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Live Reporting

By Dickens Olewe

All times stated are UK

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  1. Israeli died 'after getting lost in world's hottest place'

    Desta Gebremedhin

    BBC Tigrinya

    Aya Naamneh
    Image caption: Her friend says Aya Naamneh was a favourite with everyone in their tour group

    An Israeli engineering student who died in Ethiopia over the weekend had lost her way to the tour group’s vehicle, her friend has told the BBC.

    Aya Naamneh, 22, was among six Israeli students and their two Ethiopian friends who had travelled to the Danakil Depression, in Ethiopia’s north-eastern Afar region, to tour around one of the hottest places on the planet.

    Tsidena Abadi, one of the Ethiopians in the group, says on completion of the students' one-month engineering course on Wednesday they had set off for Afar to take in the sights such as Ert Ale, an active volcano with a bubbling lava lake at its summit, and the colourful, sulphuric hot spring and geyser fields of Dallol.

    On Saturday, the friends had reached Dallol and trekked up a hill for a better view, Ms Tsidena said.

    “Exhausted from the extreme heat and smell of sulphur” some opted to return to the car rather than venture further, she said.

    Ms Naamneh was first to leave in search of the vehicle, but when her body was found later it showed she had gone in the wrong direction, said Ms Tsidena, who also had become disorientated.

    “I was lost as well until I find another friend and followed her to the car. The place is all the same that you can’t identify your direction,” she said.

    “The hot vapours from the ground and the extreme heat made me sick and I honestly thought I am going to die.”

    A search was launched for Ms Naamneh but her body was not found until Sunday.

    “Aya was everyone’s favourite and very humble,” Ms Tsidena said.

  2. Drones 'hunt down truckers evading tax' in Zambia

    Kennedy Gondwe

    BBC News, Lusaka

    Topsy Sikalinda with a drone
    Image caption: One of the drones, held here by ZRA's Topsy Sikalinda, which patrol smuggler routes

    The tax authorities in Zambia have started using drone surveillance to track down lorries smuggling in goods to avoid customs duty.

    Seven trucks were impounded by the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) in the north of the country over the weekend after drones spotted them hidden in the bush off the main road.

    “The drones go out on patrol on risky routes or complicated routes where our ground patrols or checkpoints have failed,” ZRA corporate communications manager Topsy Sikalinda told the BBC.

    “On this particular operation, the drones went out on the Kapiri-Serenje route. They noticed that main road was empty and they picked up some activity about 14km [about nine miles] in the bush."

    A drone in Zambia
    Image caption: One of the drones in action in Zambia

    Vehicles travelling south along the road could be coming from neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi or Tanzania.

    Mr Sikalinda explained that drivers often offload goods in the bush and then put them on smaller vehicles that are not likely to be suspected.

    "We take it to be local trade hence they escape the tax net," he said

    ZRA hopes to raise more revenue through the use of such technology, the tax official added.

  3. Legacy of Kenya's 'King of Kikuyu music' questioned

    Peter Mwai

    BBC Africa, Nairobi

    The late Kenyan musician John Ng'ang'a, known by his stage name John De'Mathew
    Image caption: President Kenyatta said John De'Mathew promoted African cultural heritage through his music

    Fans have been paying tribute to Kenyan musician, John Ng'ang'a, known by his stage name John De'Mathew, who has died in a car crash - but not everyone has been praising the Benga singer.

    Dubbed “the King of Kikuyu music” - he was one of the few musicians to be famous countrywide despite only singing in his Kikuyu language.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Twitter that he played a big role in promoting "African cultural heritage through his music":

    View more on twitter

    His songs focused on love, politics and societal ills such as alcoholism – often using proverbs, metaphors and references to Kikuyu mythology.

    While some have praised him as a “modern prophet”, one of his political songs was controversial and has divided opinion about his legacy.

    Wituite Hiti, which means "You Have Made Yourself a Hyena", was released ahead of the 2013 election.

    The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC), set up to ease ethnic tensions after the violence that followed the 2007 election, said the lyrics bordered on hate speech.

    It was thought he was referring to politician Raila Odinga, the main rival to Mr Kenyatta, a Kikuyu, who went on to win the presidential vote.

    De’Mathew was charged in court over the song, but acquitted the following year.

    Defending himself, he said the translations were taken out of context and had missed the message of the song.

    Mr Odinga, who also lost the 2017 presidential vote, has tweeted his condolences to De'Mathew's family, saying the singer was a great educator “on culture and current affairs”:

    View more on twitter

    But some of Mr Odinga's supporters have expressed surprise that the former prime minister has praised a musician accused of using derogatory language against him.

    In his last days, De'Mathew championed the formation of a savings and investment society for struggling musicians.

    He hailed from Murang’a County in central Kenya, and released his first song Jenifer in 1986.

    But his breakthrough came the following year with Peris Nduku, meaning “My Dear Nduku”, a tribute to a fictitious girlfriend who the song says died in a road accident.

  4. Nineteen die in Uganda after fuel tanker explosion

    Map of Uganda

    Police in Uganda say at least 19 people were killed in the west of the country on Sunday when a fuel tanker exploded after the driver lost control of the vehicle and it rammed into four cars.

    The accident happened at a small trading centre in Kasoe town near a major highway between the capital, Kampala, and Kasese town near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    A fire that followed the blast burnt down at least 25 shops nearby.

    Police spokesperson Fred Enanga said the victims' bodies will be transported more than 300km (186 miles) to the national referral hospital in Kampala for identification.

    Nine bodies were retrieved from the crash site on Monday morning and another body was found trapped under the truck, police said in a statement.

    Some of the bodies were burnt beyond recognition.

    The Daily Monitor newspaper tweeted pictures of the scene after the blast occurred:

    View more on twitter
  5. Ebola case detected in militia area in DR Congo

    Mary Harper

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    The authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo have confirmed a new case of Ebola far from the area where previous cases have occurred.

    The health ministry said the new case was reported in the village of Pinga in the eastern region of Walikale, which is almost entirely controlled by militia groups.

    The area is difficult to access because of thick forest and poor roads.

    A third case of the disease has also been confirmed in South Kivu region, 100km (62 miles) from the epicentre of the current Congolese outbreak, which has killed nearly 2,000 people.

    Read more: Ebola outbreak in five graphics

  6. Ex-President Bashir's 'received millions from Saudis'

    Omar al-Bashir seen behind a cage in court
    Image caption: The former president is being detained in a cage within the courtroom

    Sudan's ousted President Omar al-Bashir admitted to receiving millions of dollars from Saudi Arabia, an investigator has told a court in the capital, Khartoum.

    The former leader is facing corruption charges related to the illegal possession of foreign currency.

    The military authorities say cash was found at his home after he was deposed by the military in April.

    "The accused told us that the money was part of a sum of $25m (£20m) sent to him by Prince Mohammed bin Salman to be used outside of the state budget," investigator Ahmed Ali is quoted by the AFP news agency as saying.

    Mr Ali said that according to Mr Bashir there had been two earlier payments of $35m and $30m from Saudi Arabia, AFP reports.

  7. Zimbabwe opposition challenges Bulawayo rally ban

    The main opposition party in Zimbabwe has gone to court to challenge a ban on rally in the southern city of Bulawayo called to protest against worsening economic conditions in the country.

    The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says that the ban on the rally, which police say would "agitate citizens", was unconstitutional.

    A local news site has shared a copy of MDC's notice of appeal:

    View more on twitter

    Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's Ministry of Information has shared pictures showing "normal operations" in Bulawayo:

    View more on twitter
  8. Burundi denied entry into Sadc

    Samba Cyuzuzo

    BBC Great Lakes

    Sadc heads of state in Tanzania
    Image caption: The heads of state meeting in Tanzania said Burundi needed to make some changes

    Burundi has not fulfilled the requirements to join the Southern African Development Community (Sadc).

    The country applied to join the regional body in 2017, but its request was put on hold pending an investigation.

    A Sadc team was sent to Burundi in May - and based on its findings at the head of states summit this weekend it was decided that the country needed to satisfy some further issues before it could be admitted.

    Tanzanian President John Magufuli, who hosted the summit, did not specify what these requirements were.

    Since 2003, Sadc has specified that countries wishing to join the body should respect principles of democracy, human rights, good governance and the rule of law.

    In June, a UN human rights commission report accused the Burundian government of repressing the opposition and of "serious human rights violations".

    Burundi's representatives at the UN called the report "a document of lies".

  9. Bashir in court for corruption trial

    BBC World Service

    Sudan's ousted President Omar al-Bashir has arrived in court in the capital, Khartoum, for his trial on corruption charges.

    There's heavy security around the courthouse.

    After he was ousted in April, millions of dollars in cash were allegedly seized from his house.

    Mr Bashir's trial opened last month, but had to be postponed following the death of his mother.

  10. Zimbabwe police ban economy protest in Bulawayo

    Demonstrators sit and sing protest songs during last week's demonstration in Harare
    Image caption: Police also banned a protest in Harare on Friday - though some demonstrators tried to assemble

    Police in Zimbabwe have banned a planned opposition demonstration in the southern city of Bulawayo to protest against the country's worsening economic crisis.

    In a notice banning the demonstration, the police said it would "agitate citizens":

    Quote Message: Ordinary citizens in the country are experiencing hardships so any call for the demonstrations might be taken advantage of by the already agitated citizens and violence may erupt."

    The main opposition party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government of repression and the mismanagement of the economy.

    On Friday, police violently dispersed anti-government protesters in the capital, Harare, after banning a similar planned MDC march.

    Zimbabwe is reeling from high inflation and shortages of basic supplies such as fuel, power and water.

    Inflation is currently at a 10-year high and according to the UN, five million Zimbabweans are currently in need of food aid, according to the UN.

  11. Kenyan chef 'breaks cooking marathon record'

    Maliha Mohammed during cooking competition in Mombasa, Kenya - August 2019
    Image caption: Maliha Mohammed looks set to become the first African to break the record

    A Kenyan chef has set a new world record for the longest time spent cooking, after cooking for 75 hours non-stop.

    Maliha Mohammed began her attempt on Thursday at 10:00 local time in the coastal city of Mombasa.

    She ended her marathon at a local restaurant on Sunday at 13:03 local time.

    If verified by Guinness World Records, she will have beaten the official record set by a US cook, Rickey Lumpkin - he cooked for 68 hours, 30 minutes and one second in April 2018.

    Ms Mohammed prepared 400 dishes - including local and international recipes - most of which she offered to shelters and orphanages.

    During her epic time in the kitchen, she only rested for 30 minutes every 12 hours.

    Afterwards she told journalists:

    Quote Message: The journey has been tiresome. My legs are very painful, my eyes are hurting due to lack of enough sleep, but I’m grateful to have achieved this."

    Ali Hassan Joho, Mombasa's governor, congratulated the 36-year-old, who becomes the first African to break the record.

    He wrote on Facebook: "You have not only made Mombasa and Kenya proud but the entire African continent.

    "You personified the true spirit of endurance and resilience in an African woman, in braving the heat and daring sleep for over 75 hours while showcasing your culinary skills."

    View more on facebook
  12. Video content

    Video caption: Food for sport: African dishes for the win

    Zambian sports nutritionist Linia Patel recommends African recipes for different events.

  13. Tanzania hearing for detained journalist postponed

    A court in Tanzania's largest city of Dar es Salaam has postponed a hearing in the case against top investigative journalist Erick Kabendera after the prosecution asked for more time to continue its investigation.

    Mr Kabendera was arrested on 29 July and has been in custody since.

    He is facing charges of money laundering, tax evasion and involvement in organised crime.

    The journalist has not yet been asked to enter a plea and the charges are considered too serious for him to be granted bail.

    The magistrate ordered that Mr Kabendera be arraigned in court on 30 August.

    The manner of his arrest and detention has raised concern about media freedom in Tanzania, both locally and internationally.

    Earlier this month, the US and UK condemned the handling of his case.

    Mr Kabendera's lawyers say their client say is being targeted because of an article published in The Economist about the nation's president entitled: John Magufuli is bulldozing Tanzania’s freedom.

    View more on twitter
  14. DR Congo measles outbreak 'kills 2,700 children'

    The epidemic is more deadly than the current Ebola outbreak

    Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has told the BBC that very little has been done to combat the measles epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo, despite a national epidemic being declared in June.

    Karel Janssen, MSF's head of mission in DR Congo, said 23 out of 26 provinces had been affected, but lack of routine vaccination, hygiene, the prevalence of conflict and the high numbers of displaced people had contributed to the spread of the disease.

    ''An epidemic as this doesn’t suddenly arise; this is also a consequence of years of years of neglect,'' he told BBC Newsday.

    “We are facing the biggest measles outbreak that we've seen in more than 10 years in the Congo."

    He added that only $2.5m (£2m) has been raised out of the $8.9m required for the health response plan.

    More than 2,700 children have died from measles between January and August - that is higher than the total for Ebola in the past year, he said.

    Since the beginning of the year, MSF has vaccinated 474,863 children and supported 27,439 patients.

    Listen to the full interview with Karel Janssen about the challenges:

    Video content

    Video caption: New cases have been reported in several provinces
  15. Nigeria's D'Tigress crowned Afrobasket champions

    Nigeria have retained their crown as champions of the continent at the women's AfroBasket in Senegal.

    D'Tigress beat hosts Senegal by five points.

    Nigeria's president retweeted the world basketball federation's tweet, saying the entire country rejoiced with the back-to-back champions:

    View more on twitter

    D'Tigress tweeted that it was a tough battle - and gave special thanks to all their fans:

    View more on twitter
  16. Kenya's 'King of Kikuyu music' dies in car crash

    John De'Mathew
    Image caption: John De'Mathew, famous for cowboy hat, reportedly released more than 50 albums

    Popular Kenyan musician John Ng'ang'a, known by his stage name John De'Mathew, has been killed in a car crash prompting an outpouring of tributes from his fans.

    Known as the King of Kikuyu music, the singer was on his way back from an event in the town of Thika, 45km (27 miles) north-east of the capital, Nairobi, when his car ploughed into a lorry.

    Famous for wearing a white cowboy hat, he reportedly produced more than 50 albums in a three-decade career.

    His style of music was known as Benga, with guitar setting a fast-paced rhyme. He always sang in Kikuyu, one of Kenya’s main languages.

    The hashtag #RIPDeMathew is trending in Kenya, with people sharing their memories.

    One tweeter said he always addressed social issues in his songs, like one about alcoholism:

    View more on twitter

    Other fans spoke about how the legend "spread, unity and peace" through his songs and used "beautiful poetry" for "coded wisdom":

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter

    And one account, calling him a "true hero" shared one of his tracks:

    View more on twitter
  17. Capture of wild African elephants for zoos banned

    BBC World Service

    An elephant seen at Murchison Falls National Park on June 15,2019 in Pakwach,Uganda
    Image caption: Some African nations are again pushing to reopen the trade in ivory.

    The capture of wild African elephants for transfer to zoos is to be banned under new restrictions by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites).

    A committee at the Cites conference in the Swiss city of Geneva approved the ban, but the measure will still need to be passed by the full conference.

    Conservationists said it was a historic win.

    The decision applies to southern African countries.

    Elephants in western, central and eastern Africa are already banned from all trade.