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Live Reporting

Hugo Williams and Farouk Chothia

All times stated are UK

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  1. Scroll down for Wednesday'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: It takes time before a child who hurls insults at an iroko tree is haunted by the tree spirit." from A Yoruba proverb sent by Mohammed Saheed Bello, London, UK.
    A Yoruba proverb sent by Mohammed Saheed Bello, London, UK.

    Click here to send us your African proverbs.

    And we leave you with this photo, published today, from the annual Chale Wote Art Festival, which was held over the weekend in the Ghanaian captial Accra: 

    View more on instagram
  2. Photos of Zimbabwe protest

    Here are some dramatic pictures from the protest which hit Zimbabwe's capital, Harare today, as opposition supporters demanded an end to President Robert Mugabe's rule. 

    A fire fighter extingushes a pick-up truck belonging to state broadcaster, ZBC (Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corperation) during a protest by opposition youths who were demonstrating against alleged brutality by security agents in the capital Harare, Zimbabwe, August 24, 2016.

    Reuters news agency says a pick-up truck belonging to the state-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation was set alight during a protest by opposition youths. 

    Locals ran for cover during the clashes between the police and opposition supporters.  

    People flee in Harare

     Earlier, protesters held placards demanding an end to police brutality.  

    Locals hold placards during a protest by opposition youths who were demonstrating against alleged brutality by security agents in the capital Harare, Zimbabwe August 24, 2016

    See earlier post for more details

  3. Gaza's last tiger to relocate to South Africa

    Gaza's last tiger Laziz is leaving for a new home and life in a South African sanctuary.

    He is one of the few animals left in Khan Younis Zoo in South Gaza, dubbed the "world's worst zoo".

    Video content

    Video caption: The last tiger to leave Gaza zoo
  4. 'Deep-seated' anger with Mugabe

    Brian Hungwe

    BBC Africa, Harare

    Public protests, often impromptu, are now a weekly occurrence in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, amid smouldering discontent with President Robert Mugabe's 36-year-rule. 

    Riot police are ever present in the central business district, often stationed opposite the parliament. 

    The demonstrations reflect deep-seated anger at the state of the economy, especially joblessness, and repressive laws. 

    Despite police crackdowns, activists remain defiant. At today's protest, tear gas canisters were thrown back at police.  

    A Zimbabwean man throws back a tear gas cannister during a protest by opposition youths who were demonstrating against alleged brutality by security agents in the capital Harare, August 24, 2016.

    Nationwide demonstrations, designed to shut down the whole country, are being planned for the end of the month  

    Activists say that while the 92-year-old Mr Mugabe has state force at his disposal, they have people power on their side.

    See earlier post for more details

  5. SA finance minister in 'fighting mood' with police

    Matthew Davies

    Editor, BBC Africa Business Report

    South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan speaks during the annual World Bank - International Monetary Fund (IMF) meetings in Washington, DC, October 10, 2013.

    By deciding to ignore its request to appear before it (see earlier entry), South Africa's Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan is essentially telling the elite police unit, the Hawks, that he has already answered the questions they put to him. 

    Also, he points out that the Hawks themselves said a few months ago that he was not a suspect in this matter. But what he really seems to be doing is standing his ground. 

    If, as many analysts suspect, this is a battle between the Treasury and the Presidency to oust the finance minister, clearly he has no intention of either going quietly or under a cloud of rumour and hearsay regarding the alleged activities of a rogue unit at the South Africa Revenue Service (SARS). 

    Local media is now dubbing the whole saga as SARS Wars. 

    As people here continue to view developments through a fog of speculation and political manoeuvring, it's not yet clear which party to the saga is supposed to be the Galactic Empire and which the Rebel Alliance.

    See earlier post for more details

  6. Was it wrong for Olympians to change nationality?

    Ruth Jebet holds the Bahrain flag
    Image caption: Kenyan Ruth Jebet won gold in steeplechase for Bahrain

    In our series of letters from African journalists, Ghanaian writer Elizabeth Ohene has been reflecting on Olympians who switched allegiances for this year's Games. 

    Elizabeth starts her piece explaining why she thinks the tactic is unfair:

    Quote Message: Bahrain obviously want to have their national anthem played at the Olympic Games, or at least have an athlete wearing their colours competing. They can't seem to be able to find their own nationals who can perform at this level but they have the money to buy top class athletes from other countries to do it for them.

    But eventually, she acknowledges the benefits of switching allegiance, even as a spectator:

    Quote Message: With Ghana not in the reckoning when it comes to the Olympics, I am often Kenyan, especially when a certain David Rudisha is on the tracks; I am regularly Jamaican for all kinds of reasons; I am sometimes British, American and every once in a while I am South African."

    Read the full piece here

  7. Turkish Airlines to restart flights to Sharm al-Sheikh

    Turkish Airlines will resume flights to to the Egyptian coastal resort of Sharm al-Sheikh next month, Turkey's embassy in Cairo has said. 

    It suspended flights nearly a year ago following the bombing of a Russian jet which took off from the resort.

  8. SA finance minister Gordhan to ignore police summons

    South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan reacts during a media briefing in Johannesburg, South Africa, March 14, 2016

    South Africa's Minister Pravin Gordhan will defy a request by an elite police unit to report to its offices tomorrow as it investigates an alleged rogue unit he had set up in the tax collection agency he once headed. 

    In a statement, he confirmed that his attorneys had received a letter from the Hawks unit asking him to appear before it tomorrow: 

    Quote Message: "I have since taken legal counsel.... I am advised that I am under no legal obligation to present myself to the Hawks as directed in their letter. I have decided not to do so..."

    The Treasury has tweeted the full statement on its Twitter profile:

    View more on twitter

    See earlier post for more details

  9. Running battles in Zimbabwe's capital

    Brian Hungwe

    BBC Africa, Harare

    Anti-riot police use batons to disperse demonstrators during a protest by opposition youths against alleged brutality by security agents in the capital Harare, Zimbabwe August 24, 2016.

    Zimbabwe's anti-riot police have fought running battles with hundreds of supporters of the opposition movement of Democratic Change (MDC) on the streets of the capital, Harare. 

    Police fired tear gas, causing a stampede which forced panicking motorists to drive in opposition directions in the central business district. 

    Shops closed and office workers fled as they chocked on the smoke. 

    Locals cover their faces during a protest by opposition youths who were demonstrating against alleged brutality by security agents in the capital Harare, Zimbabwe August 24, 2016.

    Car windows were broken and vehicles believed to belong to the police were burnt. 

    Police also used water cannon to disperse angry youth as they attempted to regroup. 

    The MDC youth wing called the protest to demand the end of President Robert Mugabe's 36-year rule. 

    Anti-riot police clear roads during a protest by opposition youths who were demonstrating against alleged brutality by security agents in the capital Harare, Zimbabwe August 24, 2016.

    See earlier post for more details

  10. Gunmen 'raid hospitals' in Mozambique

    Armed men linked to Mozambique’s main opposition party, the Mozambique National Resistance (Renamo), have raided at least two hospitals and two health clinics over the past month, according to Human Rights Watch. 

    The attacks on the medical facilities, which involved looting medicine and supplies and destroying medical equipment, threaten access to health care for tens of thousands of people in remote areas of the country, the New York based rights group adds.

    A Human Rights Watch researcher, specialising in Mozambique, has posted the full statement on Twitter:

    View more on twitter

    Renamo fighters and government forces have been involved in clashes since disputed elections in 2014, raising fears that a civil war could resume.  

    Read more about Mozambique

  11. Kenyatta approves controversial law on interest rates

    Emmanuel Igunza

    BBC Africa, Nairobi

    Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has signed into law a controversial bill that will cap commercial interest rates. 

    It means banks will be allowed to charge no more than 4% above the rate set by the central bank. 

    Some banks had been charging two-and-a-half times that base rate. 

    Commercial banks had lobbied the government not to sign the bill into law in spite of intense pressure from the opposition and a cross-section of Kenyans.

    Supporters of the law said the high interest rates had hindered access to credit for thousands of people and small businesses. 

    But its critics claimed that government intervention in the market will have the reverse effect with banks imposing stringent conditions for those seeking loans and fewer will, in fact, get access to cash.

  12. Zola Budd triggered UK cabinet row

    Zola Budd (R) competing during the 3,000m in the 1984 Olympics
    Image caption: Zola Budd (R) competing during the 3,000m in the 1984 Olympics

    A campaign to fast-track British citizenship for South African runner Zola Budd triggered a major government rift, newly released documents show.

    The UK Foreign Office warned the Home Office against giving the teenage athlete "special treatment" to enable her to compete at the 1984 Olympics.

    Ministers said any circumvention of the ban on South Africans competing may hurt the UK's anti-apartheid stance.

    But the Home Office said Budd's "talent" made the case a priority.

    Budd, who set a world record for the 5,000m at the age of 17 and became a household name for running barefoot, registered as a British citizen in April 1984 in time for her to compete at the Los Angeles games four months later.

    She ran for Britain in the 3,000m - where she tangled with the American Mary Decker in one of the most famous moments in Olympic history and ultimately finished down the field.

    A media campaign was launched to encourage Zola Budd's father to urge her to apply for British citizenship, by virtue of her paternal grandfather being British, thereby bypassing the boycott on South African athletes taking part in international competition because of its apartheid policy.

    Read the full BBC story here

  13. West Ham 'interested' in Man City striker Bony

    Wilfried Bony in action for Man City
    Image caption: Wilfried Bony

    West Ham manager Slaven Bilic says he is interested in signing Manchester City and Ivory Coast forward Wilfried Bony.

    Strikers Andy Carroll and record signing Andre Ayew are both injured, with the Croatian manager adding his team "are short of numbers".

    Bony joined Manchester City in January 2015 and has scored 10 goals in 20 starts, but is yet to play this term.

    Bilic said the Ivory Coast player, 27, is an option because "he plays in the position we are looking for".

    Read the full BBC Sport story

  14. What’s Up Africa: Is Malawi 'too good' to win medals?

    The 45 medals grabbed by Africa in Rio made the Games the most successful Olympics for the continent. However, Malawi was among the 27 African countries that went home empty-handed.

    Satirist Ikenna Azuike is in Malawi to find out why for What’s Up Africa.

    Video content

    Video caption: What’s Up Africa: Is Malawi 'too good' to win medals?
  15. Madagascar police website back up after hack

    Raissa Ioussouf

    BBC Afrique, Antananarivo

    Website of the Madagascar police
    Image caption: Passport application forms and other services are now available again

    The website of the national police in Madagascar is accessible again, after it was hacked last night by suspected Islamists.

    Al Fallaga, a Tunisian group of self-proclaimed cyber activists, said it was behind the attack, replacing the homepage with a propaganda message.

    A police official told me the motive of the cyber-attack was not clear.

  16. Zimbabwe protesters dispersed

    Brian Hungwe

    BBC Africa, Harare

    Riot police in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, have fired tear gas and used water canons to disperse hundreds of demonstrators demanding President Robert Mugabe's resignation. 

    It caused chaos around government offices in the centre of the city, as people, choking with tear gas, ran away. 

    Protest leader Lovemore Chinoputsa told me they were not going to "give up" until the 92-year-old Mr Mugabe, who has ruled since independence in 1980 and was re-elected in 2013, leaves office. 

    He added:

    Quote Message: His family is enriching itself through government tenders while the poor are suffering. He has failed to address the economic chaos."
  17. Political endgame by Zuma?

    South Africa's shadow finance minister David Maynier says any decision to arrest Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan  will "shatter investor confidence, risk a sovereign ratings downgrade and be a disaster for the already fragile zero growth, zero jobs economy". 

    His comments came amid reports that Mr Gordhan has been ordered to report to the elite police unit, the Hawks, on Thursday. 

    Speculation is rife that Mr Gordhan could be charged in connection with an alleged rogue spy unit that was set up at the tax collection agency when he headed it up between 1999 and 2009. 

    Many analysts are saying that these events are part of the political endgame by President Jacob Zuma to oust Mr Gordhan, reports the BBC's Matthew Davies from the main city, Johannesburg.

    : South African President Jacob Zuma attends a service at Bryanston Methodist Church during a national day of prayer, on December 8, 2013 in Johannesburg, South Africa
    Image caption: Mr Zuma's office has repeatedly denied that he has a poor relationship with Mr Gordhan

    The reason seems to be the continuing tension between the Treasury and the Presidency over a Zuma-backed plan to build several nuclear power stations at a cost of some $60bn (£45bn), he adds.

    Mr Gordhan has not publicly opposed the deal, which Russian companies are favoured to win, but keeps re-iterating that South Africa will only sign deals it can afford.

    See earlier post for more details

  18. Naming dog after Buhari 'not a crime'

    Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari listens as British Prime Minister Cameron opens the international anti-corruption summit on May 12, 2016 in London, England.
    Image caption: President Muhammdu Buhari was elected last year

    Prominent lawyers in Nigeria say it is not a crime to name a dog after the president, the local Vanguard newspaper reports.

    Their comments came after police charged a man with breaching the peace by writing Buhari, after President Muhammadu Buhari, on his dog and walking with it in a market where the leader is popular. 

    Lawyer Monday Ubani is quoted by the newspaper as saying:

    Quote Message: In the eye of the law, it is not criminal for somebody to name his or her dog after another person. It may be offensive by examining the circumstances under which the incident happened."

    In his reaction, lawyer Tunji Muyedeen told the newspaper: 

    Quote Message: As far as I am concerned, there is no way such [an] offence could be sustained in law. Anybody can name his pet after anybody’s name...
    Quote Message: All of us will be living witnesses to the trial of the man. We will see what evidence the prosecution has to prosecute the accused person.”

    Human rights lawyer Okey Nwaguna is quoted as saying: 

    Quote Message: The motive of an accused is never and can never be established by the charge: It must be established by evidence. Prosecution must show that accused had the intent to cause a breach of public peace. What constitutes ‘public’ is key.”

    See earlier post for more details

  19. Suspended Athletics Kenya chief Kiplagat dies

    Isaiah Kiplagat

    Isaiah Kiplagat, who led Athletics Kenya for nearly three decades until his suspension last year, has died at the age of 71. 

    Family sources have confirmed that he passed away on Wednesday morning, having received treatment for cancer.

    Kiplagat was suspended with two others last November by the ethics commission of athletics' world governing body, the IAAF, following accusations that they subverted anti-doping processes and potentially diverted sponsorship funds from Nike.

    Kiplagat was also accused of accepting, two cars as "gifts" from the Qatar Association of Athletics between 2014 and 2015 when the oil rich country's capital, Doha, was bidding to host the 2019 world championships.

    He denied any wrongdoing.

  20. Burundi social media suspects detained during 'raid on bar'

    Prime Ndikumagenge

    BBC Africa, Bujumbura

    The eight suspects in police custody in Burundi were among more than more than 50 people initially detained during a raid on a bar in the capital, Bujumbura, on Saturday. 

    None have been charged. 

    Reports suggest those still being detained are linked to one of several radio stations which were shut down during a failed coup attempt last year, but there has been no confirmation of this.

    A police spokesman accused them of "defaming" government leaders and institution on social media sites.

    See earlier post for more details  

    Police check cars for weapons on the outskirts of an opposition neighborhood on June 28, 2015 in Bujumbura, Burundi.
    Image caption: Burundi has been in turmoil since President Nkurunziza decided last April to seek re-election