Archive for May, 2008

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The Assistant Minister of Finance Guma Moyo has said the growing incidence of financial crime in Botswana should not be overlooked.

Officially opening the latest entrant into Botswana’s commercial banking industry, Capital Bank, Moyo warned criminals that a Financial Intelligence Agency would soon be established to deal with them.

He added that infact the Bill preceding the law establishing the agency was already being drafted.

Under the proposed Act, banks and other reporting agencies will be required to report suspicious transactions to the Agency for analysis after which suspicious ones will be forwarded to the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) for further investigation.

Moyo said there is already the [continue reading]

source: News24
29/05/2008 20:11 – (SA)
Michael Hamlyn

Cape Town – Public Enterprises Minister Alec Erwin has denied that South Africa increased its exports of electricity in the first three months of this year, saying that in fact exports fell by 8%.

At the same time, he said, imports also fell.

Speaking in Parliament, Erwin explained that the drop in supplies came about because of technical factors.

The first involved transmission network problems in both Zambia and Zimbabwe.

A second major problem was that Eskom’s Apollo converter station, which receives the power generated at Cahora Bassa in northern Mozambique, was taken out of service for refurbishment.

Giving a written reply on Thursday to a question from Lance Greyling of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The Bank of Botswana (BoB) yesterday silenced its critics when it responded to rising inflation with an increase in its benchmark rates by half a percentage point or 50 basis points.

Through a spokesperson, the central bank said it was taking a proactive stance by tightening monetary policy with the objective of containing second-round effects and inflation expectations in order to sustain a low medium-term inflation path.

The 50 basis points increase means the Bank Rate has moved from 14.50 percent to 15 percent with effect from Monday this week.

The Bank noted that the risks to the inflation outlook were predominantly upward, due to, among others, growing pressure on demand with a likely further increase in fuel prices and associated second-round effects.

“Since October 2007, inflation has trended upwards and has [continue reading]

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]

source: BOPA
26 May, 2008

GABORONE – Big businesses have been urged to buy their basic needs from the Small Medium and Micro Entreprises (SMMEs) to help them evolve into large-scale enterprises.

Officially opening Botswana Confederation of Commerce Industry and Manpower (BOCCIM) Northern Trade Fair in Francistown, Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) chief executive, Dr Tebogo Matome, said large businesses can buy goods like horticultural produce, bread, candles and many others locally.

I do appreciate that the excuse which is normally given by large businesses, including chain stores, is that the quality of output from local SMME is below par.

If these large businesses really want to be solid corporate citizens then they must also work with BOCCIM and LEA in strengthening the SMMEs from whom they genuinely wish to procure their inputs.

Dr Matome also encouraged government, local authorities, parastatals to enhance their [continue reading]

Taxi fares rise

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Combi fares, and other public transport rates are set to rise this week. The Minister of Works and Transport, Johnny Swartz, released the new rates which should have become effective yesterday.

According to the ministry’s new rates, a combi trip will be P3.00, up from P2.50. A shared taxi will cost P3.60 up from P3.00. A special taxi trip, P18.00 from P15.00. Furthermore, bus operators on tarred roads will charge 13.58 thebe per kilometre up from 13.32, and those on gravel to sandy roads will charge 15.55 thebe per kilometre, an increase from 12.96.

Under the new system, a trip from Gaborone to Francistown is set to cost anything up to P57.00, while a trip to Maun will cost P135. Transport operators have been charging P51 to Francistown and P104 to Maun.

Although transport operators are generally free to set their own prices, the price range set [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Tichaona Sibanda
27 May 2008

SADC leaders are to meet on the sidelines of a conference in Japan to discuss the current political instability in the region and the deployment of election observers to monitor the second round of the presidential poll in Zimbabwe.

The SADC leaders will be among 40 heads of state and governments from Africa meeting in Japan’s oldest port city of Yokohama, for a three-day conference on African development.

The summit starts Wednesday and finishes on Friday. Robert Mugabe will not attend the conference despite the fact that the Japanese government invited him. He’ll be represented by his foreign affairs Minister, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi.

Glen Mpani is the regional co-ordinator in the Cape Town based Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, and he said the time to pretend that all was well in the SADC bloc was long gone.

‘It’s now an open secret that problems in Zimbabwe have also helped inflame the crisis of xenophobic attacks in South Africa. By allowing the crisis in Zimbabwe to drag on for years, SADC leaders and in particular Mbeki have realised they left the crisis to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Listed property concern PrimeTime Holdings, is to acquire a letting enterprise of Tati Company Limited for P75 million following shareholders’ approval at their recent extraordinary general meeting (EGM).

The majority holders of PrimeTime, which was listed on the domestic bourse late last year, sanctioned the deal, which involves three properties in Francistown. “At an extraordinary general meeting held on May 14, the three resolutions were passed by the majority of unit holders.

“Firstly, it was resolved that the letting enterprise Tati, which consists of Barclays Plaza, Blue Jacket Square and Nswazi Mall, will be acquired for P75 million. This amount is to be settled by way of the issue and allotment to Tati Company Limited of 25,600,000 linked units at a value of 125thebe each and P43 million on top,” said a company statement.

The linked units comprise one ordinary share and one debenture while PrimeTime will fund the remaining P43 million with P32 million from its [continue reading]