Archive for July 13th, 2007

source: Daily News

By Nelly Klerile-Kgopolo

MOLEPOLOLE – The countrywide shortage of milk coupled with its biting sky rocketing prices has brought into the market some people who want to exploit consumers by mixing milk with some water to “make a kill”.

Buyers in Molepolole have complained that the milk they bought from some dairy farmers suddenly formed a clear water layer at the bottom while the milk occupied top of the container.

They said otherwise the milk got stale while it was boiled and refrigerated, adding that one had to put a lot of “water milk” into a cup when making tea.

The complaints come after most local retailers have run short of milk for the past three months and some local dairy owners thought they had found a good opportunity to make more sales.

Loyal customers said that they had been flocking to the milk suppliers every morning and they used to be told that the milk was finished just before afternoon. But recently it was [continue reading]

source: Daily News

KANYE – Botswana is still behind the rest of the world in as far as secret intelligence service is concerned, Assistant Minister of Education, Mr Peter Siele has told his Ngwaketse South constituents.
Addressing a kgotla meeting at Mogojogojo recently, Mr Siele said intelligence gathering was a common and vital aspect of various security systems in countries around the world.
Mr Siele said the proposed Intelligence and Security Bill that became a subject of controversy in Parliament recently was long over due and a good cause that was worth supporting at all costs.
The merits that the country stands to benefit from intelligence gathering cannot be over emphasised, particularly when looking at the fact that Botswana’s economic success is fodder for jealousy by some nations.
He reminded his constituents of the dubious circumstances under which textile factories in Selebi-Phikwe collapsed as well as the relocation of the Hyundai Assembly Plant from Gaborone to South Africa some years back.
The latest lesson against which Batswana can no longer afford to be at ease, Mr Siele pointed out, is what many see as wickedness mounted by Survival International against Botswana.
Appropriate early warning mechanisms to circumvent any possible security danger should be in place, he said, adding that [continue reading]

source: Daily News
By Edward Robert

GABORONE – A night out with a joint team of members of the police and Botswana Defence Force to flush out aliens from their hideaway places in Gaborone turns out to be insightful, fascinating, heartbreaking and educational.

From Sir Seretse Khama Airport Police Station the patrol team’s main target area is Block 8.

The area attracts illegal and legal immigrants because of its numerous partly completed houses and mansions some of which are built by the very same immigrants.
The area is fast turning into a beautiful suburb for the newly rich and powerful inhabitants of the city.

The team first stops at a partly completed mansion of at least four bedrooms.
Having surrounded the house to stop those who might try to sneak out, one police officer knocks on the door.

The animated conversation that was going on inside the house in Ndebele and Shona suddenly dies down and is replaced by murmurs.

Two people suddenly appear by the front window and the team leader, a police inspector introduces himself and his mission and before long we are inside the dimly lit house.
It smells of stale sweat that immediately assaults the nostrils and forces one to involuntarily touch their nose. I estimate the number of people in one of the bedrooms to be around 20 as they frantically search their bags for their travel documents.

The team leader proceeds to search the other rooms while other officers check the documents of the occupants of one room.

We had heard female voices and were surprised that they were not in the room.
With torch in hand he begins to move from one room to another until he finds what he was looking for.

Crammed in the toilet were five women which brings to 25 the number of people occupying the house.

The team leader explains that their [continue reading]

source: Daily News
By Ndiyane Masole

FRANCISTOWN – Mine workers and trade union leaders have called for disclosure of information on company operations and financial status during the bargaining process.
The workers and union leaders said during meetings with the Assistant Minister of Labour and Home Affairs, Mr Gaotlhaetse Matlhabaphiri, that such information was vital for fruitful and open discussions.

Also, mine workers, said there was no transparency when on training and localisation programmes at their respective mines.

“The training and localisation issue is of great concern to us and at some point we reported the matter to the labour office but as we waited for a call for mediation we were informed that we are to meet with arbitrators.”

“New posts are being created in order to accommodate expatriates whose contracts and permits have expired hence making life difficult for the locals,” Thabo Mpule, the vice chairman of Tati Nickel Union branch, said.

Mr Mpule said government should scrutinise the qualifications of expatriates as some of them appeared bogus.

“We would be grateful if government includes one of us in the board that approves worker’s permits because it seems there are some shoddy deals going on at our labour office that need to be attended to,” he said.

Another employee, Mr Keabetswe Shaka of Moolman, said having worked for the company for a couple of years he has never seen the company’s training and localisation plan.

“It seems those benefiting from the non existing training plans are expatriates because none of us have benefited from the programmes. There are expatriates who are light duty drivers and fitters in these mines, jobs that could be done by locals, ” he said. Muphane mine union branch chairman, Mr Daniel Makuku, said the mine has since been accredited by [continue reading]

source: Daily News
By Kabelo Pilane

MAUN – Maun Central Transport Organisation (CTO) chief technical officer has denied that government pool vehicles are loaned to departments without spare tyres or tools.
“I have never come across any vehicle that has been issued without a spare wheel,” Mr Moagi Mmolawa said. He said the rule is that, every pool vehicle is supposed to leave CTO premises with all the necessary tools.

However, a look at a CTO Pool Vehicle Equipment and Condition Check document, of a vehicle loaned to a government department, revealed that a spare wheel, jack or jack handle, had not been issued.

Government departments in Maun have complained that they are not able to effectively service their clients because a simple tyre puncture might mean they do not reach their destination.

Transport officers said they rarely get a pool vehicle from CTO that has a spare wheel or other necessary tools such as a jack and a wheel spanner.
Ms Portia Otlaadisa of the Department of Animal Health  said the unavailability of spare wheels has been a problem for her department.

She said they are often compelled to rent a vehicle without a spare wheel or tools because of work pressure to serve the public.

“When you pool a CTO vehicle it comes with nothing, no spare wheel, jack, jack handle, or wheel spanner and this inconveniences us,” she said.

She said there are incidents where officers are [continue reading]

source: Daily News
By Moabi Keaikitse

GABORONE – The 2007 Botswana Consumer Fair takes place from August 27 to September 2.
A media release from Fairground Holdings says the seven-day shopping extravaganza brings a diverse range of goods and services from all corners of the world.

The fair is geared at generating opportunities for consumers to come into direct contact with wholesalers, retailers and service providers all under one roof.

The media release says the success of the first ever consumer fair to be held in Botswana last year has propelled Fairground Holdings and the organisers to establish itsself in prime position as the leading mangers and organisers of fairs and exhibition in Botswana.

Fairground Holdings management said it believes that innovation is [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
United States Department of State (Washington, DC)

12 July 2007
Posted to the web 13 July 2007

Washington, DC

General William E. Ward, an Army officer, is President Bush’s choice to be the first chief of the new U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), which will coordinate U.S. government support for nations across the continent.

Ward is currently deputy chief of the U.S. European Command, where he oversees day-to-day operations of American forces and military interests in 92 countries, including a majority of the African nations. Bush made the nomination July 10.

Bush announced in February the creation of AFRICOM. Instead of being a traditional military command, the new headquarters will coordinate existing security cooperation with African nations while consolidating U.S. government support for partner nations.

Humanitarian, health and development efforts are intended to be important parts of AFRICOM’s mission. The headquarters is expected to have two deputy commanders: a State Department ambassador will serve as deputy for civil-military activities and a three-star military officer will serve as deputy for military operations. As currently envisioned, the headquarters will include [continue reading]

source: IOL

July 13 2007 at 03:59PM

Volunteers helping out during the 2010 soccer World Cup would be screened rigorously to prevent crime coming into South Africa, Sports Minister Makhenkesi Stofile said on Friday.

“In terms of the recruitment of volunteers for the 2010 Fifa world Cup, only those African youth that are disciplined, as shall have been proven by the rigorous screening process, will qualify for registration as volunteers,” Makhenkesi said.

The rigorous screening test, to be conducted on everyone including people from other African countries, is to prevent bringing crime into South Africa, he said.

In a meeting with [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
12 July 2007
Posted to the web 12 July 2007

Katy Gabel
Washington, D.C.

The African Union launched its first-ever Permanent Mission to the United States in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, seeking to strengthen ties between the AU and the United States.

Ambassador Amina Salum Ali of Tanzania has been appointed as the AU’s first Permanent Representative to the United States. She called the mission’s launch a “unique opportunity to work together” for Africa’s development and added that the mission also seeks to integrate the African diaspora into the work of the AU.

Speaking at the event, United States Assistant Secretary of State Jendayi Frazer called the launch “an historic moment for both the U.S. and Africa … the culmination of years of partnership between the U.S. and the AU.”

“The AU and the U.S. share parallel goals and visions for Africa, including conflict resolution, democratic progress, trade and economic growth, investment in the people of Africa, and alleviating the public health challenges,” Frazer said, citing the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) as an example of how the AU and the U.S. have worked together and could improve with increased partnership and information-sharing opportunities.

The mission also seeks to facilitate investment and business opportunities in Africa through Agoa (the U.S. African Growth and Opportunity Act) and other ventures. Ambassador Ali said the mission will emphasize “projecting the new Africa, an [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
SW Radio Africa (London)

12 July 2007
Posted to the web 12 July 2007

Tererai Karimakwenda

The government’s price monitoring task forces are reported to be forcing many businesses to reduce their prices beyond the levels stipulated by the new law published last Friday. Shops around the country lost billions on Thursday as the price monitors allowed mobs of shoppers to empty the shelves within hours, buying products at prices made up on the spot. Public transport is also in crisis. According to the state press police in Harare impounded 49 commuter omnibuses and arrested their drivers for overcharging. They are being held at Mbare police station. Our sources in Bulawayo said minibus operators went on a wildcat strike Thursday protesting the reduced fares which they say do not cover their costs for fuel and parts.

Even the state run ZUPCO buses are reported to have stopped operations.

The state run newspapers reported that at least 1 768 business people have been arrested countrywide and 1 328 companies have appeared in court since the government ordered price reductions two weeks ago. They have been ordered to pay fines ranging from Z$70 million to Z$100 million. The deepening crisis has raised fears in South Africa, where the umbrella labour and business unions expressed deep concern for the people in Zimbabwe and the threat to South African businesses.

A South African owned Makro super store in Bulawayo was looted Thursday after a price task force reduced the price of goods by two thirds. Bulawayo businessman Eddie Cross told us the team arrived at 10am and reduced the price of televisions, refrigerators, books, beans and other imported goods by two thirds. But imported goods are not subject to the government price controls. There were near riots as [contiue reading]

source: IOL
July 12 2007 at 08:10PM

Unions rejected a pay offer from Eskom on Thursday that left certain workers with raises of less than 7.5 percent.

The offer was made at a two-day conciliation process facilitated by the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).

Meanwhile, the parastatal said the National Union of Mineworkers of SA (Numsa), the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and Solidarity had until Tuesday to consider the offer.

If it was rejected, Eskom said it would return to offering a package that included a minimum guaranteed increase of seven percent for all employees in the bargaining unit.

The NUM said the CCMA had advised Eskom to put on the table something above 7.5 percent, which is considered a benchmark set by the public service.

“Eskom continued to preach their [continue reading]

source: The Sunday Times SA
Sapa     Published:Jul 12, 2007

OK Zimbabwe chief executive Willard Zireva has been arrested on 41 charges arising from accusations that two of the retail chain’s supermarkets failed to freeze prices at June 18 levels, the Zimbabwe Herald reported on its website today.

Zireva’s arrest came as police in Harare impounded 49 commuter omnibuses and arrested their drivers for overcharging.

Commuter fares have been pegged at Zim10,000 for journeys under 10km, Zim15,000 for distances of between 10,1km-20km and Zim20,000 for up to 30km.

Zireva was arrested on allegations that some of his supermarkets had not reduced prices to June 18 levels.

He was picked up from his Glen Lorne home, said police spokesman Chief Superintendent Oliver Mandipaka.

Zireva – who faces 41 counts of overcharging – is expected to appear in court today.

The charges arise from investigations at OK supermarkets in Mbare and Glen Norah, but police were spreading the net to OK supermarkets countrywide. Zireva last night still detained at Marlborough Police Station.

Since the operation was launched, at least 1,768 business people have been arrested countrywide while 1,328 companies have appeared in court and ordered to pay fines ranging from Zim70 million to Zim100 million.

Chief Superintendent Mandipaka said the omnibus operators would be brought before the courts to answer charges of [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone)

12 July 2007
Posted to the web 12 July 2007

Oliver Modise

The ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) is set to welcome two councillors from the Botswana National Front (BNF) and Botswana Congress Party (BCP) at its congress in Molepolole this weekend. Leano Matsheka, the BNF councillor for Morula ward in Gaborone West South constituency represented by Robert Molefhabangwe told Mmegi that he has jumped ship to the BDP.

He said he quit after a fall-out with the new BNF leadership elected at a special congress in Molepolole. “Ever since the congress in Molepolole, things have not been well for some of us especially those who supported Dr (Kathleen) Letshabo,” he said

Matsheka stated that there is a conspiracy by the BNF leadership to hunt down and punish those who supported the Letshabo faction that was totally crushed at the polls.

He said the witch-hunt has forced him to seek a new political home. BDP executive secretary Comma Serema confirmed that the BNF civic leader has joined his party.

It is understood that Matsheka faxed his resignation letter from the BDP head office after being given a [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone)

12 July 2007
Posted to the web 12 July 2007

Lekopanye Mooketsi

The Botswana Telecommu-nications Corporation (BTC) and its employees’ union are headed for a clash over the proposed retrenchments at the parastatal. BTC Chief Executive Officer, Vincent Seretse has been addressing employees this week about the retrenchment exercise but union officials said negotiations have not been concluded.

The unionists said BTC intends to lay-off 346 employees out of its 1,064-strong workforce. The president of Botswana Telecommu-nications Union (BTU), Modisaemang Kebalefetse said they have not come to an agreement with the BTC management over certain issues in the retrenchment exercise.

He said the union does not accept the exit packages that havebeen proposed by BTC. He said the union has queries over organisational structure, salaries and other issues. He said they have been told that BTC intended to retrench because a study showed that the corporation is over staffed and inefficient. However, he does not buy this argument. He links the retrenchment with the pending privatisation of the BTC.

“We feel the retrenchment is linked to the ongoing privatisation, but [continue reading]

source: IOL
July 12 2007 at 03:15PM

By Luntu Lamani

ATM bombings are reported to be escalating at an alarming rate, with criminals making off with thousands of rands in cash.

To date more than 190 ATMs have been blown up across the country.

Recently, FNB has announced plans to hit back at ATM bombers. The bank plans to spend R100-million over the next three years to catch criminals “in the act”.

Of this money, R66-million will be spent installing hi-tech surveillance cameras at more than 3 000 FNB ATMs across the country. The other R44-million will go towards other security measures such as security guards.

In 2006, the bank is reported to have recorded 624 criminal incidents at ATMs, including card skimming, armed robbery and card swopping.

Atleast 17 people have been convicted for [continue reading]