Archive for June 12th, 2008

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The crime situation in Botswana is so serious that people’s homes have been turned into prisons as criminals are holding them hostage, President Ian Khama has said.

He was officially opening the annual senior police officers seminar in Gaborone yesterday. The president said that police weekly reports indicate that there is an urgent need for police to review the operational effectiveness of its crime management strategies.

“Crimes of a violent and intrusive nature have contributed to feelings of insecurity and as a result people are becoming prisoners in their own homes. Houses around the city are hidden behind walls and electrified fences. I have observed the same in rural areas during my tour of villages. Unfortunately, a majority of our citizens cannot afford such facilities as a result find themselves at the mercy of these criminals,” he said.

Khama said that people can only enjoy their freedoms when there is peace and security, adding that their confidence in the law enforcement to protect their lives and property is critical. He said for the nation to attain a higher level of socio-economic development, his government has committed itself to [continue reading]

source: News24
12/06/2008 09:26 – (SA)

Johannesburg – South Africa has legislation in place and has a proven capacity to prosecute offenders in line with its anti-terror obligations, government news agency BuaNews reported on Wednesday.

This follows the conclusion on Monday of an eight-day visit by the UN’s Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED).

The visit was aimed at assessing the country’s legislation, enforcement capacity and national systems to implement anti-terror obligations.

Foreign Affairs Chief Director for UN Political Affairs, Xolisa Mabhongo told a press briefing that he could not discuss the full contents of the report as is was still to be submitted to the UN Security Council for discussion.

However, he said, the delegation had noted South Africa was party to 13 universal conventions on terrorism, has national legislation in place and has a proven capacity to prosecute offenders as demonstrated by specific cases discussed during the visit.

“This shows that our government is committed to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

For the first time ever, Botswana’s foreign exchange reserves have exceeded US$ 10 billion while the Bank of Botswana has netted P2.98 billion in income.

The unprecedented growth was attributed to a “buoyant” balance of payments by the Governor of the Bank of Botswana Linah Mohohlo when she presented the central bank’s Annual Report for 2007 to the media yesterday.The forex reserves rose by 22.5 percent year-on-year to USD 9.8 billion at the end of last year.

In Pula terms, the reserves stood at P58.5 billion, which translated into a 26-month import cover. “The increase of reserves in Pula terms also reflected the effect of the depreciation of the Pula against major international currencies,” the report says.

Despite the direct payments in foreign currency of Debswana’s tax, royalties and other obligations to the Government into BoB’s accounts overseas, commercial banks’ net sales of foreign exchange to BoB still contributed to [continue reading]

source: IOL
Patrick Hlahla
June 12 2008 at 08:25AM

A total ban on alcohol advertising will not solve the problems associated with alcohol abuse, according to the Industry Association for Responsible Alcohol Use (ARA).

ARA’s spokesperson Adrian Botha said: “We don’t believe a simple ban will solve the problem.

“We believe that there should be a code to regulate the liquor industry.”

ARA was founded over 20 years ago by the major manufacturers of alcohol beverages in South Africa. It is a non-profit organisation registered with the department of welfare, and is focused on the prevention of negative consequences of alcohol abuse.

Botha told the National Press Club that while ARA believed that advertising did not impact on overall consumption or misuse – and is supported by international research in this regard – the organisation deems it necessary to follow a strict self-regulatory code.

“Effective self-regulation is essential to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Captains of industry are converging on the Gaborone International Conference Centre (GICC) for the first Botswana Economic Forum (BEF) today.

The forum, which is organised by Capital Securities, will bring senior executives of international and regional companies to investigate possibilities of establishing subsidiaries or operating companies in Botswana. Presentations will be made by eminent executives of blue-chip companies and ministers of state.

Speakers lined up for the one day event include Rizwan Desai of Collins Newman & Company who will address the forum on Key Features of Botswana Corporate Law, and the managing director of Econsult Dr Keith Jefferis who will address the symposium on Why Botswana’s Credit Rating is Better than Japan’s.

Dennis Kennedy, the managing director of Stanbic Bank Botswana, will speak on Running a Business in Botswana – the South African Perspective; while the managing director of [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The Monitor (Kampala)
12 June 2008
Posted to the web 12 June 2008
Rodney Muhumuza

Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe must quit the presidency if he loses to opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai in the run-off election, President Yoweri Museveni said yesterday.

“If he loses elections he must go. How can you stay without winning elections? It’s impossible,” Mr Museveni told the BBC’s Network Africa programme, arguing that it is important for Mr Mugabe to have “the permission of the population” if he’s to stay at the helm.

Asked if the conditions in Zimbabwe are conducive for a free and fair election, Mr Museveni said: “Not at all.”

It was the first time that Mr Museveni has spoken out in terms not exactly sympathetic to the Zimbabwean leader, who has ruled the southern African nation since independence in 1980. Both presidents are former Marxists, and it is said that Mr Museveni has a lot of admiration for Mr Mugabe.

Mr Museveni, who came to power in 1986 after an armed struggle, has sometimes been compared to Mr Mugabe, who is [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Preventing HIV transmission through blood transfusion is almost 100 percent effective in Botswana, Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary (PS) Newman Kahiya has said.

Kahiya said at the handing over of the National Blood Transfusion Centre in the Main Mall on Monday that there is screening of all donated blood for HIV and other infectious diseases. He said that blood donations are collected from low risk, non-remunerated and voluntary donors. Kahiya said the service ensures that lives are saved through the provision of safe and adequate blood supply. He said since the inception of Blood Safety Project, the collection centres were moved from hospitals to rented premises in the malls where the population was denser and the environment more homely for donors than in hospitals.

“The opening of this custom-built centre will therefore relief government of this financial burden at a time when rentals in prime areas are practically unaffordable,” he said. Through the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) programme, US $4 million has been channelled in support of Botswana’s blood safety programme. Kahiya said blood collections have increased steadily over [continue reading]

source: Engineering News
By: Reuters
Published: 11 Jun 08 – 17:59

Botswana’s economic growth is robust but it remains too dependent on mining, and high transport and communication costs are hampering diversification, delegates said at the inaugural Botswana Economic Forum on Wednesday.

The southern African country’s economy expanded by 6,1 percent in 2006/07, with the mining sector growing by 5,2 percent and non-mining by 6,8 percent.

Mining – Botswana is the world’s biggest producer of diamonds – contributes 42 percent to growth domestic product. Diamonds made up 52 percent of total exports in 2007 and nickel 19 percent.

The government is trying to diversify the economy, to reduce its [continue reading]

Botswana appreciative

source: BOPA
10 June, 2008

GABORONE – Botswana appreciates the support and developmental assistance it has received from the United States of America, says the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr Phandu Skelemani.

Speaking at a farewell dinner for the outgoing US Ambassador, Mrs Katherine Caravan, Mr Skelemani said during her short assignment, Mrs Caravan acquainted herself with Botswanas challenges. He added that as a result, the outgoing ambassador had been able to make contributions where it really mattered.

Notable among your contributions has been your tireless efforts towards the fight against the HIV/AIDS scourge, he said.

Mr Skelemani said Mrs Canavans contributions coupled with those of other US non-governmental organisations such as the Harvard University and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, helped the government to reverse the negative impacts of the HIV/AIDS scourge.

He said while the government was satisfied with the state of the bilateral relations between the two countries, it was mindful of the need and importance to work even harder to consolidate the relations into a [continue reading]

source: News24
11/06/2008 17:13 – (SA)
Michael Hamlyn

Cape Town – Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka told members of parliament on Wednesday that the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (AsgiSA) is making progress in major areas of work, and will make progress “in some key areas”.

Speaking in the National Assembly during the debate on the budget of the presidency the deputy president said that infrastructure has always been a cornerstone of AsgiSA.

“We are glad that visible progress has been made in the areas of building or refurbishing power stations, new stadiums for 2010, airports, railway lines, railway stations, harbours, hospitals, pipelines and telecommunications cables,” she said.

“We are buying and building hundreds of railway locomotives and railway lines, harbour equipment, electronic road management systems, turbines and [continue reading]

source: News24
11/06/2008 11:45 – (SA)

Mumbai – Education is a weapon against poverty, ANC president Jacob Zuma told Indian children from poor households in Mumbai, India on Wednesday.

Zuma was speaking at a graduation ceremony at the Gandhi Institute of Computer Education and Information Technology at the conclusion of his three-day visit to India.

The aim of the visit was to strengthen relations between the ANC and the Indian National Congress Party.

“We have taken a resolution in our country to invest heavily in education, including information and technology,” Zuma said.

“We see a lot of areas of collaboration with India in this regard given the strides this country is making in information and communications technology”.

Zuma said that he also came from a [continue reading]

source: BOPA
10 June, 2008

MOLEPOLOLE – Batswana have been urged to preserve their cultural music for future generations, the Councillor for Loologa in Molepolole, Mr Motlhophi Leo, said during the cultural festival in Molepolole on Saturday.

Various cultural music groups from Kweneng, Kgatleng, Gaborone and Southern districts competed horns in tsutsube, hosana and setapa genres in preparation for president day celebrations.

Mr Leo said the festival was part of the preparations for the Presidents day to be held next month, He said Batswana should show their talents through dancing, singing and poetry in their respective villages and settlements.

Cllr Leo thanked the President, Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama, for encouraging culture in all aspects.

He stated that cultural music shows how Batswana earned their living and how they are related to their environment.

The chairperson of Ngwaoleshalaba, Mr Tsogo Bonang, said Batswana should venture into cultural music industry to [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The Herald (Harare)
Published by the government of Zimbabwe
11 June 2008
Posted to the web 11 June 2008

Jeffrey Gogo And Martin Kadzere

GOVERNMENT has raised the income tax-free threshold from $1 billion to $25 billion a month, up 25-fold, and expanded higher tax bands by between 25-fold and 75-fold as it seeks to continue protecting disposable incomes of workers against runaway inflation.

The new measures, which took effect on June 1, will release approximately $67 000 trillion into the hands of workers for the next seven months, at current tax rates.

Finance Minister Dr Samuel Mumbengegwi said yesterday that the tax relief measures took into account effects of rising prices on the real value of individual incomes.

According to the tax outline released by the Finance Ministry yesterday, the first $25 billion of everyone’s salary or wages for this month, regardless of the total, will not be taxed and the next $25 billion will be taxed at 25 percent.

The second $50 billion will be taxed at 30 percent, widening this [continue reading]

source: The Zimbabwe Guardian
Floyd Nkomo
Wed, 11 Jun 2008 00:00:00 +0000

THE opposition Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai has dismissed press reports of a national unity government (GNU), saying he was confident to win the June 27 runoff presidential election against President Robert Mugabe despite the violent political environment currently gripping the country.

South Africa’s Business Day newspaper reported on Tuesday that Zanu PF and the MDC-T were in crisis talks that could lead to cancellation of the run-off.

This statement was dismissed by the MDC-T leader.

Tsvangirai, in a press release sent to the Zimbabwe Guardian yesterday, rejected calls by sections of the civil society and opposition that the June 27 run-off election be cancelled because of the escalating violence.

Tsvangirai said: “There has been growing momentum on the question of a government of national unity. Speculation is rife on this issue with some saying negotiations are taking place. Others say the agreement has already been signed. Nothing can be further from the truth.

“Since the announcement of the election date for [continue reading]

source: News24
11/06/2008 15:28 – (SA)

Johannesburg – Levels of violence in the approach to Zimbabwe’s run-off presidential election on June 27 are a cause for “serious concern”, says President Thabo Mbeki.

“We are at one with SADC (Southern African Development Community) and most of the international community that the incidents of violence and reported disruption of electoral activities of some of the parties are a cause for serious concern and should be addressed with all urgency,” he told parliamentarians.

Mbeki is the 14-nation SADC regional bloc’s chief mediator on Zimbabwe, where opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is hoping to unseat veteran President Robert Mugabe in just over a fortnight.

His reluctance to publicly criticise Mugabe has infuriated Tsvangirai who has called for the South African to be stripped of his role.

According to the MDC, more than 60 of its supporters have been killed since the first round of the election at the end of [continue reading]