Archive for May 8th, 2008

source: BOPA
08 May, 2008

GABORONE – Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) has reserved a space for small businesses to operate in their premises in response to a government directive issued last month.

The directive issued by the Permanent Secretary to the President Mr Eric Molale directs government offices, parastatal, local authorities and wholly government companies to reserve reasonable space in the foyers and reception areas of various public buildings and offices to allow small scale caters and vendors to sell their goods.

Addressing a news conference CEDA chief executive officer Dr Thapelo Matsheka said he received the directive positively, adding that it represented the spirit of empowerment He said the informal sector had been left out therefore it was a good move for the government to assist this sector.

The informal sector, he said had been encountering problems as it was regulated and controlled hence making it difficult for street vendors to sell anywhere.

He said CEDA through Mosele Loan was looking forward to assist small businesses grow into fully fledged businesses and at the same time [continue reading]

source: SouthAfrica.info
8 May 2008

Pretoria-based Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) has secured an export contract to supply right- and left-hand-drive models of the popular Ford Ranger pickup truck to African markets.

In a statement this week FMCSA said that it began exporting the right-hand-drive variants from April and will follow with exports of left-hand-drive vehicles from July onwards.

The company expects to manufacture approximately 10 000 Rangers for export at its plant in Silverton, outside Pretoria, during the remainder of the year.

This number will increase to 24 000 Rangers for export in 2009, and to approximately 40 000 Rangers by 2010, raising the company’s total export volume to 60 000 vehicles per year.

“This is another important contract for Ford of Southern Africa, and clearly shows the confidence Ford Motor Company has in our world-class workforce and their ability to produce vehicles of international standards and quality,” said FMCSA chief executive Hal Feder.

“It also further highlights our ongoing commitment to expanding our operations and export [continue reading]

source: BOPA
08 May, 2008

FRANCISTOWN – Zimbabwean asylum seekers are torn between having to stay in Botswana and having to go home to vote in case there is a presidential election run-off.

The 200 asylum seekers, currently accommodated at the Francistown Centre for Illegal Immigrants (FCII) are concerned that President Robert Mugabe could win the run-off if rival presidential candidate Morgan Tsvangirais supporters, who fled the country, fail to return home to vote.

They told BOPA in an interview about the terrible things that happened to them at the hands of President Mugabes supporters, commonly known as war veterans, who forced them to flee.

I was the secretary for the MDC (Movement for Democratic Party) in the Ndlovu area at Kachechede ward, and I taught people around the area about the importance of voting and I also recruited people to vote for MDC, said Mr Jackson Somandla, who ran from his home in Victoria Falls.

He said a group of men who called themselves the Big Five, and who are war veterans went around looking for opposition supporters to beating them up at the instruction of ZANU-PF.

These five people are war veterans who were powerful members of the army during the liberation struggle and are intimidating and torturing Tsvangirais MDC supporters with the blessings of ZANU-PF, he said.

They are getting all the help they can, in that they are [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

7 May 2008
Posted to the web 7 May 2008

Bulawayo

In the latest blow to Zimbabwe’s wounded economy, the Botswana government has banned the export of bulk fuel to the neighbouring country. Scanty parallel market supplies are quickly running dry and transport is grinding to a halt across Zimbabwe.

Botswana’s authorities began turning back Zimbabwean fuel buyers last week at the border posts in Kasane, in the far northeast, and Maitengwe, about 130km north of Francistown, Botswana’s second city, but the main Plumtree border post, about 100km southeast of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, was still allowing single drums through.

“The move by the Botswana authorities is surprising, and as it is [being implemented] right now, I only managed to bring in a single drum of fuel, which will only give me 200 litres of petrol [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
FRASER MPOFU
Correspondence

VICTORIA FALLS: Zimbabwean fuel dealers in Victoria Falls are in a quandary after Botswana immigration officials at Kasane Border Post banned the cross-border traders from importing fuel from Botswana last week.

Over the last few years, Botswana has helped ease the fuel crisis in Zimbabwe by selling huge quantities to Zimbabwean cross-border traders.

The ban by Kasane immigration officials has already resulted in a more desperate fuel shortage in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe’s prime tourist destination.

Since Tuseday last week, Zimbabwean cross-border fuel dealers who have been driving their trucks to Kasane to haul fuel in 200-litre drums have made empty runs in both directions.

Filling stations in Kasane are only selling fuel to fill up tanks of motorists, and not containers or jerry cans any more.

“Starting Tuesday last week, fuel stations in Kasane and [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
BAME PIET
Staff Writer

Close to 70 employees of courier company, African Express boycotted work yesterday afternoon demanding to be paid their April wages. The employees told Mmegi outside their Gaborone office that they do not know whether or not they will get paid.

“We have not been paid. Our employers have not said anything to us and we keep telling our landlords that we will pay rent the following day but they have since lost patience with us,” said an employee who declined to be identified for fear of victimisation.

The employees complained that they are not getting any communication from the management about their salaries. “We are not saying we want salary increments or what. We say we want proper communication from the management so that we can make proper arrangements,” another employee said.

Other employees allege that in [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Tererai Karimakwenda
May 07, 2008

We received reports on Wednesday that hundreds of farm workers and their families have appeared by the roadsides near commercial farms outside of Harare. This coincides with reports from around the country that remaining farmers are being given 24 hours to vacate their properties.

Farmer Ben Gilpen from Justice for Agriculture, which represents evicted farmers, told us that many farmers and farm workers have been evicted in the Concession and Greendale areas outside Harare. The farm workers have nowhere to go and most are in hiding by the roadside without shelter, food or running water.

Gilpen said there has been an increase in the number of eviction orders in the last couple of days. Out of the 300 commercial farms left in the country, he believes that about 200 have had incidents since the March 29 elections.

Most of the evictions are linked to a so-called ‘political re-education’ campaign that is being carried out by the government. Gangs of ruling party youths, soldiers and resettled farmers are being used to target those areas where the opposition parties defeated the ruling party in the elections. The affected farms have not all being re-occupied. Gilpen said that it appears the government is making way for some political activity and they are making sure there is no one in those areas to witness or report on it.

Other reports on Wednesday came from [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The Namibian (Windhoek)

7 May 2008
Posted to the web 7 May 2008

Brigitte Weidlich
Windhoek

NAMPOWER has guaranteed a US$16 million loan to an unnamed Namibian company to enter into a joint venture with a Zimbabwean coal-mining enterprise.

It comes on top of the US$40 million that NamPower advanced to Zimbabwe’s coal-fired Hwange power station last year in return for 40 megawatts of electricity supply to Namibia.

John Kaimu, NamPower’s Marketing and Corporate Communications Manager, yesterday confirmed the parastatal’s role as the facilitator of the loan guarantee but declined to identify the recipient.

The loan will facilitate the anonymous Namibian company’s business with Zimbabwe’s Hwange Colliery, which supplies coal to the Hwange power station.

“It is a matter between the Zimbabweans and the Namibian company,” Kaimu said, despite probing by The Namibian.

“There is no need for [continue reading]

source: SouthAfrica.info

7 May 2008

A delegation of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Troika has left for Harare to hold discussions with authorities there and to follow up on the situation in that country.

The team from the SADC Troika headed for the Zimbabwean capital on Tuesday after holding a meeting in Luanda at the weekend.

In Zimbabwe, the delegation will meet President Robert Mugabe, main opposition party leader Morgan Tsvangirai, and members of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

The team comprises Angolan Foreign Minister João Miranda, Swaziland Foreign Minister Mathendele Dlaminie, Tanzania’s deputy minister of defence, Emmanuel Nchimbi, and SADC Executive Secretary Tomaz Salomão.

After Zimbabwe, they will travel to Lusaka to report to the SADC chairman, Zambian President Levy Mwanawassa.

The SADC is made up of 14 countries, namely Angola, South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Mozambique, Malawi, Madagascar, Mauritius, DR Congo, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

On Friday, the [continue reading]

source: News24
07/05/2008 17:26 – (SA)

Johannesburg – The new head of Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) said on Wednesday he was “quite happy” about the country’s electricity crisis, despite the power cuts and disruption, as it will result in needed change.

After being named the new president of BUSA, Brian Molefe said the problems were a “blessing” in disguise that would force policy changes and greater reliance on alternative sources of energy.

“We must place the environment first. I’m quite happy that we are being forced to think about the environment, that there is a temporary discomfort that forces us to think differently about how [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

On Monday 5th May, 2005 BTV News carried an interesting news item on the slowing population growth in Botswana, which I found not only interesting but also very challenging to our policy makers.

Social policy is always challenging even in the best of times, but even more so when the very fabric of society is under threat as is the case with our country.

In the news item the slowdown in population was attributed to people having fewer and fewer children, with the fertility rate having now declined to only three children per woman, from seven in 1981. What perturbed me about the discussion was that everybody, both the members of the public who were interviewed and the professional concentrated on the declining fertility rate and ignored the most critical factor in Botswana currently, which is mortality.

Indeed small populations can be a hindrance to development, mainly because of [continue reading]