Archive for June 22nd, 2007

source: BOPA
22 June, 2007

GABORONE – Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) remains one of the major constraints in livestock production for farmers in many developing countries.

Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Carter Morupisi, said FMD directly impacts on the marketing of livestock products which are among the important mechanism towards poverty reduction and sustained food security.

He was speaking at the opening of the 3rd World Animal Health Organisation (OIE) Foot Agricultural Organisation (FAO) network for FMD reference laboratories.

The purpose of the network is to safeguard the international trade of animals and their derived products through an efficient global surveillance of FMD. Surveillance includes constant updating of information on antigenic and genetic characterization of FMD virus involved in the current epidemics.

Mr Morupisi said the network aims to facilitate the exchange of FMD virus isolates and related data which is necessary for the development and selection of vaccines and other tools for surveillance and control of FMD, as well as harmonization of such approaches He said for the effective control of FMD, there is need to produce potent vaccines and timely diagnosis of any samples submitted to institutions The Botswana Vaccine Institute (BVI), he said has been the main contributor to the successful control of recent FMD outbreaks in Botswana and many other countries in Africa and that currently about 80 percent of vaccines produced are exported.

Mr Morupisi said through technological cooperation with Merial, BVI is the only laboratory in Africa capable of industrial scale production of FMD vaccine in cell suspension.

Merial is the worlds leading and most [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)

22 June 2007
Posted to the web 22 June 2007

Amy Musgrave
Johannesburg

TALKS to end the three-weeks-old public service strike will resume today with indications that unions may agree to the government’s new offer.

Although unions have been adamant that the state’s wage increase offer of 7,5% is too low, the government has added other incentives in the agreements to the final package which will make it hard for labour to resist.

The package also includes an increase in the housing allowance from R456 to R500 as well as a return to work agreement and a no work no pay agreement.

The government has agreed that essential service workers fired for joining the industrial action could return to work on a final warning instead of being dismissed. And, instead of docking the pay of striking workers over one month, this would be done over three months.

If the unions do not agree to the package, the government will revert back to its former offer which is a 7,25% increase, R456 for housing and other agreements fall away.

Union negotiator Chris Klopper said yesterday the government had [continue reading]

source: IOL
June 22 2007 at 09:53AM

By Vusumuzi ka Nzapheza, Bonile Ngqiyaza and Sheena Adams

At least one trade union has admitted to accepting the government’s offer of a 7,5 percent wage increase aimed at ending the public service strike, which continues to be marred by threats of violence.

The Health and other Services Personnel Trade Union (Hospersa), affiliated to the Federation of Unions of South Africa, said the agreement represented “a major victory for all categories of employees”, especially health care professionals, teachers and other skilled professionals.

However, the development has taken place against the backdrop of continued intimidation.

‘The government is negotiating in bad faith’
Noel Desfontein, a regional manager for Hospersa, said he received an anonymous death threat on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the SA Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) will not budge from the 10 percent wage increase demanded by the trade unions.

Union members from across the province gathered at the Gugulethu Sports Complex on Thursday to show their determination that the strike continue.

Sadtu national deputy president Thobile Ntola said the union could sustain the strike for a longer period because schools were going into the winter holidays on Friday. He said Sadtu could sustain the strike for at least six months.

“Our members only gave us the mandate to revise the initial 12 percent increase to 10 percent as a bottom-line offer. Sadtu’s national executive committee has no mandate to lower the demand further,” he said.

Ntola said the unions representing essential services workers were under pressure to [continue reading]

source: Cuba News

Hours before concluding his official visit to Cuba, Botswanan Vice President Seretse Khama Ian Khama met with Cuban Vice Presidents Carlos Lage and Esteban Lazo to review ties between their two countries.

Seretse Khama Ian Khama presented Lage with a letter of condolences from Botswanan officials for the death on Monday of Vilma Espin Guillois, president of the Federation of Cuban Women and Heroine of the Cuban Revolution.

Lage told Khama Ian Khama that his trip to Cuba is an expression of the strengthened bilateral relations and he thanked Botswana for its vote in the UN General Assembly in rejection of the US economic, financial and commercial blockade against Cuba.

Earlier, the African leader placed a floral wreath at a pantheon at Havana’s Colon Cemetery that contains the remains of Cubans who died fighting for the liberation of the African continent.

In previous statements to the media, Khama Ian Khama expressed his joy at seeing students from different nations enrolled at the International Physical Education and Sports School, located in the Havana municipality of San Jose de las Lajas. (ACN-PL) from Cuba News

source: BOPA
21 June, 2007

MASUNGA – Justice, Defence and Security Minister, Mr Phandu Skelemani has called on Batswana to work closely and collectively with the police in order to win the war against crime.

Addressing kgotla meetings at Senyawe and Jackalas No.1 in the North East District, Minister Skelemani said his ministry has over the years constructed a number of police stations and even employed special constables to intensify security in the country.

He expressed worry over the increasing number of criminal cases and incidences of illegal border jumping. He however advised respective communities to join hands with the police to fight crime.

He said currently 78 police stations had been constructed while some had been upgraded to fight crime. Adding that members of SSG and BDF had also been deplored along the borders with the intention to intensify national security as well as to prevent the illegal border jumping.

Minister Skelemani said when funds permit more special constables would be recruited and deployed to villages.

He said paying crime prevention committee members allowances would discourage the spirit of self- reliance among Batswana. Mr Skelemani also briefed residents about the intelligence and security bill, explaining that if enacted the law would assist in providing high-level security, both for the country and its nationals.

He said the formation of the intelligence unit would not serve as a threat to individuals, but would provide security and protection.

On the judges pension bill, he said under the bill would be entitled to an 80 per cent pension of their salaries after serving for 20 years or more on retirement.

The Tati East legislator Mr Samson Moyo asked the government to [continue reading]

source: motoring.co.za
June 19, 2007

Gray Dick (Yamaha) and Shaun Gunther (Honda) have won the motorcycle and quad categories respectively of the 2007 Toyota 1000 Desert Race in Botswana.

Dick won the Vryburg Kalahari Desert Race in three consecutive years and the 2006 Mafikeng Desert Race, but it was his first victory in Botswana, confirming his title as “King of the Desert.”

He was followed home by Spencer Kriel ( KTM) who was the leading first rider on the road in the first racing section, but got lost on day two.

Dick overtook him 40km before the finish to come out on top of a three-way battle with Kriel and his team mate 2000 Desert Race winner Darryl Curtis.

Clayton Enslin finished fourth overall after losing time putting back his Beta’s radiator covers, which were ripped off by [continue reading]

SW Radio Africa (London)
source: allAfrica
21 June 2007
Posted to the web 21 June 2007

Violet Gonda

After reports of much disagreement the opposition and the ruling party have finally agreed on the agenda for talks. But observers say the sticking point will be whether or not there is political will. Agreeing on the agenda does not mean progress in terms of the final outcome.

It is understood that the only reason ZANU PF is in these talks is out of fear of losing SADC support if they are not seen to be co-operating with the regional initiative. ZANU PF had already spurned the talks twice and was reportedly warned by Mbeki that he will not tolerate any more delaying tactics.

Journalist Basildon Peta who has been following events closely in South Africa said because of the clear reluctance of the ruling party to be part of this dialogue, some South African officials are only “cautiously optimistic” about the outcome. He said: “Yes they have agreed on the agenda, now it comes to the substance and if you look at the positions of the two parties, their differences are like the distance between the North and South Poles so it is going to be difficult to get agreements in the end.”

The talks have now been adjourned to early July and South African President Thabo Mbeki is expected to report to his Tanzanian counterpart Jakaya Kikwete next week. Kikwete is the Chairperson of the SADC troika on Defence, Politics and Security. Mbeki is expected to reconvene the dialogue in early July where the substantive issues will be discussed.

Peta said sources close to the talks say topics the opposition has managed to get on the agenda include the controversial issue of a new constitution, how to ensure free and fair elections next year, the amendment of repressive legislations, the re-opening of closed newspapers and the restoration of the rule of law.

“And on the ZANU PF side they managed to put on the agenda issues close to their heart. Land reform and the role of external players in Zimbabwe and regime change allegations,” the journalist added.

Sources say [continue reading]

source: IOL
June 21 2007 at 02:43PM

Trade unions representing workers at Eskom on Thursday apologised in advance for electricity disruptions that may occur if their planned strike goes ahead on July 4.

The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and Solidarity are demanding a 12 percent increase, R1 500 housing allowance a month, and improved pension benefits.

Eskom was offering six percent and R450 housing allowance.

The unions had declared a dispute with Eskom on the minimum service agreement.

“The employer is demanding ‘maximum service agreement’ while trade unions are demanding minimum service agreement,” the unions said in a joint statement.

Numsa spokesperson Mosanku Tseki said under the “maximum service agreement”, no one could go on strike if that affected Eskom’s operations.

“But under the minimum services agreement, people can [continue reading]

source: allAfrica

June 21 2007 at 05:29PM

An association to support the development of South Africa’s growing nuclear industry has been formed.

The was announced in Pretoria on Thursday by Rob Adam, chairperson of the newly formed Nuclear Industry Association of South Africa.

“Due to the nuclear renaissance in South Africa and the world, it has become important to create an umbrella body to interact with government and other key stakeholders on behalf of the nuclear industry,”

Niasa would aim to form common perspectives on issues affecting the industry, create coherence in the industry, be a soundboard for government for new ideas and commission research on nuclear energy.

“Nuclear is a technology that extends from mining to medicine and we need to acquire a voice that supports the global upward trend,” said Adam. – Sapa , IOL

source: allAfrica
United States Congress (Washington, DC)

PRESS RELEASE
21 June 2007
Posted to the web 21 June 2007

Washington, D.C.

The U.S. House of Representatives today approved an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2008 State, Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill offered by Congressman Donald M. Payne, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health.   The amendment makes available an additional $50 million in the Child Survival and Health Programs Fund specifically for the prevention, control and treatment of Extremely Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis (XDR-TB).   With the additional money, the Agency for International Development could provide much needed resources in Africa and elsewhere to strengthen basic TB control, strengthen lab capacity to detect drug resistance, and scale-up capacity to treat drug resistant strains.

XDR-TB recently made headlines after an Atlanta man traveled internationally while infected with the strain. The first reported outbreak, which occurred in Africa, killed 52 of 53 patients—half within 16 days. It has been reported in 37 countries so far, including the US, Canada and Mexico.

“I congratulate the global health community and recognize their work to secure this important victory.   I will continue to work together with our partners including the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) to encourage additional research and development for improved detection and treatment, especially in Africa.”

TB is already the leading killer of people with HIV/AIDS; even more frightening is that [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Financial Gazette (Harare)

21 June 2007
Posted to the web 21 June 2007

Clemence Manyukwe Staff Reporter
Harare

POLICE have arrested more suspects in connection with the alleged plot to oust President Robert Mugabe as conspiracy theories and uncertainty spread within the top echelons of ZANU PF, sparking fears of a purge that could effectively preclude party bigwigs eyeing the veteran nationalist’s job ahead of the party’s extraordinary congress.

The arrests come as the original group of six men already in custody for the same reason prepare to file a lawsuit against state agents for unlawful arrest and torture. The men, who were arrested in connection with the alleged coup plot — which police say was codenamed Operation 1940 — appeared in court on Monday and were remanded in custody to July 2.

Their bail application will be heard in an open court in the High Court tomorrow.

In an interview yesterday, defence lawyer Charles Warara confirmed that more people had been arrested, but indicated he was still gathering information from their relatives.

“There have been arrests, that we cannot confirm. My clients say there are more who have been arrested,” said Warara.

Police have resorted to electric shocks and beatings to torture those in custody, said Warara.

In a separate incident, three people — including the wife of the alleged coup plot ringleader, Albert Matapo — were picked up by the police this week, and although they were subsequently released, they suffered abuse at the hands of law enforcement agents.

Matapo’s wife, Grace, has burns and blisters on her breasts, feet and damage to her ears, according to a medical report presented to her lawyer.

“My clients now want to [continue reading]