Archive for March 12th, 2008

source: BOPA
12 March, 2008

GABORONE – The introduction of government web portal will make information easily accessible between government departments and ministries says an official in the Ministry of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration Ms Tlhabologo Chepete.

Officially opening the First Government Information Technology Convention and Exhibition Conference (GOVCON) on behalf of presidential affairs minister Mr Daniel Kwelagobe at Phakalane Ms Tlhabologo said the portal web would break the boundaries between government departments and ministries so that all the services provided by government became available from a single point of contact.

For example, she said there would be no need for the public to go to the immigration department to apply for a passport, nor to the department of transport for a drivers license.

All these will be available from a single website interface, she said.Ms Tlhabologo said in future Batswana would be able to access government services from their offices during working hours or from their homes after work.

She said the 24-hour government services would be delivered by accessing services through the Internet and mobile phones.

It is not arguable that by achieving 24 hour access to government services we will have [continue reading]

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source: allAfrica

The Voice (Francistown)

11 March 2008
Posted to the web 11 March 2008

Francistown

Travel and tourism provides over 10 per cent of direct and indirect employment in the country’s economy.

The sector, which according to a 2007 study has potential to grow by more than seven per cent annually over the next 10 years, contributes over 16 per cent of non-mining Gross Domestic Product.

These findings were of a study by the World Travel and Tourism Council that was engaged to establish the impact of travel and tourism on jobs and the economy of Botswana.

The Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Mr Kitso Mokaila told Parliament on Wednesday that the study also established that the total travel and tourism will grow by five per cent annually, exceeding the southern African and global averages.

“In terms of the policy framework, the study emphasises the need to review the tourism policy and re-examination of the institutional structures and improvement in air transport services.”

It also highlighted the importance of [continue reading]

source: ZimNews

author/source:AFP
published:Mon 10-Mar-2008

“The real crisis is not indigenisation but crippling shortages”

Harare – A new equity law passed by President Robert Mugabe to ensure the population gets a majority stake in public-owned firms will plunge Zimbabwe into deeper economic woes, analysts predicted on Monday. Last week, Mugabe, who is facing elections this month, passed the indigenisation and economic empowerment act which states that “indigenous Zimbabweans shall own at least 51 percent of the shares of every public company and other businesses”. “It will entail the destruction of the economy,” Harare-based economist Godfrey Kanyenze told AFP. “We should have learnt from the blunders of the land reforms where people who were not properly equipped rushed to grab farms. “The result was a disaster in the agricultural sector and we are now importing maize from the countries where the former farmers have migrated to.”

Eight years ago, the government launched land reforms which saw the state seize some 4,000 white-owned farms for redistribution to [continue reading]

source: BOPA
12 March, 2008

PARLIAMENT – The Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology and PEEPA are preparing a draft bill that will enable the transformation of Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) into an ordinary company.

Presenting the 2008/09 budget proposals for her ministry amounting to P560 million for recurrent budget and P315 million as development budget, Minister Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi said after the transformation, BTC would become an ordinary company governed by the Companies Act.

This bill will enable government to sell shares in the company to investors and the public, she said. Mrs Venson-Moitoi said the bill would be brought to Parliament in the coming winter meeting.

She said BTC was engaged in a right-sizing exercise whose objective is to increase the competitiveness and efficiency of the company so that it could compete with other players in the same market segment.

On other policies and legislation, the minister said the drafting of the Media Practitioners Bill was complete and awaiting cabinet approval.

Following the commencement of the Radiation Protection Act, in 2006, the Radiation Protection Board was appointed and gazetted during 2007 and held its first [continue reading]

source: BOPA
11 March, 2008

PARLIAMENT – The Minister of Lands and Housing, Brig. Dikgakgamatso Seretse says his ministry continues to review major policies and related laws during the National Development Plan (NDP) 9.

He told Parliament when presenting the ministrys budget proposals of over P560 million and more than P280 million for recurrent and development budgets on Thursday that the Land Policy has been submitted to Cabinet.

Drafting instructions for the review of the Tribal Land Act, Town and Country Planning Act and Land Survey Act have been submitted to the Attorney Generals Chambers.

Also, he said drafting instructions for the Deeds Registry Act will soon be presented to the Attorney Generals Chambers, adding that reviews of the Acts regulations will be finalised after amendments to the main Acts.

Regarding the Self Help Housing Agency (SHAA), he said the Turnkey project failed to materialise as bids exceeded the budget. Therefore the sum of P5 million for the project was redirected to the loans.

Out of P38 000 000, P35 702 147 was disbursed to councils and benefited 1893 applicants.

He said the new installment purchase scheme by the Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC) would be introduced in the near [continue reading]

source: ZimNews

author/source:Cape Times (SA)
Mugabe has loaded the presidency with so much power that parliament is little more than a rubber stamp

Mugabe’s lust for power has given any winner all the levers to rule

On the face of it, Simba Makoni faces a big problem even if does pull off a shock victory in the March 29 Zimbabwean presidential election. He has no political party contesting the parliamentary elections on the same day to provide him with certain support, though some independent candidates are pledged to him and some ruling Zanu PF candidates are believed to be secret supporters. But, rather ironically, the absence of a political party will not badly hamstring him precisely because President Robert Mugabe has loaded the presidency with so much power that parliament is really little more than a rubber stamp. Mugabe started off with a constitution strong on executive powers, and carefully and strategically added to those with 18 gruesome constitutional amendments. The president now only needs parliament to change the constitution, make new laws and pass the budget.

The president already appoints the judges, all provincial governors, all senior civil servants, the head of the electoral commission, the men who [continue reading]

source: BOPA
12 March, 2008

MOCHUDI – Ramotlabaki and Dikwididi residents in Kgatleng have been advised to undertake wildlife projects to improve their standard of living.

Addressing kgotla meetings at the two villages wildlife department official Mr Gilbert Mogapi said his office offered different programmes that were profitable and could benefit them.

In addition, Mr Mogapi said wildlife projects were marketable locally and in neighbouring countries. He said by utilising wildlife programmes residents could supply local shops with meat from wild animals.

Also he said they could venture into businesses by utilising wildlife products.

Residents could embark on game farming and rear wild animals for tourists and meat He said tourism game ranching required one to offer accommodation and that the venue to could also double as a conference centre.

Residents were also encouraged to engage in profitable projects such as [continue reading]

source: News24
12/03/2008 12:12 – (SA)

Johannesburg – The State believes it has a good chance of convicting Jacob Zuma on corruption, its advocate Wim Trengove told he Constitutional Court on Wednesday, as he fought for the right to keep documents seized in the investigation against Zuma.

“We are sure that we have a case, not merely a prima facie case, but a case with a reasonable prospect of conviction,” Trengove said, with Zuma sitting behind him in the front row of the public gallery.

He said the difference between interpretations of the search warrants used in the searches, by the state on the one hand and Zuma, arms company Thint and Zuma’s lawyer Michael Hulley on the other, was “extremely narrow”.

Thint argued that the warrants issued BY Transvaal Judge President Bernard Ngoepe were authorised without a case being made to Ngoepe.

Zuma’s lawyer, Kemp J Kemp, said there was no affidavit with information on the investigation attached to the warrants.

Trengove said neither Section 29 of the National Prosecuting Authority Act nor the Constitution made provision for the attachment of [continue reading]

source: BOPA
11 March, 2008

SANKOYO Government spends millions in nature conservation because it is profitable, says President Festus Mogae.

Speaking during his visit to Sankoyo village on Saturday, Mr Mogae said there was need for nature conservation in the sense that protected areas and animals would attract tourists into the country.

As such government has embarked on anti-poaching measures by putting Botswana Defence Force (BDF) personnel at all borderlines.

Mr Mogae told Sankoyo residents that animals, although destructive are important to Batswana, hence the need to look after animals and not kill them.

He said killing animals was detrimental to the countrys tourism because there was a likelihood of extinction.

Mr Mogae commended Sankoyo Tshawaragano Community Trust for the positive attitudes towards animals, saying community trusts were established ideally to [continue reading]

source: BOPA
12 March, 2008

GUMARE – A working relationship between locals, in particular fishermen and tour operators is the only way forward.

Speaking at a kgotla meeting organised to iron out grievances between locals and tour operators, Ngamiland District Commissioner(DC) Ms Bernadette Malala called on both parties to take cognizance of the fact that they both eat from the same plate.

Tour operators are already here amongst us, we cant kick them out, and we need each other. We offer them labour to drive their businesses and they do the overall business management, there should be no conflict .

She said all must therefore, view natural resources as belonging to us all.

She said it was imperative that they formulate a working committee that could draft rules and regulations and solve problems they faced.

Ms Malala said that conflict would not bring progress but it would create enemies.

She said the point in question should be conservation and [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

TUMELO SETSHOGO
CORRESPONDENT

The government will make compromises on its controversial plans to restrict liquor trading and entertainment hours.

Deputy director of trade and consumer affairs at the Ministry of Trade and Industry has told Mmegi Business that government has understood the suggestions made by the public and other stakeholders affected by the proposed laws and a compromise will be made.

He said they have received input from the public and recommendations from Botswana Liquor Traders Association (BLTA). He said the matter is now with the cabinet which is expected to come up with a decision this week. Macheng explained that government has considered thatthere are people employed in the sector who might be affected negatively if harsh decisions are [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa

By Lance Guma
11 March 2008

With elections just 17 days away, the focus is very much on whether the country can have a free and fair election. A cosmetic relaxation of media and security laws, courtesy of constitutional amendment 18, had given some hope that the opposition would have greater access to campaigning. But an increasingly repressive Zanu PF regime has brought such high hopes crashing to the ground. Pro-democracy groups are now reminding government of the SADC guidelines governing elections, which were put in place in 2004. They say government is paying lip service to this set of rules, which include equal access to the media for all parties, freedom to hold political rallies, adequate voter education and an independent body to monitor elections.

Zimbabwe Democracy Now (ZDN), a pressure group based in South Africa that campaigns for the restoration of democracy in Zimbabwe, has placed a series of full page adverts in South African newspapers pointing out that Mugabe’s government has reneged on agreements brokered by SADC, and signed by both Zanu PF and the MDC. In their ads the group says lawmakers from both parties passed new media and security laws that were meant to relax requirements for independent broadcasters and newspapers to operate. The same laws also compel the state owned media to give equal coverage to [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
New Era (Windhoek)

11 March 2008
Posted to the web 11 March 2008

Catherine Sasman
Windhoek

SADC delegates meeting in Gaborone, Botswana last week agreed that the interim Economic Partnership Agreement (IEPA) is a “stepping stone towards a more comprehensive agreement expected to be concluded towards the end of this year.

“The main objective of the EPA must be to consolidate the regional integration process and to foster growth and development in the region, as well as to establish a new and WTO-compliant [World Trade Organisation] legal basis for governing bi-regional trade relations,” said the joint declaration arrived at by SADC EPA states and Peter Mandelson, the European Trade Commissioner.

Minister of Trade and Industry Immanuel Ngatjizeko represented Namibia at the meeting.

It is understood that this gathering was the crunch time for [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

WANETSHA MOSINYI
STAFF WRITER

Government has approved plans to establish the Central Statistics Office as an autonomous organisation.

The change will be effected through a bill to be drafted and tabled in Parliament. It will result in the renaming of the CSO to the National Statistics Office (NSO).

A press statement from the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning Serwalo Tumelo says the drafting of the bill will be completed this year. The drafting of the bill is part of the implementation of the approved organisational and functional reforms at the ministry, which started last June.

Tumelo announced that measures are being put in place to set up [continue reading]

source: SouthAfrica.info

It should come as no surprise that the country that invented touchtone dialling offers world-class telecommunications.

Telecommunications is one of the fastest growing sectors of South Africa’s economy, reflecting the rapid growth of mobile telephony in the country. The communications sector, together with transport and storage, accounts for almost 10% of gross domestic product (GDP).

With a network that is 99.9% digital and includes the latest in fixed-line, wireless and satellite communication, the country has the most developed telecoms network in Africa.

The fixed-line monopoly of Telkom, a listed company in which the government is the largest shareholder, expired with the licensing of Neotel as South Africa’s second national operator. Neotel is licensed to provide the entire range of telecoms services with the exception of full [continue reading]