Archive for August 10th, 2007

source: allAfrica
Zimbabwe Independent (Harare)

10 August 2007
Posted to the web 10 August 2007

Itai Mushekwe

ZANU PF has blacklisted 41 online publications, including websites for American-owned Cable News Network (CNN) and the United States Embassy in Harare, which it claims have launched a cyber war to promote a regime change agenda against President Robert Mugabe’s government, the Zimbabwe Independent can reveal.

It was not immediately apparent what measures, if any, the party can take against offending websites.

The list of the websites was tabled at a recent politburo meeting and is said to have caused alarm among party members during a heated debate on the media, sources said. Various download print-outs from the websites were distributed at the meeting.

The development comes against the backdrop of Mugabe’s outburst in Malaysia on Monday alleging journalists lacked objectivity and were writing “subjective views” in their reports.

Mugabe made the attack on scribes when taking part in the Langkawi International Dialogue aimed at fostering closer ties between Asia and Africa and between governments and business.

“The press and journalists, are they driven by the sense of honesty and objectivity all the time? Or are they swayed from objectivity and truth by certain notions arising from their own subjective views?” said Mugabe.

One of the downloads seen by this paper was extracted from ZimUpdate Forums and shows a reader on the forum giving seven reasons why he thinks Mugabe does not want to step down. “Is it because he is afraid of being hanged just like Saddam (Hussein); or extradited just like Charles Taylor,” the reader asks. “Is it because he is afraid that the party will disintegrate? Is it because he is intoxicated with power? It is because he does not trust anyone in Zanu?”

The reader added that Mugabe was afraid of the Americans and British.

Government has been struggling to [continue reading] (including the list of the blacklisted websites)



source: Business Report (SA)
August 8, 2007

By Mzwandile Jacks

Johannesburg – Metropolitan had signed an agreement to enter into a 50-50 joint venture with the biggest retail bank in Nigeria, UBA Nigeria, to form UBA Metropolitan Life Insurance Limited, the JSE-listed financial services group disclosed yesterday.

Arnoldus Kruger, the managing director of UBA Metropolitan Life Insurance, said the company had been capitalised by 2 billion naira (R114 million) and Metropolitan and UBA would each have a 50 percent shareholding in the company.

The company would provide financial solutions to policyholders and would build on Metropolitan’s experience as a low-cost developer, administrator, and distributor of financial products and services. Risk and investment products would be the new company’s key focus, with emphasis on credit protection and group life insurance.

Peter Doyle, the chief executive of Metropolitan, said it had been in talks with UBA Nigeria for the past 18 months and the agreement was finalised late last month. Doyle said UBA Nigeria had more than 5 million customers in west Africa.

Standard Trust Bank, the fifth-largest bank in Nigeria, merged with UBA, the third-largest bank in Nigeria, in 2005 to form a listed company called UBA Nigeria. About 56 percent of the shares in UBA Nigeria are held by former shareholders of Standard Trust Bank.

The consolidated UBA is the largest financial services institution in Nigeria and [continue reading]

source: IOL

August 10 2007 at 11:35AM

South Africa is considering setting up refugee camps along its border with Zimbabwe to accommodate the tide of Zimbabwean refugees fleeing the country’s economic and political crisis, the Mail & Guardian newspaper reported on Friday.

The paper quoted an unnamed senior government official as saying that a plan drafted in 2002 to cope with an eventual exodus of Zimbabweans during contested elections in Zimbabwe, had been resurrected by the department of home affairs.

The plan provided for two transit camps, where incoming Zimbabweans would be held until their eligibility for refugee status could be determined, the Mail & Guardian said.

Any such plan would be submitted by Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula for cabinet approval, according to the paper.

Members of Zimbabwe’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) living in South Africa have told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa Zimbabweans largely opposed proposals for refugee camps, fearing they would serve as a launching pad for deportations.

Estimates of the number of [continue reading]

source: IOL
Babalo Ndenze
August 10 2007 at 09:04AM

Cable theft has cost Telkom more than R300-million in the past financial year and is costing the country about R5-billion annually, the telecommunications parastatal said on Thursday.

Thokozani Mvelase, acting executive for asset and revenue protection services at Telkom, said the company’s security-related costs from April 2006 to March 2007 amounted to more than R130-million.

The company also suffered a loss of more than R177-million after having to replace stolen cable and copper wire during that period.

The worst year for cable theft was 2001 when Telkom, Eskom and Spoornet reported 20 500 cases nationally, he said.

The direct impact on the three organisations amounted to losses of R268-million and the cost to the economy was estimated to be 10 times that amount.

After 2001, incidents declined until 2006, where they peaked again with 11 000 incidents reported nationally.

The replacement costs for 2006 are still being calculated.

Mvelase has called for more joint initiatives and the need for greater legislative powers to clamp down on cable theft.

He also raised concerns about the slow rate of convictions and the high number of repeat offenders.

“An example of good collaboration is the police in [continue reading]

source: BOPA
09 August, 2007

PARLIAMENT – MPs have been urged to forgo some developments projects in their areas if the implementation of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) policy is to be a success.

Engage your constituents and tell them that some projects that you promised would have to be shelved to make way for the ICT roll out, which is of national interest, Mr Sebetela, the MP for Palapye, said.

Debating and supporting the draft national ICT policy on Tuesday, Mr Sebetela said the Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology would need a bigger development budget for the ICT network.

He said MPs should tell their people that funds have been diverted to help in the implementation of the policy, as foreign donor countries were not prepared to finance ICT projects.

Mr Sebetela said the private sector has also not been too good in network investment, hence everything would be in the hands of government.

He called on Minister Pelonomi Venson- Moitoi to come up with an investment plan, which would convince other ministries to let her ministry get a bigger share of the development budget in the next financial year.

He also said the minister must give special attention to the expansion of the cellular network in Botswana, as mobile phones could operate without electricity unlike computers.

He said the only way African and other developing countries could meet the Millennium Development Goals would depend on how serious they took ICT.

Mr Sebetela said ICT was the only hope for Africa, and already some countries were enjoying the fruits as [continue reading]

source: BOPA
09 August, 2007

PARLIAMENT – Gaborone Central MP has shot down the draft National Information and Communications Technology (ICT) policy describing it as a dream that does not capture the realities of modern Botswana.

Debating in Parliament, Mr Dumelang Saleshando dismissed the draft policy put forward by communications science and technology minister, Mrs Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, as a myth.

When one reads the document, it is difficult to imagine that it talks about Botswana. Let us be honest and realistic and tell people the correct dynamics prevailing in Botswana today.

Let us come down to earth and refrain from making statements that do not capture realities in this country, Mr Saleshando said.

He said the picture portrayed by the draft policy gives the impression that everyone is going to benefit through ICT. That, he said, was not going to happen given challenges such as lack of electricity particularly in rural areas and that ITCs consumption depended on social status.

The legislator wondered how if-adopted the policy would be of benefit to Batswana when people in some parts of the country do not even have access to necessities such as clean water.

Mr Saleshando charged that the minister was only misleading Batswana. The legislator asked the house if they understood what access to information meant given the secretive government and lack of Freedom of Information Act.

At that juncture, Minister Venson-Moitoi stood up [continue reading]

source: BOPA
09 August, 2007

GABORONE – The demand for domestic water supply and industrial development, especially the mining sector, continues to rise at a high rate, says the Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Mr Ponatshego Kedikilwe.

Addressing the national water resources management conference in Gaborone, Mr Kedikilwe said the demand by the mining sector in the Francistown area and the proposed Mmamabula Energy Project was threatening to create an unprecedented imbalance between water supply and demand.

While Botswana was at a water divide, he said his ministry was doing all it could to cope with the challenge. To this effect, he said, there were a number of initiatives that were at various stages of progress, which were aimed at improving water supply for Botswanas current needs as well as sustaining it for the future generations.

He said the initiatives included the development of dams and wellfields for augmenting the existing resources. Mr Kedikilwe said it was estimated that the construction of the second phase of the North South Carrier project, which comprised Dikgatlong Dam and second pipeline to the south would cost in the region of P3 billion.

He said there were initiatives to develop the Thune, Lotsane, and Mosetse dams, and complete the Ntimbale Dam as well as a number of wellfields around Botswana.

He said these were expected to enhance the current surface water resources full water supply capacity of 347 million cubic metres to more than 900 million cubic metres, which could meet the demand up to the year 2020 where upon the Chobe-Zambezi resources should be ready to supply.

He said the total estimated investment would not be less than P4 billion, adding that [continue reading]

source: ZimNews
author/source:Zimbabwe Independent
published:Fri 10-Aug-2007

Staff writer

South African President Thabo Mbeki resumed his mediation in talks between the ruling Zanu PF and opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) after they broke down recently ahead of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit in Zambia next week. Sources said the resumption of talks – which did not take place on July 7 after Zanu PF failed to attend – is meant to cover Mbeki’s back during the SADC meeting. Reports from Zambia indicate there is a report on the talks leaked from Mbeki’s office which indicates that the South African leader will say there has been progress in negotiations. This is seen as an attempt by Mbeki to ward off mounting pressure while at the same time giving embattled President Robert Mugabe a breathing space in the hope he will cooperate during the process of dialogue.

The sources said this week that Mbeki’s mediation team led by South African Local Government minister Sydney Mufamadi met Zanu PF and MDC negotiators in a bid to restart negotiations that broke down last month. Zanu PF failed to appear at the talks in Pretoria last month amid reports Mugabe had instructed his team not to go in an attempt to slow down or sabotage the talks. Mugabe’s political advisors are understood to have told him the talks are tantamount to a regime change agenda, hence not something he could subscribe to.The sources said Zanu PF negotiators, Patrick Chinamasa and Nicholas Goche, and MDC representatives, Welshman Ncube and Tendai Biti, left for Pretoria last week and held meetings during the weekend and early this week to cover new ground in the wake of pressure from Mbeki. Mbeki, who has been battling with the Zimbabwe crisis since 2000, is said to be desperate to show progress in the talks to his SADC colleagues.

He is also under pressure at home to deliver because of the recent surge in the flow of Zimbabwean refugees fleeing repression and the economic meltdown. The international community is also pressing him to [continue reading]

source: BOPA
09 August, 2007

PARLIAMENT – Parliament has heard that no land has been appropriated for agricultural purposes in the Boteti Sub-District for new applicants. Answering a question from Boteti North MP, Mr Slumber Tsogwane, Minister of Lands and Housing, Brig. Dikgakgamatso Seretse, said new applicants such as young farmers would be accommodated on what was available.

However, Minister Seretse said an integrated land use plan for the central district was prepared in 2000. The plan covers a period of 20 years and with regard to Boteti Sub-District, he said, 1 223km has been designated for arable use while 25 465km is zoned for communal grazing. Brig. Seretse said it was important to note that there was an ongoing nationwide exercise to identify and gazette suitable arable land to protect it from indiscriminate encroachment by others.

Mr Tsogwane had asked how much land had been appropriated for agricultural purposes — arable and livestock — in the Boteti Sub-District, which was available for new applicants like young farmers. nswering another question, Brig Sereste said the spirit of the Real Estate Professionals Act was to provide for regulation of the practice of real estate in Botswana.

He said the main thrust of the legislation was to register those persons who should be eligible to practice as property valuers and estate agents.

He said there is no provision in the act that makes it mandatory for anyone to use or not to use the services of any particular practitioner.

Commercial banks, he said, appoint prtoperty valuers, like other professionals such as [continue reading]

source: BOPA
09 August, 2007

GABORONE – Eight community-based local organisations are to benefit from an P8.8 million funding project from the European Commission (EC) and Skillshare International.

The eight organisations are Kang Brigade, Matsheng Brigade, Tquii Xu Yan, Permaculture Trust, Ghanzi Brigade, Okavango Brigade, Letloa Trust and Polers Trust.

They were selected based on their mission, vision and value statements which are in compliance with the Skillshare International vision. The rural community programme, which will run for three years, will be launched in Ghanzi next week Friday.

The Head of European Delegation to Botswana, Mr Paul Malin, said the expected outcomes of the project were employment creation, income generating opportunities for the poorest and most marginalised communities and raising awareness about the rights of minorities and disadvantaged groups in the remote areas of Botswana.

Speaking at a press briefing in Gaborone, Mr Malin added that the project would also mainstream HIV/AIDS and ensure that all partners addressed it in their programmes.

He said his office was happy to be working with Skillshare International, as its [continue reading]

source: Mmegi


The grant contract signed by the University of Botswana (UB) and the European Commission (EC) “should be seen as one more contribution to the fight against HIV/AIDS,” EC Delegation leader Paul Malin says.

The overall objective of the project is to strengthen the capacity of institutions of higher learning in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) regions to intervene effectively in national and regional issues of health and development. Its immediate objective is to support universities in the ACP regions in enhancing and accelerating their capacity to contribute to the HIV/AIDS response of their countries and regions.

The EC has committed P42 million as its contribution to the financing of the projects while, as a cost-sharing arrangement, the six participating institutions are collectively to contribute 1.44 million euros.

Speaking at the signing ceremony at the UB council chamber in Gaborone yesterday, Malin explained that the contract would be an instrument that would enable the implementation of the Health and Development Innovative Consortium (HDIC) project. He stated that the European Union (EU) uses the full range of instruments at its disposal to counter HIV/AIDS.

The EU, through the EC has [continue reading]

source: allAfrica

Financial Gazette (Harare)
9 August 2007
Posted to the web 9 August 2007

Njabulo Ncube

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe faces the prospect of sterner criticism at next week’s make-or-break Southern African Development Community (SADC) meeting in Lusaka, Zambia, with a price war that has accelerated the exodus of Zimbabweans into the region likely to take centre stage.

Diplomatic sources said yesterday that the crafty Zimbabwean leader, who outwitted his opponents at the extraordinary SADC summit held in March, will struggle to justify the crackdown against his opponents, as he did in Tanzania four months ago using a much-hyped “terrorism” case that now lies in disarray.

Ironically, the host country for next week’s regional meeting has raised the alarm for the first time over the influx of Zimbabweans crossing its borders for basic foodstuffs. This, according to diplomats, might bolster Pretoria’s mediation effort aimed at finding a political settlement to the Zimbabwean crisis.

An estimated three million Zimbabweans now reside in South Africa, most of them illegally.

SADC diplomats have been worried at the snail’s pace of South African President Thabo Mbeki’s mediation efforts to end the crisis, which has affected neighbouring countries.

In fact, others believe there has not been any progress at all, except for preliminary consultative meetings held so far to find an agenda for the dialogue.

But a preliminary report prepared by Mbeki’s mediation team shows that the region is unlikely to [continue reading]