Archive for March 17th, 2009
One chain store retail group that has former president Festus Mogae as Chairman of its board has an overwhelming preponderance of Indian managers.
Last week, the Minister of Labour and Home Affairs, Peter Siele, told Parliament there are nine general managers and 41 senior managers in the Choppies chain of retail stores countrywide – a total of 50.
Forty-two (42) of these are Indians and only eight are Batswana. Indian nationals therefore represent 84 percent of senior positions in the Choppies group, Parliament was told.
Siele said Choppies’ training and localisation programme shows that there are 64 citizens attached to non-citizen employees as understudies, meaning that all non-citizens in senior manager positions have citizen understudies.
Siele was responding to a question from the MP for Maun West, Ronald Ridge, who wanted to know what percentage of the two most senior managers in each of the Choppies group of companies are Indian or [continue reading]
source: Standay Standard
by Bashi Letsididi
15.03.2009 6:27:33 P
Even after being told that MPs’ spouses cannot carry diplomatic passports because they are not government representatives, Robert Molefhabangwe is still not satisfied with the explanation.
Last Wednesday, the Gaborone West South MP asked the Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration to explain why spouses of MPs are not entitled to diplomatic passports and also whether the minister would consider providing for such entitlement in the MPs’ conditions of service.
The response given by Lesego Motsumi (who was standing in for Daniel Kwelagobe) was that MPs’ spouses cannot be issued such passports because they are not government representatives “who in their duties are continually engaged in diplomatic work or the management of relations between Botswana and the international community”.
However, Molefhabangwe points to a double standard being applied by the government. Speaking to Sunday Standard, he said that he knows and has travelled with ministers’ spouses who carry diplomatic passports. Indeed it is so.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, which is involved in [continue reading]
16 March, 2009
GABORONE – Spouses of MPs are not entitled to diplomatic passports as they are not government representatives who, in their duties, are continually engaged in diplomatic work or the management of relations between Botswana and the international community, says Ms Lesego Motsumi.
Answering a question in Parliament on behalf of the Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Ms Motsumi said she does not consider it necessary to provide for such an entitlement for spouses of MPs in [continue reading]
Moody’s Investor Service on Thursday revised its credit rating outlook for Botswana from positive to stable, citing a potentially lengthy downturn in the diamond industry, the main source of budget and export revenue.
The ratings agency also downgraded the domestic currency rating from A1 to A2, also with a stable outlook.
“The current crisis represents a serious risk for Botswana’s diamond-dependent economy,” said Kristin Lindow, Moody’s Senior Vice President.
“Efforts to diversify the economy had been paying off, although they mainly led to expansion of other mineral resources, the prices of which, except for gold, have dropped precipitously.”
A global economic slowdown has slashed demand for diamonds, leading to output cuts in the world’s biggest producer of the [continue reading]
East African Business Week (Kampala)
15 March 2009
Nairobi — With the arrival of a private undersea cable on the East African coast, the Kenyan government has moved to reassure stakeholders that The East Africa Marine Systems Cable (TEAMS) is still on course.
After months of a lull and seemingly no activity in the laying of the government fronted cable, news that the privately owned SEACOM cable had landed at the coastal town of Mombasa appear to have sent jitters in government circles prompting the reassurance.
Government last Tuesday issued an assurance that installation of The East African Marine System (TEAMS) fibre-optic cable by June was still on course.
The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Information and Communications Dr. Bitange Ndemo said the project’s technical and financial aspects were still intact. He however expressed fears the cable laying costs could shoot up with the increasing piracy threat along the coast.
Ndemo spoke during a signing ceremony with shareholders in [continue reading]
17 March, 2009
TLOKWENG – The assistant minister of Trade and Industry has pleaded with land boards to allocate industrial plots to Botswana Export Development and Investment Authority (BEDIA) for the sake of investors.
Addressing residents of Tlokweng during a kgotla meeting, Mr Duke Lefhoko said BEDIA, has the mandate to promote the development of export markets for Botswana produced goods and services and also to provide land and factory premises for investors.
The assistant minister said land boards should work hand in hand with councils to provide fully serviced plots. He said the government gives funds to BEDIA to build factory shells to accommodate entrepreneurs, but shortage of land is a problem.
Mr Lefhoko said even Batswana could benefit from those plots if [continue reading]
The new government agency to control environmental pollution will be financed by money from Labour Intensive Works programme of the Ministry of Local Government.
Tourism, Wildlife and Environment Minister, Kitso Mokaila told Parliament recently that the Ministry of Local Government has adopted the initiative dubbed the Green Scorpions. He said the project will be implemented by local authorities in their areas of jurisdiction from this year.
Minister of Local Government, Margaret Nasha recently told Parliament that P208,675,000 has been disbursed to the local authorities for the project.
The Green Scorpions is a government initiative meant to enforce the law against environmental pollution. The project was launched last year by the Ministry of Wildlife, Environment and Tourism. The launch received huge publicity especially on Btv, which continually warned people to be aware of the uncompromising anti-pollution enforcement agents because they are out to get anyone caught littering.
At the time, it was not clear whether the [continue reading]
source: Standay Standard
by Gowenius Toka
15.03.2009 6:32:27 P
The Sunday Standard is in possession of a copy of a letter confirming that an Early Exit Policy for the public service is no longer a matter for speculation.
The letter, addressed to all Heads of Department, including the Commander of the Botswana Defence Force and the Commissioner of Botswana Police Services, from the Director, Directorate of the Public Service Management (DPSM), is dated 10th March, 2009,
The policy is also intended to apply to members of the security forces and to the rest of the public service.
“Addressees are informed that Government, through Presidential Directive Cab 40/2008, has approved Public Service Early Exit Policy,” reads part of the Directive REF: DP 19/4 V (154).
The correspondence goes on thus, “The policy shall apply to [continue reading]
source: SW Radio Africa
By Lance Guma
16 March 2009
The company who own the truck involved in the crash which killed Susan Tsvangirai, has suspended one of its administrators, after it turned out the vehicle was not driven by one of their drivers. The truck was carrying AIDS drugs for a project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
A report by the weekly Standard newspaper says John Snow International (JSI) is the contractor for this AIDS project and they issued a confidential memo 3 days after the accident, stating that although the truck belonged to them it was not driven by a JSI driver on the day. The new revelation will no doubt raise further questions over whether the crash which claimed the life of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s wife, was an accident or an assassination attempt on his life.
According to the newspaper the JSI memo says; ‘As you may have heard, there was a [continue reading]
FRANCISTOWN: Internal bickering continues to plague the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Tonota South constituency and this forced the party bigwigs last weekend to visit the constituency in search of the elusive peace.
The party secretary general, Jacob Nkate, and executive secretary, Batlang Serema, visited the constituency on a peace mission.
The constituency has not known peace for some time and it continues to give the BDP headquarters a persistent headache. Last month the branch committee was forced to write to the secretariat requesting intervention from the leadership.
The Tonota South branch committee is pitted against pro-Moatlhodi councillors and the Francistown regional committee. Tonota South is one of the constituencies that make up the Francistown regional committee.
The branch committee cried foul about the [continue reading]
16 March, 2009
TUTUME – The Sowa Town based mining company, Botswana Ash (BotAsh) is planning to sell half of its shares to an indisclosed company before the end of this year.
Speaking in an interview BotAsh managing director Mr Derek Cochraine said the 50 per cent that would be sold was that held by private individuals, saying the government would continue holding its other half of the shares.
He said although the company that would be buying the shares had not been revealed yet, the shareholders had already identified a preferred bidder and talks were at an advanced stage.
Mr Cochraine revealed further that the decision had nothing to do with the current global recession that had lead to retrenchment in other mines.
“This process has long been planned and has absolutely nothing to do with the current global recession.” He revealed that the reason they had not been affected by [continue reading]
By Gale Ngakane
FRANCISTOWN: The Botswana Mining Workers Union (BMWU) is moving to court after the collapse of negotiations with Tati Nickel mine management over downsizing.
The union says the management has breached the spirit of negotiations and that is why they have decided to go to the Industrial Court. The leader of the management’s negotiating team, Peter Meswele has confirmed receiving summonses from Joba Nnoi and Chilume Attorneys who are acting for the BMWU. Meswele said they are preparing for the legal tussle.
“Anyone has the right to seek redress if he/she feels hard done,” said Meswele. Due to the world economic crisis, Tati Nickel Mining Company is retrenching their employees.
Meswele said that the Voluntary Separation Package (VSP) that is under negotiation is open to all the 1,200 employees of the mine.
BMWU’s regional administrator for the north, Kealeboga Keakantse said [continue reading]
17 March, 2009
GABORONE – A total of 453 applications have been received since the inception of CEDA Young Farmers Fund in April 2007.
The Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Mr Baledzi Gaolathe said out of these, 107 applications, valued at about P40 million were from female youth.
He said out of the 107 applications received, 39 projects, valued at about P15 million were approved, while 28 projects, valued at about P11 million were rejected.
He added that a total of 40 projects were still being appraised.
Mr Gaolathe said some of the projects were unsuccessful for various reasons such as [continue reading]
source: Standay Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
15.03.2009 6:25:12 P
The Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Ponatshego Kedikilwe, on Thursday told Mogoditshane residents that the government plans to transfer water reticulation from the Councils and Water Affairs to Water Utilities from 1 April,2009.
The Minister said this development was made in order to promote water access in the country by using Water Utilities, which has already shown efficiency in doing that in past years.
The Minister promised that water tariffs will not be increased by the take over by Water Utilities as prices will remain the same as they currently are.
Water Affairs, he said, will continue drilling boreholes as it is doing then pass them to [continue reading]
17 March, 2009
GABORONE – Botswana is ranked ninth in the world in terms of competitive pricing in the tourism sector, something considered an achievement even though it has one of the most expensive lodges in Africa.
The vice chairperson of Botswana Tourism Board, Mr Keith Vincent said Mombo Camp is one of Africa’s most highly rated Safari locations, due in part to the late discovery of its natural wealth of treasures. Mr Vincent revealed that Botswana lodges and camps, apart from Mombo range in the top five of the 15 top bracket lodges.
This revelation was necessitated by the fact that tourism in Botswana is earmarked as one of future income generating sectors as well in [continue reading]