Archive for June 2nd, 2008

source: Sunday Standard
01.06.2008 7:01:31 P

African Express Managing Director, Nab Graorac, upped and skipped the country last week leaving behind a company that had collapsed under millions of pula debts owed to Barclays Bank and the First National Bank Botswana.

African Express owes Barclays Bank P6 million and FNBB P3 million.
This is the second loss running into millions of Pula suffered by both banks in a space of two months.

Barclays Bank lost P70 million when another trucking company, Lobtrans, was put under provisional liquidation two months ago while FNBB lost an undisclosed amount also believed to be running into tens of millions of Pulas.
The two banks are listed on the Botswana stock exchange. For close to two weeks, Graorac has never been seen in the flesh and is believed to have holed up in Dubai.

The company’s Financial Director, Mr. Raj, and the Accountant, Chaminda Samarakodi, have also disappeared into thin air as staff members are demanding their salaries for May.

Graorac left a number of text messages to friends and staff members. In one message he states: “You may call me a [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

FRANCISTOWN: The 13 Zimbabwean companies that exhibited at the BOCCIM Northern Trade Fair (BNTF) said they hope the show will help their businesses.

All 13 companies from Zimbabwe that exhibited at BNTF belong to the Bulawayo SME Development Centre.

Small enterprise development advisor Nqobile Ncube said the centre had taken small enterprise owners under one roof to help them run their businesses more professionally. Today, member-businesses work from a building at the centre.

“We are trying to build each other up in business,” Ncube said.
“People used to run their businesses from home, but now we are under roof where everyone can see us. It is good exposure.” She added that many businesses had improved since joining the SME centre.

“It is a good thing because many of these businesses are run by [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Kgomotso Kgwagaripane
01.06.2008 6:52:50 P

The just ended 14th edition of the BOCCIM Northern Trade Fair, which was held between the 22nd and the 25th of May, under the theme ‘Making SMMEs Competent for Sustainable Economic Growth’ has been a huge success.

According to BOCCIM, the fair, held in Francistown, had more than 120 exhibitors overall. That translates to an average of a 40 percent increase in the past four years in terms of exhibitors. More floor space was taken up than that used in previous shows.

In his speech, the BOCCIM president noted that the economy of Botswana is comprised predominately of SMMEs and it is fundamental that they be nurtured so as to add value to the economy. This call seems to be achievable, judging by the number of SMMEs that turned up for the fair.

BOCCIM has also demonstrated its commitment to developing these small enterprises and [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Debswana has decided to focus on the width extension of the Jwaneng Mine pit for now, while still waiting for a detailed underground mining study.

The expansion of the pit, known as Cut 8 Extension Design, is currently being investigated and the study should be concluded next year. Cut 8 mining is expected to commence in 2011.

Debswana’s Deputy Managing Director (Technical) Sean Brennan said Tuesday that the delay of the expansion would be as a result of the Cut 8 Pit design encroaching into the plant.

“This will affect the front-end part of the existing plant, which will have to be moved,” Brennan said.

Key sustainability projects identified for the world’s richest diamond mine include the Cut 8 Pit Extension Programme, the replacement of No. 2 plant and underground mining studies.

Cut 8 mining is expected to increase production at Jwaneng from the [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Gowenius Toka
01.06.2008 6:51:38 P

DEBSWANA has migrated from being a 29 million to a 33 million carat company, and is now believed to be a 3 billion pula worth company, thus setting the year 2008 apart from the rest of the company’s financial years. This followed the presentation of the Company’s annual review at its head office in Gaborone recently.

Speaking to The Sunday Standard, in an interview shortly after presenting the report, Debswana Managing Director, Blackie Marole, said, “The outlook for 2008 looks a lot better.” However, it will not be without challenges.

Marole indicated that although the year 2007 was another high scoring year for Debswana, and that they were able to meet their target with an impressive overall diamond production of 33.4 million carats, the company’s performance was slightly lower than in 2006.

The less than satisfactory performance in that year, according to Marole, is attributable to two factors.
“First, it was due to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The Francistown City Council (FCC) has bungled a P300 million infrastructure project after the High Court dismissed its decision to award the project to Group Consult, an engineering firm.

The Gerald Estate infrastructure project remains in limbo as Group Consult, the supervising engineers were dismissed following the invalidation of the allocation by the High Court. The court order came as a result of the FCC initiating that the matter be settled by consent instead of the case going further.

On April 24, High Court Justice Maruping Dibotelo dismissed the allocation of the project, calling for a fresh tender instead. This follows a court case in which one of the tendering companies, Bothakga Burrow Botswana, was questioning the process through which the engineering group was given the job.

Last year a tender was called by the FCC for the design and supervision of the massive project, which would see the suburb of Gerald Estate equipped with social infrastructure. The project entailed [continue reading]

source: News24
01/06/2008 19:16 – (SA)

Johannesburg – South African authorities began transferring busloads of immigrants who have been sheltering in police stations from a wave of xenophobic attacks to organised tent camps, said officials.

Thabo Masebe, a spokesperson for the Gauteng provincial government, said: “Three buses have taken them from Rabie Bridge police station to a temporary shelter in Contryview, in Midrand.”,

A total of 10 camps are due to be built in the next few weeks to house up to 10 000 foreign nationals who have been forced out of their homes since an eruption of violence last month which left more than 60 people dead.

The worst of the violence was concentrated in and around Johannesburg, where foreigners have become targets of complaints by locals about high unemployment and crime levels.

While thousands of the immigrants have fled back to [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by John Regonamanye
01.06.2008 7:06:34 P

Despite the government’s efforts to entice the public to abandon smoking, the trend seems evasive with the recent World Health Organisation (WHO) studies showing that the youths are most vulnerable.

Recent studies have shown that the vast majority of smokers begin using tobacco products well before they reach the age of 18 years.

It is predicted the current pattern, if not nipped in the bud, would result in deaths of close to 250 million children and young people, most of whom would be from the developing countries.

“It is the advertising and other marketing strategies by tobacco companies that lead to experimentation in tobacco use by young people who, in the process, run the risk of becoming regular users of [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The Zimbabwe Guardian (London)

2 June 2008
Posted to the web 2 June 2008

Floyd Nkomo

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe arrived in the Italian capital, Rome on Sunday for a High-Level Conference on World Food Security and the Challenges of Climate Change and Bio-energy being held in Rome from June 3 to 5.

He touched down at 2000 GMT at Rome-Fiumicino airport

This trip is President Mugabe’s first official trip abroad since the March 29 harmonized elections.

The European Union has imposed a travel ban on President Mugabe and his cabinet, but he was allowed in Rome as the conference is taking place under a United Nations umbrella.

Around 60 heads of state and government, including Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who will be making his first trip to Western Europe as Iran’s president, are expected to meet in the Italian capital to discuss [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

This year’s main national Teachers Day event will be held at an English medium school in Palapye on June 5.

Botswana Primary Teacher Association (BPTA) president Sam Malete told Mmegi this week that since the Serowe stadium cannot be used, the event will be held at Kgaswe English Medium.

The celebrations will involve an award giving ceremony for teachers from government primary schools to colleges of education by the Minister of Education and Skills Development, Jacob Nkate.

Malete said that English medium schools were not involved because they ran their institutions differently and because their schools charge fees and hence have their own school agendas.

“We have always invited them, we have opened our arms to them,” he interjected.
He however said that the English medium schools are welcome to [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
01.06.2008 7:08:32 P

Two British policemen were in Botswana this week conducting an independent week-long investigation into allegation of perjury and cover ups surrounding the death of a 52-year-old British national, Michael McGrath, in Palapye two years ago.

Inspector Senan Ryan and Sergeant Paul Reidy conducted an interview with an individual in Botswana into an allegation of perjury. It is understood their inquiries are now completed and a file will be forwarded to the British Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in the near future.

McGrath, from Knockgarry, Mitchelstown, was found in the bathroom of the Palapye Primary Hospital on December 13, 2006, by two police officers who were stationed there to protect him from himself, an inquest held into his death in Mallow last May heard.

The inquest heard that the two police officers found McGrath with a [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Despite Boteti Joint-Venture’s AK6 project going to produce only about 1 million carats of diamonds a year, it will add to Botswana’s total production and ensure the continued position of the country as the world’s biggest producer of gem diamonds, De Beers Botswana has said.

“In comparison to Debswana production, that’s fairly small,” said De Beers Botswana’s CEO Sheila Khama in an interview. “But it secures Botswana’s position in the foreseeable future as the largest producer of gem diamonds.”

The project will increase De Beers’ own global production because what is produced in Botswana adds to the country’s market share of rough diamonds.

De Beers owns a majority stake in the Boteti JV, which is near Orapa Mine. Other partners are BSE-listed African Diamonds, and Debwat, a venture between De Beers Prospecting Botswana and a [continue reading]

source: Mining Web

Botswana’s first diamond mine that is independent of the government and De Beers will come on stream in June, with the first gem sales scheduled for July.

Author: Rodrick Mukumbira
Posted: Thursday , 29 May 2008


Australian diamond miner DiamonEx Ltd. was on Thursday readying itself for first production at its 100% owned Lerala project in Botswana, as the diamond-rich southern African country moved towards releasing its gem-mining sector from the clutches of De Beers.

All major civil works at the processing plant at the Lerala diamond mine are complete, the AIM-, ASX- and BSE-listed company announced in London on Thursday. The commissioning phase of the plant began on April 23 and would end on June 26, after which it would produce some 10,000 carats for its first gem sale scheduled for July.

During the current commissioning period, around 30,000 tons of [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Morula Morula
01.06.2008 7:04:41 P

Panganai Chakanyuka, the President of a Zimbabwe non-governmental organization (NGO), the People to People Coalition of Zimbabwe, on Friday morning praised Botswana President Ian Khama for having acted on the problems facing their country eight days after becoming the President of Botswana.

Chakanyuka said this whilst addressing a small rally attended by some Zimbabwean immigrants in Gaborone’s White City.
Besides praising Khama, he also praised Batswana in general for having given them shelter in the country when their country is facing political turmoil.

After addressing the rally, the Zimbabweans, headed by Chakanyuka, went to deliver petitions to SADC, the South African High Commission and the United Nations.

In the petition, they, amongst other things, expressed their concern on the upsurge of violence, especially in the rural areas of their country by alleged youth militias, war veterans and state agents sympathetic to [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The Herald (Harare)
Published by the government of Zimbabwe
2 June 2008
Posted to the web 2 June 2008

Itai Musengeyi

PRESIDENT Mugabe left Harare yesterday afternoon for Rome, Italy, to attend the world summit on food security convened by the United Nations food agency, Food and Agriculture Organisation.

The President was accompanied by the First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe, Agriculture Minister Cde Rugare Gumbo, senior Government and parastatal officials from organisations such as the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority.

During his absence until June 6, Vice President Joice Mujuru will be the Acting President.

The summit at FAO’s Rome headquarters will bring together heads of state and government or high-level representatives, as well as those of several UN agencies and [continue reading]