Archive for May 6th, 2008

source: Sunday Standard
06.05.2008 8:32:23 A

A number of local big companies are believed to have been conned out of millions of Pula by a sophisticated bank cheque fraud syndicate that has taken over the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) control room and launched a “phishing” style attack on local commercial banks, cleaning out customers’ accounts.

Sunday Standard investigations have revealed how Botswana’s commercial banks have been caught napping by new age Bonnies and Clydes who are making away with millions of Pulas in customers money without firing a single gun shot.

The sophisticated con job involves, cloning cheques, stealing identities of cheque signatories, diverting telephone calls and rigging bank transactions.
Although BTC is still unaware that is has been infiltrated by a syndicate of cheque fraud gangsters, the Botswana Police Service this week confirmed the [continue reading]

source: BOPA
05 May, 2008

GABORONE – The National Development Bank (NDB) has established a hotline called NDB Malomatsebe in an effort to curb rampant corruption and economic crime particularly in financial transactions.

Launching the hotline in Gaborone last week, NDBs audit committee chairperson, Mr Kealeboga Mosedame, said fraud, crime and theft were an increasing problem that too often went undetected and unreported resulting in financial loses to companies.

We have a duty as institutions, companies and individuals to stand against these monsters that threaten the very existence of our economic fibre, he said.

Mr Mosedame said the NDB Molomatsebe was established to provide an avenue for the individuals to report fraud, waste and abuse within the banks programmes.

It does not matter how many controls you put in place, fraudulent, abusive and wasteful acts will be committed.

He said statistics worldwide had shown that controls could only [continue reading]

source: The Independent

By Daniel Howden, Deputy Foreign Editor
Tuesday, 6 May 2008

The uncertainty surrounding a possible second round of voting in Zimbabwe has deepened, with no date announced and no confirmation from the opposition that it will take part while its supporters are under attack from state-sponsored militias.

Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, said yesterday that he has taken a decision on participation in the run-off but will not make it public until a date is set. The opposition rejected official results of the 29 March election when they were finally released last week and insist that their candidate won the first round outright.

Conflicting reports have emerged over the weekend suggesting that a second round of voting in the presidential contest could be delayed for up to a year, while other [continue reading]

source: IOL
May 06 2008 at 07:24AM

The head of the Scorpions crime-fighting unit, Leonard McCarthy, has been appointed to head the World Bank’s anti-corruption unit, News24 reported on Tuesday.

World Bank president Robert Zoellick, in a statement on Monday, said president Thabo Mbeki had agreed to release McCarthy from service to take up the position as vice president of the bank’s department of institutional integrity on June 30.

The World Bank unit investigates fraud and corruption in development projects financed by the global development agency.

“Leonard McCarthy is recognised worldwide for his integrity, independence and effectiveness in fighting corruption and strengthening good governance,” Zoellick said.

McCarthy’s appointment comes a day after Mbeki’s government approved disbanding the FBI-styled Scorpions, bowing to pressure from supporters of rival Jacob Zuma who accused it of political abuse.

The ANC, led by Zuma, voted to get rid of the unit, officially known as [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
By Kabo Mokgoabone
Staff Writer

Sechaba Brewery Limited is to be tested after the enforcement of new liquor regulations limiting the hours of sale as market analysts point to the potential rise of ‘innovative’ drinking patterns.

Brokerage firm Stockbrokers Botswana (SBB) says its current view on fundamentals of the beer industry is positive in the medium- to long-term since the regulations place restrictions on trading hours and not on the actual consumption of alcohol.

SBB analyst Pulafela Isaacs says he does not expect the new regulations to affect volumes for Botswana Breweries, the makers of the premium Chibuku brand, at this stage but he believes there will be a change in drinking patterns for KBL products.

“What we expect to see happening is that off-site drinking may replace on-site drinking,” Isaac says. “People are going to start buying more [continue reading]

source: BOPA
05 May, 2008

SEROWE – Copper cable theft has risen from 20 per cent to 60 per cent in April only while an average of seven cases were reported monthly from the beginning of this year up to end of March.

The Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) officer in the Cable Theft Investigation Unit, Mr Khumo Mmoloki, said 23 cases have been recorded in April only.

Mr Mmoloki decried the rampant vandalism of BPC street lights perpetuated by the availability of copper cables market.

He explained that more than 73 kilogrammes of copper cables belonging to the corporation were retrieved at a scrap yard in Serowe. He said the BPC identified the cables as earth cables, which worked as safety conductors on BPC street light poles.

He explained that the 73 kilogrammes of copper were worth P803. Scrap yards buy and sell the metals to South African companies which then smelt the metals to produce different items made from copper such as radiators for use in motor vehicles.

Mr Mmoloki told BOPA that a tip of led to the confiscation of the materials at Serowe Scrap Yard after an informer was tasked to find out if stolen copper was sold at the scrap yard.

He also said an anti-vandalism committee formed in 2006 and [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
04.05.2008 12:58:01 P

Stanbic Bank, the titian African banking outfit, said its Botswana operations grew by nearly 24 percent in full year to end of last December.

The bank, which is not yet listed on the main equity board, indicated in its financial results that growth in profit after tax shot-up from P89.4 million in 2006 to P110.7 million in 2007 representing a 23.8% growth which was supported by all segments.

“The growth in profit after tax is attributed to a strong growth in the bank’s non-interest revenue which grew by 28% coupled with lower impairment charges. The bank saw a 41% growth in advances and loan demand by the end of 2007,” it said.

However, it said: “Tight economic conditions and tough competition for assets saw a squeeze in the net interest margin.”

It said the improvement in the business activity was a result of Government’s spending on [continue reading]

source: BOPA
05 May, 2008

GABORONE – Botswana has been surpassed by other countries in economic competitiveness in recent times, says the Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, Brig. Dikgakgamatso Seretse.

Speaking during May Day Commemoration under the theme: Fair Trade and Respect of Workers Rights: Imperatives for Decent Work and Decent Life, Brig. Seretse said factors that led Botswana to slide included stifling bureaucracy, poor work ethic, skills shortage and corruption, real or perceived.

Brig. Seretse said these should be matters of concern to all, adding that the solutions were in the hands of both government and workers.

At the leadership level, he said President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama had made it his business to remove unnecessary bureaucracy.

He added that education and skills development would benefit from a [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
New Vision (Kampala)

4 May 2008
Posted to the web 5 May 2008

Felix Osike
Kampala

WORLD economic powers are jostling to establish a strong presence in Africa.

This month, African leaders will head to Yokohama, Japan, for a conference on African development known as the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), which Japan convenes once every five years.

Over 50 leaders have been invited for the conference, which will take place from May 28-30.

Resolutions from the conference will be passed on to the Group of Eight ( G8 ) industrialised countries summit, which will take place in July on the island of Hakkaido in the northern most part of Japan. Japan has been courting Africa since 1993 through technical and financial assistance.

In 2006, China hosted about 50 African leaders, displaying a robust relationship centered on oil and aid.

Early this year, India also hosted African leaders and [continue reading]

source: The Sunday Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
04.05.2008 12:57:20 P

The Central Bank – Bank of Botswana – might have been credited for moving beyond text book analysis by not changing interest rates recently in the face of rising prices, but the country’s largest security company is reeling under the weight of high inflationary pressures. This week, the mid-cap Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) listed security company – G4S painted a grim trading condition in light of ever rising general prices.
“Economic and trading conditions are currently challenging,” said the company in its final results released this past week.

The company puts particular emphasis on national year-on-year inflation for the month of March, which stood at 9.8%, having gone up 80bp from the February figure of 9.0%. The report argues that at 9.8%, the rate of inflation is 3.8 percentage points above the revised medium term target of 3-6% that the central bank had set this year when unveiling its Monetary Policy.

The effect of this high level of inflation rate, the report noted, is a rise in the cost of sales which, for the company, include fuel costs for the seemingly large fleet.

As a result of high inflation, margins are expected to be under pressure in [continue reading]