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Live Reporting

Dickens Olewe

All times stated are UK

  1. Scroll down for the week's stories

    We'll be back on Monday

    BBC Africa Live

    Dickens Olewe

    That's all from BBC Africa Live this week. You can 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 Friday's proverb:

    Quote Message: The impatient dog burns its mouth." from An Afrikaans proverb sent by Björn Bester, Uitenhage, South Africa
    An Afrikaans proverb sent by Björn Bester, Uitenhage, South Africa

    Click here to send us your African proverbs.

    And we leave you with this picture of Ethiopian politician Kefiyalew Tefera, who was at one time imprisoned, celebrating the return of leaders of the former rebel group the Oromo Liberation Front. It's taken from our selection of the best images from this week.

    Ethiopian politician Kefiyalew Tefera celebrating the return of leaders of former rebel group -Oromo Liberation Front.
  2. Amnesty blasts Magufuli contraceptives ban

    Amnesty International has criticised Tanzania's President John Magufuli after his government told an American aid organisation to stop running family planning adverts in local media. (See our earlier story).

    The Tanzanian leader has been critical of contraceptives, saying the country needed more people.

    Amnesty's director for the region, Seif Magango, called the decision "deplorable".

    “The Tanzanian authorities must immediately stop obstructing access to sexual and reproductive health services and end the intimidation of anyone providing information about such services – be they health workers, journalists or activists," he added.

  3. Tunisia unions call for strike against privatisation

    BBC World Service

    Tunisia's powerful public sector union, the UGTT, has called nationwide strike action that is scheduled to begin in the weeks ahead.

    It says this is partly in response to the government's privatisation plans.

    The authorities have suggested selling off loss-making, state-owned enterprises.

    The union's members are also unhappy at high levels of inflation, and the lack of progress in pay talks.

    Tunisia is widely regarded as having made important social and democratic gains following its Arab Spring revolution in 2011. But successive governments have struggled to tackle the country's deep economic problems.

  4. Zimbabwe school backs gay teacher

    A man holding up his hand with an LGBT flag painted on his palm
    Image caption: Gay people in Zimbabwe face widespread stigma

    A teacher in Zimbabwe has come out to his students as a way of dealing with homophobia at the private senior school.

    Neal Hovelmeier, who is the deputy head of the sixth form at St John's College in the capital, Harare, said he could only deal with the issue if he was "open and transparent about it myself".

    In a letter released by the school, he said that some of his former students had confided to him that they had felt intimidated and ostracised at the school:

    Quote Message: I have felt increasingly troubled by the fact that we as an institution have never openly dealt with trying to curb homophobic behaviour and, equally, failed to provide a safe learning experience for students who may identify as being gay or bisexual to truly flourish and feel accepted."

    The school's headmaster and deputy released a joint statement praising Mr Hovelmeier, saying he was "a man of complete integrity and whose record, over many years at this fine College of ours, is unimpeachable".

    The British curriculum boys school was founded in 1986 and admits boys from the age of 12 to 18, its website says.

    Homosexual acts and gay marriage are banned in Zimbabwe and gay people face widespread stigma.

    In most communities, it has been too dangerous to live as openly homosexual.

    Robert Mugabe, who was forced to resign as president last year after more than three decades in power, once infamously said gay people were "worse than pigs and dogs" and claimed homosexuality was unAfrican.

  5. Tanzania's previous boat accidents

    Graphic of ferry disasters in Tanzania

    The ferry that capsized on Thursday near Tanzania's Ukara island on its way from Bugorora - killing at least 136 people - was not the country's first tragic passenger boat accident.

    It is thought the overloaded vessel tipped over when crowds on board moved to one side as it docked.

    The number of fatalities is likely to go up as more than 200 people are said to have been onboard.

  6. Westgate mall attack survivors reunited

    Scores of people died in the mass shooting and subsequent siege at the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, on 21 September 2013.

    Five years on from the attack, watch Katherine Walton and Valentine Kadzo reunite to reflect on that day, and those who saved them:

    Video content

    Video caption: Westgate mall attack survivors reunited in Nairobi
  7. DR Congo investigates Kinshasa 'killings'

    BBC World Service

    Prosecutors in the Democratic Republic of Congo have begun an investigation into the deaths of four young people whose bodies were found in the capital, Kinshasa.

    Police say they were killed by criminals but a witness has told the BBC the victims were deliberately shot dead by police officers during a raid against petty criminals.

    Human rights campaigners have for many years accused the police in Kinshasa of brutality and carrying out extra-judicial killings.

  8. Ferry disaster: 'Death toll rises to 136'

    Tanzania's top police official Simon Sirro has said the death toll from Tanzania's ferry accident has hit 136, news agency Reuters reports.

    The MV Nyerere ferry overturned on Thursday in Lake Victoria near Ukara island on its way from Bugorora.

    Many are missing and it is feared that more than 200 people may have drowned.

    Tanzania ferry accident
  9. eSwatini to elect MPs

    BBC World Service

    People in the southern African kingdom of eSwatini have been electing members of parliament in a vote which critics have described as a farce.

    Political parties are banned from taking part in the poll and the candidates are almost all seen as loyal to King Mswati III.

    Fifty-nine seats will be decided through the election, while the king will directly appoint 10 more MPs.

    A senior election official in eSwatini, which was previously known as Swaziland, said the system was perfect for a modern-day country that had chosen to preserve its rich cultures and traditions.

    Earlier this week police used tear gas to disperse protesters who had joined trade union marches calling for wage increases.

  10. 'Jihadists kill 12' in Mozambique village

    At least 12 villagers were killed late on Thursday during an attack by suspected jihadists in Mozambique's northern village of Paqueue, in Cabo Delgado region, news agency AFP reports quoting a source.

    "Ten people were shot by firearms and two burnt [to death] after 55 houses were charred. A person was beheaded after being shot dead," the source is quoted as saying.

    A health official Cabo Delgado region told AFP that an ambulance had been dispatched to "rescue the 14 wounded".

    A group of Islamist militants have been operating in the natural gas rich region and has conducted several attacks.

    A recent study found that the jihadists came to Mozambique from the East African coast.

    They were followers of Muslim cleric Aboud Rogo Mohammed (accused of supporting al-Shabab in Somalia).

    After he was killed in 2012, they came under pressure and moved south.

    They built a presence in Kibiti, Tanzania, and then crossed the Ruvuma River into Cabo Delgado by 2015.

    Read more: How Mozambique’s smuggling barons nurtured jihadists

    Mozambique map
  11. Ferry disaster: 'Death toll rises to 100'


    Tanzania's police chief Simon Sirro Mwanza says the death toll following the capsizing of a ferry on Lake Victoria has risen to at least 100 people.

    The MV Nyerere overturned near Ukara island on its way from Bugorora on Thursday.

    Many more are missing and it is feared that more than 200 people may have drowned.

    Rescue efforts resumed on Friday after being halted overnight.

    Read earlier post: 'I have lost my father, brother and sister'

  12. Kenya's president signs into law controversial taxes

    Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has signed into law a new finance bill, which introduces several new taxes to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for the government and reduce the budget deficit.

    They include a tax on gambling and an unpopular 8% on fuel.

    There was a chaotic debate in parliament on Thursday evening, where the bill was eventually passed by MPs.

    Correspondents say many Kenyans are sceptical about the new taxes because of the high level of corruption.

    President Kenyatta tweeted on Friday morning that he would ensure public resources were used properly "for a better Kenya" and that he would "not relent on the war against corruption".

    View more on twitter
  13. Joy and anger over Kenya lesbian film ruling

    The director of Rafiki says she is overjoyed that a Kenyan high court judge has suspended the ban on her gay romance film to allow it to be screened for seven days - a ruling that means it can be considered for an Oscar award.

    Wanuri Kahiu tweeted that she would announce dates for the screenings in the capital, Nairobi, soon:

    View more on twitter

    But the head of the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB), which banned Rafiki as it "seeks to legitimise lesbian romance", is unhappy about the ruling, tweeting that "homosexuality is not our way of life":

    View more on twitter

    He added that if people wanted to watch it in their own homes, that was fine - but his board would be watching out for any public cinema that sought to show it:

    View more on twitter

    Rafiki, which means "friend" in Swahili, traces the love story between two young women.

    See earlier post with the judge's comments.

  14. South Africa 'to spend its way out of recession'

    Milton Nkosi

    BBC Africa, Johannesburg

    President Cyril Ramaphosa
    Image caption: President Cyril Ramaphosa hopes the measures will get the economy out of recession

    South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has ambitious plans to rescue his country from the economic doldrums as it heads towards elections next year.

    The president said his stimulus package was aimed at getting South Africa out of recession.

    A 400bn rand ($28.1 bn; £21.3bn) infrastructure fund has been set up as “over the years South Africa’s infrastructure has been tapering down”, he said in the capital, Pretoria, where he unveiled the Economic Stimulus and Recovery Plan.

    Boosting tourism was also a key objective and there would be an “immediate change to the visa regime” - to remove obstacles and make it easier for highly skilled foreigners to enter the country.

    The country’s mining charter would be reviewed to “provide certainty to investors”, he said.

    Agriculture would also get a boost to help revive the drought-stricken sector with an injection of $3.5bn.

    Plans to help the telecommunications sector lower data costs were also revealed to “increase overall competitiveness in South Africa’s economy”.

    The 65-year-old, who became president earlier this year, added:

    Quote Message: We are certain that these interventions will help in putting the economy on a far firmer footing.
    Quote Message: We have within us to form a new path of growth and new path of trajectory.
    Quote Message: This will have a decisive role in reversing the current technical recession."

    The rand has strengthened against the dollar and other major currencies following the announcement.

  15. Deadly Libya fighting hits electricity supplies

    Rana Jawad

    BBC North Africa correspondent

    A security man walks inside Mitiga airport the day after militiamen attacked it in an attempt to free colleagues held at a jail there, on the eastern outskirts of the Libyan capital Tripoli, on January 16, 2018.
    Image caption: Tripoli's Mitiga International Airport remains closed

    Six people have been killed and at least four injured in renewed fighting in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, this week, according to the ministry of health.

    This is the first casualty toll to be published since armed clashes between rival groups erupted again in the southern suburbs of the capital.

    This week’s fighting has steadily intensified and comes after the Libyan prime minister announced plans for new security arrangements in the capital - with the aim of phasing out irregular forces nominally allied to the ministries of interior and defence.

    A power distributor was also hit during the clashes, knocking out electricity supplies to large parts of western and southern Libya.

    The UN mission has urged the armed groups to cease hostilities, saying it will hold their leaders accountable for any civilians harmed.

    Fighting earlier this month killed more than 60 people and left more than 100 others injured, until a ceasefire was brokered by the UN.

    In the wake of the ceasefire, Tripoli's only airport reopened but shut down within days after it came under rocket fire.

  16. Kenya lesbian film ban temporarily lifted

    A Kenyan judge has temporarily suspended the ban on Rafiki, a locally produced film about a lesbian romance, following a court challenge by the film's director.

    The boss of Kenya's film regulator, the KFCB, had banned it in April last year because of its same-sex theme.

    Ezekiel Mutua said it promoted lesbianism, which he said was against Kenya's culture.

    The film's director Wanuri Kahiu went to court to argue that the ban by KFCB made it impossible for her to submit the film for review for the 2019 Oscars Awards.

    A journalist - who was at the High Court in the capital, Nairobi - tweeted that the film is allowed to be screened for seven days.

    View more on twitter

    In another tweet she quoted presiding judge Wilfrida Okwany as saying that the film would not compromise Kenyans morality:

    View more on twitter

    Set in Nairobi, Rafiki tells the coming-of-age story of two young women, Kena and Ziki, who meet and fall in love.

    Their romance unfolds against a backdrop of homophobia and intolerance in a country where gay sex is outlawed.

    It was screened at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

    Ms Kahiu spoke to the BBC in May about the film:

    Video content

    Video caption: Rafiki director Wanuri Kahiu on Cannes success and Kenya ban
  17. Ferry disaster: 'I've lost my father, brother and aunt'

    Aboubakar Famau

    BBC Africa, Tanzania

    Recovery operations
    Image caption: Rescue workers examine the hull of a ferry that overturned in Lake Victoria

    Fear has gripped residents of Tanzania's Mwanza region as they wait to hear about the fate of their relatives who were travelling in a ferry that capsized on Thursday near the shores of Ukara island and Bugorora, a town on the island of Ukerewe.

    The overloaded MV Nyerere ferry sank in Lake Victoria while carrying hundreds of passengers.

    Mwanza Regional Commissioner John Mongella said at least 86 people have died in the accident while another 37 were rescued and are in critical condition.

    The rescue-and-recovery operation resumed on Friday morning after it was temporarily suspended overnight.

    Hundreds of residents are now heading to the accident scene to seek more details of their relatives.

    “I received a call at 13:30 and I was told the ferry was involved in an accident," Editha Josephat Magesa, a resident of Ukerewe Island, told me.

    "Then I received another call telling me that I have lost my aunt, father and my younger brother.

    "We are really saddened. We urge the government to provide us with a new ferry as the old one was small and the population is big."

    This latest tragedy has so far ignited sad memories of the MV Bukoba - which sank some 20 years ago - and claimed the lives of more than 800 people in the same waters of Lake Victoria.

  18. Ferry disaster: 86 dead in Lake Victoria capsizing

    Recovery operations are ongoing in Lake Victoria after a ferry capsized on Thursday near Tanzania by the island of Ukara and Bugorora, a town on the island of Ukerewe.

    Officials say at least 86 people have died but number could be more than 200.

    Operations had been put on hold overnight.

    Reports say the MV Nyerere vessel tipped over when passengers on board moved to one side as it came into dock.

    Local media say the ferry's official capacity was 100 people. Officials have confirmed that the vessel was carrying more than 400 passengers when it capsized.

    Thirty-seven people who have been rescued are said to be in a critical condition, local officials have said.

    Exact figures, though, are yet to be confirmed - the Reuters news agency said the person who dispensed tickets for the journey also died, with the machine recording the data lost.

    We will bring you updates as we get them.

  19. Tanzania 'suspends' family planning advertisements

    Women carrying children
    Image caption: On average, a woman in Tanzania has more than five children in her lifetime

    Tanzania's government has ordered a US aid organisation to cease advertising family planning services in the country's media "with immediate effect", news agency Reuters reports.

    Health Permanent Secretary Mpoki Ulisubisya told the organisation, FHI 360, to implement the order immediately.

    "I request you to stop with immediate effect airing and publishing any family planning contents in any media channels, until further notice," Mr Ulisubisya said in a letter dated 19 September.

    Reuters news agency reports that it had sought a comment from the organisation but it had not heard back.

    The development comes after President John Magufuli said on 9 September that women should stop using contraceptives because Tanzania needed more people.

    Opposition MP Cecil Mwambe criticised the comments, saying they contradicted the country's health policy.

    Mr Magufuli made similar comments in 2016.

    After the launch of free primary and secondary education, he said: "Women can now throw away their contraceptives. Education is now free."

    Tanzania has a population of around 53 million people, with 49% of them living on less than $2 (£1.50) a day.

    On average, a woman in Tanzania has more than five children, among the highest rates in the world.

    He has proposed several controversial policies since he was elected in 2015.

    Last year he proposed that pregnant schoolgirls be blocked from resuming their education after giving birth.

  20. Wise words

    Friday's African proverb:

    Quote Message: The impatient dog burns its mouth." from An Afrikaans proverb sent by Björn Bester, Uitenhage, South Africa
    An Afrikaans proverb sent by Björn Bester, Uitenhage, South Africa

    Click here to send us your African proverbs