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Live Reporting

Dickens Olewe and Damian Zane

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: If you want to see an old person's teeth, give them sour palm wine." from An Igbo proverb sent by Don Pallisy, Anambra, Nigeria
    An Igbo proverb sent by Don Pallisy, Anambra, Nigeria

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

    And we leave you with a picture that has been gaining a lot of attention on Instagram today from the Africa Creative Cities account of a decorated pedestrian bridge in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa:

    View more on instagram
  2. Nigeria's president 'is okay'

    We've been reporting about the absence of Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari from a second cabinet meeting in a row (see earlier entry).

    The country's information minister said that the president allowed the vice-president to chair the meeting as he wanted to rest.

    This has led to some speculation that the president's health problems have resurfaced.

    So how is he?

    A presidential assistant has a short answer to that question:

    View more on twitter
  3. Burundi accused by WFP of blocking a convoy

    The UN's World Food Programme has said Burundi has blocked an 10-truck aid convoy coming in from Rwanda, the Reuters news agency reports.

    Burundi has fallen out with Rwanda and accused it of backing rebels in the country.

    A government spokesman quoted by Reuters says the convoy was stopped on security grounds.

    The WFP has rejected the claims saying "it was a regular shipment".

  4. Buhari denies targeting Jonathan in corruption fight

    Nigeria's presidency has defended President Muhammadu Buhari over allegations that his anti-corruption fight is targeting former President Goodluck Jonathan and his family. 

    A statement said that Mr Buhari was just allowing the law to take its course. 

    It was a reacting to a story that appeared on ThisDay newspaper headlined: Buhari's Gvt Harassing My Family, Says Jonathan. 

    The paper said former the former president made the allegation in a new book Against The Run of Play, written by the Chairman of ThisDay Editorial Board, Olusegun Adeniyi.  

    The statement defends Mr Buhari saying that those who are not guilty should not fear his war on corruption. 

    Quote Message: Anybody without a skeleton in his or her cupboard, has nothing to fear about the bared fangs of the anti-corruption initiative. Fear belongs only to those who have abused trust while in office."

    It criticises Mr Jonathan's anti-corruption fight saying that "time will give the verdict on whose style of fighting corruption ultimately yielded the most dividends".

    It ends that "he [Mr Buhari] firmly believes that national interest must always be placed above personal interest, no matter who is involved".

    Muhammadu Buhari and Goodluck Jonathan
    Image caption: Mr Buhari (right) has denied that his war on corruption is targeting the former president (left)
  5. Zambia president 'not involved in opposition leader woes'

    Zambia's presidential spokesman Amos Chanda has denied allegations that President Edgar Lungu is influencing the case against opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema. 

    He has been charged with treason and accused of trying to overthrow the government. He was arrested after his convoy allegedly blocked the presidential motorcade.

    Rights group Amnesty International and church leaders have condemned the arrest and continued detention of Mr Hichilema. 

    Mr Chanda told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme that it would be against the law for President Lungu to interfere in an ongoing trial. 

    He added that it was the police who had interpreted the traffic incident as a treasonable offence.

    Hakainde Hichilema
    Image caption: Mr Hichilema has been in custody for more than a fortnight
  6. Down but not yet out for South Africa's President Zuma

    South Africa is in for a rough ride as the ruling African National Congress prepares to choose President Jacob Zuma's successor.

    His critics want him to resign or be dismissed well before the next election in 2019, either through a vote of no confidence in parliament, or with ANC action.

    But the party of struggle is protecting a president who is clinging on, despite corruption scandals, criticism from the constitutional court and street protests demanding he must fall.

    He has survived calls for him to go and the man nicknamed the Teflon Don is likely to stick around for a while longer.

    On the immediate horizon is the vote of no confidence.

    But this will be the fifth time Mr Zuma will face such a vote and it would take a big revolt within the ruling party for him to be sacked.

    Read more about the future of Mr Zuma from BBC News Online.

    Jacob Zuma
    Image caption: Not yet goodbye for President Jacob Zuma
  7. Woman accused of insulting Uganda president denied bail

    Ugandan Stella Nyanzi, who has been charged with cyber harassment for referring to President Yoweri Museveni as "a pair of buttocks", has been denied bail.

    She has been held for more than two weeks and she is due back in court on 10 May.

    View more on twitter

    Her case has become a cause celebre for people testing the freedom of speech in Uganda.

  8. Ebola ruled out in Liberia as cause of mystery deaths

    The Liberian authorities have ruled out Ebola as the cause of the deaths of nine people from a mystery illness in the south-east of the country (see earlier story).

    Liberia's chief medical officer Dr Francis Kateh told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme that the tests on blood samples from the bodies of the deceased showed that the authorities are not dealing with Ebola.

    The nine deaths happened in a short space of time in Sinoe county.

    The question of course remains about what was the cause of death.

    Dr Kateh said further investigations are being carried out and, he told the BBC, "we are worried... we are all having sleepless nights to make sure we find what is causing the deaths".

    The Ebola outbreak in Liberia in 2015 killed more than 5,000 people.

    A man walks past an ebola campaign banner with the new slogan 'Ebola Must GO'
    Image caption: The authorities in Liberia are saying that people should take precautions similar to those during the Ebola outbreak
  9. Why cartoonist showed South Africa being raped

    South Africa's top cartoonist Zapiro was widely criticised recently for rehashing a caricature of a rape scene featuring President Jacob Zuma. 

    His recent work had Mr Zuma egging on one of the brothers from the controversial Gupta family to rape South Africa depicted as lady justice in the drawing. 

    Zapiro, or Jonathan Shapiro, told the BBC that he felt compelled to "go in strong" after Mr Zuma fired widely-respected Finace Minister Pravin Gordhan. 

    He says that South Africa is in crisis and he sees his work as fighting to save it from Mr Zuma and "his cabal". 

    Video content

    Video caption: Cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro defends his decision to sketch 'Lady South Africa' being raped
  10. Nigeria's president misses second cabinet meeting in a row

    Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has missed his second cabinet meeting in a row, the Premium Times newspaper reports.

    It says that Information Minister Lai Mohammed told reporters that the president was absent because he wanted to rest.

    Vice President Yemi Osinbajo chaired the meeting instead.

    Mr Buhari returned to Nigeria last month after being in London on sick leave for nearly two months.

    On his return he said that further medical checks would be needed, but he did not disclose the nature of his illness.

    President Buhari's absence from today's meeting has fuelled speculation about his state of health, the BBC's Chris Ewokor reports.

    Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari addresses members of his cabinet upon his arrival at the presidency in Abuja, on March 10, 2017
    Image caption: President Buhari returned from London on 10 March
  11. Pictures from Kenya's party primaries

    Kenyans have been taking part in the ongoing party primaries to elect leaders in various positions for the general elections in August. 

    The BBC's Bashkas Jugsodaay has snapped pictures at some of the polling stations: 

    Woman voting
    Voting ballots
    Voters queing

    The exercise has been marred by violence in some regions leaving at least two people dead and many more with injuries. 

    President Uhuru Kenyatta is seeking a second term and he is set to face a candidate backed by a unified opposition, who will be unveiled at a rally planned for tomorrow. 

    Listen: Why Kenya's political party primaries are highly contested

  12. Paul Tergat to lead Kenya Olympics Committee

    By Sammy Maina

    BBC Monitoring

    News from around the globe

    Former marathon world record hold Paul Tergat is set to become the next chairman of the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (Nock)  after the incumbent, Kenyan athletics legend Kipchoge Keino, withdrew from the race.

    Keino failed to pick up and submit his nomination papers ahead of the 5 May elections, Capital FM news website reported.

    Tergat, 47, is a two-time 10,000m Olympic silver medallist. 

    He also held both the full and half-marathon world records during his running career, which ended in 2009. 

    Tergat is expected to introduce administrative reforms in the organisation, tainted by claims of mismanagement of the team which went to the Rio Olympics, not to mention athletics doping scandals.

    Paul Tergat
  13. Uganda MPs 'protest Museveni adding more advisers'

    Yoweri Museveni
    Image caption: Mr Museveni has made a request to add 18 advisers, taking their number to 163

    Uganda MPs have criticised plans by President Yoweri Museveni to add more personal advisers, saying the money could be better spent in buying resources in hospitals and improving remuneration of medical staff, the Observer reports

    Mr Museveni has made a request to add 18 advisers, taking their number to 163. 

    The paper reports that it has become a tradition for Mr Museveni to add advisers after a presidential election or after making a cabinet reshuffle. 

    According to the 2017/18 ministerial policy statement for the presidency, the appointment of the 18 presidential advisers will push the wage budget for the advisers up by to $7.6m ( £6bn). 

    The Observer quotes MP Mathias Mpuuga accusing the president of abusing the budget.

    Quote Message: There are essentially two issues relating to this matter; one is the blatant abuse of the budget by the presidency because the presidency is one of the entities with a bloated budget yet it is one of the known unproductive entities but rather consumptive.”

    On average, each of the advisers earns a gross monthly salary of $ 631 in addition to a driver who is paid $53. 

  14. Champions League draw made with new format

    The Confederation of African Football has completed the draw for the group stages of the Champions League.

    It is the first time that there will be four groups of four teams as up to now there have been just two groups of four teams.

    One of the surprises this year is the presence of Zimbabwe's Caps United. They went into the draw after defeating the much-fancied TP Mazembe from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    BBC Africa's Nick Cavell says they have a tough group with three difficult games in North Africa to manage.

    The draw has also thrown up a Sudanese derby with the country's two top teams - Hilal and Merrikh - drawn in the same group.

    The CAF graphic of the draw
  15. Liberia mystery deaths: People urged to take precautions

    Akwasi Sarpong

    BBC Africa

    We've been reporting on the mystery illness that is being investigated in Liberia (see earlier entry).

    Liberia's Chief Medical Officer Dr Francis Kateh has toldthe BBC's Focus on Africa radio programme that nine people have died so far and eight others are in isolation.

    Earlier we heard that eight had died.

    Dr Kateh said that results from tests on blood specimens taken from the patients are expected by close of business today.

    The tests are to rule out that the patients had Ebola.

    Dr Kateh, meanwhile, said Liberians should observe the precautions rolled out during the Ebola outbreak, including hand hygiene.

    He also said that members of the public should send anyone showing the symptoms of weakness and vomiting to the hospital.

    People also have to boil water before use if unsure of its source.

    A man washes his hands as part of hygiene measures
    Image caption: People were encouraged to wash their hands during the Ebola outbreak to prevent its spread
  16. Hichilema cheered as he leaves Zambia court

    The party of the Zambian opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema, who is accused of treason, has tweeted a video of his supporters cheering as he left court for the prison today.

    View more on twitter

    The attempt by his lawyers to get the charges dropped failed earlier today (see earlier entry).

  17. Draw for Caf Champions League

    The draw for the group stages of the African Champions League is currently taking place.

    This year the format is being expanded to four groups of four instead of two groups of four.

    You can follow the draw from a Periscope link on the Twitter feed of the Confederation of African Football:

    View more on twitter
  18. The Nigeria Football Federation gets financial boost

    The cash-strapped Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has received a financial boost from an energy company worth around $9.2m over the next five years.

    The deal with the Aiteo Group will commence on 1 May.

    "This will make it easier for us to plan adequately for our national teams," NFF boss Amaju Pinnick said.

    "It is important to note that this will also take care of the national team coach's salary."

    Pinnick hopes that this means no repeats of problems paying national team coaches that has troubled the NFF in the past.

    "There will be no owing of coaches for the next five years," he added.

    Read more on BBC Sport Online.

    Nigeria football crest
  19. Riots paralyse Guinea bauxite town

    BBC World Service

    Riots have paralysed a major mining town in Guinea, with protesters destroying property, vehicles and equipment. 

    People in Boke, north-west Guinea, say they can no longer tolerate power cuts and high levels of pollution. 

    Operations at the bauxite mines have been disrupted and several rioters arrested. 

    The BBC's Alhassan Sillah in Guinea says demosntrators tried to kidnap a senior general sent to help resolve the crisis. 

    About a third of the world's bauxite reserves are in Guinea, but poverty remains high. 

    Much of the world's aluminium comes from bauxite.

  20. UK city changes name of concert hall linked to slave trader

    BBC World Service

    Colston Hall exterior

    A famous concert hall in Britain is to be renamed, to remove its association with a notorious slave trader. 

    It follows a campaign to rebrand Colston Hall in Bristol, the south-western English port city that was once at the heart of the country's slave trade. 

    Edward Colston, who was born in Bristol, made his fortune from the slave trade in the 17th and 18th Centuries transporting people from West Africa to British colonies in America and the Caribbean.

    The trust that runs the venue says the name has become toxic and does not reflect its progressive values. 

    A new name will be announced by the time it re-opens after renovation, in 2020.

    Louise Mitchell, chief executive of Bristol Music Trust, said: "We want to look to the future and ensure the whole city is proud of its transformed concert hall."

    Video content

    Video caption: Colston Hall name change 'The right thing to do'