Archive for June 13th, 2008

source: BOPA
12 June, 2008

GABORONE – The P34 million rural electrification project known as RE Botswana is still in progress says Department of Energys acting director, Mr Syril Matshameko.

Speaking in an interview, Mr Matshameko said the pilot project on rechargeable lanterns, batteries and chargers was implemented at Lorolwana in the Southern District in October last year.

The pilot project consists of a solar Photovoltaic (PV) station on which the residents recharged their solar lanterns.

Mr Matshameko said the project would commence delivery of services to rural communities in July.

If the project became successful, he said similar solar stations would be installed in other villages that might require the same services as Lorolwana.

The government, in partnership with the UNDP and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), signed an agreement in October 2005 for the implementation of the Renewable Energy-based Rural Electrification Programme called RE Botswana.

In addition, he said, the government was providing 60 per cent of [continue reading]

source: BBC News

President Robert Mugabe has warned that Zimbabwe’s war of independence veterans are ready to fight to stop the MDC gaining power, state media report.

Mr Mugabe was quoted by the Herald newspaper as saying the veterans had asked approval to take up arms but he had dissuaded them.

They said Zimbabwe was won “by the barrel of the gun” and should not be surrendered by a vote, he said.

Tensions have been high ahead of a presidential run-off poll on 27 June.

Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai gained more votes than [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Unlike the recent global food summit, this time around Botswana sent a representative to the just-ended World Economic Forum on Africa that was held in Cape Town, South Africa.

At the forum, Botswana sent the minister of Finance and Development Planning Baledzi Gaolathe. According to Serwalo Tumelo, the Permanent Secretary at the ministry, while at the forum, the minister held private meetings with business leaders and decision makers of several international companies who were interested in investment opportunities available in Botswana.

Gaolathe highlighted on the investment opportunities available in the region, particularly in respect to Botswana.

Serwalo says he briefed prospective investors on the upcoming Coal mine projects expansion to Morupule B Power Station and Mmamabula energy projects.

He further urged financial institutions, which have expressed vested interest in Botswana to collaborate [continue reading]

source: BOPA
12 June, 2008

MASUNGA – Vision 2016 pillars can be achieved through an efficient, proactive and informed workforce, says BOPEU vice-president, Mr Sikalame Seitiso.

Addressing the Masunga branch of the Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) at the end of a sponsored walk in Masunga, Mr Seitiso said the public officers should put productivity as their priority if they were to serve well the interests of their communities.

Mr Seitiso said public officers are the cream of the countrys economy, hence the need to understand their role in the running of the countrys economy.

He revealed that BOPEU is now a recognized union and not an association, adding that for a union to be functional it should at least form one third of the population of the employees employer, which is the Department of Public Service Management, DPSM.

He said so far out of the 28 000 permanent and pensionable employees of the DPSM, the Union has about 17 000, therefore qualifying to be a recognized union.

He obliterated peoples fears that the unions joining forces with [continue reading]

source: IOL
Tony Carnie
June 13 2008 at 08:42AM

Fears for the future of one of KwaZulu-Natal’s best-known game reserves have intensified with more than 2 000 people marching into the reserve to clear farming plots after having smashed down the park’s entire eastern boundary fence.

Agriculture and environment affairs MEC Mtholephi Mthimkhulu has been urged to intervene urgently after more than 11km of boundary fencing – with a replacement value of at least R800 000 – was destroyed.

The 10 000ha Ndumo reserve was proclaimed in 1924 and has been subjected to a protracted series of land claim negotiations for the past decade, culminating in a ceremony earlier this year when community ownership was recognised officially – subject to the condition that it would remain a game reserve and no physical occupation of the land would occur.

However, sources have confirmed that up to 400 people gathered on [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

The bank that styles itself as the most innovative in the land, First National Bank of Botswana (FNBB), yesterday warned its competitors that it will be officially launching an offering targeting the upper segment of the society.

The product, known as FNB Private Clients, is tailor-made to extend “exclusive solutions to affluent and high net worth clients”, and will be launched on Friday.

FNB Chief Executive Danny Zandamela says in a statement that his bank’s creation offers highly beneficial quality banking, lending and wealth management services.

“Our innovative competitive edge in Botswana gives us (the) confidence to deliver an integrated financial solution in addressing all wealth and lending needs while providing personalised quality service to our clients,” Zandamela says. “We will help our clients convert their wealth into opportunities that add value to their esteemed lifestyles.” By means of this product, clients will have access to [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)
13 June 2008
Posted to the web 13 June 2008

Wyndham Hartley
Cape Town

Hard-pressed consumers will not get any relief from soaring fuel prices through a cut in the levies on fuel , the government has decided.

The cabinet’s decision at its meeting this week follows the announcement by Minerals and Energy Minister Buyelwa Sonjica that she would investigate a reduction in the fuel levies in discussions with Finance Minister Trevor Manuel. High oil prices are one of the main drivers of inflation, which has seen the repo rate rise to 12% in the past two years.

Chief government spokesman Themba Maseko told reporters yesterday that the cabinet had discussed fuel levies at Wednesday’s meeting.

It noted that the levies, which make up almost R2 of the litre price of petrol and diesel, were a specific tax and not a percentage. This meant that the levies did not [continue reading]

source: BOPA
12 June, 2008

GABORONE – Botswanas democracy and resource wealth have created investment opportunities that need to be explored, says the Managing Director of Stanbic Bank, Mr Dennis Kennedy.

Speaking at a one-day meeting of the Botswana Economic Forum in Gaborone yesterday, he said Botswana has been identified as an investment hub.

Mr Kennedy attributed Botswanas development to prudent management of natural resources, adding that the country was now a middle-income country.

He said the democracy that prevailed in Botswana was the cornerstone of good governance and prudent economic management.

He added that the resource wealth generated by diamonds contributed immensely to the development of Botswana, particularly in the areas of education, health and infrastructure.

Mr Kennedy commended Botswana for providing a positive and friendly investment environment, and excellent level of transparency.

On the countrys economic structure, Dr Keith Jefferis of E-consult said mining contributed 58 per cent of the countrys Gross Domestic Product (GDP), adding however that the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

The Managing Director of Stanbic Bank Botswana Dennis Kennedy has told the Botswana Economic Forum (BEF) that although there are emerging democracies in the southern African region, Botswana still remains the best place to invest in.

Kennedy, who has been in the country for the past five years, said in some instances, Botswana was ahead of his native South Africa, which was competing for the same foreign direct investment (FDI). He said his experience as a banker in Botswana had been one of a pleasant surprise regarding the accessibility of cabinet ministries “who can even come to the office for a cup of coffee”.

Presenting a paper titled Running a Business in Botswana, the South African Perspective, Kennedy told the one-day forum at the GICC in Gaborone that the banking regulator, the Bank of Botswana (BoB), was also accessible. He illustrated this by the promptitude with which BoB had facilitated the transaction when [continue reading]

source: allAfrica

12 June 2008
Posted to the web 12 June 2008

George Katito

If Barack Obama is elected President of the United States, becoming the world’s most powerful leader, what difference would it make to America’s engagement with Africa? Will the son of a Kenyan do things differently from his predecessors, and will Africa benefit?

At the very least, an Obama presidency could give the U.S. an opportunity to regain the world’s trust. A new face to American power could help salvage the country’s tarnished image. This would depend on decisive action to resolve the protracted war in Iraq – a costly quagmire that has claimed over 4,000 American lives and those of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians.

It will not be an easy task. Obama’s critics argue that he is naïve and that reconciling the deep rifts in Iraq will require much more than he appreciates. Nonetheless, a change of tack in the Middle East is likely to redefine how the rest of the world, including Africa, perceives and engages with the U.S.

Apart from improving confidence in the moral authority of the United States as a global leader, the election of Obama could see the country take a stronger stance on the [continue reading]

source: IOL
Staff Reporter
June 12 2008 at 08:29PM

Components for the roof of the multibillion-rand Green Point Stadium will be delivered in two months’ time with construction of the roof beginning shortly afterwards.

On Wednesday, the first of the 72 columns set to support the roof structure reached its maximum height, said the city’s head of communications, spokesperson Pieter Cronje.

He added that the milestone coincided with the two-year mark before the 2010 World Cup was set to kick off.

“The lower columns have reached the maximum height and once all 72 columns meet their height requirements, the roof will go on,” said Cronje.

Despite initial hiccups and a growing budget shortfall, Cronje was confident that the stadium will be ready for Fifa inspection [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Opposition parties in Botswana have denounced the volatile political situation in Zimbabwe ahead of the June 27 presidential run-off.

As a result, representatives of Botswana opposition parties doubt whether the run-off will be free and fair.

Botswana National Front (BNF) publicity secretary, Moeti Mohwasa said the election would not be completely free and fair. He said the election might be free on the voting day while the events leading to the polling are unfair. But he sees the run-off as an opportunity for the government to make a decision about the country’s destiny.

He lamented a situation whereby people are being intimidated during the countdown to the run-off. Mohwasa described the Zimbabwean scenario as war-like.

He blamed the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union- Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) for the violence. “We have people who are not prepared for a change. This is the problem with a ruling party which has been in [continue reading]

source: News24
12/06/2008 19:21 – (SA)

Cape Town – President Thabo Mbeki on Thursday dismissed criticism and defended his government’s stance on Zimbabwe.

Replying in the National Assembly to points raised during the debate on his budget vote, Mbeki said there were “some farther afield from us who choose to describe us as a so-called rogue democracy … because we refuse to serve as their subservient klipgooiers (stone throwers) against especially President Robert Mugabe”.

“Given all this, government … will continue to engage the Zimbabweans to convey to them our views and feelings about any matter we believe is fundamentally or otherwise at variance with processes that must respect the will of [continue reading]

source: International Herald Tribune
By Celia W. Dugger and Alan Cowell
Published: June 13, 2008

JOHANNESBURG: The standard-bearer for Zimbabwe’s opposition was twice detained by the police on Thursday, and one of his most important deputies was arrested to face treason charges. The events underscored the daunting obstacles to campaigning against President Robert Mugabe in the two weeks before a presidential runoff.

The opposition presidential candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai, who was detained twice last week, was held up by the police twice more on Thursday in what was supposed to have been a day of rallies and campaigning, his party said.

The arrest of the deputy, Tendai Biti, was even more chilling for the party, the Movement for Democratic Change. Biti, the party’s secretary general, was swiftly apprehended at Harare’s airport on Thursday as he returned from South Africa after a self-imposed absence of two months. He will be charged with treason, a police spokesman said.

Even before his passport could be stamped, “10 men in plain clothes whisked him away,” his party said. “His whereabouts are unknown.”

Senior officials in Mugabe’s governing party, in power for 28 years, have accused Biti, a lawyer who is often the opposition’s public face, of violating the law by [continue reading]