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Live Reporting

Evelyne Musambi and Basillioh Rukanga

All times stated are UK

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  1. Mozambique kills elephants over deaths of two people

    Jose Tembe

    BBC News, Maputo

    Elephants in Mozambique
    Image caption: The elephants are part of a group thought to have left Gorongosa National Park

    Elephants suspected of killing two people in Metuchira district in the central Mozambican province of Sofala have been killed.

    The two pachyderms are reported to have killed the victims at their homes.

    The National Administration of Conservation Areas (Anac) said it carried out an investigation that identified the two animals as most likely to have killed the people.

    “As a result of this investigation and analysis and in view of the imminent danger for the inhabitants of the same locality it was decided to take down the two elephants identified as problematic,” a statement from Anac says.

    The elephants are part of a group thought to have left Gorongosa National Park and been in the area since Cyclone Idai, nearly three years ago.

  2. Malawi declares disaster zones amid deadly floods

    Peter Jegwa

    Lilongwe, Malawi

    People look at a wreck washed away during tropical storm Ana on the flooded Shire river, an outlet of Lake Malawi at Thabwa village, in Chikwawa district, southern Malawi, 26 January.
    Image caption: This car washed up in Chikwawa district on the flooded Shire river - an outlet of Lake Malawi

    Malawi President's Lazarus Chakwera has declared parts of the country disaster areas, after 19 people were killed in floods caused by tropical storm Ana.

    The deaths have been reported in at least five districts in southern Malawi, where more than 50 people also suffered various degrees of injuries.

    Up to 44 camps have been set up to help thousands of displaced people.

    The storm has also caused extensive damage to infrastructure, including at the country's main electricity generating plant.

    Power has only now started to be restored in some parts of the country after a nationwide blackout on Tuesday.

    A statement released on Thursday by the president's office has declared that all districts that have been affected in the southern part are disaster areas with immediate effect.

  3. Ugandan author accused of insulting president freed

    BBC Monitoring

    The world through its media

    Kakwenza Rukirabashaija Ugandan author
    Image caption: Kakwenza Rukirabashaija had been seized by men in plain clothes soon after he was freed the first time

    A Ugandan author accused of insulting the president and his family has been released after being re-arrested moments after a court freed him on bail.

    Kakwenza Rukirabashaija was “dumped” by the military at the gate of his home in eastern Uganda on Wednesday, his lawyer said.

    The novelist’s wife also confirmed the release.

    The lawyer said the author was unwell and had been taken to hospital for treatment.

    The award-winning writer was charged with offensive communication after he was accused of insulting President Yoweri Museveni, and his son, Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, on Twitter.

    He successfully obtained bail from a Kampala court before he was rearrested in unclear circumstances.

    His lawyer said he was "kidnapped" from prison by men in plain clothes and taken to an unknown location.

    The author won acclaim for his 2020 satirical novel The Greedy Barbarian which describes high-level corruption in a fictional country.

    He was awarded the 2021 PEN Pinter Prize for an international writer of courage.

    PEN said on Tuesday after his disappearance that it feared for the author's life - and would hold Mr Museveni, his son and the Ugandan military responsible for "flagrant abuse of office".

  4. Zambia's president criticised for frequent trips

    Kennedy Gondwe

    BBC News, Lusaka

    ambia's President, Hakainde Hichilema, speaks during the annual gathering in New York City
    Image caption: Hakainde Hichilema has defended his latest visit, to meet South Africa's president

    Zambia’s President Hakainde Hichilema has come under attack from the opposition because of his frequent trips abroad.

    Mr Hichilema on Wednesday made his ninth foreign trip since taking office in August.

    His latest trip is a two-day visit to South Africa for talks with his counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa as well as attending a book launch.

    But the opposition Socialist Party has questioned the trip after his meeting with Mr Ramaphosa was described as a courtesy call.

    "So, what exactly is the purpose of President Hichilema’s trip to South Africa if the meeting with President Ramaphosa is only a by-the-way? Is the meeting with President Ramaphosa a mere cover-up for his private pursuits?," Socialist Party president Fred M’membe wrote on his Facebook page.

    While in the opposition, Mr Hichilema often criticised foreign trips undertaken by his predecessor Edgar Lungu.

    Andyford Banda, a current opposition leader, tweeted that his party and current President Hichelema had previously both "condemned" Mr Lungu's administration for this, adding that "cutting costs must start with" Mr Hichelema himself now:

    View more on twitter

    However, Mr Hichilema explained his trip in a series of Facebook posts.

    He confirmed holding bilateral talks with Mr Ramaphosa which centred "around development, regional peace and security and enhancing our economic and bilateral ties".

    He also confirmed taking part in the launch of a book written by Greg Mills, entitled Expensive Poverty, Why Aid Fails And And How It Can Work.

  5. Popular Kenyan football fan hacked to death

    Kenyans are mourning a popular football fan who painted his body during matches.

    Isaac Juma was hacked to death at his hometown in western Kenya on Wednesday night, local media report.

    View more on twitter

    Mr Juma was known for using his body as a canvas during national and local teams' matches.

    He had in the past travelled out of the country with the national team.

    During a 2018 interview with local Citizen TV, he said he hoped the Kenyan team would qualify for the Afcon games that are currently going on in Cameroon.

    Kenyans online have eulogised Kenya One, as he was popularly referred to by his fans.

    "You were a gem, jovial and entertaining," Abu Rumi tweeted.

    "We will truly miss your unwavering support for Kenyan football, Omwami. You were a devoted follower! Fare thee well!," @SallyBolo wrote.

  6. Emergency action in Nigeria over deadly Lassa fever

    Chris Ewokor

    BBC News, Abuja

    A health official works in the laboratory extraction room of the Institute of Lassa Fever Research and Control in Nigeria
    Image caption: Lassa fever is endemic in West Africa

    Nigeria has set up an emergency response centre to deal with outbreaks of the deadly Lassa fever in parts of the country.

    This follows a rising number of cases in the last three weeks, with about 115 infections and 26 deaths having been been confirmed.

    The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said activating the centre was necessary to contain the spread of the disease.

    Lassa fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic illness, often transmitted to human beings via contact with food or household items contaminated with rodent urine or faeces.

    Symptoms include fever, general weakness, vomiting and diarrhoea, headaches and coughs.

    The disease was first discovered in 1969 in the town of Lassa in Nigeria’s north-eastern state of Borno. Outbreaks are common in the country.

    It has become endemic in West Africa, causing up to 5,000 deaths each year.

    Read more:

  7. Elephant tramples tourist to death in Uganda

    An elephant at Murchison Falls National Park
    Image caption: The tourist and his colleagues had made a stop inside the park

    A tourist was trampled to death by an elephant in a national park in Uganda after he got out of the car he was travelling in.

    The deceased, a Saudi national, was passing through the Murchison Falls National Park to Arua city with colleagues when they stopped to relieve themselves.

    A herd of elephants charged at them and the deceased, who had moved further away from the vehicle, was unable to return.

    The incident happened on Tuesday night but was widely reported on Wednesday.

    The park authorities confirmed the incident and said investigations were ongoing.

    They said measures were being put in place to prevent such incidents from recurring.

    Animal attacks have been reported before in Ugandan parks.

  8. Wise words for Thursday 27 January 2022

    Our African proverb of the day:

    Quote Message: The hyena does not feed on the village but will not sleep hungry either." from An Oromo proverb from Ethiopia sent by Michu Sena.
    An Oromo proverb from Ethiopia sent by Michu Sena.
    Hyena illustration

    Click here to send us your African proverbs.

  9. Scroll down for Wednesday's stories

    We'll be back on Thursday

    That's all from the BBC Africa Live team until Thursday morning. Until then, there will be an automated news feed here where you can keep up to date with the latest scores from the Africa Cup of Nations.

    You can also keep up with events on our website or by listening to the Africa Today podcast.

    Here's a reminder of Wednesday's wise words:

    Quote Message: You can tell the stories of a life only according to your lifespan." from A Beti proverb from Cameroon sent by Paul Etoga in Tokyo, Japan
    A Beti proverb from Cameroon sent by Paul Etoga in Tokyo, Japan

    Click here to send us your African proverbs.

    And we leave you with this Instagram post from journalist Esther Nsapu of someone holding up a placard saying: “A good husband does not hit his wife” during a demonstration in Bukavu in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Wednesday morning.

    She says it follows the death of a female journalist in South Kivu after she was beaten up by her husband:

    View more on instagram
  10. Face of Ethiopia's conflict appointed as ambassador

    Ameyu Etana

    BBC Afaan Oromo

    General Bacha Debele
    Image caption: General Bacha Debele has been at the forefront of the government's offensive against rebels in Tigray

    The man who has been the face of the conflict in Ethiopia - senior army commander General Bacha Debele - has been appointed as an ambassador.

    Details of his destination have not yet been disclosed by the office of the president.

    It may indicate a change in tactics by the government - earlier on Wednesday the cabinet said it intended to end the state of emergency declared in November early.

    Analysts say it may be part of a strategy to engage with the international community 15 months into the civil war.

  11. Russian mercenaries offer aid to Burkinabè coup leaders

    Anne Soy

    BBC senior Africa correspondent

    An image said to be of a Wagner fighter in Libya, posted on a Telegram channel in March 2021
    Image caption: Mercenaries from the shadowy Russian Wagner group have been involved in a number of African countries

    A group of Russian military contractors has written to the coup leaders in Burkina Faso offering to train the West African country’s army in their fight against jihadists.

    The group calling itself “Community of Officers for International Security”, which is based in the Central African Republic (CAR), published its offer in a letter the BBC has seen and verified.

    It is not clear if it has been or will be accepted.

    Burkina Faso is now led by a military junta that overthrew the government of President Roch Kaboré on Monday.

    The offer in the letter is explicit: “If Russian instructors are invited to train the army in Burkina Faso, they can do it effectively.”

    The letter, which has been verified by a Russian security adviser to the CAR presidency, also takes a swipe at the French-led offensive against extremists in the Sahel.

    Despite leading the operation for over a decade, it alleges they have had "no success", and adds that the Russian group can help the Burkinabè soldiers to “master the security situation in very little time”.

    Western powers condemned the deployment of Russian mercenaries to neighbouring Mali in December, saying it could lead to a further deterioration of security.

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  12. Zambia government accused of muzzling media

    Kennedy Gondwe

    BBC News, Lusaka

    Zambia’s government, led by President Hakainde Hichilema who came to power in August, has been accused of attempting to muzzle the media by a consortium of 10 civil society groups.

    It comes after police warned and cautioned a journalist from Kenmark Broadcasting Network (KBN) after the privately owned television station aired a story about a presidential aide.

    In the report the aide is heard telling a top civil servant that a member of the opposition should be "fixed" in an audio clip that has since gone viral.

    The government has not commented on the story, but advised the media to be “ethical and professional”.

    The civil society consortium suggested the government be more concerned about dealing with the revelations rather than criticising the press.

    The statement also noted their disappointed that a member of the opposition had been cautioned for using hate speech under the Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Act, legislation the president criticised while in opposition and promised to repeal.

    There is increasing scrutiny on Mr Hichilema’s government with many Zambians calling for more tangible results. He won elections promising to tackle corruption and to end the country’s economic crisis.

    The price of commodities has continued to rise after the government removed subsidies as part of a bailout package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) - increasing tensions.

  13. Ghana denies introducing compulsory travel insurance

    A man pushing luggage on a trolley at Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana -  in 2020

    Authorities in Ghana have denied introducing a mandatory insurance scheme for all travellers arriving in the country through the country's main airport.

    The National Insurance Commission (NIC) said the scheme popularly known as “Akwaaba” had not been approved and any reports that it had should be disregarded.

    The reports had been met with criticism from travel sector players and business experts who said it would be another hurdle to doing business in the country.

    “You can’t force anyone to buy a policy if it’s not needed,” trade expert John Kennedy of Bespoke Business Consulting told the BBC, adding that many travellers already have insurance.

    “Making it compulsory wouldn't work as they need to prove beyond reasonable doubt the intent, usefulness and benefit.”

    Update 27 January: This story has been updated to reflect the NIC denial

  14. Power company bosses charged over Kenyan blackout

    Mercy Juma

    BBC News, Nairobi

    Technicians work on a collapsed high voltage electricity transmission pylons in a district of Nairobi, Kenya - 12 January 2022
    Image caption: This high-voltage transmission line broke on 11 January

    Three senior employees of the state-run Kenya Power Lighting Company have been charged with sabotage and neglect following a nationwide blackout that affected the country two weeks ago.

    Six other staff members have been released unconditionally.

    The whole country was plunged into darkness on 11 January after a high-voltage transmission line broke. Power was restored in phases after several hours.

    According to the charge sheet, the three staff members are accused of failing to maintain the high-voltage power lines and wilfully neglecting to attend to towers that had been vandalised weeks before the blackout.

    The three denied the charges and were freed on bail of $10,000 (£7,400) each, with the hearing of the case set for the end of February.

    Last week, President Uhuru Kenyatta raised concern over increased vandalism, especially of government infrastructure.

    He described the acts as economic sabotage and banned any further dealing in scrap metal until guidelines to regulate the sector had been put in place.

    Read more: Kenya Power in the spotlight after nationwide blackout