Archive for September 19th, 2008
Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources is expected to meet this week to review fuel prices as crude oil prices continue to fall in the international market.
Yesterday, the price of crude dived by more than four percent to a seven-month low of $91.70 a barrel.
This gives hope that the meeting of energy department officials this week will recommend a reduction of prices to Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Gabaake Gabaake. The PS is expected to make an announcement on oil prices either this week or next week.
Oil is one of the biggest items on Botswana’s import bill. Figures show that the country’s fuel imports this year has increased by 66 percent.
This means Botswana spends P11 billion a month on fuel. If the ministry lowers fuel prices, analysts believe it should help tame inflation, which reached [continue reading]
17 September, 2008
MOLEPOLOLE – Government will tighten legislation to stop people from selling land, the Minister of Lands and Housing, Mr Nonofo Molefhi, said.
Addressing a kgotla meeting at Kopong last week, Mr Molefhi said some Batswana sold land to foreigners who ultimately become rich while locals were impoverished.
Mr Molefhi said his ministry would embark on a computerised database project to make it easier for land boards to identify people who have many plots in one area.
Kweneng Land Board froze allocation of plots in Kopong to remap the land and bring it in line with town and regional planning standards.
Mr Molefi also MP for Selebi Phikwe East said delay in allocation of land was caused by manual database as land boards officials in Kweneng had to verify with their sister sub-land boards concerning applications.
Kopong is among the villages that are affected by Gaborone expansion.
Therefore, people who have plots within a radius of 50 kilometres from Gaborone will not be allocated more than one plot.
The minister said in Kopong there are 12 000 applications awaiting allocation.
He urged village leaders to spare some land for industrial development, a move he [continue reading]
Business Day (Johannesburg)
19 September 2008
ZIMBABWEAN President Robert Mugabe and opposition rivals deadlocked yesterday on the allocation of ministries that would have paved the way for cabinet appointments.
The formation of a new government was stalled, despite Mugabe having signed a power-sharing deal with the two Movement for Democratic Change factions on Monday.
It had been expected widely that the new government would be constituted this week, and start working urgently on solving Zimbabwe’s economic and social problems. Informed sources said that Mugabe and the two MDC faction leaders, Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara, had different lists for the 31 ministries they were to divide up among themselves.
Mugabe is entitled to 15 ministers, Tsvangirai 13 and Mutambara three. Tsvangirai’s party spokesman, Nelson Chamisa, confirmed the deadlock.
“The outstanding issues were not resolved during a [continue reading]
17 September, 2008
GABORONE – Political commentators in Botswana have applauded the singing of Monday’s power sharing agreement in Zimbabwe even though they would have preferred an outcome emanating from a democratic process.
They welcome it as it since it is an internal political process marshalled by major political parties in the country and hope it would lead to Zimbabwe’s political and economic rejuvenation.
While they acknowledge the importance of breaking the deadlock and setting Zimbabwe’s economy on a firm track towards recovery, they said the results of a free and fair election would have been much better than a mere deal between political leaders.
The historic ceremony in Harare, attended by regional and continental statesmen, ensured that ZANU PF leader, Mr Robert Mugabe remained President while opposition leader, Mr Morgan Tsvangirai assumes a newly created role of Prime Minister.
“We should welcome this outcome with open hands because it is in the best interest of Zimbabweans,” says Botswana National Front leader, Mr Otsweletse Moupo.
“What more could we hope for,” Mr Moupo wonders against the [continue reading]
HARARE: President Ian Khama of Botswana stole the show at the Harare International Conference Centre Monday when he was acknowledged with cheers by a pre-dominantly MDC crowd that attended the signing ceremony of the power-sharing deal agreed by the country’s political parties.
The Botswana leader had stayed away from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit held in South Africa last month in protest over the presence of Mugabe whose leadership following the controversial presidential run-off elections last June was not recognised by the Botswana Government.
At the conference centre, the crowd became ecstatic when Khama entered, applauding the Botswana leader for what many said was his principled stand on Zimbabwe. Each time speakers made reference to SADC leaders present, the crowd shouted out Khama’s name in a clear demonstration of how the Botswana leader had made an impact by his stance. Even Mugabe himself could not avoid making reference to Khama in his speech.
“We have Khama here. Yes lots of things have been said, criticism has been made, but [continue reading]
UN Integrated Regional Information Networks
18 September 2008
Financial aid is vital to the recovery of Zimbabwe’s once vibrant agricultural and industrial sectors, but will only come if the new inclusive government speedily adopts “comprehensive and workable frameworks” to address the dire economic straits prevailing, analysts told IRIN.
“Financial aid is basic to the agricultural recovery programme, just as it is to the whole economy. Those that are willing to assist will be cautious because they want to see what sort of policy frameworks are put in place before committing themselves,” Sam Moyo, a land expert, told IRIN. The frameworks alone “could take months to put in place, and real work has to start after that”.
Zimbabwe’s main political rivals – President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party and the two factions of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), led by Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutumbara – signed a power-sharing deal on 15 September that, it is hoped, will turn around the economic and political misfortunes that [continue reading]
September 19 2008 at 06:40AM
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By Moshoeshoe Monare
Most cabinet ministers loyal to President Thabo Mbeki have vowed to go down with him if he is pushed by the ANC, although the Jacob Zuma camp wants finance minister Trevor Manuel to remain in the interests of stability.
Manuel is understood to have upset some ANC cabinet ministers on Wednesday when he cautioned against the prevailing view in the cabinet, which favours a legal remedy to what the finance minister believes is essentially a political crisis.
The cabinet has decided to seek legal opinion on the way forward, after it rejected several inferences by Judge Chris Nicholson, including that Mbeki had interfered with the National Prosecuting Authority’s prosecution of the ANC president.
Mbeki and Zuma were expected to meet on [continue reading]
17 September, 2008
GABORONE – The ministry of lands and housing is not considering increasing the size of residential plots allocated by tribal land boards says minister Mr Nonofo Molefhi.
Responding to a question at Ntlo Ya Dikgosi, Minister Molefhi said the ministry would not consider this because land was diminishing as a result of population growth and other competing needs for this scarce resource.
He said it was cheaper to service smaller plots as opposed to bigger plots.
Minister Molefhi said while he appreciated that “we should retain our traditional and socio-economic circumstances, some of the traditional activities which used to be accommodated within our big residential plots no longer exist.” He mentioned that residential property development was considered an investment that every citizen should maximize.
Furthermore, he said reasonably portable demarcated plots were considered adequate and this adequacy allowed for more plots to be allocated to beneficiaries.
Mr Molefhi mentioned that bigger plots would mean eating away on [continue reading]
SELEBI-PHIKWE: Efforts to diversify the economy of Selebi-Phikwe from copper-nickel mining has received a major boost with the release of P500 million after an agreement between Botswana and the European Union (EU). The money will be used in the diversification programme for the next three years.
The Selebi-Phikwe Diversification Unit (SPEDU) acting coordinator, Disikalala Gaseitsiwe said the funding has been sourced from EU money meant to finance the mining industry in Botswana. “It was agreed between the government of Botswana and the EU that funding previously provided by the EU as support for the mining industry, notably BCL would be re-circulated and used for diversification projects. “The indicative amount intended to be made available over the next three or four years is approximately P500million,” Gaseitsiwe said in a press statement.
The revelation came following a visit to Selebi-Phikwe by [continue reading]