Archive for February 11th, 2009
Botswana’s troubled diamond industry could find solace in the Chinese market where prices and demand are expected to remain relatively stable, Chinese ambassador to Botswana Ding Xiaowen has said.
Speaking in an interview with Business Today, the Chinese envoy said on Friday that Botswana should actively try and penetrate the Chinese market as the traditional markets such as United States of America (US), Europe and Japan are wilting in the wake of the global recession.Because of the economic downturn, diamond exports are expected to drop by over 50 percent, leaving a huge hole in the national treasury, which has been heavily dependent on diamond revenues for a long time.
Ambassador Ding says that that although China has been affected by the crunch, the impact has been minimal compared to other [continue reading]
source: International Herald Tribune
By Celia W. Dugger and Alan Cowell
Published: February 11, 2009
JOHANNESBURG: After months of violence, negotiation, pressure and reluctant compromise, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was sworn in on Wednesday as the prime minister of a government in which his nemesis, President Robert Mugabe, still dominates the repressive state security forces.
The moment in the grounds of Zimbabwe’s state house in Harare, once the seat of colonial power in the formerly British-run territory, brought an inconclusive and ambiguous end to almost 11 months of confrontation and wrangling since Tsvangirai claimed victory in elections last March, only to be declared the loser in a discredited run-off last June which he boycotted because of political violence. Mugabe was the only other candidate.
In Wednesday’s ceremony, the two men stood opposite one another in the shade of a white tent bedecked with flowers. As head of state, Mugabe personally took the oath of office from Tsvangirai — an exchange that might once have seemed an improbable outcome to their acrimonious struggle.
Invited to take the oath, Tsvangirai raised his right hand and declared that he would “well and truly serve Zimbabwe in the office of prime minister.” Around 300 invited dignitaries and diplomats looked on and applauded as the two men briefly clasped hands. Mugabe said: “Congratulations.” Tsvangirai offered Mugabe a fleeting smile.
Since the electoral crisis last year, Tsvangirai has been under [continue reading]
source: Standay Standard
by Gowenius Toka
11.02.2009 12:24:06 A
In a bid to improve service delivery and to meet the set customer service standards, the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs has joined hands with a local mobile network, Mascom, to expedite the distribution of citizen identity cards and passports to the applicants, irrespective of the localities from where they filed their applications.
An official launch of the project is scheduled for the end of the week.
Lebogang Bok, Principal Public Relations Officer at the Ministry, confirmed this and said, “We intend that, as of now, the focus will mainly be on Omang and passports.”
“What will happen,” she said, “is that once a person’s ID or passport is ready, the system will automatically send out an SMS text message notifying the concerned applicant so that, consequently, there will be no need for frequent and, sometimes, costly visits to the relevant offices.”
It is hoped that the system would go a long way towards reducing the [continue reading]
11 February 2009
Harare — Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai has taken an oath to serve Zimbabwe under the title of Prime Minister.
Mr Tsvangirai was sworn in as Prime Minister in front of President Robert Mugabe at an official ceremony at Mugabe’s official State House compound in Harare on Wednesday.
Thokozani Khupe, the Deputy Leader of the MDC and Arthur Mutambara, the leader of a break-away faction of the MDC-T, were sworn in as Deputy Prime Ministers.
Tendai Biti was announced as Mr Tsvangirai’s Finance Minister. He will have the big responsibility of rebuilding the troubled economy. The rest of the cabinet in the new coalition government will be sworn in on Friday.
The day will bring renewed hope for the people of Zimbabwe who have been waiting for a peaceful agreement between the [continue reading]
source: Standay Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
07.02.2009 2:07:34 P
Suspense overshadows the shaky factional truce hammered by Ian Khama in April last year after he became President.
To appease and place the two BDP factions, President Khama offered one faction the position of Vice President and the other of National Chairman.
The two positions were given to Mompati Merafhe and Kwelagobe, respectively.
But at a BDP Central Committee meeting last Monday dicey President Ian Khama kick-started a lobby for an abolition of holding dual roles in the Central Committee and parliament at the same time.
His position is that all BDP members contesting parliamentary seats should not be allowed to contest for party leadership positions in the Central Committee at the same time.
Positions for the BDP Central Committee fall vacant in July when the party goes for a [continue reading]
11 February 2009
The number of Zimbabweans infected with cholera has risen above 70,000, a new update released by the World Health Organisation has stated.
A staggering 1,950 new cases were reported on Monday, with 67 cholera-related deaths, whereas only 362 were reported the previous day along, with nine deaths.
The humanitarian aid agency, Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), reports that 50 to 60 percent of boreholes in rural areas are not functional, forcing residents to use water from streams and lakes.
“People are more and more turning to surface water as their source of water supplies in many districts,” says WASH. Many of the boreholes need only minor repairs to get them working again.
The organisation also says there is a possibility that the lack of food is [continue reading]
The first batch of 1,000 students at Botswana University of Science and Technology (BIUST) expected in March 2011, Vice Chancellor Professor Kweku Bentil has announced.
He made the announcement when addressing members of the Rotary Club in Gaborone on Friday. Bentil added that as the university grows it will accommodate 3,000 students and later 6,000 students and intakes will be done thrice in a year. He said that is international practice for universities worldwide.
He said that BIUST would be offering different courses from those being provided by the University of Botswana (UB). He said that the UB students who will be completing in 2011 would not relocate to BIUST as the UB Faculty of Engineering will not be relocating.
Apparently the Botswana College of Agriculture (BCA), which was also scheduled to relocate to Palapye, will no longer do so.
Bentil said that the [continue reading]
source: Standay Standard
by Gowenius Toka
07.02.2009 1:58:23 P
The Ministry of Lands and Housing is engaged in secret negotiations with Tati Company Limited over possible acquisition of chunks of the company’s farmland for expansion of Francistown to service surrounding populations in exchange for some specified wildlife sites around the country.
According to a copy of a letter which was hand-delivered to the Minister responsible for Lands and Housing, Nonofo Molefhi, Tati Company limited offers 32.210 hectares (82 000 acres) of land in exchange for wildlife sites in Northern Delta, Khwai, Gomoti, Savuti and CKGR.
Part of the letter, dated December 13, 2008 reads “should our offer be accepted, we intend to create a new niche in the tourism market by developing research facilities at the wildlife sites, for use by the scientific community and accessible to the visiting tourists”.
Molefhi acknowledged the letter.
“I am aware of the discussion, but as things currently stand, there is nothing really concrete to say on [continue reading]
PALAPYE: Palapye MP, Moiseraele Master Goya stunned a crowd of ruling party supporters last Saturday when he launched a blistering attack on Palapye chief Raditanka Ntebele.
While speaking at a Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) function at the Palapye Community Hall, he told off the chief for dabbling in politics and failing to respect the ruling party.
Goya started off by telling the chief, who was just an arms length from him at the top table, that he wants to teach him something. “When you are in Rome you do as Romans do. Our slogan Tsholetsa Domkrag is a mere greeting which you should have joined us in saying. It is just like when members of the ZCC say kgotsong or dumela in the vernacular.”
The MP then turned his attention to the issue of development that Ntebele had earlier addressed. “When you look at out flag, it denotes various stages of development as our development process started off at almost nothing to where we are today. We are heading towards victory now,” shouted Goya.
“O se ka wa tlhobosa puso ka jaana tiro ya yone re ntse re a e bona, re tla tswelela re dira (You should not dismiss the government because the development process is visible and continues),” said Goya who was now gaining momentum.
“Re go kopile go tla go re amogela e seng gore re go laleditse mo polotiking (We have invited you to come and [continue reading]
1. Finance: Tendai Biti
2. Home Affairs (co-shared with Zanu PF): Giles Mutsekwa
3. Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs: Advocate Eric Matinenga
4. Economic Planning and Investment Promotion: Elton Mangoma
5. Energy and Power Development: Engineer Elias Mudzuri
6. Health and Child Welfare: Dr Henry Madzorera
7. Labour and Social Welfare: Paurina Mpariwa
8. Water Resources Development and Management: Abednigo Bhebhe
9. Public Service: Theresa Makoni
10. State Enterprise and Parastatals: Eddie Cross
11. Science and Technology Development: Professor Henry Dzinotyiwei
12. Information Communication Technology: Nelson Chamisa
13. Public Works: Professor Elphas Mukonoweshuro
14. National Housing and Social Amenities: Fidelis Mhashu
1. Defence: Tichaona Mudzingwa
2. Agriculture: Roy Bennett
3. Justice: Jessie Majome
4. Foreign Affairs:
5. Local Government:
6. Women’s Affairs:
10 February 2009
Cape Town — The South African government has joined African Union (AU) calls to the international community for economic sanctions against Zimbabwe to be lifted.
“An important element at the AU Summit was the expectation and call to the international community to lift sanctions on Zimbabwe to allow all leaders to give the formation of a unity government a chance to succeed.
“People in Zimbabwe will also more likely support the peace process if they can see a number of positive spin-offs happening,” Foreign Affairs Director General Dr Ayanda Ntsaluba told media, Tuesday.
The DG highlighted that South Africa was calling for the sanctions to be lifted as it would facilitate, in particular, the inflow of much needed humanitarian aid into Zimbabwe in a [continue reading]
frican Queen Mines has awarded a contract to Botswana-based Discovery Drilling Africa for the first phase of a core-drilling programme on its Okavango diamond property, in the north-west.
Equipment is now being mobilised and is anticipated to be on site later this month, Vancouver-based African Queen said in a statement on Thursday.
The Okavango property comprises three prospecting licences, covering approximately 2 592 km2.
The Phase 1 programme will involve about 2 500 m of core drilling, covering 12 to 15 holes to be drilled into select targets among the more than 100 distinct kimberlite targets identified by the company’s geological team.
Last month, African Queen relinquished its rights to earn as much as 75% of the Braganza gold project in Mozambique, in order to focus its attention on diamond prospects in Botswana and Namibia.
The property is situated on a recently recognised extension of [continue reading]
source: Standay Standard
by Godfrey Ganetsang
07.02.2009 2:00:10 P
The ruling Botswana Democratic Party has warned party dissidents to either fall in line or be expelled from the party.
The party dissidents are mostly disgruntled party members who find fault with the primary elections, which they claim were riddled with voter trafficking, vote rigging and, at times, favouritism. The disaffected party members decided to stand as independent candidates in protest against the party leadership‘s failure to address their concerns.
BDP Executive Secretary, Comma Serema, last week announced that the central committee had issued a stern warning to primary election losers who are threatening to stand as independents that they will not be accepted back into the party even after they win elections as independents. He warned those intending to stand as independent candidates to drop their plans and support primary election winners or kiss their BDP membership goodbye.
The warning follows a recent ad-hoc meeting convened by [continue reading]
PALAPYE: Local Government Minister and Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) chairperson for the Political Education and Elections Committee (PEEC) Margaret Nasha has told BDP diehards to defend the party at all costs.
“We are going to be called all sorts of names by the opposition as we go into campaigns for the elections proper. They will call us thieves and everything else, but we must be ready to defend our party,” she said and encouraged BDP faithful to be always proactive and drive their opponents on the defensive.
She reminded BDP members, who thronged the Palapye Community Hall for the launch of the party’s campaign manual last Saturday, “to do everything in the book to defend the name of President Ian Khama from being soiled at will by the opposition”. Nasha, who described Khama as the face of the party, stressed that “repeated lies are eventually believed if not countered”.
“We don’t expect the president to go in the open and defend himself. It is us the BDP members who should come to [continue reading]
February 10 2009 at 11:57AM
By Joseph Booysen
At least three major retailers have strategies in place to reduce food costs, with Woolworths on Monday announcing the reduction in price of 245 of its food lines.
The savings are on a wide range of products, such as cooking oil, pies, a range of beverages and luxury treats, like wines and cashew nuts.
Other savings are in selected frozen foods, bread, spreads, biscuits, toiletries and sweets.
“This is big. These are significant savings for our customers. Woolworths worked in partnership with our suppliers over the last six months to find ways to reduce the price of hundreds of products,” said Julian Novak, divisional director for [continue reading]