Archive for February 7th, 2008

source: Mmegi

RYDER GABATHUSE
STAFF WRITER

FRANCISTOWN: Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) central committee has appointed a high-powered delegation to go to its Palapye constituency ‘to explain the circumstances that compelled the party leadership to order the primary election re-run’ there on February 16.

Secretary-general, Jacob Nkate leads the three-person delegation. Other members include Tswapong regional committee member and Communications, Science and Technology Minister, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi and BDP Central Committee member, Gaborone-based attorney, Isaac Seloko.

The BDP leadership concluded last Monday at a central committee meeting to send the delegation to Palapye to address the constituents on the latest move calling for a re-run of last December 22 controversial primaries.

This follows an appeal by the loser, health minister, Sheila Tlou who lost by a low margin of six votes after garnering 627 votes against the winner, Moiseraele ‘Master’ Goya’s 633 votes. She cited irregularities that defeated the ends of justice and prayed that the party leadership should order a re-run.

One of Tlou’s main complaints is that the [continue reading]

source: Reuters Africa
Wed 6 Feb 2008, 13:18 GMT

By Wendell Roelf

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) – CIC Energy Corp said on Wednesday the cost of its giant Mmamabula energy project in Botswana had ballooned to $9.5 billion, more than $3 billion above previous estimates, partly due to engineering delays.

CIC Energy spokeswoman Erica Belling said a number of factors had led to much higher costs for the project, which includes a coal mine, two 2,500 megawatt power stations, a coal export unit and coal-to-hydrocarbons plant at Mmamabula, in southeast Botswana on the border with South Africa.

“The lead times for the equipment, the boilers … the ability to get engineering resources put in place that are necessary was going to require a little bit more time than we had previously expected,” she said.

Belling said CIC Energy, which is developing the first phase of Mmamabula as a 50:50 venture with International Power Plc, hoped to sign a preliminary agreement with an engineering, procurement and construction company in the first quarter of this year. She did not identify the company.

According to an official CIC Energy brochure, the phase two power station and [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

BRIAN BENZA
STAFF WRITER

Diamond production to fall
Botswana’s fiscal and current account balances are under threat should growth in industrialised countries and emerging economies like China and India decline, Finance Minister Baledzi Gaolethe has warned.

Presenting the 2008/09 budget at the National Assembly on Monday, Gaolathe said to avoid sharp swings in its fiscal policy stance going forward into NDP 10, it will be critical that the country maintains fiscal discipline over the medium term.

With fears of a recession in the US (the major market of Botswana’s diamonds) which could spread to other industrialised countries, continued dependency on mineral exports makes the country susceptible to a significant decline in the price and profitability of diamonds and other minerals.

Although Botswana’s fiscal and current accounts have been in healthy balances in previous years, an anticipated decline from mineral revenues could also weaken these positions further, in addition to the global threat of [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa

By Lance Guma
06 February 2008

Newly announced presidential candidate Simba Makoni had a taste of his own party’s medicine Wednesday when the state machinery against him kicked into gear. Not only was he expelled from Zanu PF but both the government owned media and war veterans took turns slagging him off. A few hundred war veterans demonstrated at the Zanu PF headquarters with deputy leader Joseph Chinotimba warning Makoni against showing up at the building. He called on war vets to take control of the headquarters declaring that Makoni and his followers are now barred from entering the premises; ‘We are now going to campaign vigorously for President Mugabe. I feel sorry for Makoni, ayirasa (he’s lost it). From today to the nomination date we will have finished with them. Mupanduki kana achinge apanduka anoziva zvinoita Zanu-PF (a sell out will know how Zanu PF deals with them).’

Mugabe has traditionally used the war vets as a paramilitary force to intimidate or beat up his opponents and on cue Chinotimba has fired the warning shots. He said Makoni could not stand as a Zanu PF candidate and should form his own party. He also accused the former SADC executive secretary of being used by the West, alleging; ‘We know them all, it is not Makoni alone. We were waiting for them to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

CHANDAPIWA BAPUTAKI
STAFF WRITER

The Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) will release a schedule of areas that will have power cut off as an energy conservation measure.

But BPC communications manager Thomamiso Selato told Mmegi yesterday that power would not be cut off in crime-infested areas like Mogoditshane and Blue Town in Francistown.

Explaining recent blackouts, she said that they (BPC) only look at the loads and “if we see that we can get a certain load from somewhere we cut there. We look at different locations and most of the times we cut in the evenings because that is when the usage is high as everyone is home and busy using most of the electric appliances”.

Selato stated that load shedding is [continue reading]