Archive for December 5th, 2007

source: Mmegi


The United States (US) commander of the African Command, General William E. Ward met with government officials among them the Minister of Justice and Defence, Phandu Skelemani and Botswana Defence Force (BDF) chiefs in Gaborone yesterday in what he called consultative meetings.

Ward told a news conference held at the US Embassy that he is in the country to continue on building relationships and understanding regarding the establishment of the controversial African Command Centre. The Botswana trip is part of the continent-wide tour which includes US allies such as Cameroon, Ethiopia, and Gabon. However, Ward said no African government had yet agreed to host the command centre.

Ward said the Command Centre would strengthen Washington’s present efforts in the continent. “We see this as an initiative that [continue reading]

source: Mmegi


The controversial process to establish a directorate of intelligence and security has reached its apogee.

Last Friday, the highly contentious bill that proposed the formation of the dreaded directorate became law when it was published in the Government Gazette after it received presidential assent. The spy agency envisaged under the Intelligence and Security Service Act is scheduled to start operating next year.

The Act defines the committees that would be serving under the directorate. These include the intelligence and security councils.

There would be a tribunal to receive complaints from a person who feels aggrieved by [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Human Rights Watch (Washington, DC)

4 December 2007
Posted to the web 4 December 2007

European and African leaders should go beyond promises and act to end atrocities, hold abusers to account and combat corruption, Human Rights Watch said today. The first European Union-Africa summit for seven years will be held in Lisbon on December 8-9, 2007.

The summit is meant to forge a new EU-Africa partnership with enhanced links, and is set to approve a detailed action plan, listing priorities and outcomes in a range of areas from security to human rights to trade. Human Rights Watch called on the leaders to commit to specific actions translating these principles into reality by protecting the civilians of Darfur and Somalia, bringing to justice the former dictator of Chad, Hissène Habré, and implementing anti-corruption measures.

“The summit will make a lot of noble promises, but the proof of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi


Standard Chartered Bank Botswana has released a healthy set of financial results for the first three quarters of the year ended 30 September 2007, in which profit after tax increased by 20 percent in comparison with the previous period.

The oldest bank in the country realised an income of P463.3 million in the review period, up 12 percent from the same period in 2006. Standing at 71.25t compared with 61.86 thebe last year, Earnings Per Share (EPS) were also up by 20.02 percent.

The release of the impressive results is expected to boost performance of the bank on the BSE after sustaining some heavy battering in the last few months due to a self-correction exercise by all financial institutions. However, if previous trends on the market are anything to go by, a share price resuscitation driven by the good results is far from guaranteed.

Over two months ago, Stanchart released impressive half-year financials, but the bank’s share price tumbled on [continue reading]


4 December 2007

Feeder airline South African Express is to be transferred from state-owned Transnet to the Department of Public Enterprise, which will afford it the freedom to increase both the capacity and frequency of its flights and expand its routes, and turn itself into a leading Southern African regional airline.

According to a statement issued by the Department of Public Enterprises last month, the transaction is called for by the South African Express Bill, which was put before the National Council of Provinces for approval.

“The airline is of strategic importance as its growth will add to the overall air services capacity,” said Public Enterprises Minister Alec Erwin in the statement. “Our objective is to make air travel more accessible and to complement the national and international services of [South African Airways] and other South African carriers.”

South African Express (SAX) is essentially a regional carrier, operating where the main carriers do not. By acting as a feeder airline to other national and international airlines through larger hubs, it plays a [continue reading]

source: Mmegi


Parliament yesterday adopted the Cybercrime Bill with amendments by Minister of Communications, Science and Technology, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi.

With the Bill, government wants to make it a crime to repress criminal activities perpetrated through computer systems and to facilitate the collection of electronic evidence.

The Bill will go for third reading in the near future before it is signed into a law.

According to the minister’s amendments, offenders or accomplices will be fined between P10, 000 and P100, 000 depending on the gravity of the offence. Venson-Moitoi explained to the House that they imposed a minimum prison term as a deterrent and that the cybercrime offences can impact negatively on national operations such as [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa

By Lance Guma
04 December 2007

In a sign of major diplomatic pressure the United States government will add over 40 Zanu PF officials and key supporters to a list of people under travel and financial sanctions. US Assistant Secretary of State for African affairs Jendayi Frazer made the announcement on Tuesday. Ms Frazer said the US will impose additional travel sanctions on 38 additional individuals, including nine state security officials involved in human rights abuses and anti-democratic activities in recent months. Two companies whose owners are complicit in regime activities have also been included on the list. No names have been disclosed so far.

Government officials say the move is meant to turn the pressure on Mugabe’s regime and help highlight the human rights situation in the country. Already over 130 key officials in Mugabe’s power structure are under the travel ban and [continue reading]

Zimbabwe Conspiracy

source: allAfrica
The Voice (Francistown)

4 December 2007
Posted to the web 4 December 2007

The economic and political crises in Zimbabwe have several negative knock on effects for Botswana.

Mugabe’s bad press has hurt tourism in the entire region, Zimbabwe’s manufacturing decline has deprived us of low-cost competition for South African imports and we are being swamped by immigrants who can’t find work north of the border.

But there are also a couple of potential economic advantages for us that have not received as much publicity.

One is that we are now well positioned to become the main road link between South Africa and the nations of central and east Africa – and we could become the main train link as well, if the planned Kazangula Bridge were to be modified to include a rail crossing.

The bridge will lead to increased wear on our roads, but it will also generate income and provide numerous service industry opportunities.

The other advantage of the Zimbabwe crisis is pretty scary – especially if you are [continue reading]

Tsvangirai is in town

source: Mmegi


Zimbabwe’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai arrived yesterday in Botswana at the invitation of Botswana Land Boards and Local Authority Workers Union (BLLWU) formerly BULGSA, to officiate at its congress in Mochudi today.

Tsavingirai is a former unionist who served in the Zimbabwean Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) before he left to join politics.

In an interview with Mmegi, BLLWU publicity secretary Ishmael William said they have invited Tsvangirai because he is a former [continue reading]

4 December 2007

US-based multinational consulting firm Watson Wyatt is to form a strategic alliance with and acquire an initial 20% stake in South African actuarial and employee benefits consultancy Fifth Quadrant.

“We are pleased to enter the South Africa market,” Watson Wyatt chief executive John Haley said in a statement on Monday. “Fifth Quadrant is an excellent strategic fit and shares Watson Wyatt’s focus on high-quality client service.”

Fifth Quadrant’s core business is the provision of independent advice to institutional clients in the areas of actuarial services, retirement fund consulting, investment consulting and health benefit consulting.

It is wholly owned by its [continue reading]

source: allAfrica

4 December 2007
Posted to the web 4 December 2007

Cape Town

Tens of thousands of South African miners held a one-day strike today in support of demands for safer working conditions.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), with 270,000 members the country’s biggest union, said it expected all its members to stay away from work.

It planned a march of 40,000 from a traditional labour rallying point in Johannesburg to the nearby head office of the Chamber of Mines, the employers’ umbrella body. There would be other protests around the nation, it added.

Addressing a union rally on Sunday, a leader of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) said an average of 200 workers were dying in mine accidents every year.

“Almost daily, families hear the news that a husband, a father, a brother – a breadwinner – has been suddenly taken [continue reading]

source: News24
04/12/2007 17:26 – (SA)

Pretoria – The City of Tshwane will be ready to host the 2010 Fifa World Cup spectacle, Mayor Gwen Ramakgopa said on Tuesday.

“We are confident that we are on track,” she said, adding that Loftus Versveld, Giant and the Super stadiums would be ready for matches in 2010.

She was addressing journalists at a press club briefing in Pretoria about the city’s readiness to host the event.

Touching on the issue of transport, Ramakgopa said the municipality soon would acquire 200 news buses that would replace the current fleet.

She said the Bus Rapid Transit system (BRT) – a network of buses travelling along dedicated bus ways, costing about R1.9bn – would be ready for commuters by 2010.

” The BRT transport system which will go [continue reading]