Archive for July, 2007

source: BOPA
31 July, 2007

MMADINARE- The Minister of Communications, Science and Technology, Mrs Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, resumed her consultation tour of the country on Thursday with Bobonong and Mmadinare residents calling for an all out education on shares.

Mr Ketlhalefile Motshegwa was among the people who requested the minister to ensure that Batswana are well informed prior to the sale of the soon-to-be privatised Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC).

This, they said, could enable the nation to appreciate the importance of shares and thus make informed decisions.

Mrs Venson-Moitoi concurred with the residents and assured them that the office of the District Officer and other role players would invite the Local Enterprises Authority to sell itself to them and educate them on shares.

She advised village development committees and councillors for Mmadinare areas to recommend the upgrading of their post offices in the next district development plan, with a view to reducing the disturbing congestion at such offices, especially at times when old-age pensioners received their dues.

She briefed the residents on the proposed community radio stations and the Mass Media Bill, which was [continue reading]

source: BOPA
31 July, 2007

FRANCISTOWN – Vice President Ian Khama says the Botswana Defence Force and the Botswana Police Service patrol the Botswana-Zimbabwe border in an effort to curb the increasing crime rate.

Addressing kgotla meetings in Matsiloje, Matshelagabedi, Themashanga and Tsamaya in the North East District, General Khama said it was not possible to patrol the whole boundary line because of shortage of personnel.

General Khama reminded residents that not all people who crossed into Botswana did so illegally, as some used gazetted entry points.

Our neighbours know very well where the border line cuts, the cordon fence is not the boundary line, he said. The fence could not be erected into the river because it would contaminate the water.

He was responding to claims that Zimbabweans crossed the centre of the Ramokgwebana River, which was the boundary, into Botswana to steal their livestock and drive them into Zimbabwe.

Residents requested government to move the fence nearer to the river, but they were informed that the space left near the river was for patrols.

The residents complained of the increased stock theft and cattle rustling, and they asked the Department of Animal Health and Production to repair the damaged fence.

However, the police divisional commander, Mr Paphani Mazwiduma, said Matsiloje was hard hit by crime because it was nearer to the border.

He expressed concern that Batswana continued to employ illegal immigrants. He advised them to [continue reading]

source: BOPA
31 July, 2007

GABORONE – Botswana has been praised as a country that is peaceful and stable in a continent that is laden with problems of war and civil strife.

Sir Samuel Jonah, a renowned African businessman, said this at the seventh University of Botswana (UB) Foundation Dinner at the Gaborone International Conference Centre on Friday.

Sir Samuel said through visionary leadership, Botswanas success relied on the ability to maintain democracy and unity.

There is a relationship between stability and democracy which has seen this county rated as the freest economy in the continent and least corrupt, he said.

Sir Samuel said the African experience was that where there were resources there was instability, but Botswana was blessed because good governance, stability and good management of natural resources had seen it through.

He said the macro-economic policies had built a solid balance sheet, which should be used to improve the lives of Batswana.

There is no going back for Botswana and more is expected for this country to evolve into a globally admired economy like that of Dubai and Switzerland, he added.

He said if Botswana wanted to inspire future leaders, it should empower them by [continue reading]

Themba Gadebe

31 July 2007

The Cape Town city council has approved final building plans for the Green Point stadium, a venue for 2010 Fifa World Cup matches, after initial plans were revised to reduce the overall building size and height to meet the available budget.

In addition, the new plans take into consideration the rezoning of land in Green Point, and the obtaining of environmental authorisation from the relevant department.

The city council said in a statement today that plans for the multi-purpose stadium was approved at a special council meeting and that it was a “major milestone” in the project.

While the size and height of the building have been changed to keep construction within the R2.85-billion budget, the stadium will still have a seating capacity of 68 000.

“Until now, the foundations of the stadium have been under construction on the basis of [continue reading]

source: IOL
July 31 2007 at 08:49AM

By Ntokozo Mfusi

A defiant stand against a ban on women wearing trousers in Umlazi’s T Section may have led to Zandile Mpanza being targeted two weeks ago.

Mpanza was assaulted, stripped naked and paraded through the streets before her house was burnt down, all because she wore trousers.

On Monday, Mpanza, 25, said that she and her sister had been warned to stop wearing trousers in the area.

“About two months ago, four men came to my home and said that they had been sent by the community to tell my sister and I to stop wearing pants,” she said.

Mpanza had responded that she would not stop and had asked what was wrong with wearing pants.

The four could only reply that it was the law of the area. Mpanza had also asked where the law was written.

She and her sister had continued to wear trousers after [continue reading]

source: BOPA
31 July, 2007

LOBATSE – A 15-member team tasked with examining economic development challenges and opportunities and formulating strategies for attracting investment into Lobatse has been launched.

The team called Lobatse Economic Development Task Team (LEDTT) was officially launched last Thursday.

Establishment of the task team followed a motion passed by the council last October calling for its formation.

Launching the team, Assistant Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Lebonaamang Mokalake, said its formation demonstrated a sense of maturity and the willingness of Lobatse Town Council to take full responsibility for tackling the socio-economic challenges and opportunities of the town.

Mr Mokalake said the initiative was premised on that a growing local economy would, to some extent, address social ills such as unemployment, poverty and crime.

He called on all stakeholders to support the task team to do a thorough job whose results everyone would be proud of.

He noted that the task team members, drawn from government, Lobatse Town Council, parastatals and the private sector, was expected to conduct a comprehensive situational analysis of Lobatse and generate a well thought-out plan on the way forward.

Mr Mokalake said stakeholders should also [continue reading]

source: BOPA
31 July, 2007

SEROWE – Barclays Banks Managing Director, Mr Thuli Johnson has echoed concerns about the dwindling contribution of the agricultural sector to Botswanas economy.

Officially opening the Serowe District Trade Fair and Exhibition on Saturday, Mr Johnson said it was regretable that revenues had declined from 40 per cent at independence to three per cent.

Mr Johnson said though drought and cattle lung diseases contributed to the decline, other factors such as lack of requisite capital and inability to respond to the inevitable changes also played a role.

He said he wondered why other countries with climatic conditions similar to Botswana continued to reap more from their agriculture sectors.

We continue to see a lot of success in countries that have the same environmental conditions like us, yet we are not able to sustain ourselves through this sector, he said.

Mr Johnson noted that the government spent a lot of resources conducting researches to help improve the way Batswana managed the sector.

He therefore urged farmers to take advantage of the [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Tichaona Sibanda
30 July 2007

The country’s major wholesalers are now virtually empty as the current pricing crackdown by Robert Mugabe to rally support ahead of next year’s elections starts to backfire as stores run dry.
Since the high-stakes gamble by the government to order businesses and retailers to slash their prices in half on 26th June, leading chain stores have run out of beer, cool drinks, and other basics such as soap, sugar, rice, flour, matches, salt, cooking oil, and margarine. Meat and maize meal are also unobtainable.
On Monday Bulawayo based businessman Eddie Cross witnessed price control officials raiding Advance Wholesalers in the city. He said he was shocked at the state of the warehouse which was virtually empty.
‘You could look through the racks from one side of the warehouse to the other, there was nothing. Today (Monday) in Bulawayo Lobels are not delivering bread, as they have no diesel. Chitrins fleet is also down. Yesterday (Sunday) I saw that the doors of OK Bazaars were closed and barred in Gweru and was told that the managers are locked up inside,’ Cross said.

Companies that have tried to flout the price controls, after warning they can no longer cover their costs, have been slapped with [continue reading]

source: BOPA
31 July, 2007

GABORONE The implementation plan for translating the poverty reduction policy framework into action is in place and it focuses on six process-based areas.

The coordinator of rural development told members of District Development Committee at a breakfast meeting to promote understanding of the National Strategy for Poverty Reduction by decision makers.

Mr Rebasele Radibe spoke about the six process based areas of action namely, to sharpen poverty focus of policies and programmes; institute and strengthen poverty monitoring and evaluation systems; promote impact assessment, lessons learned and scaling up, identify and scale up pro-poor institutions; enhance poverty assessment, poverty statistics and poverty policy analysis and foster knowledge sharing, advocacy and building consensus.

He said progress has been made particularly in four of those areas of action. He said an important step towards poverty reduction is to design policies and programmes that correctly responded to the needs and constraints of the poor.

The process of enhancing poverty focus of programmes aims at promoting good practice in design, operation and monitoring pro-poor programmes and policies.

To ensure that any National Strategy for Poverty Reduction (NSPR) programme is subjected to a test to determine whether the programme indeed is pro-poor using consistent evaluation criteria.

Mr Radibe said the programme was evaluated for its relevance to the NSPR targeting to the poor, benefit distribution to [continue reading]

source: IRIN

MBABANE, 30 July 2007 (IRIN) – Fires have blazed through parts of Swaziland and eastern South Africa since last week, destroying crops and plantations and killing over 20 people and thousands of cattle. The Swazi government declared a national emergency in June.

“Fires have broken out in all four regions of the country; high winds have been spreading these fires since Friday,” William Dlamini, spokesperson for Swaziland’s Fire and Emergency Services, told IRIN. South Africa’s eastern provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga and most of Swaziland have been extremely dry for months.

According to Dlamini, the winter months of May to October, which were normally very dry, had not seen any rain since early June. The fires have broken out at a time when about 40 percent of Swaziland’s one million people are facing acute food and water shortages after the worst harvest in the country’s recorded history.

Last week UN agencies appealed to the international donor community for US$15.6 million and a timely response to avert a full-blown humanitarian crisis in the drought-stricken kingdom, which is struggling to feed its people.

Swazis traditionally burn fields in [continue reading]

source: IRIN

HARARE, 30 July 2007 (IRIN) – A recent central committee meeting of Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF party called for President Robert Mugabe to be installed as president for life, and the creation of ideological schools targeting preschool children.

The minutes of the party’s central committee and politburo meeting on 30 March – the two most powerful ZANU-PF organs, both chaired by Mugabe in his capacity as president and first secretary of the ruling party – were adopted on 4 May and subsequently leaked to an IRIN correspondent.

Amid an economic meltdown characterised by an inflation rate of more than 4,000 percent, South African President Thabo Mbeki, charged by the Southern Africa Development Community with negotiating an end to Zimbabwe’s political impasse, acknowledged at the weekend that free and fair elections would be the best route out of the crisis.

”The president should be president for life. There are no vacancies within the presidency”
Mugabe, 83, has been in power since Zimbabwe achieved independence from Britain in 1980, and has already declared his candidature in the parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for March 2008.

The ZANU-PF Women’s League, composed of all female members of the party and among Mugabe’s most loyal followers, is leading the charge to have him declared president for life. Zimbabwe’s vice-president, Joseph Msika, appeared to be the only one at the meeting opposed to awarding life presidency to Mugabe.

“The president should be president for life. There are no vacancies within the presidency,” said Oppah Muchinguri, leader of the Women’s League and minister of gender and women’s affairs, according to the minutes.

“We resolve that we will mobilise all young women to be in [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Violet Gonda
30 July 2007

Many people had pinned their hopes on the divided MDC reuniting to give the democratic forces more strength to fight the dictatorship, but chances of that were quashed this weekend. Professor Arthur Mutambara announced at a press conference in Harare that the unity talks had collapsed, saying the Tsvangirai MDC had spurned a coalition offer to become the sole opposition candidate in presidential elections scheduled for next year. Mutambara also announced that his party was no longer part of the Save Zimbabwe Campaign.

He launched a scathing attack on his rival saying: “If Morgan Tsvangirai does not understand the strategic value of unity in our struggle against Mugabe, Council wonders whether he is fit to be the President of Zimbabwe. If Morgan Tsvangirai is such a weak and indecisive leader who cannot embrace what ordinary Zimbabweans are demanding (unity of action and purpose), is he worthy of the presidency of this country? Zimbabweans deserve better leadership.”
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s response was more measured. He told his supporters at a rally in Kuwadzana that it was pointless spending energy attacking Mutambara, as the real enemy was Robert Mugabe. He said: “We need unity of all progressive forces in this country. The enemy is not Tsvangirai. The enemy is Mugabe.”

The MDC split in October 2005 as a result of infighting, personality differences and [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone)

30 July 2007
Posted to the web 30 July 2007

By Bame Piet

There were mixed reactions in Parliament to a motion tabled by MP for Gaborone West South, Robert Molefhabangwe requesting Government to consider the establishment of an industrial capital in Palapye where it will be easy to address problems of shortage of land, power and water.

These are often a hindrance to economic development in urban areas as prospective investors end up looking elsewhere due to high costs and scarcity of such raw materials and factors of production.

He said that Gaborone is sandwiched in small districts that have no land. He believes that Palapye will be a suitable place.

He said the town was centrally located and nearer to the three main dams in the north of the country as well as the Morupule Power Station in the village which is scheduled to undergo expansion in the near future.

He added that the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) would also benefit from the town.

Molefhabangwe further said that such an establishment would benefit about 500,000 residents in the central district and will be nearer to Walvis Bay in Namibia. He added that there are tourist sites in the area.

MP for Ramotswa-Tlokweng, Olebile Gaborone supported the motion saying that it will contribute to fairer distribution of resources in the country.

Being from Tlokweng where there is an [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone)

30 July 2007
Posted to the web 30 July 2007

People of the border villages of Matsiloje and Matshelagabedi have asked for police reinforcements and told Vice President Ian Khama that they bear the brunt of cross-border crime, perpetrated by illegal immigrants from Zimbabwe.

With the foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) almost ever-present in Zimbabwe, the people of Botswana’s border villages are in a quandary unique to the frontier.

“The crime rate is too high in this village,” said Kgosi Oganne Polson at the Matshelagabedi Kgotla. “I urge you to increase the number of local police in our village.”

Kgosi Polson said the three local police officers and five special constables in the village are overstretched by the ever-increasing crime in Matshelagabedi, which does not even have a patrol vehicle.

He said Zimbabwean cattle rustlers steal their livestock, and that on the rare occasion when stolen cattle are recovered, the owners still lose because Botswana authorities kill and burn the animals for fear of FMD infection.

Compensation for a destroyed animal is currently P400. Polson pleaded with Khama to increase the compensation to at least P1,200.

On other issues, Polson complained of delays in drought relief projects, saying the vice president should “get civil servants responsible for such projects to pull up their socks.”

A villager, Baitshenyetsi Lentswe, complained of poor facilities at the clinic: “We have repeatedly expressed our [continue reading]

source: IOL
July 30 2007 at 06:52PM

By Wendy Jasson da Costa

Government officials are running out of luck as the State moves to curb their unco-ordinated overseas “sightseeing and shopping” trips.

President Thabo Mbeki on Sunday said a new set of rules for international trips was on the cards so official visits to foreign countries by delegations from all three tiers of government were co-ordinated.

He said at times South African delegations bumped into each other while marketing their networks abroad without knowing that the other party was also there.

“So we want to have a protocol so that it’s co-ordinated,” said Mbeki.

Recently Independent Newspapers established that Brazil had complained about spending money on hosting South Africans.

A foreign affairs official also said delegates were spending more time on shopping and sightseeing, rather than executing official duties.

Senior government officials were also shocked to see more than six delegations from South Africa in one country, during a trip to the Caribbean.

During a post lekgotla media [continue reading]