Archive for August 17th, 2007

source: International Herald Tribune

LILONGWE, Malawi: When Yang Jie left home at 18, he was doing what people from China’s hardscrabble Fujian Province have done for generations: emigrating in search of a better living overseas.

What set him apart was his destination. Instead of the traditional adopted homelands in North America and Europe, where Fujian people have settled by the hundreds of thousands, he chose southern Africa, making his way to this small, landlocked country where Stanley and Livingstone’s legendary meeting occurred.

“Before I left China,” said Yang, now 25, “I thought Africa was all one big desert,” a place forever bathed in terrible heat. So he figured ice cream would naturally be in high demand, and with money pooled from relatives and friends, created his own factory. Malawi’s climate, in fact, is subtropical, but that has not stopped his ice cream company from becoming the country’s biggest.

Stories like this have become legion across Africa over the last five years or so, as hundreds of thousands of Chinese have discovered the continent, setting off to do business in a part of the world that had been terra incognita for their compatriots. The Xinhua press agency recently estimated there were at least 750,000 Chinese working or living for extended periods on the continent, a reflection of burgeoning economic ties between China and Africa that reached $55 billion in trade in 2006, compared with less than $10 million a generation earlier.

Even when Yang arrived here in 2001, he said he could go weeks without encountering another traveler from his homeland. But as surely as his investments in the country have prospered, he said, an increasingly large community of Chinese migrants has taken root, running everything from small factories to health care clinics and trading companies.

During the previous wave of Chinese interest in Africa in the 1960s and 70s, an era of radical socialism and [continue reading]

source: BOPA
16 August, 2007

GABORONE – Botswana is to host the annual Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG) Council of Ministers meeting on August 24.

The meeting will be preceded by a meeting of the Task Force of senior officials on August 20 – 23.

The ESAAMLG is a regional anti-money laundering body with 14 members comprising Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Its major function, according to a news release from the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning is to address anti-money laundering and the combating of financing of terrorism issues in the region.

In 1989, the release says money laundering was recognised as a worldwide problem in 1989 and it led to the establishment of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an independent international body with the aim of developing and promoting national and international policies geared towards combating money laundering and terrorist financing.

FATF defines the term money laundering as the process of criminal proceeds to disguise their illegal origin in order to legitimise the ill-gotten gains of crime, says the release.

In 1990, FATF issued 40 recommendations that set out a universal framework for anti-money laundering efforts.

The recommendations cover the criminal justice system, law enforcement, the financial system and its regulation and international cooperation.

In June 2003, the regulations were amended with [continue reading]

source: BOPA
16 August, 2007

LUSAKA – Finance and Development Planning Minister, Mr Baledzi Gaolathe, says Botswana is ready for the free trade era within the SADC region envisioned for next year.

We are ready to be participants of the free trade area. We have done every thing that we were supposed to do as a country, Mr Gaolathe said in an interview following a Tuesday meeting here by the task force set up to look into the issue.

The task force on regional integration was set up during the last year summit in Lesotho.

It comprises ministers of finance as well trade and industry and was assigned to look into the modalities of speeding up the regional integration process.

According to Mr Gaolathe Botswana is among the countries that have made strides towards the SADC goal; and during the meeting by the task force, we were encouraging other countries that were lagging behind to catch up.

He, however, would not reveal the countries that were still lagging behind. But reliable sources pick Malawi and the DRC as among defaulters.

He explains that their report on the assignment will be presented to the heads of states who are due to begin their meeting today.

The report entails the modalities of free trade area as expounded in the SADC protocol on trade.

The protocol, among others calls for [continue reading]

source: BOPA
16 August, 2007

GABORONE – Young Farmers Fund under Citizen Entrepreneurship Development Agency (CEDA) has only approved 12 applications since its inception in April.

An official of the CEDA under the Young Farmers Fund division Mr Kelemogile Molefhe told participants at a one-day Entrepreneurship Training workshop in Gaborone that the 12 applications were approved at the tune of P6 million.

Mr Molefhe said what was disheartening was the fact that out of the 12 applicants, only two were females.

Participants also heard that the Young Farmers Fund only finances businesses that were agriculture based, adding that no qualifications were needed to access the fund as it was initially planned. Mr Molefhe said eligible applicants could either apply as individuals or company.

He encouraged those who were interested in applying to establish themselves in the business of their choice by contacting relevant stakeholders in the ministry of Agriculture for advice.

He said after an applicant had been successful, CEDA provided short courses on Entrepreneurship development and where there was a cost, CEDA paid 90 per cent while the promoter or client paid the remaining 10 per cent.

In his welcome remarks, Gaborone Central MP Dumelang Saleshando said the government introduced Young Farmers Fund because it [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Financial Gazette (Harare)

17 August 2007
Posted to the web 17 August 2007

Njabulo Ncube

IN an intriguing turn of events to the on-going blitz on prices, the government plans to reconstitute the Cabinet Task Force on Prices by fusing into its ranks moderates and sidelining hardliners such as Elliot Manyika, the Minister without portfolio.

Highly placed sources revealed this week that the impending changes signalled a gradual change in government’s disastrous pricing policy adopted last month to one that can swiftly avert company closures.

Manyika, who is the vice chairman of the Cabinet Task Force on Price Monitoring and Stabilisation, yesterday held a marathon meeting with business leaders where he allegedly read them the riot act, following the government’s concern that basic commodities were still not available in supermarkets and shops.

He was not immediately available for comment last night.

Private sector representatives, who attended the meeting at the Industry and International Trade Ministry offices, said Manyika listened to their concerns over the impact of the price crackdown on their businesses, but was livid that goods and services remained in short supply.

ZANU PF insiders insisted last night that while Manyika chaired yesterday’s meeting with business leaders in his capacity as vice chairman of the taskforce, his tenure in the ad-hoc committee would soon be cut short following recommendations from the Presidium, comprising President Robert Mugabe, his two vice-presidents and ZANU PF national chairman, John Nkomo.

They cited his alleged “aggressive” approach in the implementation of the government order on prices as part of the reasons that annoyed ruling party bigwigs and other supporters who felt that Manyika’s conduct could cost ZANU PF dearly in next year’s harmonised elections. Manyika would, ostensibly, be released from the task force to concentrate on the party’s 2008 election campaign, which the ruling party desperately wants to win.

Manyika is the party’s national political commissar.

Nicholas Goche, the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, is also said to have been sidelined, although The Financial Gazette could not confirm this at the time of going to print.

While Obert Mpofu, the Minister of Industry and International Trade would be retained as [continue reading]

source: BOPA
16 August, 2007

SEROWE – A consultancy on the P30 million Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) that will be used to store and match fingerprints has been completed.

The project, according to the Botswana Police Director of Forensic Science and Services, Senior Assistant Commissioner, Dr Helen Tumediso-Magora, which will also assist in immigration and customs investigations, is at a tendering stage.

She said in an interview that the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) is evaluating four companies that have applied to tender while the project is expected to be up and running by next April.

She explained that PPADB will establish the bidders potential to supply the AFIS system, deliver the equipment and whether the proposed objectives and methods will integrate with the current systems that include Crime and Criminal Recording System (CCRS).

She said CCRS stores all reported and recorded criminal activities in the country, adding that [continue reading]

source: The Zimbabwe Independent

Dumisani Muleya

THE Southern African Development Community (Sadc) has imposed stringent conditions on the proposed economic rescue package for Zimbabwe whose economy was yesterday described by the Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa as in the “doldrums”.

Well-placed diplomatic sources said yesterday the conditions to economic aid — which Zimbabwe needs urgently to avoid total collapse which could have a grave regional contagion — are tougher than those usually imposed by global institutions such as the International Monetary Fund.

The demands are designed to secure concessions of political reform from President Robert Mugabe (pictured) who is hostile to democratic change.

Conditions attached to the regional bail-out for Zimbabwe are contained in a confidential report compiled by Sadc executive secretary Tomaz Augusto Salomao who addressed the grouping’s summit in Lusaka yesterday.

The stern conditions include the need for political and legal reforms, economic liberalisation, and privatisation of public enterprises.

Sadc is also demanding fundamental structural reforms, including public enterprise and civil service overhaul, removal of administrative controls in pricing, restoration of the rule of law and property rights, as well as improvements in governance.

Sadc also wants Zimbabwe to immediately and decisively address the current economic crisis by implementing a comprehensive stabilisation package comprising several mutually reinforcing actions.

The regional body wants a tightening of fiscal and monetary policies. It has raised alarm over [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone)

16 August 2007
Posted to the web 17 August 2007

Oliver Modise

A mid fears of a possible collapse of the talks over who should contest the Francistown West and Maun East constituencies, the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and Botswana Alliance Movement (BAM) yesterday signed a pact agreement, binding the two parties into a cooperation marriage ahead of the 2009 general election.

Emang Maphanyane, the talks’ convenor, said the signing marked the beginning of more hard work, as the elections were approaching.

According to the agreement, BAM has agreed to contest seven parliamentary seats. These being Ngami, Maun East, Maun West, Nata/Gweta, Tati East and Tati West, leaving BCP with a large chunk of 50 constituencies countrywide.

However, BCP has indicated that some of the council seats in the 50 constituencies allocated to it would be available to BAM to contest. Speaking before the signing ceremony, BAM president Ephraim Setshwaelo thanked the convenor and members of the negotiating teams. “There has been a better working spirit, with elaborate and harmonious discussions,” said Setshwaelo.

He applauded the two parties for their maturity in dealing with disagreements, saying that the spirit displayed was positive. Setswaelo challenged Botswana National Front (BNF) and Botswana Peoples’ Party (BPP) members who supported opposition cooperation to join the BCP or BAM. “People should give up the idea of being driven into the wilderness by power-hungry individuals,” he said. “Even people in the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) are keen to see the cooperation project work, for democracy’s sake,” the BAM chief said.

For his part, BCP president Gilson Saleshando said the [continue reading]

source: BOPA
16 August, 2007

LUSAKA – Some 60 members of the Botswana Defense Force (BDF) and the Botswana Police Services form part of the SADC standing force, which will be launched at the end of the summit for the regional bloc taking place here.

The officers, foreign affairs minister Lt Gen. Mompati Merafhe said, have been in Lusaka ahead of the summit in preparation for the launch.

A total of 40 members of the BDF and 20 police officers are among those who will be launched by the summit and this is such a symbolic moment for the region. Our service men have been here for some time preparing for the parade, Gen Merafhe who has been attending the SADC council of ministers ahead of the meeting by the regional leaders.

Only Madagascar and Mauritius have not contributed personnel towards the brigade and Gen Merafhe would not comment on their failure to provide service men to the regional standing army of 700 personnel. Only those two countries can best explain why.

He said it was necessary for the police to form part of the brigade since at times there will be a break down of order and the police will come in to restore it while the soldiers will be engaged in combat.

The service men will after the launch return back home to continue work at their usual stations as they will be called only when needed to perform an operation in any member state.

Of course, their training will be biased towards peace missions, he said. Minister Merafhe would not say which country will appoint the commander of the standing army.

Army commanders in the region will seat down and [continue reading]

source: BOPA
16 August, 2007

PARLIAMENT – A Bill that seeks to among others, the establishment, management and administration of the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund was presented to parliament, Tuesday.

The Bill was presented to the house by Assistant Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Mr Duncan Mlazie.

He said the major objective of the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVA) Bill is to introduce a compensatory system which removes negligence of the driver or owner of the vehicle as a requirement for the Fund to accept liability for compensating road accident victims.

Presenting the Bill for second reading, Mr Mlazie said it would widen the liability of the Fund to include all victims of road accidents.

Negligence will only be considered as a limitation for victims who would have contributed to the occurrence of the accident for example caused by reckless driving.

Highlighting prominent features of the Bill, Mr Mlazie said part two allows the MVA Fund to provide third party insurance compensation and benefits to victims of road traffic accidents.

Also, he said, it introduces a new component in the form of promotion of road safety and accident prevention as major objectives.

The part further describes the composition and powers of the funds board of directors, how they are appointed and their payments.

Part three, he said, sets out the procedures for the conduct of meetings and the quorum required for meetings of the board and requirements for members to declare their interests.

As for part four, it describes, the appointment and removal from [continue reading]

source: BOPA
16 August, 2007

PARLIAMENT – Mmadinare MP, Mr Ponatshego Kedikilwe, has commended the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning for the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVA) Bill of 2007.

The Bill calls for an Act which would among others seeks the establishment, management and administration of an MVA Fund to provide for the compensation care, benefits, medical management and rehabilitation of victims of motor vehicle accidents.

Debating the Bill, which was presented to the House on Tuesday by assistant finance minister, Mr Duncan Mlazie, Mr Kedikilwe said if it goes through, many road accident victims would benefit from the fund unlike in the past.

He called for a public education campaign on the fund through the kgotla and the media.

The MP said Batswana should be made aware that the fund has its own lawyers and as such victims do not have to engage their own attorneys.

He said one can only engage an independent lawyer if he or she is not satisfied with the outcome of the case handled by the fund attorney.

Further, the Mmadinare MP said the fund should seek other means of acquiring capital and that it should be preapred for any eventuality.

The fund, he said, should not solely rely on energy or fuel-tax since matters such as political situations might in the long run interrupt the current practice.

Supporting the Bill, South East North legislator, Mr Olebile Gaborone, stressed the [continue reading]

source: BBC News Africa

Australia says it will deport eight Zimbabwean university students whose parents are senior members of the government of President Robert Mugabe.

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said the move was an extension of sanctions against Zimbabwe.

It was aimed at preventing those behind human rights abuses from giving their children the education their policies denied ordinary Zimbabweans, he said.

The Australian government is a vocal critic of Mr Mugabe.

Earlier this year, it banned its cricketers from  [continue reading]

source: IOL
Staff Reporter
August 17 2007 at 11:49AM

A renowned conservationist has recounted how he and his friends narrowly escaped an attack by an enraged bull elephant.

Lawrence Anthony – described as something of an “elephant whisperer” – and two friends were on a night drive at Thula Thula Game Reserve near Empangeni in KwaZulu Natal last Saturday night when the animal attacked them.

“He came at us from nowhere in a full-blooded charge, hammering the front of the Land Rover station wagon and driving us backwards into the bush for about 18m,” said Anthony on Thursday.

“Then he backed off, swung around to the left, and before I could move he charged at the passenger side, crushing the doors and smashing the vehicle right over onto its side.”

Anthony said his two passengers had fallen on top of him and the animal had attacked again.

“He charged again, and with incredible fury smashed the vehicle over on to its roof, popping out the windows and windscreen.

“Then he continued to pound at us until the Landy fell back on its side. He was trumpeting and stomping around completely enraged, but thankfully he had driven the passenger compartment into a thicket and he couldn’t reach us.”

Anthony managed to get his pistol and fire some shots into the air. He screamed at the elephant until it backed off.

“I then started talking calmly to him as [contiue reading]

Solly Maphumulo
August 17 2007 at 07:19AM

Anxious parents, spurred into action by the worldwide recall of Mattel toys, have started returning the products named in the local recall.

This comes after United States toy giant Mattel pulled back about 19-million Chinese-made products worldwide, citing serious concerns over children’s safety.

Stephen Hurst, director of Just Fun Toys – South African distributor of Mattel and Fisher-Price toys – on Thursday said they had removed all the affected toys from the shelves.

“Consumers have started returning the toys to the retailers. This will be a week-long process. The retailers take back the toys and credit the consumers,” Hurst said.

He said the retailers had been very supportive and understanding.

Among the items consumers are [continue reading]