Archive for February 6th, 2009
The University of Botswana (UB) has been closed indefinitely after four days of class boycotts and violence. The violence was directed at fellow students who did not want to participate in the boycotts.
The closure came moments after all members of the Student Representative Council (SRC) were suspended with immediate effect from the school at around 11am.
A memorandum to the students from the Vice Chancellor, Professor Bojosi Otlhogile said the university was closed due to the violence. “Following the violence that was experienced on campus over the past days, you are hereby informed that campuses will be closed with immediate effect. You should all vacate the campuses by 13.30 hours today,” the memo read.
One student, who refused to be named, said that yesterday morning, they were prevented from attending lessons by fellow students.
“The students who are at the forefront of the boycotts ordered us out of classes again this morning. Some students who [continue reading]
[miningmx.com] — BOTSWANA will soon launch a study into a 1,500 km rail link from its multi- billion tonne coalfields to a port in Namibia as part of efforts to diversify the economy away from its heavy reliance on diamonds, said Kgomotso Abi, director of Botswana’s mines.
Botswana has coal resources of 200 billion tonnes but of that only three to five billion tonnes can be economically mined, Abi told the McCloskey South African Coal Exports Conference.
“We have very limited capacity for coal consumption, so we are aiming for the export market and we are looking at the international market,” he said.
We are more than just a diamond producer
“Coal has the potential to be to Botswana what diamonds currently are to the country. We are more than just a diamond producer. There is coal that will uplift the economy of the country and secure energy for the nation,” he said.
Apart from the single largest mining company Morupule, which mines around a million tonnes per annum to mainly feed a power plant, there are no other major coal mines in the country.
CIC Energy and Aviva are both busy with projects to [continue reading]
Parliament passed an amendment of the alcohol levy law on Tuesday to protect local brewer Kgalagadi Breweries (KBL) against competition from cheaper imported alcoholic beverages. Imported beer especially have enjoyed a competitive edge over local brands due to imbalance in taxation since the introduction of the 30 percent levy late last year.
The levy made locally produced alcohol more expensive than imported ones.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Neo Moroka has tabled an amendment which will now see foreign alcoholic brands being levied at landed costs, rather than factory costs which has been the case over the last few months. The director of trade and consumer affairs, John Matsheng says the need for the amendment was raised by the Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) after pointing out the anomaly that resulted in foreign brands being charged the 30 percent levy at factory price at the border.
Matsheng explains that in [continue reading]
05 February, 2009
GABORONE – Since the outbreak of cholera in Zimbabwe, Botswana has so far recorded 10 cases.
A 41-year-old man recently died at Tsolamosese Clinic in Mogoditshane after showing cholera symptoms.
According to the Director of Public Health, Ms Shenaaz El Halabi, investigations are ongoing to determine if the actual cause of death was cholera.
Ms Halabi said all the victims in the recorded cases are from Zimbabwe and because they were reported in different places, chances are that the disease could be all over the country.
She advised people to follow strict hygienic measures to prevent the disease at all costs.
They should only drink safe treated water and if they are not certain, they should boil water before [continue reading]
source: Daily Nation
Contrary to expectations, Botswana says that its prescription for the solution to the Zimbabwe political crisis has not changed though it endorsed the outcome of the recent SADC Summit that revived the stalled power-sharing deal signed last September.
“Botswana’s position has not changed. It is still our position that a re-run election would be the only viable solution if the parties (in the Zimbabwe power-sharing deal) fail to agree or the GPA (Global Political Agreement) collapses.
If the parties fail to reach an agreement, then the only viable solution is for the people of Zimbabwe to be the ones to decide who their leaders should be through an internationally supervised election,” Clifford Maribe, the Botswana Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman told the Nation in Gaborone.
Botswana appeared to have abandoned its position that an internationally supervised re-run of the presidential election is [continue reading]
Daily Trust (Abuja)
Charles Onunaiju With Agency Report
5 February 2009
Abuja — African Union leaders wound up a summit in Addis Ababa yesterday with the continent beset by conflict and divided over new chairman Moamer Kadhafi’s plans for unifying its 53 member states.
Closing speeches hailed an agreement to change the name of the body’s main executive arm but the Libyan leader’s election as the organisation’s rotating chairman sparked a debate that led to the summit’s extension by a day.
“After earnest efforts toward Africa’s unity, we were able to agree on transforming the AU Commission into the AU Authority, which is a very significant step,” Kadhafi said.
“We Africans have only unity to gain strength. We live in a ruthless world, where the strong live and the weak are enslaved… I want to tell Africa’s youth that the power is theirs and that they [continue reading]
05 February, 2009
JWANENG – Department of Road Transport and Safety (DRTS) says it has suspended booking for theory and yard tests as it is experiencing problems with its computer network and database systems.
According to a DRTS press release, this has caused a slow down in the issuance of driver’s licenses and other essential services provided by the department at service stations throughout the country.
The release says, as a result customers are subjected to long queues at service points because it takes more than 30 minutes to complete one transaction.
Furthermore, the network has become weather-sensitive as it either slows down or completely fails to complete transactions during rainy days.
It further says persistence of this problem will limit the number of [continue reading]
SELEBI-PHIKWE: Police have warned that they will clamp down on shebeen operators who do not comply with the liquor trading hours.
Selebi-Phikwe Police Station Commander, superintendent Victor Nlebesi issued the warning during a meeting with shebeen operators on Tuesday.
Nlebesi said some of the operators commonly referred to as “MaSpoto” continue to violate the agreed trading hours and the police will not hesitate to arrest offenders.
There are about 75 registered shebeen operators in Selebi-Phikwe, excluding Botshabelo, where the majority of Chibuku sellers are suspected to be. Following the government’s restriction on liquor trading hours for bars and bottle stores, Selebi-Phikwe sheeben operators agreed to [continue reading]
source: SW Radio Africa
By Lance Guma
05 February 2009
Former Finance Minister Simba Makoni who came third in Presidential elections last year has been deposed as leader of the Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn (MKD) Movement according to senior party executives. Director of Operations, Retired Major Kudzai Mbudzi and others convened a press conference on Wednesday at which they made the shock announcement. At the centre of the decision are allegations that Dr Makoni abused the movement’s financial and material resources, and that he continues to be ‘manipulated, and therefore gets constant guidance and comfort from some hidden forces within ZANU PF,’ claimed Mbudzi.
Dr Makoni is being accused of concealing donations from his colleagues ranging from US$1, 5 million to US$3 million, which came from well-wishers sponsoring his presidential bid. “We hear of some foreign bank accounts in South Africa and Botswana, and some substantial amount close to US$1, 5 million being deposited in a local bank,” Mbudzi said. “U$100 000 dollars worth of stationery was surprisingly transferred from Mavambo’s official offices to factory premises owned by Makoni’s wife, and was later reported as having been stolen.” Mbudzi further claimed that [continue reading]
The government seems to be unconcerned by fears that world football governing body, FIFA, might suspend Botswana if the newly introduced constituency leagues continue.
FIFA does not countenance government meddling in the running of football and Botswana might be in trouble because the constituency leagues were introduced by President Ian Khama without the blessing of the Botswana Football Association (BFA).
However, the Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture, Gladys Kokorwe said in Parliament on Tuesday that she is confident that the project is sustainable.
She added that her ministry has budgeted for the league in the current financial year.
“I could not have budgeted for this noble project if I was not aware of the financial sustainability. I took time to inform myself of all the cost implications of its implementation,” she said. Kokorwe was answering questions from Kweneng East Member of Parliament, Moeng Pheto who wanted to [continue reading]
5 February 2009
Pretoria — Struggling consumers have been granted a reprieve with the announcement of a 100 basis points cut in the repo rate by Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni.
The decision to cut the repo rate, made by the Monetary Policy Committee, following their two-day meeting, was driven by a significant reduction in domestic inflation as well as global economic growth.
“Since the previous meeting of the MPC, domestic inflation has continued on its downward trend. A further decline is expected in the January data when the reweighting and rebasing of the CPI index implemented by Statistics South Africa comes into effect at the end of this month.
“With respect to economic growth, the domestic economy is [continue reading]
02 February, 2009
LOBATSE – Government has been urged to allocate more funds towards innovation and technological research to help in employment creation.
Institutions involved in research and innovation include Rural Industries Innovation Centre (RIIC) and National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC).
Mr Jackson Maleke, Corporate Affairs Director, Rural Industries Promotion Company (RIPCO) said the company was been forced to shelf research projects due to shortage of funds.
Mr Maleke appealed to the government to increase funding towards research work even though the world was facing financial problems.
He said it was very difficult for research institutions to get funding from donors to carryout their research work, adding that they would not despair but continue to request funding from donors.
For her part, the Public Relations Manager at NFTRC, Ms Thatayaone Kepaletswe said if well resourced her [continue reading]
Finance and Development Planning Minister, Baledzi Gaolathe, yesterday put up a brave face and presented an ambitious budget proposal at the National Assembly in which he vowed to press ahead with the country’s development projects to boost the economy and employment levels, despite the economic recession which has threatened the nation’s income sources.
While admitting that the diamond revenues which account for over 70 percent of national exports will fall by more than half, Gaolathe announced a P37,79 billion budget against estimated revenues and grants of only P24,39 billion resulting in an all time deficit of over P13billion.
The deficit will be financed by tapping into the country foreign reserves which currently stand at P72billion providing about 28 months cover as well as borrowing from both the domestic and international markets.
“While under normal circumstances a deficit of [continue reading]
source: SW Radio Africa
By Lance Guma
05 February 2009
MP’s from both the MDC and ZANU PF voted by a two-thirds majority Thursday to approve constitutional amendment number 19, which will give legal life to a shaky power-sharing deal signed in September last year. The 210 member Lower House of Parliament voted 184 to 0 in favour of the amendment which will now be transferred to the Upper House of Parliament, known as the Senate for approval. Once the President signs the bill it becomes law under the country’s constitution.
The deal looked under threat this week when the MDC accused ZANU PF of backtracking on earlier commitments following the failure of it’s negotiators to show up for a Tuesday meeting that was to finalise outstanding issues. ZANU PF negotiators had claimed they did not have the mandate from Mugabe to discuss issues on the table, namely the composition of the newly created National Security Council and the allocation of posts for provincial governors. A parliamentary session scheduled for [continue reading]