure that the youth, and in particular young girls, are able to achieve their full potential.
    Eric Aniva nicknamed the 'hyena'
    Image caption: Eric Aniva is nicknamed the "hyena"
    Quote Message: Furthermore, these horrific practices although done by a few also tarnish the image of the whole nation of Malawi internationally and bring shame to us all."

    The BBC reported last week that a man is hired in some communities in southern Malawi to also sleep with widows before their husbands are buried, and women who have an abortion.

    Eric Aniva, the so-called "hyena" who sleeps with the girls and police, has been arrested on Mr Mutharika's orders.

    Mr Mutharika said he should be charged for the "defilement" of girls, adding:      

    Quote Message: And since Mr Eric Aniva confesses to be HIV positive and that he never uses protection in his evil acts against the innocent girls and women, he should further be investigated for exposing the young girls to contracting HIV and further be charged accordingly."

    Mr Aniva or his lawyers have not commented since his arrest. 

    See earlier post for more details

  13. South Sudan's new vice-president inaugurated

    The new vice-president of South Sudan, Taban Deng Gai, has been sworn in at a ceremony in the capital, Juba. 

    He replaces Riek Machar who fled the capital after fighting earlier this month between his forces and those loyal to his rival, President Salva Kiir, killed nearly 300 people. 

    Mr Deng has broken ranks with Machar by taking the post. 

    A local radio station has tweeted a photo of him with Mr Kiir: 

    View more on twitter
  14. Congolese music star 'charged with assault'

    Poly Muzalia

    BBC Africa, Kinshasa

    : Koffi Olomide from Congo of the Quarter Latin group, performs 30 April 2005 at the Iba Mar Diop stadium in Dakar

    Popular Congolese musician Koffi Olomide has been charged with assault and battery in the capital, Kinshasa, a judicial source has said. 

    The charges come three days after he was deported from Kenya after video footage emerged of him apparently kicking a woman.  Mr Olomide denied kicking anyone and  said he had tried to "stop" a "girl who wanted to fight the dancers I came with". 

    Police officers arrested him at his home in an upmarket neighbourhood of Kinshasa. The music star was handcuffed and put into a police car. He was then taken to a court building where a prosecutor was waiting for him. 

    If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to five years in prison. In 2012, he was given only a three-month suspended sentence for assaulting one of his producers. 

  15. Stranded Nigerian athlete finally leaves for Rio

    Nigerian canoe slalom athlete Johny Akinyemi, who was stranded in at the airport in the Germany city of Frankfurt, has finally left for Rio - but without his kayak. 

    His Olympic kayak was damaged in transit and he had to get a new one made. 

    Here's a sample of his recent tweets: 

    He had spoken to BBC's Sarah Mulkerrins about his travails. Listen to the full interview here: 

    Video content

    Video caption: Johny Akinyemi, canoe slalom athlete, is stranded and doesn’t know when he'll get to Rio.
  16. Koffi Olomide arrested on 'prosecutor's orders'

    Olomide in Nairobi
    Image caption: Koffi Olomide has denied assaulting one of his female dancers

    Congolese singer Koffi Olomide was arrested at his home in the capital, Kinshasa, this morning on a "a warrant from the prosecutor who wants to interrogate him", city police chief Celestin Kanyama has told AFP news agency. 

    No reason for the arrest of the 60-year-old has been given. 

    He was thrown out of Kenya after being caught on camera purportedly kicking one of his dancers at the international airport in the capital, Nairobi, on Friday. 

    A Congolese MP, Zacharie Bababaswe, had filed a complaint against the rumba star because it was unacceptable that after the "barbaric act" he was welcomed  "like a VIP" in Kinshasa, AFP reports. 

    He has denied assaulting the woman. 

    In 2012 he was convicted by a court in Kinshasa of assaulting his producer and received a three-month suspended prison sentence. 

  17. Nigerian tycoon named in Panama Papers

    Abdullahi Kaura Abubakar

    BBC Africa, Abuja

    A new series of reports on the content of the Panama Papers have revealed that a huge number of African businessmen and politicians hold offshore accounts set up by law firm Mossack Fonseca. 

    One of the key figures named is Nigerian oil magnate Kolawale Aluko, who is being investigated for fraud in relation to oil contracts given out by Nigeria’s previous government.

     A superyacht, 58 cars, three planes and apartments in Dubai, London and New York are just some of Mr Kolawole Aluko’s assets frozen by a court in Nigeria's commercial capital, Lagos. 

    He is among four people accused of diverting $1.8bn (£1.4bn) of oil money which should have gone into the coffers of the Nigerian government. 

    Now, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), who have been investigating the Panama Papers, report that Mr Aluko owns companies in well-known offshore tax havens - the British Virgin Islands and the Seychelles. 

    While he acknowledges that he is under investigation, he told the ICIJ that he has "never been prosecuted and convicted in any country". 

    The papers have also revealed that Mossack Fonseca worked for three former Nigerian oil ministers who used offshore companies to buy boats and homes in London.

    British Virgin Islands
    Image caption: The British Virgin Islands is home to many offshore accounts
  18. Zuma delays approving land expropriation bill

    Protester in South Africa
    Image caption: Land ownership is an emotive issue in South Africa

    South Africa's President Jacob Zuma has held back on approving a controversial bill which will give the government the power to expropriate privately owned land to address racial injustices dating back to the apartheid era. 

    Mr Zuma had received petitions against the Expropriation Bill, and had asked Parliament to clarify how it had been passed before he decides whether to sign it into law, his office said in a statement. 

    The main opposition Democratic Alliance has objected to the bill, saying it will damage the economy and cause job losses. 

    The Legal Resource Centre rights group has also opposed the bill, warning that it denies property owners the right to be heard during the expropriation process and this could be in breach of the constitution. 

    Farm in South Africa
    Image caption: South Africa has some highly fertile land but it is mostly owned by white farmers

    Parliament passed the bill in  March, allowing expropriations in the "public interest".

    The measure will allow the compulsory purchase of land to place more in black ownership.

    Most of South Africa's land remains in white ownership more than two decades after the end of minority rule.

    The governing African National Congress  said the law would tackle injustices imposed by white-minority rule.

    Read: Fighting for their rights

  19. Panic grips Kenyan school over fires

    Kenyan students have been setting their schools on fire, apparently to force extended holiday time

    Local media reports say more than 100 schools have been affected so far this year.

    BBC's Peter Njoroge reports that the administration of Highway Secondary School in Nairobi has sent a message to parents to pick their children from the school immediately amid fears that it could be torched. 

    An education official told the BBC that some students were planning to burn the school and that the administration had decided to send the students home for their safety. 

    Our reporter shared some pictures from the school. 

    Kenyan school fires: Panic grips another school
    Kenyan school fires: Panic grips another school
    Kenyan school fires: Panic grips another school
  20. The moment Koffi Olomide was arrested

    BBC Monitoring

    Famous Congolese musician Koffi Olomide has been arrested in the capital, Kinshasa. 

    A local journalist has tweeted a picture of the moment the musician was apprehended: