Archive for May 16th, 2008

source: BOPA
15 May, 2008

RAMOTSWA – Dilapidated building and poor working environment of staff at Ramotswa Border Gate are a cause for concern, the Assistant Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Mr Samson Guma, said.

Addressing staff at the border post, Mr Guma blamed senior officials for not addressing issues at the border, adding that they had no excuse for not upgrading the border gate.

Mr Guma said it was annoying because every time funds were returned to the ministry while people were still using old and dilapidated buildings not conducive for working environment.

He said immigration officers looked like police detectives because they did not have uniform for identification purposes.

He added that what also disturbing was that the officers had no sense of urgency and pride in their work.

He said their offices were untidy and there was tall grass all over the premises. Mr Guma said the condition of the border offices showed that people were not properly assisted at the border.

He told the border post staff that the situation gave a wrong impression to Botswana visitors who [continue reading]

source: allAfrica

16 May 2008
Posted to the web 16 May 2008

The second round of Zimbabwe’s presidential elections, in which the first-round winner, Morgan Tsvangirai, will challenge President Robert Mugabe, will be held on June 27.

News agencies reported on Friday that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission announced the election date in an extraordinary government gazette.

The gazette said: “It is hereby notified that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission with the approval of the Minister of Justice made the following notice: a poll shall be taken on Friday, June 27, 2008, for the purpose of electing a person to the Office of President.”

The chairman of the commission, Justice George Chiweshe, told the state-run Herald newspaper on Thursday that it [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Former president Festus Mogae will by end of this year be working with Archbishop Desmond Tutu of the Anglican Church of South Africa, former Mozambican president Joachim Chissano, and the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner environmentalist Wangari Maathai of Kenya.

Senior private secretary to Mogae Oteng Tebape confirmed that they are working on establishing an Elders’ Council on HIV/AIDS that will work with regional leaders on AIDS issues. “Consultations are still ongoing and we hope the council will include as many prominent people as possible,” he said yesterday.

He said that the World Bank, UN AIDS, Prevention of Environmental Pollution from Agricultural Activities (PEPFA), and other international organisations will be sponsoring the [continue reading]

source: BOPA
15 May, 2008

MAHALAPYE – The Assistant Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Duke Lefhoko says the new administration intends to move from a bureaucratic to a corporate administration.

Addressing heads of various government departments in Mahalapye on Monday, at the beginning of a tour of his Shoshong constituency, Mr Lefhoko said to achieve this, managers should cascade messages geared towards improving service delivery on to the least junior officer.

He stressed the need to adopt the Presidents road map premised on democracy, development, discipline and dignity, saying it should apply to all equally. He said the public service should be performance oriented.

Mr Lefhoko highlighted the importance of citizen empowerment, adding that his ministrys core function is the growth of the countrys economy.

In addition, he underscored the need to understand that citizen economic empowerment is a [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Pushed by rising fuel and food prices, the inflation rate for April soared to double digits, the Central Statistics Office reported yesterday.

The national year-on-year inflation rate stood at 11.1 percent for April, up by 1.3 percentage points on the March rate of 9.8 percent.

The inflation figures are now way above the 4 to 6 percent target band that Bank of Botswana (BoB) has set in its new short- to medium-term monetary policy objective.

Government Statistician Annah Majelantle says in the Consumer Price Statistics Bulletin that the Urban Villages’ inflation rate rose by 1.5 percentage points, from 9.5 percent in March to 11.0 percent in April.

The rural villages’ inflation rate stood at 9.8 percent in April, up by [continue reading]

source: IOL
May 16 2008 at 12:34PM

Eskom has awarded a R2,9-billion contract to a consortium of SA companies for the construction of the main civil works at its Medupi Power Station in Limpopo, the utility said on Friday.

A consortium made up of Murray and Roberts; Grinaker-LTA Civil Engineering and Concor was awarded the contract.

“Medupi will be the biggest dry-cooled power station in the world with a capacity of 4 800 megawatts,” said Brian Dames, Eskom’s Chief Officer for Generation.

The first unit is scheduled for completion in 2012 and the entire station is scheduled to be [continue reading]

source: BOPA
15 May, 2008

GABORONE – Botswana has reaffirmed its commitment towards a comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

Speaking at the Europe Day celebrations, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr Phandu Skelemani said the agreements had saved Botswanas trade with the European Union, in particular the beef industry.

He said it was Botswanas hope that all parties in the process of negotiations would be happy with the outcome.

We continue to support the principal that the EPA should encourage regional integration and support our developmental efforts.

Mr Skelemani said this can only be done if the process respects the already existing integration institutions in the SADC region and contributes to the milestones and programmes that the bloc has set out to achieve.

He said the BotswanaEU partnership has contributed in developing sectors such as human resource, tourism, trade promotion and the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

The country must brace for persistent power outages in the next four to six weeks. That was the gist of Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Ponatshego Kedikilwe’s briefing broadcast over the public media yesterday morning.

Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) spokesperson, Thomamiso Selato confirmed that indeed the load shedding measures were mainly brought about by the shutdown of one of Botswana’s major electricity suppliers, the Cahora Bassa power station.

The Mozambican power utility had to carry out major maintenance from May 9 until the 31st. Cahora has [continue reading]

source: The Botswana Gazette

The Commonwealth is providing technical assistance to help set up a modern free economic trade zone in a bid to diversify Botswana’s economy.

The proposed trade zone is in line with Botswana’s National Development Plan of Action, which aims to generate more employment, stimulate local business development, and contribute to poverty alleviation and sustainable development.

It is anticipated that establishment of the Free Zone (FZ)/Special Economic Zone (SEZ) will help attract more investment into the country and reduce Botswana’s economic dependence on its mining sector, notably diamonds.

FZs/SEZs are designated areas within a country where barriers to trade including tariffs as well as bureaucratic requirements are eliminated or minimized in the hope of [continue reading]

source: International Herald Tribune
The Associated Press
Published: May 15, 2008

HARARE, Zimbabwe: The presidential runoff between President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai will be held by July 31, election officials said — but the opposition insisted Thursday that it should be next week.

An official government notice issued late Wednesday extended the deadline for holding the runoff to 90 days — beyond the legally required 21 days — after the release of election results, The Herald newspaper, a government mouthpiece, reported Thursday.

Tendai Biti, secretary-general for Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change, called that decision “irresponsible.”

“This country cannot afford 90 days” of more violence and instability and deteriorating economic conditions, he said Thursday.

The electoral commission notice said Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa is empowered under election laws to extend the original 21-day period for a runoff to 90 days. The original 21 days would end May 24. The opposition has [continue reading]

source: IOL
May 15 2008 at 05:56PM

By Paul Simao

The corruption case of Jacob Zuma, leader of South Africa’s ruling party, will not begin on August 4 as previously scheduled, one of his defence lawyers said on Thursday.

Delaying Zuma’s trial will increase the likelihood of it overlapping with a 2009 general election, heightening political instability in Africa’s economic powerhouse. Zuma, head of the African National Congress (ANC), is the frontrunner to succeed President Thabo Mbeki.

“The perception was that on the fourth of August, Mr. Zuma’s trial would commence. That clearly is not going to be the case,” Michael Hulley said after lawyers for the ANC leader met prosecutors and a senior judge to discuss a start date.

Hulley said there were “other matters” that needed to be dealt with before Zuma could go on trial for fraud, bribery, money-laundering and other charges connected to [continue reading]

source: The Botswana Gazette

Delta Dairies Claims 10% Local Market

The establishment of Delta Dairies has lit hopes of Botswana exporting milk in the near future.
This comes at a time when Botswana is importing both powdered and liquid milk from neighbouring South Africa – there were no producers of UHT milk in Botswana and all existing dairy companies, including international brands Clover and Parmalat, have been importing milk from South Africa.

According to John O’Rahilly, Delta Dairies Managing Director, “over the past six years the two international companies have imported 38,9 million litres of milk, which represents a 200% growth over the same period.”
He noted that opportunities for export are [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Canadian junior exploration company Hana Mining has announced that results from ten new holes completed as part of its ongoing 10, 000 meter diamond drilling program at its sediment-hosted Ghanzi Copper-Silver Project, confirm large potential of the prospect.

The company announced last Friday in a statement that all 10 holes intersected copper-silver mineralisation in two zones. Three of the holes, HA-17, 18 and 19-D were drilled along a 200 meter strike length in Zone 1 and the remaining seven, HA-20-D and HA-22 to 27-D, were drilled along a 300 meter strike length in Zone 2 to the south-west. These two zones are located approximately 13km apart.

Company president Peter Wilson states: “This is an exceptional mineralised system and our drill results are beginning to show the tremendous upside potential of [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)

16 May 2008
Posted to the web 16 May 2008

Linda Ensor
Cape Town

On the eve of a top-level summit today called to deal with SA’s electricity crisis, power utility Eskom appears to have lost support even from the government in its plea for an immediate and drastic 53% hike in electricity tariffs.

Instead, the government has shifted towards supporting a cash injection for the utility to permit five years of smaller, incremental hikes.

The emerging consensus between the government, business, labour and the African National Congress and its allies — that a sudden price shock would deliver irreparable harm to the economy and add significantly to inflation and interest rates — crystallises a groundswell of opposition to Eskom’s perceived high-handedness.

Though the final decision on the price hikes ultimately rests with the [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Tererai Karimakwenda
May 14, 2008

The governor of Zimbabwe’s Reserve Bank, Gideon Gono, has been showing his true colours recently. Just weeks after it was reported that Gono sits on the board of the Joint Operations Command (JOC) that is running the country and sponsoring the violence, it has been reported that he seized shares worth about Z$6.5 quadrillion, that were held on the stock market by the government-owned POSB bank.

According to the ZimOnline news site, Gono took the shares last Friday after threatening to fire POSB chief executive Admore Kandlela if he resisted the takeover. The report said Kandlela had earlier warned Gono that the POSB would collapse if he took the shares. After writing about the attempt to the Ministry of Finance, he was advised not to release the shares and this allegedly made the RBZ chief furious. Kandlela and POSB chairman Tim Chiganze were summoned to Gono’s office last Thursday.

ZimOnline say that in this meeting Gono threatened Kandlela and [continue reading]