Archive for March 19th, 2007

19/03/2007 17:43

Gaborone – Botswana has tightened its border controls in response to political unrest in neighbouring Zimbabwe that it fears could lead to a renewed flood of illegal migration, said a senior police spokesperson on Monday.

Border officers in Botswana have been told to more carefully check those entering or seeking to remain in the southern African nation and ensure they have enough money for their stay, said the government in a statement.

The order came after a high-level meeting on Friday between police and immigration officials.

The statement referred to the need to keep “undesirable people” out of the country, but it did not specifically mention that Zimbabweans would be the targets of the tighter controls.

A senior police spokesperson said on condition of anonymity that the government had acted because of rising tensions in Zimbabwe, where police recently arrested dozens of opposition members at a protest against President Robert Mugabe.

Many of the anti-Mugabe protesters, including the leader [continue reading]

Posted to the web on: 19 March 2007
source: Reuters

GABORONE – Botswana’s annual inflation rate slowed in February to 7,2% from 7,4% previously, official data showed today, but was expected to pick up pace again over the next few months.

The Central Statistics Office said the slowdown, which was largely due to a lower increase in school fees and beef prices, followed a sharp easing from 8,5% in December and continued the downward trend after inflation jumped to 11,4% on the devaluation of the pula currency in 2005.

But prices should rise on higher public service salaries in the months ahead.

CSO Statistician Kgotlaganang Kgakololo said that government employees’ salary increase of 6% across the board this year would force money supply up in two months’ time.

“As a result of that retailers and producers will likely pick up their prices leading to an inflation increase,” he said.

Botswana introduced a formal inflation target of 3-6% in February last year, but indicated that the target would not be achieved in that year due to the impact of the pula’s devaluation in May 2005.

source: The Standard (Zim)

By Vusumuzi Sifile

BOTSWANA Parliamentarians last week called for the temporary closure of their embassy in Harare “pending stabilisation of the economic and political arena” in Zimbabwe.

They said the closure of the embassy would send “a strong signal” that Botswana did not condone the worsening situation in Zimbabwe, according to the official government mouthpiece, Botswana Press Agency (Bopa).

The MPs said Zimbabwe had become a liability to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region and had since “epitomised an example of bad governance” and disregard for the rule of law

This followed the violence that erupted at a Save Zimbabwe Campaign prayer meeting in Highfield, Harare, last Sunday, resulting in the arrest and brutal assault of 50 members of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), including president of the anti-Senate faction, Morgan Tsvangirai

The police shot dead National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) chairperson for Glen View, Gift Tandare, and left leaders [continue reading]