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Summary

  1. Education ministry says 74,000 graduates owe the state $72m
  2. Museveni to run for sixth term
  3. Rwanda set to extend plastic ban
  4. 'Somalia president to miss meeting with Somaliland leader'
  5. Uganda internet users drop after social media tax
  6. Chiwetel Ejiofor defends accents in Netflix film

Live Reporting

By Dickens Olewe

All times stated are UK

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Zambia opposition to report Lungu to ICC

Opposition parties in Zambia say they are reporting the country's president, Edgar Lungu, and several governing party officials, to the International Criminal Court in The Hague for instigating political violence.

At a press conference in the capital, Lusaka, ten opposition politicians accused President Lungu and Zambia's home affairs minister, Stephen Kampyongo, of ordering militias to attack the opposition during recent by-election campaigns.

No one from the governing party has responded to the allegations.

The main opposition leader, Hakainde Hichilema, said last week that police had tried to assassinate him while he was out campaigning.

Human rights groups say oppression has increased during President Lungu's four years in office.

Malawi albinism task force defends record

The Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi has announced its withdrawal from a government task force that was set up to protect its members.

It says the government is not doing enough to protect the country's estimated 15,000 people with albinism and wants it to pave the way for them to seek asylum abroad.

Malawi is one of several African countries where people with albinism are targeted for ritual killings fuelled by superstitious beliefs that their bones and body parts can be used to make charms that bring good luck or make people rich.

The chairman of task force Dr Hetherwick Ntaba spoke to the BBC's Focus on Africa programme about the development.

Listen:

Malawi's Association of Persons with Albinism announced its withdrawal from the initiative

Mixed reviews for South Africa budget

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

Finance minister Tito Mboweni delivers his 2019 budget speech in Parliament
AFP
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni delivers his 2019 budget speech in parliament

South Africans are caught between a rock and a hard place following the reading of the 2019 budget speech.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni warned that there are tough times ahead with economic growth predicted to be at 0.7%.

Many South Africans like pensioner Betty Sibeko, who lives in Soweto, the country’s largest township, are struggling.

She told me she can barely make ends meet from her 1,600 rand ($114;£87) monthly social grant which millions like her receive.

Mr Mboweni offered a life line to the country’s power utility Eskom which plunged the country into darkness last week.

He announced that Eskom will receive $1.63bn (£1.2bn) over the next three years but added that the utility firm will have to pay back the money.

The budget also increased taxes on fuel and luxuries such as whiskey and cigars.

Influential players in the private sector welcomed the budget saying that it was not populist, which could have been easy to do in an election year.

The leader of the opposition Democratic Alliance, Mmusi Maimane, said it was a “lipstick budget”, which looked good on the outside but with no job creating solutions.

Mr Mboweni hopes that his speech will keep the ratings agencies happy.

Government debt currently stands at 59% of GDP. There were fears that they would downgrade the country to junk status if debt had risen to over 60% of GDP ratio.

Mr Mboweni knows that he cannot celebrate until Moody’s, one of the three major credit rating agencies, makes its pronouncement.

Rediscovering African Art Music

Possibly the least known style of African music is African Art Music which can trace its origins to the last century with composers such as Fela Sowande, who is considered the father of the of the genre and the likes of Ayo Bankole, Joshua Uzoigwe and Akin Euba.

The combined traditional music with the Western classical style.

But now this "fusion" of music is enjoying something of a revival, and it's the focus of a series of concerts in London - allowing a new audience to discover and enjoy traditional music in a classical idiom.

Listen to Nigerian/Romanian pianist Rebeca Omordi talk about the genre's origins on the BBC's Focus on Africa programme.

Zimbabwe moves to stabilise the bond note

Zimbabwe’s central bank has said that it will no longer peg the bond note to the US dollar.

The country does not have an official currency and has been using the US dollar and other foreign currencies since 2009, when it ditched the Zimbabwe dollar after hyperinflation destroyed its value.

It introduced bond notes in 2016 to make up for a shortage of dollar cash. Originally each bond dollar was worth $1.

But now Zimbabweans will be able to trade the bond notes at a market determined rate. This is fact reflects the reality that one bond note was worth less than $1 on the black market.

The central bank hopes the move will end the black market trade of the US dollar.

Many believe adding the bond note to the basket of currencies is the first step towards re-establishing the Zimbabwe dollar.

Read more:

How 'cheating husbands' are linked to Sudan's protests

Sudanese protesters
Reuters

Unprecedented numbers of women are taking to the streets to join daily nationwide protests that erupted in Sudan in mid-December.

Despite a violent crackdown by the security forces and reports of sexual harassment, they remain undeterred.

They are fighting back against these alleged abuses using a private all-women Facebook group that was set up three years ago to identify cheating husbands and follow their crushes.

Now photos taken at protests of suspected National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) agents are shared in the group, called Minbar-Shat, which in Sudanese Arabic means "Extreme Love".

If anyone is able to identify or knows anything about them - they share these details, sometimes even giving names, addresses and phone numbers.

This has led to some protesters writing graffiti on houses saying a known NISS agent lives there.

Read the full story

Cash support for struggling Eskom

Workers building a power plant
Reuters

The South African government will inject $1.63bn (£1.2bn) a year to the cash-strapped power utility company Eskom over the next three years, according to the country's budget.

The announcement comes a week after South African homes, offices and businesses endured a week of daily power cuts, designed to prevent a total collapse of the overstretched electricity grid.

The cash injection is the first step of a plan announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa this month to split Eskom into three entities.

More support to Eskom would depend on the country's economic growth, electricity tariffs and the implementation of the company's strategy, the treasury said in its 2019 budget statement.

The government will however not take on $7bn of debt as requested by the company.

Read more: Why the lights keep going out in South Africa

Kenya to track student loan defaulters

Authorities in Kenya say they will launch an operation to track 74,000 people who have defaulted on student loans, privately-owned Daily Nation reports.

The Higher Education Loans Board (Helb), a state agency, seeks to recover some 7.2bn Kenya shillings ($72m;£55m).

Education Minister Amina Mohamed said on Wednesday that the ministry will work with police to track the defaulters.

“We are also going to partner with our law enforcement agencies to track down those holding jobs and yet are reluctant to stand up to be counted as responsible and patriotic citizens who honour their debts,” she said.

The head of Helb, Charles Ringera, said the agency will work with the foreign ministry to track defaulters living outside the country.

Ms Mohamed said the annual Helb student loan budget had grown from $45m financing 110,000 students in 2012 to $109m for 250,000 students in the 2017/18 financial year.

She said 53% of Helb budget is funded by the government with loan recovery covering the rest.

People who borrow money from Helb are expected to start repaying after they graduate.

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Violence continues in South Sudan - UN

The UN's Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan has expressed outrage over renewed fighting in the country which has forced thousands of people to flee their homes.

It said armed men were attacking villages, taking women as sexual slaves and setting fire to homes, often with people inside.

It says there has been a surge in the number of rapes in South Sudan and has called on the government and all other forces to respect the peace agreement signed last year.

The commission stressed the need for a special court to be set up as well as a Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing in order to end impunity and help build sustainable peace.

President Salva Kiir and his former deputy, Riek Machar, signed a peace agreement last year to end the civil war which broke out in 2013.

Egypt executes nine men

BBC World Service

Egypt has executed nine men convicted of killing the country's public prosecutor, Hesham Barakat, in 2015.

The human rights group Amnesty International had appealed for a stay of execution saying the defendants' confessions were made under duress.

Last year Egypt's highest court upheld the death sentences on the nine men and commuted to life imprisonment the death sentences of six others.

Mr Barakat was killed when his convoy was hit by a car bomb blast in Cairo.

Nigeria election 2019: Who benefits from poll delay?

Nigeria is to hold a delayed presidential election this Saturday after the initial vote was rescheduled in a dramatic overnight press conference, five hours before polls were due to have opened.

The last-minute cancellation surprised the country and inconvenienced thousands of Nigerians who had travelled a long way to cast their votes.

It has also cost the economy $1.5bn (£1.15bn), according to the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (Inec) has given several reasons for the delay, including attempted sabotage and logistical issues such as bad weather and problems with delivering the ballot papers.

In a statement issued on the day of the postponement, the All Progressives Congress (APC) said the People's Democratic Party (PDP) wanted to halt the momentum of its candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari.

The PDP, whose presidential contender is Atiku Abubakar, on the other hand said Inec had delayed the election to create "the space to perfect their rigging plans".

Some analysts say the postponement is likely to harm both parties equally, as their supporters who had travelled home to vote last week will be unable to make another journey this weekend.

Read the full analysis on the BBC website

President Muhammadu Buhari (l) is expected to face a strong challenge from Atiku Abubakar (r)
Reuters
President Muhammadu Buhari (l) is expected to face a strong challenge from Atiku Abubakar (r)

Rwanda set to extend plastic ban

Prime Ndikumagenge

BBC Africa

The Rwandan government wants the parliament to pass a bill banning single use plastics in the country to protect environment.

The draft bill suggests a two year moratorium for companies to stop manufacturing single use plastics.

Plastics were first banned in Rwanda back in 2008 but some plastic materials are still used, including mineral water and juice bottles, straws in bars and hotels and single use dishes. The government wants to take a further move to ban these too.

A bill will be sent to parliament for a vote.

'Somalia president to miss meeting with Somaliland leader'

Somalia's President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo will not be travelling to Ethiopia for an historic meeting with the leader his country's northern breakaway province of Somaliland, a VOA journalist has tweeted.

President Farmajo and Muse Bihi Abdi were set to be hosted by Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, privately-owned Addis Standard reported.

It will be the "first ever high-level meeting" between the two countries, it said.

The Somalia leader has "agreed in principle" for the talks.

View more on twitter

Mr Abdi has reportedly set off for Addis Ababa.

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Somaliland declared independence after the overthrow of Somali military dictator Siad Barre in 1991.

The move followed a secessionist struggle during which Siad Barre's forces pursued rebel guerrillas in the territory. Tens of thousands of people were killed and towns were flattened.

Though not internationally recognised, Somaliland has a working political system, government institutions, a police force and its own currency.

Uganda internet users drop after social media tax

Ugandans have abandoned the internet in the millions after the government imposed a social media tax last year, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has said.

President Yoweri Museveni had pushed for the taxes to boost government revenue and to end "gossip" on WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter.

Subscribers have to pay a tax for using social media tax and transferring money through mobile phone payments set at 200 Ugandan shillings [$0.05, £0.04] per day.

The UCC said internet subscription declined by more than 2.5 million users and money being transferred through mobile phones payments also fell by $1.2m (£920,000) since July 2018.

“The decline in the amount of business could partly be explained by the introduction of mobile money tax,” the UCC said.

The BBC's Newsday presenter Alan Kasujja spoke to technology entrepreneur Albert Mucunguzi about the effects of the social media tax.

A government tax has cut the numbers of social media users

The mystery behind Ethiopia's 'father of bees'

Gosa Taffese has a beehive in his front room and the insects follow him on his travels as well.

Dubbed the “father of bees” by locals in Ethiopia's Oromia region, he says it's a mystery why the insects are attracted to him.

Video journalist:Yadeta Berhanu, BBC News Oromo

The mystery behind Ethiopia's 'father of bees'

Museveni gets nod for sixth term run

Uganda's ruling party has endorsed President Yoweri Museveni as its candidate for the 2021 elections.

This means the 74-year-old leader, who came to power in 1986, will be running for a sixth term.

The National Resistance Movement (NRM) agreed, in a meeting chaired by Mr Museveni on Wednesday, that he should "continue leading the movement and the state in 2021 and beyond to eliminate bottlenecks to transformation".

Mr Museveni once said leaders who "overstayed" in office were the root of Africa's problems.

However, he said, while running for a fifth term in 2016, that it was not the right time for him to leave as he still had work to do.

His candidacy for Uganda's next election comes after he signed a 2017 bill that scrapped the presidential age limit of 75.

Uganda's Supreme Court began hearing a petition last month to challenge this decision.

View more on twitter

Wise words

Our African proverb of the day:

If you're going to grow tall your legs will get thin."

A Yoruba proverb sent by Deji Adewole, Aba, Nigeria.

Click here to send us your African proverbs.

Good morning

Welcome to BBC Africa Live where we will bring you the latest news from around the continent.

Scroll down for Tuesday's stories

We'll be back on Wednesday

That's it from BBC Africa Live for now. You can follow the latest news on the BBC Africa website or listen to the Africa Today podcast.

A reminder of our proverb of the day:

One who would like to raise a cow should start with a hen."

A Swahili proverb sent by Alex in Nairobi, Kenya.

Click here to send us your African proverbs.

And we leave you with this snapshot from Pointe-Noire in the Republic of Congo, taken by photographer Robert Nzaou:

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Liberia police keep popular station off air

Jonathan Paye-Layleh

BBC Africa, Monrovia

The Roots FM building seen from street level
BBC
Roots FM broadcasts from Monrovia

A radio station known for being critical of the Liberian government has been kept off air for the second day after armed police blocked staff's access to the tower that hosts the station's transmitter.

Roots FM, a popular Monrovia radio station which broadcasts on 102.7FM, is owned by the opposition political commentator Henry Costa.

Just last week, station equipment worth around $10,000 (£7,760) was stolen and damaged by unidentified gunmen. Among the stolen items was Roots FM's transmitter, which fans crowdfunded to replace with a new one that police are now cordoning off.

The government condemned last week's attack, promising a police investigation.

Three weeks ago, a similar attack on the station forced it off air for several days.

Liberia's Information Minister Eugene Nagbe said the police presence at Roots FM was part of an ongoing investigation into the station's previous complaint that it had been vandalised, and had its transmitter stolen away by armed men.

But that statement was rubbished by outspoken opposition politician Yekeh Kolubah, who said the government simply wants to silence critical views.

Somalia and Kenya in khat row

Naima Mohamud

BBC Somali service

Several Somali traders have stopped importing khat from Kenya following a diplomatic row between the two countries, in a show of solidarity with their government.

They say they will instead focus on trading with Ethiopia.

At the weekend, Kenya recalled its ambassador to Mogadishu and ordered Somalia's envoy in Nairobi to leave, after Somalia allegedly auctioned off oil and gas reserves in disputed maritime territories.

A group of Kenyan khat exporters said in a statement on Monday that their trade was an easy target "whenever [Somalia] wants to seek attention from Kenya".

"We should be bracing for the worst," the Nyambene Miraa Traders Association added.

Khat farmers face losing 90% of the market if the diplomatic spat between Kenya and Somalia remains unsolved, the BBC's Qalib Barud reports.

Somali traders import about 50 tonnes of the mild narcotic every day.

Khat
Getty Images
Khat, or miraa as it's known in Kenya, is a leafy plant which acts as a stimulant when chewed

Chiwetel Ejiofor defends Malawi film

Some say the accents and language are poor

Chiwetel Ejiofor has defended his latest film from criticism over its poor use of Chichewa, Malawi's official language aside from English.

The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind, out on Netflix on 1 March, tells the real-life story of Malawian William Kamkwamba, who built his own windmill and used it to provide electricity for his village. Dialogue in the film switches between English and Chichewa, which is subtitled, and many of the cast are from outside Malawi.

When the trailer first appeared some on social media questioned director Chiwetel Ejiofor's use of the language. “Does Hollywood think Africans all sound the same? The accents are so bad,” commented one person in Blantyre.

Ejiofor told BBC Focus on Africa's Paul Bakibinga that the actors' sensibilities were more important to him during the casting process than their familiarity with Chichewa.

It was more important to cast people who fit the roles very well... than just having people who could speak Chichewa well.

I would say reserve judgement until you see the whole film in its entirety, and bear in mind... we're trying to tell this story as authentically as possible."

Watch the full trailer here and decide for yourself:

View more on youtube

Mali city drops plans for alcohol ban

Will Ross

Africa editor, BBC World Service

Former rebels running the administration of the city of Kidal in northern Mali have reversed a controversial decision to impose new laws including a ban on alcohol and strengthening the power of Islamic judges.

The Coordination of Azawad Movements (CMA) is a coalition of Tuareg and Arab groups that fought to create an independent state during the 2012 rebellion.

The group signed a peace deal with the government in 2015 and has been in charge of Kidal where the Malian state has no significant presence.

There is concern over possible links between the former rebels and Islamist militant groups operating in the region.

The attempt to impose new laws was seen as a violation of the peace agreement.

A map showing the location of the city of Kidal in relation to the capital, Mali.
BBC

Blast kills three policemen in Cairo

Police officers in the alleyway where the bombing happened
Getty Images

Three policemen were killed by a suicide bomber on Monday night in Egypt's capital, Cairo, near the famous Khan el-Khalili bazaar.

Two other officers were wounded in the attack, AFP news agency reports, citing the country's interior ministry.

"As security forces surrounded the man and were about to stop him and bring him under control, an explosive device in his possession detonated," AFP quotes the ministry's statement as saying.

It is not known if the attacker had links to a militant group, and no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Police successfully defused a bomb near a mosque in Cairo's twin city of Giza on Friday, and the interior ministry said that Monday's suicide bomber was being pursued in connection with that foiled bomb attack.

Attacks on central Cairo have been rare under President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who has enforced a security crackdown since overthrowing his predecessor in 2013 following a populist uprising.

'Ivory Queen' sentenced to jail in Tanzania

Ruth Nesoba

BBC Africa

Yang Fenglan
AFP
Yang Fenglan's smuggling ring exported $2.5m-worth of tusks

A Tanzanian court has sentenced Yang Fenglan, a prominent Chinese businesswoman dubbed the "Ivory Queen", to 15 years in jail.

She was accused of leading one of Africa's biggest ivory smuggling rings, illegally exporting more than $2.5m (£1.7m) worth of elephant tusks to East Asia.

Fenglan, 69, denied the charges.

She was arrested after a high-speed car chase in October 2015 and charged with ivory smuggling between 2000 and 2014.

Investigators say she was a key link between poachers in East Africa and buyers in China for more than a decade.

The BBC's Humphrey Mgonja in Dar Es Salaam reports that the Tanzanian state is to repossess Fenglan's property to recover the proceeds from her businesses.

Egypt raids 'kill 16 militants'

BBC World Service

Egypt says security forces have killed 16 militants in two raids in the city of el-Arish in the Sinai peninsula.

The interior ministry said the jihadists were planning a series of attacks against vital installations and key figures in the area.

Police seized weapons, ammunition and explosive belts in the second hideout.

The army and police operation to eliminate an Islamist insurgency in Sinai began in February last year.

On Monday, three police officers were killed by a suicide bomber in the capital, Cairo.

Top army post for Ugandan president's son

Catherine Byaruhanga

BBC Africa, Kampala

Lt Gen Muhoozi
Allan Atulinda/BBC
President Museveni's son is seen as his likely successor

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has promoted his son to the rank of lieutenant general - the second highest position in the army.

Lt Gen Kainerugaba Muhoozi is considered a likely successor to 74-year-old President Museveni, but denies any immediate plans to enter politics.

In the last six years, Lt Gen Muhoozi has been promoted three times and now sits one rank below President Museveni, who is a general.

Although he has served as Commander of Uganda’s Special Forces, his critics have questioned whether his promotions match his military experience.

Since 2017, he has served as presidential adviser for special operations, which is seen as a civilian position.

Several other officers who have worked closely with Lt Gen Muhoozi have also been promoted. In total, more than 2,000 soldiers were promoted.

Much of the army's old guard who helped President Museveni come to power following a five-year rebellion have either retired or are preparing to do so soon.

Tanzania convicts 'Ivory queen'

Yang Fenglan at Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court
BBC
Yang Fenglan faces up to 30 years in prison for trafficking

A Tanzanian court is to sentence a 69-year-old Chinese woman for her role in trafficking tusks from more than 400 elephants, reports AFP.

Yang Fenglan, dubbed the "Ivory Queen", was convicted in Dar es Salaam of trafficking 860 tusks between 2000 and 2014, according to the news agency.

It says two Tanzanian men were also found guilty for their role in the illegal trade.

The court has not yet announced their sentences, but Fenlan faces up to 30 years in prison, AFP says.

Read more:

SA seafood restaurant 'is world's best'

BBC World Service

A small beach-side South African restaurant specialising in local seafood has won the top prize at the inaugural World Restaurant Awards in Paris.

The Wolfgat, whose six staff have no formal training, opened two years ago in a cottage and cave on the remote beach at Paternoster, in West Cape province.

Head Chef Kobus van der Merwe forages daily for ingredients on the seashore.

He has promised not to hike prices after winning the prize, with the tasting menu currently costing $60 (£46).

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No jail over Kenyan father's unpaid bill

Ferdinand Omondi

BBC Africa, Nairobi

A man arrested for trying to smuggle his baby out of a hospital in Kenya because he could not afford to pay the $500 (£387) bill has escaped a jail sentence.

Boniface Murage, 22, instead received a suspended three-month sentence, meaning he can be at home with the child.

It was a story that touched and enraged many Kenyans. Mr Murage attempted to smuggle his one-month-old baby out of the Kenyatta National Hospital without paying but was caught by security guards.

Offers of help poured in later - a lawyer offered pro-bono services, and well-wishers paid Mr Murage's bill. Others offered him money.

In court, he pleaded guilty and was at risk of a jail sentence. But Magistrate Muthoni Nzibe released him, on condition that he doesn’t commit any wrong within three months.

A sign reading 'Kenyatta National Hospital' stands in front of the hospital building
AFP
Well-wishers paid the $500 medical costs

Tuesday's wise words:

Our African proverb of the day:

One who would like to raise a cow should start with a hen."

A Swahili proverb sent by Alex in Nairobi, Kenya.

Click here to send us your African proverbs.

Good morning

Welcome to BBC Africa Live where we will bring you the latest news from around the continent.

Scroll down for Monday's stories

We'll be back on Tuesday

BBC Africa Live

Farouk Chothia

That's it from BBC Africa Live for now. You can follow the latest news on the BBC Africa website or listen to the Africa Today podcast.

A reminder of our proverb of the day:

Someone courting bows down but raises his head when married."

A Shona proverb sent by Esther Zvobgo, Harare, Zimbabwe.

Click here to send us your African proverbs.

And we leave you with this photo of footballers swimming in Mombasa, Kenya:

View more on instagram

Nigeria parties to ignore ban on campaigning

Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), President Mohammadu Buhari (C) sit next to party national leader Bola Tinubu (L) and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (2ndL) as party chairman Adams Oshiomhole (R) speakduring the party caucus emergency meeting on the postponed general elections in Abuja, on February 18, 2019
AFP
The ruling party has accused the election commission of incompetence

The two main parties contesting Nigeria's controversy-hit presidential and parliament election say they will resume campaigning, despite the election commission saying this is not allowed ahead of the rescheduled vote on Saturday.

President Muhammadu Buhari's ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) disagreed with the "illegal pronouncement" of the commission, party chairman Adams Oshiomhole said.

The APC would end its campaign at midnight on Thursday, "as provided for by the Electoral Act", Mr Oshiomhole added.

He was speaking after a crisis meeting of the party to discuss the commission's dramatic postponement of the elections about five hours before polls were due to open on Saturday, 16 February.

The main opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) also indicated that it would resume campaigning.

The commission's prohibition of campaigning was "erroneous", and "directly in conflict "with the Electoral Act", the PDP said in a statement.

A street vendor sells PDP campaign merchandise in Makurdi, Nigeria January 26, 2019.
Reuters
The PDP is hoping to return to power after four years in opposition

Former Vice-President Atikau Abubakar is Mr Buhari's main challenger in the presidential race.

Read: The superpower with no power

Charges against ex-leader's son 'political'

Corruption-related charges against the son of Mozambique's ex-President Armando Guebuza are politically motivated, his lawyer has been quoted by AFP news agency as saying.

Ndambi Guebuza, the eldest of the former's president's four children, was arrested in the capital, Maputo, over a $2bn (£1.5bn) government debt scandal.

Lawyer Alexandre Chivale said Ndambi Guebuza believed that his arrest was an attempt by the ruling Frelimo party to "sacrifice the Guebuza family" ahead of elections later this year, AFP reports.

Ndambi Guebuza was remanded in custody after appearing in court in Maputo, Mr Chivale added.

See earlier post for more details

Karim, the boy between two worlds

In the second episode of the BBC's What's New's series on mixed identity, we meet 13-year old Karim from London, who has a mother from Spain and a father from Morocco.

The BBC's Nora Fakim went to meet him:

View more on youtube

Cameroon kidnappings 'despicable'

Campaign group Human Rights Watch (HRW) has condemned the abduction of more than 160 schoolchildren in mainly English-speaking Cameroon by suspected armed separatists.

About 20 gunmen seized the children from a Catholic school on Saturday, before freeing them the next day, the government said.

The abductions highlighted "the despicable lengths to which armed separatists groups will go to try to enforce a school boycott on children who have the right to attend class if they want to", the deputy director of HRW's Africa division, Ida Sawyer, said.

"Armed separatists are destroying the futures of those they purport to fight for," Ms Sawyer added.

The abductions took place in Kumbo, the second-largest city in Cameroon's North-West region.

Armed groups are waging a rebellion to demand independence for the North-West and South-West, where English is the dominant language.

The separatists say English-speaking people face discrimination in mainly French-speaking Cameroon. The government denies the allegation.

See earlier post

Read: Lingering cultural colonialism

Graphic
BBC
Cameroon was split in colonial times

Israeli deportee marooned in airport for months

Emmanuel Igunza

BBC Africa, Addis Ababa

Eissa Muhamad
BBC

A Niger national who was expelled from Israel has been stuck at the international airport in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, since November after his home country refused to take him back.

"I have been staying here at the airport under very bad conditions because there's nothing, nothing at all," 24-year-old Eissa Muhamad told the BBC.

Mr Muhamad's series of misfortunes began last April when he was arrested for being in Israel illegally.

He had been living in the Middle Eastern state since 2011, having left Niger's north-western Tilaberi region as a 16-year-old in search of a better life.

He said he paid traffickers to take him across Libya and Egypt before he entered Israel by foot.

Once in Tel Aviv, Mr Muhamad survived by doing odd jobs in hostels and in a sweet factory until April 2018 when he was arrested for being in Israel without proper documents.

After several months in detention, Israel issued him an emergency travel document and put him on an Ethiopian Airlines plane, via Addis Ababa, to Niger in November. But on arrival in Niamey, Niger's capital, he was refused entry by Niger's authorities who alleged his travel document was false.

"They didn't want me in Niger. They didn't accept me," Mr Muhamad said.

Read his full story here

Why I want parkour to be an Olympic sport

Michael, from Nairobi, has been interested in parkour since he saw YouTube videos of people flipping.

Parkour is typically a street sport which involves running, jumping and climbing over obstacles.

However, the 17-year-old warns in an interview with the BBC Africa youth programme, What’s New?, that people need to know their limits before embarking on the sport.

Nairobi parkour runner on why it should be in the Olympics

Buhari warns of crackdown on vote-riggers

Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) President Mohammadu Buhari delivers a speech during the party caucus emergency meeting on the postponed general elections in Abuja, on February 18, 2019
AFP
Muhammadu Buhari, 76, is running for a second term as president

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari says he has ordered the police and military to be "ruthless" with anyone who tries to rig rescheduled presidential and parliamentary elections.

People who attempted to steal or destroy ballot boxes and voting material would do so "at the expense of his own life", Mr Buhari said.

He was speaking at an emerging meeting of his All Progressives Congress (APC) following the last-minute postponement of Saturday's election.

The poll is now due to take place this Saturday.

The main opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) condemned Mr Buhari's statement, saying it was a "direct call for jungle justice", Reuters news agency reports.

Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, 72, is running against Mr Buhari under the banner of the PDP.

Read: Anger and frustration after poll delay