Archive for May 13th, 2008

source: BOPA
12 May, 2008

LOBATSE – Woodhall Customary Court President Mr Baleseng Baseleng has advised Batswana to support new reforms initiated by President Lt General Seretse Khama Ian Khama.

Speaking during a kgotla meeting addressed by Lobatse MP Mr Nehemiah Modubule Kgosi Baleseng, who praised the reforms said it was the first time that a president put forward his objectives immediately upon ascending to the high office.

However, he said the President should guard against people that could sabotage his noble intentions.

On other issues, Kgosi Baleseng expressed disappointment at the size of BHC houses currently under construction in Lobatse.

For his part, Mr Modubule said although there had been some improvements in the threshold of parents expected to pay school fees for their children more still needed to be done.

He felt it was not fair for a child to be punished for failure by a parent to pay school fees.

He said the Education Act also needed to be amended as it [continue reading]

source: BBC News

Computer hackers have attacked the website of Zimbabwe’s state-owned Herald newspaper.

The website has been shut down since Saturday. Visitors to the site are being redirected to the website of the state-owned Sunday Mail newspaper.

The Herald is regarded as the official mouthpiece of President Robert Mugabe’s ruling Zanu-PF party.

The company’s IT Manager, Thomson Ndovi, confirmed that the newspaper had been hacked.

“We are still waiting for our service providers to give us feedback,” he told Reuters, “but we should be up and running by tomorrow”.

Headlines on the site were replaced by the word Gukurahundi.

The word refers to a campaign of mass slaughter that the government has been accused of carrying out after independence.

Human rights groups say the government killed about [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Kgomotso Kgwagaripane
11.05.2008 2:15:28 P

The First National Bank (FNB) of Botswana has introduced yet another exciting service: the Banking Sign Language Booklet, aiming at improving the communication of those with hearing impairment when they engage in banking activities.

Handing over the 15 paged booklet to the Patron of the Botswana Society for the Deaf, who is also the former President of Botswana, Festus Mogae, the Chief Executive Officer of FNB, Danny Zandamela, said the production of this booklet was a result of partnership between FNBB, Godisa Technologies Trust, Deaf employees and the Botswana Association for the Deaf.

“Godisa Technologies Trust is a non-profit enterprise established to offer hearing impaired people affordable access to [continue reading]

source: BOPA
12 May, 2008

MAHALAPYE – Inmates at Mahalapye Maximum Security Prison were pleasantly surprised Saturday when, President Lt General Seretse Khama Ian Khama paid them a visit.

His unexpected sojourn during the 50th anniversary celebration of the Department of Prisons and Rehabilitation, was greeted with cries for parole and reduced sentences.

When President Khama asked if they were well looked after and whether they would return to prison in the event of parole, the majority said they were taken care of and that they had learnt their lesson and promised to desist from a life of crime.

The prisoners showered President Khama with praises, saying the visit by a head of state was unprecedented.

One inmate, who said he has spent 16 years in jail, pleaded for his release while another said government should [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
By Kabo Mokgoabone
Staff Writer

DURBAN: Several of Botswana tourism actors, including the Botswana Tourism Board (BTB), are showcasing their products to thousands of visitors to the 2008 Tourism Indaba that started here on Friday and goes through tomorrow.

Big and small companies from tour operators to accommodation providers say they expect to get exposure from Africa’s largest tourism marketing event that rivals the World Travel Market of London and the German Internationale Tourismus-Bourse.

Sammy Mokgadi operates his African Excursions, a Maun-based tour company that specialises in cultural tours around Maun in 2006. This is the second time that he is exhibiting at the Indaba.

“When I first exhibited in 2006, my company was only four months old,” he says. “I have learnt a lot. This time I came prepared and ready.I now know my problems, but I also know which companies I am targeting.”

Mokgadi promises that since the 2010 FIFA World Cup is around the corner, he has not missed any other Indaba, except [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)

13 May 2008
Posted to the web 13 May 2008

Karima Brown
Johannesburg

AN ASTONISHING administrative oversight by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) could further delay the troubled prosecution of African National Congress (ANC) president Jacob Zuma, raising the prospect that SA’s next president could be sworn in early next year while still facing criminal charges.

The administrative lapse came to light yesterday when it emerged that the NPA – which has faced a torrent of criticism over its handling of the now seven-year-long Zuma probe – apparently failed to consult KwaZulu-Natal Judge President Vuka Tshabalala over a date for the trial. It has said publicly, however, that the trial would commence in August.

Now its plans to haul Zuma before court again appear to have gone awry.

Tshabalala said yesterday the parties would meet on Thursday to finalise a trial date, but sources said it was highly unlikely the matter would be heard this year.

A letter in Business Day’s possession, from Tshabalala to deputy director of [continue reading]

source: BOPA
12 May, 2008

FRANCISTOWN – In almost every political crisis, women and children are the victims and the post election conflict in Zimbabwe is by no means any different.

Ever since the disputed March 29 elections in the Southern African country, this section of the population has increasingly become the primary casualties as war veterans, ruling party militias and vigilantes run riot in opposition controlled areas, assaulting and intimidating them in the name of protecting Zimbabwes hard won independence.

This is at least according to the account by the many displaced Zimbabweans seeking refuge in Botswana.

According to Ms Tshawa Ncube, a middle aged mother of eight from Khezi village in Matabeleland South, Zimbabwean children and their mothers have suffered the most in the post election violence.

Our area is predominantly MDC and after the announcement of the parliamentary results the reign of terror began and our area was targeted , she explains as her [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Kgomotso Kgwagaripane
11.05.2008 2:11:11 P

Botswana Railways (BR) this week launched a new private company called BR Properties (Pty) Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of BR whose core mandate is to unlock the potential of BR’s real estate through sound property management and development practices.

Speaking at the launching ceremony held at Phakalane this week, BR Chairperson, Lesedi Moakofhi, explained that BR Properties came as a result of the Revision of the Botswana Railways Act, which allowed for commercialisation of its Land and other Properties, Commercial Exploitation of BR Land Exercise, which was carried out by a company of Independent Consultants in 2001/2, and Botswana Railways’ Turn – Around Strategy.
“The establishment of BR Properties and other subsidiary companies, which are still to be established, will go a long way in allowing Botswana Railways to focus on its core business, which is the train operation,” she noted.

She said BR Properties, a commercial subsidiary of BR, is expected to manage BR real estate with an [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
By Tumelo Setshogo
Correspondent

Opposition parties have brushed aside initiatives pronounced by President Ian Khama as presenting no threat to them. Hardly two months in office, Khama has spelled out initiatives that include, a graduate unemployment scheme under which graduates will be attached to government departments and parastatals to “to gain experience … rewarded with allowances”.

Other schemes are the creation of constituency football leagues with players paid allowances under the Botswana Football Association (BFA), the employment of youths at all ministries, during which young people are expected to explore opportunities, and the exclusion of old-age pensioners from paying hospital examination fees.

Khama started his road map of citizen empowerment with a directive that barred the Gaborone City Council (GCC) from ‘harassing’ vendors. The President said that vendors should be allocated space at Government Enclave.

Botswana National Front (BNF) spokesman Moeti Mohwasa said Khama’s initiatives are not a threat to his party. Mohwasa said the [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
UN News Service (New York)

12 May 2008
Posted to the web 13 May 2008

Africa has been the fastest growing market worldwide in communication technology over the past three years and will continue to emerge as an important market for the industry, according to the head of the United Nations International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Speaking at the opening of a major trade fair for the African telecommunications industry today in Cairo, Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General of the ITU, said the African information and communication technologies industry “is an exciting place to be. Market liberalization continues and most countries have established regulatory bodies to ensure a fair, competitive and enabling environment.” The trade fair, called “ITU Telecom Africa,” was inaugurated by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

A report released today by the ITU said that growth in Africa’s mobile telephone sector had “defied all predictions.” Africa had 65 million new subscribers in 2007 alone and mobile phone penetration has risen from just one in 50 people in 2000 to one third of the population today. Mobile phone use is now more evenly distributed across the continent. At the beginning of the century South Africa accounted for over half of all Africa’s subscribers, but by last year almost 85 per cent were in other countries.

But the report also says that growth in Internet access has not kept pace. In 2007 it is estimated there were [continue reading]

source: IOL
May 12 2008 at 02:57PM

Over 42 million bags were mishandled at airports across the world last year, Nick Gate, bag portfolio director at SITA, said on Monday.

Speaking at the Africa Aviation ICT conference of the Airport International Council, he said this figure could be reduced by introducing technology that would trace the bags and inform travellers of their whereabouts.

He said examples included using technologies such as self-service baggage tracing via kiosks, or online, to help passengers locate the exact whereabouts of their luggage at any time.

Another option would be to relay mishandled baggage information directly to passengers via their mobile phones.

“Initiatives such as this will significantly reduce the amount of time passengers have to spend searching for [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
By Thato Chwaane
Staff Writer

Women have been urged not to sit as spectators but to participate in franchising and help drive the economy forward.

Speaking at the beginning of a two-day women leadership conference held at Gaborone International Convention Centre (GICC) on Friday, Choppies’ Public Relations Division representative Ben Stegling said that only two women have so far declared their interest in participating in franchising since they made Batswana the offer.

He urged the attentively listening women, who came from all walks of life, that it was time to stand up and be counted.

Stegling said franchising has existed in Botswana since time immemorial, but then it was external franchising with various investors coming from neighbouring South Africa. He said their purpose of having franchises was to expand business portfolios and most did not look at citizen empowerment in Botswana.

Stegling said there is a need for the reordering of priorities. Explaining how franchising works, he said a franchise is an act of [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Godfrey Ganetsang
11.05.2008 2:17:10 P

The Minister of Environment Wildlife and Tourism, Kitso Mokaila, has revealed that some companies, after acquiring requisite licenses to operate industries in Botswana, have repeatedly failed to adhere to the requisite environmental monitoring practices in accordance with the environmental impact assessment proposals that they had submitted.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the international conference on paste and thickened tailings on Thursday, Mokaila said that while environmental monitoring is a key component of the construction and operation phases in industries, it has emerged that some companies continue to flout their EIAs.

He told the conference that environmental sustainability is a key component of sustainable development and the government of Botswana has acceded to and ratified a number of multilateral environmental agreements and associated protocols, several of which have a [continue reading]

EIA – Environmental Impact Assessments

source: SouthAfrica.info
Vivian Warby

12 May 2008

The Department of Home Affairs is to improve its ability to process applications for work permits for highly skilled foreign applicants in the next few months.

Public Enterprises Minister Alec Erwin said the move formed part of his department’s efforts to improve its services and to get foreign skills in to the country. The department is currently involved in actively promoting South Africa as a hub for chemical, materials, civil, structural, and mining and quality engineers from abroad.

Addressing an economic, investment and employment cluster briefing last week, Erwin said that there had been marked improvement in processing work permits for highly skilled applicants.

“The cluster has made progress on key areas in skills, the fact that the country is experiencing a tight skills availability environment re-emphasises the need not only to develop skills locally but [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Gowenius Toka
11.05.2008 1:38:29 P

The Botswana Institute of Administration and Commerce is undergoing transformation to become a Civil Service College. This, among other things, includes the phasing out of at least sixteen long courses which were previously offered by the institute. Information passed to Sunday Standard by impeccable sources revealed that for some reason, authorities have decided that the goings on at the institute remain a guarded secret.

Taboka Nkhwa, Deputy Director at the Directorate of Public Service Management, responded to the Sunday Standard thus, “Indeed, plans are on going to restore the institute back to its original objective of serving as a capacity building centre for the civil service.”

Nkhwa went on to elaborate on the historical background of the college, dating as far back as [continue reading]