Archive for December, 2007

source: BOPA
31 December, 2007

PALAPYE – Minister of Health, Prof. Sheila Tlou and loser in the recent Botswana Democratic Party(BDP) primary elections for the Palapye Constituency has appealed the December 22 elections results.

Prof. Tlou told BOPA Thursday in Palapye that she was appealing the results because she believed that the regulations were violated.

I have written an appeal letter to the central committee and the letter has been submitted to the BDP head office in Gaborone, she said.

Prof. Tlou indicated that in her appeal letter, she called on the central committee to investigate possible cases of voter trafficking as well as decampaigning of other candidates by the winner of the elections, Mr Moiseraele Goya and his supporters. She also said she had evidence that the former MP for the area Mr Boyce Sebetela was de-campaigning her and rooted for Mr Goya.

Mr Sebetela and the constituency secretary were campaigning against me alleging that I am a failure, she said.

He even said that I am failing to take action against people who steal drugs and medicine at government storages. I was also informed that Mr Sebetela was telling people to vote for Goya because he is youthful.

Prof. Tlou who lost by six votes to Mr Goya further said: I heard that some Botswana Congress Party members were trafficked to vote in the elections.

Dr Batlang Serema, the executive secretary of the BDP, could neither confirm nor deny that [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The Voice (Francistown)

26 December 2007
Posted to the web 27 December 2007

Chedza Simon

The Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) has announced an increase in electricity tariffs with effect from the 1st of January.

BPC increased tariffs for domestic use by 9% from 6% in March 2004 while the tariffs for commercial purposes were hiked by 15%.

Fixed charge for domestic usage was also increased from P 8.58 to P10 while fixed charge for commercial purposes was hiked from P22.69 in September 2005 to P26.09.

Some electricity consumers have responded with shock and despair to the tariff increase but BPC Head of Public Relations Tlhomamiso Selato has said that the increase was [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The Nation (Nairobi)

30 December 2007
Posted to the web 30 December 2007

Mwai Kibaki

Acceptance speech by His Excellency Hon. Mwai Kibaki, C.G.H., M.P., President And Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Kenya following his re-election to server a second term, State House Nairobi, 30th December, 2007.

Fellow Kenyans,

Following the announcement of the presidential election results by the Electoral Commission of Kenya, I stand before you humbled and grateful for the opportunity you have given me to serve you again as your President for a second five-year term.

I thank all Kenyans who voted in large numbers in these elections. I thank all of you for the trust you have bestowed upon me in renewing my mandate, which I accept with sincere gratitude and humility. I am confident that together, we will succeed in changing our country into a better home for all Kenyans.

The elections were very closely contested. I thank those of our brothers and sisters who voted for me and [continue reading]

source: ZimNews
author/source:Sundya Indepepdent (SA)
published:Sun 30-Dec-2007

“The Reserve Bank and the police are defeating the course of justice”
Harare – Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has left for an unnamed eastern Asian country for his annual holiday as thousands of ordinary Zimbabweans queue to exchange their old banknotes before they became worthless. “President Mugabe and the First Lady have left for the Far East,” state radio reported yesterday. The state-owned Herald newspaper said: “President Mugabe has taken his annual leave, part of which he will spend in the Far East.” Mugabe, who is under European Union and United States travel sanctions, has in recent years holidayed in Malaysia.

Before that, he and his family took their yearly break in Europe and would usually make a stopover in London. Relations between Mugabe and his former western allies were strained when Zimbabwe launched controversial land reforms, seizing land from white farmers, ostensibly to allocate it to landless blacks. The antipathy was exacerbated when the EU and the US imposed sanctions on Mugabe and his [continue reading]

Mogae sends message

source: BOPA
31 December, 2007

GABORONE – President Festus Mogae says it was with deep sorrow and profound sadness that he learnt of the assassination of the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mrs Banazir Bhutto.

The message is directed to the bereaved family, the President of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf and the people of Pakistan.

Mrs Banazir Bhutto was killed by a suicide bomber, who also claimed the lives of about 20 other people on Dec. 27, 2007 during her political campaign in the city of Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

President Mogaes message reads: In Mrs Bhutto, your country has lost a beacon of peace and democracy, and a heroine who was resolute in fighting terrorism both at home and abroad.

The message says Mrs Bhuttos death is a loss not only to [continue reading]

Luyanda Makapela and Gabi Khumalo

31 December 2007

The South African government and its partners should find ways to put effective measures in place so that better results could be achieved at all school levels in future, says Education Minister Naledi Pandor.

Addressing the media in Pretoria after announcing the matric results on Friday, Pandor said it was clear from various studies, as well as this year’s results, that quality learning needed to be the department’s concrete objective for all grades.

The national pass rate for 2007 stands at 65.2% – 1.4% below the pass rate of 2006.

This year, a total of 564 775 candidates sat for the exams and 368 217 passed, some 85 454 candidates passed with endorsement. This was 376 less than in 2006.

Pandor raised concerns that teachers were not [continue reading]

source: BOPA
31 December, 2007

RAMOTSWA – Kgosi Mosadi Seboko of Balete has advised local authorities to work jointly and consult the community about implementation of development in the village.

Kgosi Mosadi said at a Malete Land Board-organised stakeholders consultative meeting to create a harmonised working relationship with all key stakeholders and share plans currently being implemented in the district.

She said it was not good to execute projects in the village or district without consultation, saying consultation created team work.

Kgosi Mosadi said local authorities should prove that they wanted to develop the district and serve the community, adding that teamwork was vital.

She said united efforts and cooperation should be seen among [continue reading]

source: ZimNews
author/source:Mail & Guardian (SA)
published:Sun 30-Dec-2007

“I can assure you that when authorities get the documents absolving me, I will definitely come back”

Harare – A legislator in Zimbabwe’s ruling party has fled to Britain, fearing arrest in a police probe of foreign-currency payments he made last month, official media reported on Sunday. The state-owned Sunday Mail quoted unnamed sources as saying police wanted to interview David Butau, the Zanu PF MP for a northern constituency, about a $1,07-million payment made for tractors from an offshore account in the Channel Islands. Butau was unavailable for comment, but the Sunday Mail quoted him, speaking from Britain, as denying any wrongdoing and accusing Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono of instigating the police investigation against him. “He [Gono] had the state machinery at his disposal and I had to flee the country. But I can assure you that when authorities get the documents absolving me, I will definitely come back,” he told the paper.

Police say they have been trying to interview Butau for the past [continue reading]

Road projects on the cards

source: BOPA
28 December, 2007

MOLEPOLOLE – Work on the 24 months re-construction of Metsimotlhabe-Molepolole Road will start in May next year, an acting chief roads engineer has disclosed.

In response to BOPA questions over the status of Metsimotlhabe-Molepolole and Molepolole-Letlhakeng Road reconstruction projects, Mr Boitshwarelo Mokgethi said the former project was at tendering stage for design, which was expected to be awarded next month.

The 10-month design, he said, was expected to start in January next year.

Mr Mokgethi said some spill-overs that Batswana could enjoy, include renting of houses to road construction workers as well as a boost to businesses along the road.

Shortage of materials and water for construction and lack of qualified and skilled personnel were among challenges that Mr Mokgethi said his department expected to face.

He said the Metsimotlhabe-Molepolole Road was expected to follow the existing road alignment, so the department does not envisage a lot of relocations in this project, except where new access roads will be required.

However, it will only be possible to confirm whether properties will be [continue reading]

SA: Zuma charged

source: IOL
December 28 2007 at 06:26PM

Papers have been served on ANC president Jacob Zuma by the National Prosecuting Authority, 702 Eyewitness News reported on Friday.

The radio station said it could confirm that papers were served on Zuma.

Several sources have told Eyewitness News that the papers outlined charges which Zuma will face. It was understood they include corruption, tax evasion and racketeering.

It was not clear at this stage whether Zuma had been given a court date on which to appear or if [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Inter Press Service (Johannesburg)

28 December 2007
Posted to the web 28 December 2007

Steven Lang

More than 300 residents of Phiri, one of the poorest suburbs in Soweto, demonstrated outside the High Court in Johannesburg earlier this month to show support for a campaign to have pre-paid water meters declared unconstitutional. After a three-day hearing, the judge announced that he would make his findings known early in 2008.

Merely getting to court to have their case heard was already a victory for Lindiwe Mazibuko, Grace Munyai, Jennifer Makoatsane, Sophia Malekutu and Vusimuzi Paki, the five applicants who had been struggling for more than three years to have their day in court.

A David versus Goliath court drama has set the five unemployed applicants in a class action suit against [continue reading]

Enhance decentralisation

source: BOPA
28 December, 2007

MOLEPOLOLE – Kweneng District Council ended its full meeting last week after adopting a motion requesting Ministry of Local Government to release all revenue support grant funds at the beginning of each financial year to the district council to enhance decentralisation, efficient planning, management and better service delivery.

The mover of the motion, Cllr Maxwell Motowane (nomimnated) argued that funds should be immediately disbursed to the council for it to execute development projects.

Cllr Motowane said the support grant funds were delayed at the ministry when released in portions which also delayed planning.

He also tabled a motion requesting Ministry of Local Government to consider establishing Letlhakeng Sub-District as a full-fledged district to facilitate economic, effective and efficient delivery of services to the catchment area.

He said the Kweneng District was a vast area which needed to be [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)

28 December 2007
Posted to the web 28 December 2007


WHICHEVER way you look at it, 2007 has been a good year for the JSE. It had its first anniversary as a listed company, and it became the world’s biggest single stock futures market. Turnover was up. And for most of the year the returns from the exchange were very pleasing, at least for those that were going long.

Despite market turmoil, it made better returns than most developed markets, although it was outshone by some emerging markets.

And as if its share price appreciation was not enough to keep shareholders really rather happy, the JSE also announced a special dividend with more ordinary dividends to follow.

The JSE was not gobbled up by any big exchanges. Indeed, there was a suggestion that the JSE might want to buy the Stock Exchange of Mauritius while working closely with other exchanges in Africa.

It makes sense — if the JSE wants to remain relevant and  [continue reading]

source: Bloomberg
By Nasreen Seria

Dec. 27 (Bloomberg) — South Africa posted its smallest trade deficit in 11 months in November, as oil imports plunged, easing pressure on the current account gap.

The deficit narrowed to 608.7 million rand ($88 million) last month from 14.7 billion rand in October, the South African Revenue Service said on its Web site today. The deficit was expected to narrow to 10.5 billion rand, according to the median estimate of five economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

The improvement in the trade balance last month may help to narrow the current account gap, which reached 8.1 percent of gross domestic product in the third quarter, the highest in more than 25 years. South Africa relies mainly on foreign investment in stocks and bonds to fund the deficit, an inflow of money that can reverse if investors choose to [continue reading]

source: ZimNews
author/source:VOA News
published:Wed 26-Dec-2007

By Blessing Zulu

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has estimated that inflation over the past 12 months has totaled 24,000%, compared with its last estimated of 14,000% in October, this in a circular sent to financial institutions to help them close their 2007 books. Zimbabwe’s Central Statistical Office stopped providing data on inflation in September saying it could not find prices for key goods because they were not on store shelves. But the Reserve bank came up with the estimate for the use of financial institutions and publicly trade companies in drawing up their financial accounts for the year. A memo leaked from the central bank told institutions and companies that “you are hereby advised to use the 24,059 percent year-on-year inflation figure for November in the compilation of financial results for the period ending December 2007.”

Recent estimates of Zimbabwean inflation by independent economists have tended to run quite a bit higher, ranging from 50,000% to 100,000%. Economist Prosper Chitambara told VOA that the central bank estimate of 24,000% is “conservative.” But economist Eric Bloch, who has been a [continue reading]