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  1. Arrests made over Kenya's 'chickengate' scam
  2. South African pastor 'serves rat poison' to congregation
  3. Mohamed Abdullahi "Farmajo" Mohamed elected Somalia's president
  4. Case to prove President Mugabe unfit to hold office dismissed
  5. #ThisFlag pastor freed on bail in Zimbabwe
  6. South African police 'behind killings of Nigerians'
  7. Equatorial Guinea 'tests jungle capital'
  8. Arrest of militia leader 'Big Man' prompts CAR clashes
  9. South Africa to get national minimum wage for first time
  10. South African anger over army deployment to parliament
  11. Ethiopian runner Genzebe Dibaba breaks 2,000m indoor record
  12. Kenya police commander shot in clashes with pastoralists
  13. Email stories and comments to - Wednesday 8 February 2017

Live Reporting

By Dickens Olewe and Lucy Fleming

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  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: A little shrub may grow into a tree." from Sent by Sent by Manguak Majuong in Rumbek, South Sudan
    Sent by Sent by Manguak Majuong in Rumbek, South Sudan

    Click here to send us your African proverbs

    And we leave you with this photo of a boy getting a haircut seated in a fancy barber's chair in the city of Hargeisa in the self-declared republic of Somaliland. 

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  2. South Africa to get minimum wage for first time

    Milton Nkosi

    BBC Africa, Johannesburg

    South Africa is to introduce a new national minimum wage for the first time from  May 2018.

    Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa told a media briefing in parliament the rates would be:

    • 3,500 rand ($261, £209) a month for a 40-hour week
    • 3,900 rand ($290, £232) a month for a 45-hour week.

    Businesses that cannot afford the rate will have to apply for exemption which would last for a year.

    Mr Ramaphosa said it was going “to be a massive task”:

    Quote Message: We do not want to see factory closures. There will be a number of mitigating factors to be implemented so that we do not have job losses. We believe we have created a balance – it is not a living wage but it will lift 6.6 million people."

    The government believes this agreement with unions will limit protracted wage strikes which end up in violence and a breakdown of law and order including damage to property.

  3. Arrest of militia leader 'Big Man' prompts CAR clashes

    Leone Ouedraogo

    BBC Africa

    Troops patrol streets
    Image caption: PK-5 has been the centre of inter-community violence in the capital, Bangui

    At least four people have been killed in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic, following clashes between security forces and a militia group. 

    A militia leader known as “Big Man” had resisted arrest before gunfire was heard in the PK-5 neighbourhood. 

    He is accused of multiple crimes and the authorities had been looking for him for some time. 

    PK-5 has been the centre of inter-community violence in Bangui following the overthrow of former President Francois Bozize in 2013.  

    No official death toll has been given and it is not clear if the militia leader is among the dead.

    Minister of Public Security Jean-Serge Bokassa has called for calm:

    Quote Message: It is important for the population to understand the role of the state through its different units... I want to call the communities for calm and call them to support the action of our interior security forces."
  4. About 24,000 football pitches worth of Mozambican crops destroyed

    Jose Tembe

    BBC Africa, Maputo

    Nearly 24,000 hectares (59,305 acres) of crops in Mozambqiue have been devastated by the combined effects of drought and flooding since October, the government announced today.

    Spokesperson for the Mozambican cabinet, Mouzinho Saide, who is also the deputy health minister, said 47 people had also died as a result of floods in that period.

    Quote Message: So far more than 92,600 people were affected, over 24,500 houses were destroyed, almost half of them totally.
    Quote Message: In addition, the combined effect of drought and flooding hit nearly 24,000 hectares of various crops, a lot more than half under water and the remaining described as lost in the southern and central provinces of Maputo, Gaza, Inhambane, Spfala and Manica."

    To give you an idea of how to visualise that - most sports fields are about one hectare in size. 

  5. Athletics v nationality

    The move by athletics' governing body, the IAAF, to ban athletes from changing nationalities has divided opinion in Kenya.

    Elias Makori, sports editor at Kenya's Nation Media Group, says that the rules have to be stringent as scouts can take advantage of young athletes.

    Moses Kiptanui, former world record holder in steeplechase, disagrees, saying that athletes should be allowed to make their own decision about which country they represent.

    Listen to the exchange on the BBC's Focus on Africa radio programme: 

    Video content

    Video caption: The Athletics' governing body, the IAAF, has banned athletes from changing nationalities.
  6. Equatorial Guinea 'tests jungle capital'

    A construction site in Djibloho in 2011
    Image caption: The BBC's Stephen Sackur reported in 2012 that the new jungle capital would be ready in a decade

    Equatorial Guinea's government is testing out what will be its new capital, an unfinished city deep in a rainforest, for the next three months, the AFP news agency reports.

    For the next 90 days Djibloho will reportedly be the government's headquarters.

    The official capital is Malabo, on the island of Bioko.

    Djibloho, also known as Oyala, lies in the middle of a rainforest region, not far from the eastern border with Gabon. 

    The BBC's Stephen Sackur reported in 2012 the city is expected to be ready in a decade.

    It will house the president, the government and - according to the master plan - up to 200,000 people, he reported at the time.   

    ReadEquatorial Guinea: Obiang's future capital, Oyala

  7. Pirates 'kidnap Russians off Nigeria's coast'

    Pirates have kidnapped seven Russians and one Ukrainian national after attacking their cargo ship off Nigeria's coast, the Reuters news agency reports, quoting communication from the Russian embassy. 

    The crew were travelling in a vessel named BBC Caribbean, which is managed by shipping company Briese Schiffahrts.

    Pavel Fedulov, the director of a Briese Schiffahrts subsidiary in St Petersburg reportedly said that the pirates approached the vessel on a boat, captured the crew and left on the boat heading towards Nigerian shores.

    The Russian embassy has asked the Nigerian authorities to assist in locating the abducted people, Reuters reports.

    It says as oil prices have dropped, pirate gangs have taken to abducting crew for ransom as a way to make more money.

    Nigeria's coast guards
    Image caption: The Russian embassy has reportedly asked the Nigerian authorities to help find their abducted nationals
  8. Why South Africa's rebel jazz still matters

    Thandiswa Mazwai’s new album pays homage to some of the South Africa’s iconic jazz musicians. 

    The former Bongo Maffin singer tells the BBC why she thinks their anti-apartheid rebel music still resonates today:

    Video content

    Video caption: Why anti-apartheid's jazz rhythms still resonate in South Africa

    Performance footage courtesy of Thandiswa Mazwai  

  9. Somalis in Kenya celebrate president's election

    Somalis living in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, are celebrating the election of Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed "Farmajo" as president of Somalia. 

    A video of a stream of people marching while singing and whistling in Eastleigh district, also known as little Mogadishu, has been shared on Twitter. 

    View more on twitter

    Kenya has given refuge to Somalis who have fled instability in their country and hosts most of them in the Dadaab refugee camp close to the border between the two countries.

  10. Somalia's new president nicknamed 'Cheese'

    Abdullahi Abdi

    BBC Somali service

    Somali’s new President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed

    Somali’s new President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed is nicknamed “Farmajo” after the Italian word for cheese.

    It is said he loved eating cheese when he was young, growing up in the former Italian colony.

    He has dual Somali-American nationality and is known for his human rights campaigning.

    In his fifties, he served for a short time as prime minister in 2011 but resigned after a few months following disagreement between him and then-President Sheikh Sharif Hassan.

    He was not popular with other politicians as he portrayed himself as a man of the people, travelling economy class when he went on trips abroad.

    Of the more than 20 other candidates, he was the most popular on social media – as he was regarded as a nationalist.

    His main rivals were criticised for having the backing of either Ethiopia or Kenya

    His supporters are opposed to foreign interference in the running of affairs in Somalia and want to see a change in the politics of the country.

  11. Somalia vote: Wild cheers greeted Farmajo's win

    A journalist covering the Somalia election says that wild cheers in the aircraft hangar greeted the election of Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo as president. 

    View more on twitter
  12. Somalia has been 'saved'

    Somalia's first female presidential candidate, who withdrew before the official race, has tweeted her reaction to Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo win, saying Somalia has been "saved":

    View more on twitter
  13. Celebratory gunfire in Mogadishu

    People are tweeting that sounds of gunfire can be heard in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, as people celebrate the election of the president (see earlier entry).

    One tweeter has tried to calm the fears of those visiting the country for the first time: 

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
  14. BreakingMohamed Abdullahi Farmajo elected Somalia's president

    Mohamed Abdullahi "Farmajo" Mohamed is Somalia's new president.

    Incumbent Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has conceded, which means there will be no third round.

  15. Former PM wins second round of Somalia vote

    Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo
    Image caption: Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo was prime minister from 2010 to 2011

    A BBC reporter in Mogadishu tweets that former Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo has won the second round of voting 

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter

    He says people are already celebrating, but it is not confirmed if he has a two-thirds majority - if not there will be a third and final round.

  16. Somalia vote: 'A two-horse race'

    Counting is under way in round two of the presidential election, and a BBC reporter at the aircraft venue in Mogadishu says it's between incumbent President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and a former prime minister, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed "Farmajo”:

    View more on twitter
  17. The making of Kenya's timeless tune Jambo Bwana

    It's been 37 years since Kenya's popular song Jambo Bwana, sometimes called Hakuna Matata, was recorded by the veteran Kenyan band, Them Mushrooms. 

    The song first proved to be a huge hit among tourists on the Kenyan coast but its appeal has grown and crossed borders. 

    Teddy Kalanda and his brother Billy Sarro Harrison, who recorded the song in February 1980, told the BBC's Witness programme how they came up with the song: 

    Video content

    This content is currently not available

  18. Kenyan senator in court after shooting incident

    Sammy Maina, BBC Monitoring

    Kenyan Senator Paul Njoroge has today appeared in court accused of misusing his firearm after the lawmaker fired into the air to stop an attempt to close a fuel pump station he runs. 

    The senator, who represents people with disability in the upper chamber of parliament, shot once in the air forcing a group of workers and members of the public to scamper for safety. 

    The incident that took place yesterday in Karai, along the busy Nairobi-Nakuru highway, local media reported. 

    View more on twitter

    Mr Njoroge was later arrested by police and taken to court to answer to criminal charges. 

    The Daily Nation newspaper said he was charged with "creating disturbances". It reported he was expected to enter a plea later today.

    View more on twitter
  19. Benin relaxes ban on Muslim street prayers

    Alex Duval Smith

    BBC Africa

    Patrice Talon
    Image caption: President Patrice Talon says the state will provide financial support for building more mosques

    Authorities in Benin have backed down from plans to ban Muslims from praying in the street, after reaching a compromise with religious leaders. 

    Interior Minister Sacca Lafia said that street prayers would be tolerated on Fridays until more mosques are built, but they have to be quick.  

    President Patrice Talon agreed that the state would provide financial support for building more mosques. 

    The problem arises mostly on Friday afternoons when Muslims go to the mosque for prayers, says the administrator of Benin's largest city, Cotonou. 

    A cascade of unrolling of mats, on pavements and streets outside overflowing mosques create massive traffic jams.

    Muslim MPs and religious leaders have been saying that the ban on street prayers discriminates against their community. 

    Mr Talon says the move is not anti-Muslim, but part of a plan to clean up cities and boost Benin's economic development.

    About 25% of Benin's population is believed to be Muslim. 

  20. Somalia vote: 'Democracy amid the anarchy'

    The BBC's Ferdinand Omondi has just tweeted the reaction of a serving Somalia minister about the ongoing presidential election, which is being held in an airport hangar in the capital, Mogadishu: 

    View more on twitter