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  1. Nigeria police recruits to undergo lie detection tests
  2. Kerry urges Nigerian government to build trust with the people
  3. South Sudan's ex-VP in Sudan 'for treatment'
  4. Semenya dismisses critics
  5. South Africa's main city gets opposition mayor
  6. DR Congo strike cripples capital
  7. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive WhatsApp: +44 7341070844
  8. Email stories and comments to - Tuesday 23 August 2016

Live Reporting

By Clare Spencer and Damian Zane

All times stated are UK

Get involved

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:

The path does not close on a man with a machete."

Sent Byokwerowat Nyero Michael, Gulu, Uganda

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

And we leave you with this picture from Ghana's capital Accra in the aftermath of the Chale Wote street art festival:

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Man who named dog 'Buhari' charged with breaching the peace

Last week we quoted a report in Nigeria's Vanguard newspaper that a man had been arrested in Ogun state, in the south of the country, after naming his dog after President Muhammdu Buhari.

We said that he had been released without charge, but now it turns out that he was charged with a breach of the public peace.

A police spokesman said that the man, Joe Fortemose Chinakwe, had painted the name Buhari on both sides of the dog and went to an area where there were many northerners, which is where President Buhari comes from.

He said the police thought that this could antagonise people.

Mr Chinakwe had earlier said that the naming was a compliment:

I named my beloved pet dog Buhari, who is my hero. My admiration for Buhari started far back when he was a military head of state. It continued till date that he is a civilian president."

What does our proverb mean?

Machete in path
Is the machete a tool or a characteristic?

Every day we start off the live page with a proverb sent in by a reader.

The wise words are meant to help us through our day.

But it all depends on the interpretation.

That's where we turn to you for help.

Take today's proverb, sent in by Byokwerowat Nyero Michael from Gulu in Uganda:

The path does not close on a man with a machete."

It has not been taken to mean exactly the same thing to our commentors on Facebook.

Ebenezer King Otoo from Kumasi in Ghana thinks it's about strength of character:

A determined man always find his way through close doors."

As does Suubi Samali:

Opportunity and progress will continue for as long as you keep working and searching."

But Martins Chika Martins in Abuja, Nigeria, says you need more than character to succeed: 

When you have resources, nothing stops you from getting what you want."

Kerry in talks with Nigeria's president

The US Secretary of State John Kerry has just finished holding talks with Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari on the first day of his visit to the country.

It hasn't yet been revealed what they talked about, but the Twitter account for Mr Buhari's office did share this video of the two men:

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That spectacular sole Ethiopian gold medal

Gold medallist Ethiopia's Almaz Ayana runs with Ethiopia's national flag after the Women's 10,000m during the athletics event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 12, 2016.
Getty Images

We reported earlier that Ethiopians had expressed disappointment about the country's athletes only bringing back one gold from the Rio Olympics.

It should be pointed out that the one and only gold was a pretty spectacular one.

Almaz Ayana smashed the women's 10,000m world record that was long believed to be unsurpassable.

Not only that but she knocked 14 seconds off the record, finishing in 29 minutes 17.45 seconds.

Former Olympian and BBC commentator Steve Cram described it as "one of the greatest pieces of distance running you'll ever see".

And it featured on our sports reporter Piers Edwards' shortlist of 10 things to remember from the Olympics.

Nigeria police recruits to undergo lie detector tests

All new recruits to the Nigerian police force with have to take a polygraph - or lie detection - test, alongside all their other tests, to check whether they are fit to serve, a police statement says.

"The polygraph test is aimed at ensuring that candidates are not of questionable character," it adds.

Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris ordered the tests while checking on the recruitment of 10,000 new officers.

The statement says that recruits should "conform to [the] acceptable standards necessary for an ideal police officer [that] the Nigerian people deserve".

Nigeria police at a demonstration
Rights groups have criticised Nigeria's police force over alleged human rights violations

Seven arrested in Madagascar after double murder

Police investigating the murder of two French volunteers on an island off Madagascar have arrested seven suspects, reports AFP news agency. 

Authorities arrested four people who were at the same nightclub as the two victims on Sunday, but have not yet established a firm link to the murders, AFP adds. 

Three more suspects were arrested on Tuesday, the prosecutor told AFP. 

Thierry Rajaona Lauret is quoted as saying he doesn't know the motive for the murder.

The bodies of a man and a woman aged in their 20s were found Sunday on a beach of Sainte Marie with head injuries. 

Tourists in a boat view an humpstack whale jumping in the air, 24 August 2004.
Getty Images
The two had been volunteering at a charity helping ocean mammals

Malema to ANC: You can jump into the nearest hell

Leader of South Africa's opposition EFF Julius Malema has been enjoying the aftermath of the local elections, where his party, along with the DA, ate into the ANC's huge share of the vote.

The ANC lost overall control of some key municipal councils.

Mr Malema has been speaking at the local election debate in parliament. Rounding on the ANC MPs who he accused of selling out the people he told them: "You can jump into the nearest hell."

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Twitter backlash after UK MP's Olympics Empire tweet

In post Brexit-vote Britain people are looking for new partnerships in the wake of the impending split with the European Union.

One MP has invoked the British Empire

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So she's included medals from Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria.

Some have not taken kindly to her suggestion:

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. @HeatherWheeler What an offensive, insensitive & ignorant comment. There's no empire; when there was we behaved appallingly. Shame on you!

Read more from BBC News.

South Sudan's Machar 'in Sudan for medical treatment'

Rachael Akidi

Editor, BBC Focus on Africa

South Sudan’s deposed Vice-President Riek Machar has arrived in Sudan's capital, Khartoum, for medical treatment, according to a statement from the Sudanese government published by the state news agency Suna

The statement says:

Sudan has recently received Dr Riek Machar, on purely humanitarian reasons top of which his need for urgent medical attention...

The health condition of Dr Machar is now stable and he will stay in the country under full medical supervision until he leaves the country for a destination of his choice to complete his medical treatment."

Riek Machar and Salva Kiir
Riek Machar (left) was dropped as first vice president by Preisdent Salva Kiir (right) after the violence in the capital, Juba, last month

Ethiopian athletes criticised for picking up only one gold

Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia competes during the Women's 5000m Final on Day 14 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 19, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Getty Images
Runner Almaz Ayana won Ethiopia's only gold

Veteran Ethiopian gold medal winner Keninisa Bekele has called Team Ethiopia's performance at the Olympics "shocking". 

Ethiopia are set to return today with one gold, compared to three at London 2012.  

While speaking on local radio station Fana he went on to say that he believes Ethiopian athletics is currently "at risk". 

Elshadi Negash, an Ethiopian former sports correspondent called the result "atrocious" on his Facebook page

"What are needed are painful, often-unpopular, and longer-term reforms" he said.

Semenya says she has 'no time' for critics

South Africa's Olympians received a triumphant welcome today as they touched down in Johannesburg after leaving Rio.

A lot of attention was focused on 800m gold medallist Caster Semenya who some have suggested should not have run in a women's race in Rio because of her hyperandrogenism.

But, as TimesLive reports, she told journalists at the airport that she has "no time" for those who have criticised her.

You can see clips of her speaking here:

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Bruce Lee takes up position on a South African city council

We've already had Vasco da Gama becoming the speaker of the council in South Africa's main city Johannesburg.

The Democratic Alliance councillor shares his name with a 15th/16th Century Portuguese explorer.

Now someone has spotted that Bruce Lee has taken up a position on the council in Tshwane, the area that includes the capital, Pretoria.

View more on twitter

US conditions for more assistance to South Sudan

We've been reporting on the visit of US Secretary of State John Kerry to Nigeria today, but comments that he made in Kenya on Monday are still making headlines.

South Sudan's Eye Radio says it's got an exclusive following an interview with Mr Kerry.

Screengrab from Eye Radio's website

He was talking about the money that the US could give to South Sudan more funding if the peace agreement signed last year to end the country's civil war is implemented.

He said:

If they choose not to do that, then we, who have been the largest donor in the world to the government of South Sudan, will have to rethink what we are doing because we are not [going to] work with the government that is not willing to work with itself and with its own people.”

The peace process has hit a problem following clashes in the capital, Juba, last month.

SInce then, Riek Machar, who led rebel forces in the civil war has left the country and has been sacked as First Vice President.

Mr Kerry said one aspect of the peace process that needs to be implemented is the creation of a court to try those suspected of committing crimes during the civil war, which began in December 2013.

Investigation launched after power station explosion

Nadege Sinarinzi

BBC Africa, Dakar

Authorities in Senegal are investigating an explosion at an electric power distribution station east of the capital, Dakar, which caused a nationwide blackout on Monday.

Three people were injured and taken to hospital in the town of Thies.

The power supply has now returned to normal.   

The power shortage even affected neighbouring Mali and Mauritania.

Some sources blame the old infrastructure which is in need of renovation while others suggest an act of vandalism. 

The general director of the national electricity company, Senelec, Mouhamadou Makhtar Cisse, has refused to speculate but did not discount an act of sabotage. 

Zambian president waits longer for inauguration

Edgar Lungu
Getty Images

Zambia's President-elect Edgar Lungu has to wait even longer for his inauguration, as the Constitutional Court has adjourned the case challenging his win until tomorrow afternoon.

The case is looking at the opposition petition asking for a recount of the election vote which he won with 50.35% of the vote.

He was meant to be inaugurated as president today but Zambia's constitution says any inauguration has to be delayed until the Constitutional Court rules on the case.

So today's adjournment delays the inauguration even further. 

Uganda's singing policeman

screengrab of music video
Africa Xclusive Television

Our reporter in Uganda, Patience Atuhaire, has spotted a policeman who has released his own song about how great the police force is:

View more on youtube

The lyrics include the line "Uganda police today are not like the past - transformed from colonial to professional, we are not national, we are international".

The policeman Dennis Ojobole, who is a member of the Police Jazz Band, sings the chorus "police, we are physically fit" quite a few times.

There is a growing lack of faith in the force's ability to protect its citizens, our reporter says. 

That skepticism is because of the brutality meted out on the opposition over the last few years. 

Robberies and house burglaries have become rampant in some areas of the capital Kampala, she adds.

Critics suspicious of Zambian media houses closing

Yesterday, Zambia's Independent Broadcasting Corporation suspended broadcasting licenses for three private media stations.

The official reason was "unprofessional conduct posing a risk to national peace and stability" around the time of the presidential election earlier this month.

But today critics are claiming that there may be another motive for the closure as it comes at a time when a petition has been put forward challenging the result of the vote.

One activist has tweeted this cartoon of President-elect Edgar Lungu (ECL):

View more on twitter

Kerry in warning to Nigeria military and police

We've reported that US Secretary of State John Kerry urged the Nigerian government to build trust with the people as a means of tackling extremism and corruption. 

He also warned the security forces that they need to police the country in a sensitive way:

Building public trust also requires co-operation from law enforcement and the military.

It is understandable that in the wake of terrorist activities some people are tempted to crack down on everyone and anyone who could theoretically pose some sort of a threat.

I caution against that today extremism cannot be defeated through repression and just creating fear."

Mr Kerry has also just tweeted this message:

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Sudanese migrant dies in migrant clash in northern France

A Sudanese migrant has been killed and another injured in a fight near the northern French city of Calais, the AFP news agency is reporting.

It quotes the police as saying that there were clashes between the Sudanese migrants and a group from Afghanistan.

It came after the police pushed the migrants back after they attempted to access the area where they could stow-away on a lorry travelling to the UK.

Semenya's parents at airport to welcome her home from Rio

We reported on the big welcome South Africa's Olympians got this morning when they touched down in Johannesburg.

Among the athletes returning was Caster Semenya - the victorious 800m runner.

Her victory was dogged by controversy as some said she should not be allowed to compete because of her hyperandrogenism.

But South Africans have defended her and Semenya's parents - Jacob and Dorcus - were at the airport to greet her.

The BBC's Siniketiwe Hlanze snapped this shot:

Caster Semenya's parents

John Kerry: Nigerian authorities 'must win the people's trust'

US Secretary of State John Kerry has just finished speaking in Sokoto, northern Nigeria.

He spoke about corruption and tackling extremism and the militant Islamist group Boko Haram.

He said that the authorities need to win the trust of the people.

"We also know that beating Boko Haram on the battlefield is only the beginning of what we must do," Mr Kerry is quoted by the Reuters news agency as saying.

"Building public trust in government also requires cooperation from the military and law enforcement. Extremism can't be defeated through repression or fear."  

His speech was carried live on Nigerian television:

Kerry giving speech

Shop shutters down in capital during DR Congo strike

Shop owners have stayed at home today in the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital, Kinshasa, during an opposition national strike. 

Our reporter Poly Muzalia found just a few street vendors on the streets:

closed shops
closed shops

The national strike was called by the opposition over an alleged attempt to push back the date of the presidential election - due in November - and about the release of political prisoners. 

Two South African gay dads father triplets

A same-sex couple in South Africa are believed to be the first in the world to father triplets with DNA from both men, Gay Times is reporting.

In July the surrogate mother gave birth to triplets of which two were identical twins - an extremely rare occurrence. 

The Gay Times goes on to say that the couple met the surrogate, oddly enough, through Oscar Pistorius who was their neighbour. 

Christo and Theo Menelaou met the surrogate mother during a get together after the athlete's trial, the site reports. 

Analysis: Johannesburg's DA mayor - the shape of things to come?

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

The election of the Democratic Alliance's Herman Mashaba as mayor of Johannesburg represents a tectonic shift in South African politics. 

This is the first time since the end of apartheid that the ANC lost control of the city of gold, as Johannesburg is known locally.

The Johannesburg part of the ANC is known within the party to be professional and not corrupt. 

However, the voters still punished them for their association with the litany of corruption scandals the ANC were involved in at a national level. 

And there were some local problems, including potholed roads, a shambolic electricity billing system and refuse strikes that left the city filthy.

What has happened in this council is a microcosm of what could happen nationally come the general election in 2019. 

Person voting in South Africa
South Africa's recent local elections led to the ANC losing control of a number of municipal councils

John Kerry speaks in northern Nigeria

US Secretary of State John Kerry is speaking in Sokoto, northern Nigeria.

He has already talked about corruption and he is now talking about dealing with extremism.

You can see it live here:

View more on youtube

Congo traffic jams disappear on day of national strike

We reported earlier that a national strike is expected in the Democratic Republic of Congo today.

Our reporter Poly Muzalia is currently on his way to check out what's happening on the streets of the capital, Kinshasa.

But he's already noticed that the roads are clear of traffic.

A journey that normally takes him an hour has taken just 10 minutes.

South African Olympians get big welcome

Pumza Fihlani

BBC News, Johannesburg

A total of 137 athletes who represented South Africa at the Olympics games in Rio, Brazil touched down at the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg this morning. 

Team South Africa returned to the country this morning to a heroes' welcome with crowds of people, young and old singing and dancing, celebrating their return. 

They won a total of 10 medals in Rio, South Africa's best performance since the country returned to the Olympics after the end of apartheid. 

Among those returning was athlete Caster Semenya, who won gold in the women’s 800m. 

She has been diagnosed with hyperandrogenism,with many raising questionsover her eligibility to compete because of her high testosterone levels. 

South Africans rallied behind her and posted message of support. 

Her parents Jacob and Dorcus Semenya were there to welcome home the young women dubbed “the golden girl”.

A BBC reporter has been tweeting from the airport:

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Was Boko Haram's Shekau 'fatally wounded' or injured?

We've reported that Nigeria's army says it has killed several leading members of Boko Haram.

In a statement it says:

Some key leaders of the Boko Haram terrorists have been killed..."

But it's the next part of the sentence which is confusing:

...while others were fatally wounded".

Among those "fatally wounded" was the leader of one group of Boko Haram fighters, Abubakar Shekau.

The phrase suggests that he was also killed, but an army spokesman told the BBC Hausa service that he was injured rather than killed.

There is also the question of whether to believe the army - they have made claims in the past about attacks on Shekau, only to be proved wrong later.

Screengrab from army website
Nigeria Army
The army says on its website that Shekau was "fatally wounded"

Kerry in northern Nigeria

US Secretary of State John Kerry has been snapped at the beginning of his two-day visit to Nigeria today:

View more on twitter

He is in the northern city of Sokoto to meet Muslim leaders. 

Later today he will travel to the capital, Abuja, to meet President Muhammadu Buhari. 

Congo strike over political prisoners

The main opposition alliance in Democratic Republic of Congo is expected to hold a general strike today as talks about the release of political prisoners start, reports RFI.

Yesterday President Kabila pardoned 24 prisoners. 

But BBC Afrique reports that the opposition does not consider the number sufficient.

The two largest opposition parties, the MLC and UDPS, who are boycotting the national dialogue, have rejected the move saying they want over 100 political detainees freed. 

Johannesburg wakes up to new mayor

South Africa's governing ANC party has lost control of the country's largest city and economic centre, Johannesburg.

The city council last night elected as mayor Herman Mashaba from the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA).

The ANC had run the city since the fall of apartheid more than 20 years ago. It lost its council majority in local elections, although it is still the largest party.

Mr Mashaba has been tweeting this morning - though we're not sure what he means by "mixed feelings":

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

And note that the new speaker of the council shares his name with a 15th/16th Century Portuguese explorer who sailed around Africa:

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And South Africans are not holding back:

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View more on twitter

Nigerian army 'kills senior Boko Haram members'

The Nigerian armed forces say they've killed several senior members of the Boko Haram jihadist movement and have seriously wounded its leader, Abubakar Shekau, whose death has been reported several times in the past.

An army spokesman said warplanes struck as the militant leaders met for Friday prayers last week at a village deep within the Sambisa forest in Borno State, north-east Nigeria. 

Abubakar Shekau led a breakaway faction of Boko Haram when Islamic State declared someone else the leader of the group. 

Abubakr Shekau
The Nigerian army has previously claimed to have killed Shekau

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