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Summary

  1. Nigeria warns against eating monkeys and bushmeat
  2. SA minister defends "crush balls" comment
  3. Kagame critic "denied access to lawyer"
  4. Zimbabwe's Grace Mugabe alleges coup plot
  5. SA gunmen shoot dead family
  6. Militants controlling Libya's migration hub ousted
  7. SA's VP warns of pension-looting plot
  8. Kenyan officer charged for assaulting teenager
  9. Militia attacks UN base in DR Congo
  10. Fire hits Kenyan second-hand clothes market
  11. SA power firm demands return of $70m

Live Reporting

By Dickens Olewe and Lucy Fleming

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Scroll down for Friday’s stories

    We’ll be back next week

    That's all from BBC Africa Live today. Keep up-to-date with what's happening across the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast or check the BBC News website.

    A reminder of today's wise words:

    Quote Message: If the toad comes out of water and tells you that the crocodile is dead, you don't doubt it." from A Fante proverb sent by David Donkor in Tema in Ghana
    A Fante proverb sent by David Donkor in Tema in Ghana

    Click here to send us your African proverbs.

    And we leave you with this shot of creative tailoring on display at the ruling Frelimo party's congress in Mozambique:

    Women attend the Frelimo congress in Maputo, Mozambique - Sunday 1 October 2017

    It is from our selection of this week's top African photos.

  2. Are African mothers causing obesity crisis?

    This week on What's Up Africa satirical series Ikenna Azuike tackles the obesity crisis in Africa.

    Are supermarkets or African mothers causing an obesity crisis?

    Video content

    Video caption: What's Up Africa: Are supermarkets or African mothers causing an obesity crisis?
  3. Plague-hit Madagascar 'bans jail visits'

    The authorities in Madagascar have announced a ban on prison visits to prevent the spread of the plague epidemic, the AFP news agency is reporting.

    Prisons administrator Arsen Ralisaona is quoted as saying:

    Quote Message: In order to protect prisoners from the plague that is spreading outside the prison, we have decided to suspend family visits."

    The ban covers seven jails in the country's two worst-affected regions, AFP says.

    Overcrowded prisons are unhygienic and the risk of contamination is high, it says.

    Read the earlier entry on Red Cross efforts to end the outbreak.

  4. Is masturbation sinful?

    Comments by award-winning Ghanaian actor, Majid Michel, about masturbation have been obsessing the internet.

    He reportedly told Ghana’s Starr FM earlier this week that he felt “dirty” about masturbating in his youth.

    Quote Message: I think that every adolescent has masturbated before. I feel guilty about it, I feel very dirty about it…there’s a lot of debate about masturbation being a sin or not but I think it’s a sin.
    Quote Message: There is nothing said about it in the Bible, nowhere in the scripture…[but] it is a sin completely."

    According to newspaper reports, the popular actor is now a pastor.

    Many people have been tweeting links to articles about his interview - and some have added the comments to their blogs:

    View more on twitter

    One person has even started a Twitter poll, to ask if masturbation is a sin.

    View more on twitter
  5. Militants controlling Libya's migration hub ousted

    Analysis

    Rana Jawad

    BBC North Africa correspondent

    Migrants on a boat near Sabratha - 2017
    Image caption: Many migrants leave Libya on wooden boats hoping to cross the Mediterranean

    An armed group in the migrant-smuggling hub of Sabratha in western Libya says it has taken control of the city, following three weeks of deadly clashes there with a rival militia.

    Both parties to the conflict are nominally allied to the UN-backed government in the capital, Tripoli.

    Libya’s internationally recognised authorities have welcomed the latest development.

    Sabratha and who controls it is significant to the international community because it is one of the two largest transit centres for migrants trying to reach Europe.

    In a desperate attempt to shutdown that route, Italy is alleged to have influenced a deal between a brigade there led by a people-smuggling kingpin and the Tripoli government.

    It is an allegation that has been denied by Rome.

    The brigade reportedly agreed to stop migrants from leaving in exchange for "government legitimacy" – this is why migrant departures from Libya dropped dramatically mid-summer.

    Their rivals have now driven out this armed group from the city.

    It is not clear where the victorious group's allegiances lie, although it is also linked to the government in Tripoli.

    If nothing else, the deadly events in recent weeks illustrate the complex nature and allegiances of Libya’s armed factions, the dangers of loose dealings for "quick-fixes", and how quickly the tables can turn.

    Read more: Why is Libya so lawless?

  6. George Weah's son plays for US in World Cup

    Nick Cavell

    BBC Africa Sport

    Ghana have won their opening match at the Under-17 World Cup in India with a 1-0 win over Colombia – Sadiq Ibrahim scoring the only goal of the game.

    The Black Starlets, who have won the title twice in the past, are playing at the tournament since 2007 in South Korea when they finished fourth.

    The other two teams in Group A are hosts India and USA – whose match kicked off at 14:30 GMT.

    One of the players starting for the USA has a familiar name – Tim Weah, he is the son of the legendary Liberian star George, who stands in presidential elections next week.

    Tim, like his dad before him, is currently on the books of French club Paris Saint-Germain.

    The African champions Mali are also in action at 14:30 GMT in Group B as they play Paraguay.

    The continents other two representatives are Guinea and debutantes Niger, who both begin their campaigns tomorrow.

    Guinea play Iran in Group C while Niger face North Korea in Group D.

  7. Militia attacks UN base in DR Congo

    Mary Harper

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    A militia has staged a rare attack on a United Nations base in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    The UN said at least three militiamen were killed and two UN peacekeepers wounded.

    It is not clear why they attacked the base.

    It is believed the attackers belonged to one of the Mai Mai groups active in the area. Some Mai Mai were originally armed by the Congolese government to fight Rwanda and other forces in the late 1990s.

    They are many Mai Mai factions, some mainly involved in criminal activities.

    UN peacekeers in DR Congo
    Image caption: More than 16,000 peacekeepers are deployed in DR Congo, most of them in the east
  8. Grace Mugabe alleges coup plot

    Shingai Nyoka

    BBC Africa, Harare

    Grace Mugabe (l) and Emmerson Mnangagwa (r)
    Image caption: The feud between Grace Mugabe and Emmerson Mnangagwa is growing

    Zimbabwe’s first lady Grace Mugabe looked visibly angry when she departed from a prepared speech on Thursday to reprimand Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa (see earlier entry), alleging a coup plot by his supporters:

    Quote Message: We are being threatened day and night, that if a particular person does not become president we will be killed.
    Quote Message: We will not bow to that pressure… they says there will be a coup, but no-one will recognise you. The African Union will not recognise you. Sadc [the South African Development Community] will not."

    Her remarks are a sign of growing tensions between possible successors to 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe.

    These have intensified since Mr Mnangawa’s illness in August. He was airlifted to South Africa after he fell ill at a political rally led by President Mugabe.

    His supporters allege it was deliberate poisoning, some suggesting by the first lady.

    Mrs Mugabe defended herself describing the vice-president as of little consequence, a mere “employee”, appointed by her husband the president:

    Quote Message: Why would my dairy business prepare a single poisoned ice cream cup just for him? Why would I want to kill him, I am the wife of the president.
    Quote Message: Who is Mnangawa? On this earth, who is he? What do I want from him?

    At a press conference held earlier, Mr Mnangagwa said while doctors confirmed that he was poisoned, it was malicious to suggest he said it was at the hands of the first lady.

    He committed unflinching loyalty to the ruling Zanu-PF party and the president.

    Even though Mrs Mugabe does not officially speak for the president – her candid utterances reflect the anxiety within the first family over the vice-president’s influence.

    Mr Mnangagwa, who has worked with President Mugabe for more than 40 years, has been influential in previous election wins.

    It is inconceivable that President Mugabe would want to sack such a key figure ahead of elections next year.

    But as Zimbabweans are seeing, in Zanu-PF politics anything is possible and no position is guaranteed.

  9. Kenyan officer charged for assaulting teenager

    Wanyama wa Chebusiri

    BBC Africa, Kenya

    A Kenyan police officer has been charged in court with sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl who he was guarding in a cell.

    The assault took place at Murang’a police station in central Kenya last weekend, where the girl was being held for allegedly stealing clothes.

    Reports say the police officer had promised to grant the teenager bail in exchange for sexual favours.

    The officer has been detained for five days while investigations take place.

    If found guilty, the policeman faces a possible jail term of up to 25 year in prison.

    The incident has ignited a public outcry on social media and among human rights organisations in the country.

    According to a women rights organisation, Federation of Women Lawyers (Fida), cases of sexual assault involving the police are on the increase in the country.

  10. South Africa's drooping flower tourism

    Around October, the arid landscape of South Africa's west coast blooms with millions of wild flowers and the sight draws tourists from all over the world.

    But the ongoing drought conditions in sub-Saharan Africa are leading to fewer flowers and fewer tourists.

    Watch BBC's Jessica Preyser report from the Western Cape town of Darling:

    Video content

    Video caption: South Africa's drooping flower tourism
  11. Is Charles Taylor meddling in Liberia?

    In January this year former Liberian President Charles Taylor, who is serving a 50-year sentence in a prison in the UK, broadcast a message in a phone call to his supporters in the West African nation.

    He is heard saying that "this revolution is his life", advising his people not to betray the party: "Go back to base and everything will be fine":

    Video content

    Video caption: Charles Taylor's phone call from prison

    Before Mr Taylor's phone call his ex-wife, Jewel Howard Taylor, entered into a political alliance with leading presidential candidate George Weah.

    Ms Howard Taylor is now Mr Weah's deputy in next week's election.

    The BBC's Charlotte Attwood looks into whether the ex-warlord is influencing the election in his homeland.

  12. Plague outbreak: Madagascar action to save lives

    Someone passing Ministry of Health and Malagasy Red Cross healthcare posters

    The Red Cross in Madagascar has said that it has scaled up operations to deal with cases of an outbreak of bubonic plague.

    So far 194 cases had been recorded across 20 districts in 10 regions, it said in a statement.

    Of those, 124 cases were found to have a pneumonic strain - the most virulent strain of the bacteria which is fatal if not treated early with antibiotics.

    The organisation said it had set up a community surveillance and communication response to deal with the health crisis, which had spread panic in the island nation.

    The latest outbreak was traced to the death of a 31-year-old man in August in the central highlands, where plague is endemic.

    Madagascar health checkpoints
    Image caption: Healthcare checkpoints have been set up in the capital, Antananarivo

    In Madagascar, cases of bubonic plague, which spread between animals to humans through flea bites, occur nearly every year.

    The bubonic plague bacterium can travel to a person's lungs, causing pneumonic plague, which can spread quickly from person to person through droplets in the air.

    The Red Cross said that it has responded to past outbreaks in the country and had mobilised 700 volunteers to help in its efforts.

    Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) says it has delivered nearly 1.2 million doses of antibiotics and released $1.5m (£1.1m) in emergency funds to fight the outbreak.

    WHO's representative in Madagascar said:

    Quote Message: Plague is curable if detected in time. Our teams are working to ensure that everyone at risk has access to protection and treatment. The faster we move, the more lives we save." from Dr Charlotte Ndiaye
    Dr Charlotte Ndiaye
  13. SA minister defends 'crush balls' comment

    A South African journalist has shared a video of Police Minister Fikile Mbalula defending comments he made last week urging police to "crush the criminals' balls".

    He had been speaking at the re-launch of an elite police unit in the capital Pretoria.

    Mr Mbalula said that his comments were figurative and that he was telling the police to "make it unbearable for those who practise crime":

    View more on twitter
  14. Kagame critic 'denied access to lawyer'

    Diane Rwigara

    Rwandan opposition politician Diane Rwigara has appeared in court with her mother and sister - all three were charged by prosecutors with inciting insurrection on Wednesday.

    They were supposed to be formally charged in the Kigali courtroom today.

    But Ms Rwigara told the judge that she and her mother, Adeline Rwigara, had been forced to appear without their lawyer.

    According to the Reuters news agency, she said the authorities had not told him about the hearing in time.

    Her sister, Anne Rwigara, said she had been unable to find a lawyer to represent her.

    The judge agreed their lawyers should be present and delayed the case until Monday.

    They were taken back into detention amid heavy security.

    The three have also been charged with forgery for allegedly faking Diane Rwigara’s registration papers to stand in August’s presidential election.

    She was disqualified to run in the poll, which was won by incumbent President Paul Kagame.

    A prominent women's activist and critic of Mr Kagame, she has said the charges against them are politically motivated.

  15. Election campaign hots up in Liberia

    A UK Guardian journalist in Liberia has tweeted a video of supporters of presidential candidate George Weah mocking out-going President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's handling of the economy.

    She reports that they are chanting about the exchange rate: "Common US rate. It's 150".

    View more on twitter

    Mr Weah, a former footballer who has lost to Ms Sirleaf twice, is among at least 20 candidates in the presidential race.

    The governing Unity Party's candidate for the 10 October election is Joseph Boakai, Ms Sirleaf’s deputy.

    The Economist reports that Mr Boakai is a mild-mannered vice-president, who is seen by many as safe and not corrupt .

  16. Zambia turns to drip irrigation to save crops

    Kennedy Gondwe

    BBC Africa Business Report, Lusaka

    Much of sub-Saharan Africa is feeling the consequences of the drought that started more than two years ago, and Zambia is no exception.

    Watch how farmers are having to adopt new irrigation techniques in response to the severe water shortage:

    Video content

    Video caption: Zambian farmer: 'Water is becoming a problem'
  17. SA gunmen shoot dead family

    Milton Nkosi

    BBC Africa, South Africa

    Five people from the same family have been shot and killed in Mariannhill near Pinetown, in South Africa's troubled coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal.

    Police said unknown gunmen opened fire at the family’s home last night at around midnight.

    Four men were killed at the scene and a woman later died in hospital.

    Capt Nqobile Gwala said: “We have opened five counts of murder for further investigation. The motive for the murders is still unknown.

    “This is the second attack this week following the killing of eight people in Matimatolo.”

    On Tuesday, gunmen entered two homes next to each other in Matimatolo village near Greytown.

    Capt Gwala appealed to community members to assist the police and urged them “not to take matters into their own hands”.

    KwaZulu-Natal has experienced a spate of political killings in recent months but it is not entirely clear whether these latest killings are linked to politics.

  18. Kenyatta vows to 'rebuild' razed market

    Kenya's Daily Nation is reporting that President Uhuru Kenyatta has pledged to rebuild the Gikomba market after fire destroyed several stalls.

    He has also ordered an investigation into the cause of fire at the popular second-hand clothes market in the capital, Nairobi.

    View more on twitter

    A statement from one of government minister says initial reports "point to foul play":

    View more on twitter
  19. SA power firm demands return of $70m

    Andrew Harding

    BBC News, Johannesburg

    State corruption in South Africa is now having a global impact: First it was the British PR firm Bell Pottinger and then the auditing giant KPMG.

    Now the global consulting firm McKinsey has found itself dragged into a vast scandal involving allegations that government and business elites are looting public institutions.

    It has been asked to pay back tens of millions of dollars that it earned working in South Africa.

    The country’s energy utility, Eskom, said the money had been paid unlawfully and should be refunded.

    McKinsey, working with a controversial local company, cut a deal to advise Eskom in 2015.

    McKinsey was paid almost 1bn rand ($70m, £50m) for a few months’ consultancy work. Its local partner, Trillian, earned half that sum.

    Now Eskom itself has said that the deal was dodgy, and McKinsey should return the cash.

    But McKinsey insists it did nothing wrong, and that it withdrew from the deal as soon as it became suspicious.

    This scandal, like so many in South Africa today, involves allegations against the Gupta family – powerful businessmen accused of buying influence over President Jacob Zuma, members of his cabinet and other key officials.

    All deny any wrongdoing.

    The fact that international firms are allegedly involved has helped to focus attention on South Africa’s growing corruption problem.

    KPMG is battling to save its reputation and business here.

    Bell Pottinger is facing bankruptcy.

  20. Monkeypox virus: Medics monitor 40 people

    Igho William

    BBC Africa

    I have just spoken to the medical director of the Niger Delta University hospital in Nigeria's southern state of Bayelsa about the reported monkeypox cases.

    Dimie Ogoina told me that the hospital was treating 13 infected patients, among them are three adults and one child, who had also been quarantined.

    The hospital was working with the Nigerian Center for Disease Control, which had sent a team from the capital, Abuja, to visit the hospital, he said.

    They were currently monitoring more than 40 people in Bayelsa who had had contact with the quarantined patients, but none had so far shown any symptoms, he added.

    Mr Ogoina also sought to allay fears, urging members of the public not to panic.

    His hospital and staff were well trained and adequately prepared for a scenario like this, he said.

    See earlier post for more details.

    Smoked monkey
    Image caption: Monkey meat is a delicacy in some communities in Nigeria