Archive for May 29th, 2008

source: The Botswana Gazette

Speculation is that they are making way for new brooms. Five directors from the Ministry Works and Transport have been retired in an apparent clean sweep by the new government to bring in fresh blood that can deliver on projects.

The directors met with the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Kago Moshashane, recently, who broke the news to them.

They are the Director of Civil Aviation Mr. Molefe Moakufi; the Director, Road Transport and Safety, Mr. Ephraim Masimega; the Director, Roads, Mr. M.G.T. Mookodi; and the Director, Building and Engineering Services (DBES), Mr. Jimmy Modish; Mr. Andrew Lunga, CEO, Botswana Railways, will also be leaving.
All the affected departments and BR will have new heads at the end of the month when the directors leave on May 30 2008. Some of the directors have already addressed their staff about [continue reading]

source: IOL
Peter Fabricius
May 29 2008 at 07:40AM

President Thabo Mbeki has sent a four-page letter to President George Bush criticising the United States for its stance on Zimbabwe.

According to a US official quoted by Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson, Mbeki slammed the US – “in a text packed with exclamation points” – for taking sides against President Robert Mugabe and disrespecting the views of the Zimbabwean people.

“He said it was not our business,” Gerson quoted the unnamed official as saying, and “to butt out, that Africa belongs to him”. He quotes another official as saying “Mbeki lost it; it was outrageous”.

Gerson said Mbeki wrote the letter to Bush in April, after the March 29 elections in which Mugabe’s ruling Zanu-PF lost its parliamentary majority to the Movement for Democratic Change and Mugabe came second to MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai in a four-way race in the presidential poll.

But because Tsvangirai did not get over 50 percent of the vote, he must face Mugabe again in [continue reading]

source: News24
29/05/2008 08:24 – (SA)
Staff Reporters, Beeld

Cape Town – The government was to announce on Thursday that camps would be set up countrywide for the victims of xenophobic attacks.

However, the camps would not be referred to as refugee camps because of the negative connotations of such a name worldwide.

From what Beeld was able to gather, the Cabinet met until about 17:00 on Wednesday to discuss the proposed camps, among other things.

This came after a meeting on Monday between President Thabo Mbeki, the Cabinet committee which was established to deal with the matter, and provincial premiers.

Mbeki was to meet UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres in Japan on Thursday where the crisis would be discussed.

Exact details of the plan could not be confirmed officially on Wednesday, but [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

While overall diamond production for Debswana Diamond Company was lower in 2007, increased sales volumes and depreciation in the average US dollar/Pula exchange rate saw the group’s revenue increase by 3 percent.

Debswana produced 33.8 million carats in 2007, compared to 34.3 million carats in 2006.

Despite this decline in carat production, revenue for the group increased to P18 billion compared to P17, 4 billion over the same period last year.

Increased sales volumes reached a record level of 34.9 million carats as a result of high opening stock levels for the year.

“Although we scored slightly less than 2006, we met our target with impressive overall diamond production,” the company’s managing director Blackie Marole said yesterday during the company’s annual review launch.

Persistent diamond market pressure and the continued decline of [continue reading]

source: The Botswana Gazette

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA), Dr Tebogo Matome, has said SMMEs are the most likely way through which citizens can own the country’s private sector.
Speaking at the Botswana Confederation of Commerce Industry and Manpower (BOCCIM) trade fair in Francistown, Matome said ownership stakes in the private sector, as opposed to mere employment, is the bedrock of any country’s “citizen economic empowerment policy” and can achieve the objective of economic growth and development.

He said for the SMME sector to achieve growth they need access to markets, both in the public and private sector. When officially opening the BOCCIM Northern Trade Fair in Francistown noted that besides being the core of ‘citizen economic empowerment’ SMMEs are important because they help the country achieve economic diversification.

The BOCCIM Northern Trade Fair has now become a permanent feature in the calendar of the business community of Botswana and attracts exhibitors from outside the country. This year’s theme was “Making SMMEs Competent for Sustainable Economic Growth”.

Matome’s LEA is charged with leading the national effort to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

FRANCISTOWN: The new liquor laws that were intended to arrest alcohol intake among Batswana seem to be doing just the opposite.

People in Francistown have started to binge on alcohol in order to beat the reduced hours.

Besides the new liquor laws increasing the intake of alcohol, shebeen and tavern businesses are getting boosted because the new laws do not seem to apply to them.

On Sundays, instead of people trying to take it easy at home, they are at the bars at exactly three o’clock scrambling to buy a beer. Bar owners and shebeen queens admit that they have seen a sudden change since the new laws became effective on April 1.

A shebeen queen in block 4, Francistown who chose to remain anonymous says that there definitely has been a change.

“Usually, people only came to me after the bars or night clubs had closed and that was really late and now people come earlier,” she said. She said that on Sundays people could even come as early as seven in [continue reading]

source: IOL
May 28 2008 at 04:59PM

The government has denied deciding to set up refugee camps for foreigners displaced by xenophobic violence.

Reports suggesting such a move were “baseless and therefore not true”, Government Communications said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Government has noted with concern media reports that Cabinet has taken a decision to establish refugee camps. Government wishes to put it on the record that Cabinet has not taken such a decision and that the reports are baseless and therefore not true.”

An announcement on the government’s position would be made at a news briefing on Thursday to report on this week’s fortnightly Cabinet meeting.

Earlier in the day the home affairs department said centres housing displaced foreigners were “temporary shelters” and not “refugee camps”.

Spokeswoman Siobhan McCarthy told Sapa:”We are not [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Vice President, Mompati Merafhe says some outdated government policies which slow down the development of the citizens should be scrapped.

Addressing a Kgotla meeting in Kanye on Friday, Merafhe said that government wanted to do away with some bureauctratic processes which have slowed down in service delivery.

“We cannot be prisoners of our own laws and regulations which were formulated back in the past when they were effective. If there are any regulations or policies that are making things difficult for us, then we either have to amend them or do away with them because they might not be addressing the challenges we are facing today,” Merafhe said.

The vice president also told the gathering that President Ian Khama had mandated him to see to it that development projects are completed on time and that ministries and departments perform.

He said that government is concerned about some ministries who [continue reading]