Archive for June 16th, 2008

source: BOPA
16 June, 2008

GABORONE – Botswanas tax system for rich people is similar to that of London because of the non-domiciled regime for expatriates, a move that eventually results in financial success, the Minister of Finance and Development Planning said.

Speaking at the inaugural Botswana Economic Forum, Mr Baledzi Gaolathe said Botswana was well ahead of other countries as exchange controls were abolished 10 years ago.

Our taxation system for individuals is on a source basis as opposed to the more common global basis. He said capital gains made outside of Botswana or income generated outside the country did not, for foreign investors, fell into the Botswana tax net.

He told participants that [continue reading]

source: The Zimbabwe Guardian
Floyd Nkomo
Mon, 16 Jun 2008 00:46:00 +0000

THE United Kingdom has launched its strongest attack yet on the Zimbabwean government and is reportedly drawing up a contingency plan to be adopted if the Movement for Democratic Change leader does not win the June 27 election, the Zimbabwe Guardian has learnt.

According to UK press reports Sunday, the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is lobbying the Southern African region to consider sanctions against President Robert Mugabe’s government in the aftermath of the run-off presidential election if the MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, does not win the election.

According to a report in The Times newspaper on Sunday the FCO “is hoping to persuade Zimbabwe’s neighbours to create an economic blockade. Vital imports have to come through Mozambique and South Africa.”

Britain and its allies — who have been blamed by President Mugabe for seeking regime change in Zimbabwe — are trying to mobilize regional leaders to [continue reading]

source: BOPA
16 June, 2008

GABORONE – Political analyst and UB political science lecturer, Dr. Zibani Maundeni, says the time has come for SADC leaders to apply more pressure on Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe.

Dr Maundeni was speaking in an interview with BOPA, in reaction to South African President Thabo Mbekis recent statements expressing concern about reports of violence against members of opposition parties in Zimbabwe.

Dr. Maundeni says recent statements by South African President Thabo Mbeki show that President Mbeki has now recognised the need for a change of strategy when dealing with Zimbabwe.

Perhaps President Mbeki thought he would be able to negotiate the process with Mugabe, but we hope he [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Developers of the Mmamabula Energy Project say negotiations for the development of a Trans-Kalahari Rail (TKR) link and coal port terminal in Namibia are at an advanced stage.

The CEO of Bon Terra Mining Eddie Scholtz told the Botswana Economic Forum on Wednesday that the TKR link and port were at concept study and will be presented to the governments of Botswana and Namibia on completion.

The railway line and the seaport will form the basis of the export of coal from Botswana to Namibia and beyond. Scholtz said he did not foresee any problems negotiating with either government.

“There is a huge demand (for coal) in the market,” he said. “The price is right and we have the coal. So we need that seaport and the rail link.”

The Mmamabula project, which is developed by [continue reading]

source: BOPA
16 June, 2008

GABORONE – Botswana is a soft spot for money laundering and other illicit and fraudulent cross boarder activities says a report co-authored by Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime and Institute of Security Studies.

The report on trends of money laundering in Botswana says most systems in public and private institutions can with no trouble be manipulated to facilitate money laundering activities.

It says due to pressure from the legal industry, lawyers often accept tainted money as they face stiff competition from competitors who are ready to accept payment whose origin may be questionable.

Part of the pressure comes from the knowledge that it is easy for clients to find competitors ready to take tainted payments.

DCEC/ISS study says lawyers often open trust accounts and they are not obliged to identify their customers. According to [continue reading]

see: Cash economy encourages money laundering – Katlholo (Mmegi)

source: allAfrica
The East African (Nairobi)
15 June 2008
Posted to the web 16 June 2008

Paul Redfern

Is the World Bank about to downgrade the importance that it attaches to the issue of corruption in sub Saharan Africa?

The question has been raised in diplomatic and media circles following the appointment of the former Kenya World Bank country director Colin Bruce to the position of director of operations and strategy for Africa at the Bank’s Washington DC headquarters.

With Western economic interests in Africa – particularly in new energy supplies – under threat from China and India who do not share the same level of concern over the issue of corruption in their dealings with African states, the suggestion is being made that Europe and the United States might downgrade their emphasis on graft.

The Financial Times newspaper last week pointed out that the UK’s Department for International Development was already “praising the (Kenyan) government’s record on economic growth while apparently overlooking corruption and inequities in [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

While the domestic economy is poised for growth in 2008, there are fears that the region-wide power crisis and shortage of skilled labour could undermine the prospects, the Bank of Botswana has warned.

In its Annual Report for 2007, the Central Bank says in the short-term, the economy, which grew by 6.1 percent in 2006/2007, will receive several sector-specific stimuli that should boost growth.

These include momentum arising from the beneficiation of diamonds and other minerals, as the new Diamond Trading Company Botswana comes into full operation.

Accelerated government spending at the end of NDP 9 will become another stimulus, as will recent decisive efforts to further develop tourism.

Although the expansion of the economy continues to be lower than the rates required to meet growth objectives [continue reading]

source: The Zimbabwe Guardian
Mon, 16 Jun 2008 03:53:00 +0000

SOUTHERN African Development Community (Sadc) countries have agreed to allow over 80 percent of goods to be exported to member states duty free by August 1 this year marking a milestone in the region’s desire to attain the Free Trade Arrangement (FTA) status.

This agreement was reached at the just ended Trade Law Centre of Southern Africa (Tralac) annual conference held in Cape Town, South Africa.

The scrapping of duty and tariffs is in line with Sadc’s initiative to become a free trade area by the end of 2008.

This privilege will only be enjoyed by those Sadc countries that ratified the [continue reading]

source: BOPA
16 June, 2008

RAMOTSWA – The Assistant Minister of Trade and Industry has urged Batswana to use their ploughing fields to increase output so that Bolux Company and other millers can enjoy security of supply.

Opening the Prima Foods extended pasta facility, Mr Duke Lefhoko said the current global shortage of food supply is causing an obvious price hike as well as uncertainties in the supply chain.

I am delighted to note that although Prima Foods products are readily available in the domestic market, exports to Sub- Sahara Africa and the potential that the regional market holds prompted the extension of the pasta production facility that I am about to commission today.

I am happy that yet another local firm is preparing to participate in the export market.

He praised Bolux Group to upgrade the pasta processing facility to promote the growth of the private sector.

Mr Lefhoko said government had long pronounced itself on [continue reading]

see: Pasta `Made in Botswana` (Sunday Standard)

source: Mmegi
Staff Writers

The Bank of Botswana has repeated its stance that inflation is likely to ease towards the last quarter of this year, though it will trend up in the short-term due to higher food and fuel prices.

“We are witnessing what I call a perfect storm,” Governor Linah Mohohlo said at the launch of the Bank of Botswana Annual Report for 2007 on Tuesday.

But it reached double digits 11.1 percent in April due to increasing food and fuel prices, undermining BoB’s inflation target of 3 to 6 percent in the medium-term.Subsequently, BoB increased its key interest rate by 50 basis points to 15 percent in May to try to curb inflation.

However, the central bank said it expected inflation to subside towards the end of the year to average 6 percent.

Mohohlo said in efforts to contain inflation, the bank would also be mindful of the country’s economic growth.

“Its our responsibility that we anchor inflation expectations,” she said, “but we have to make sure we don’t undermine economic growth. It’s a [continue reading]

source: International Herald Tribune
Published: June 15, 2008
HARARE, Zimbabwe: Reuters

President Robert Mugabe was quoted on Sunday as saying he would be willing to hand power to a ruling-party ally when he was sure the country was safe from “sellouts” and British interference.

But the state-run Sunday Mail newspaper reported he gave no time frame for such a handover and again vowed to stop the opposition from taking power.

Mugabe is running for re-election in a June 27 runoff against Morgan Tsvangirai, of the Movement for Democratic Change.

The opposition leader won the first round in March, but he failed to reach the 50 percent threshold required to avoid a second round of voting.

Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980, has threatened to go to war to stop a Tsvangirai victory.

The Mail said that Mugabe told a campaign rally on Saturday that his “leadership was prepared to relinquish power,” but only to officials from his ZANU-PF party, who he said upheld the country’s legacy of independence.

“This country cannot be sold at the stroke of a pen,” he said, repeating a [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Messina Copper (trading as African Copper) yesterday listed a P150 million note (ACU001) on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE), under its recently approved P200 Million Note Programme.
In a statement posted on the BSE website, ACU001 is an unsecured fixed interest note at 14 percent per annum paid semi-annually on April 2 and October 2. Its maturity date is April 2, 2015.

The company announced last month that based on discussions with several Botswana institutions, it was considering offering additional notes with similar terms to the Botswana Bond as an alternative to the working capital facility that requires the company to commit to restrictive covenants and hedging requirements.

African Copper, which is tri-listed on the AIM, TSX and the BSE, said in its financial statement for the three-month period ended March 31, 2008 that production at its 100 percent owned Mowana Mine near Dukwi is scheduled for production in the [continue reading]

source: The Standard (Zimbabwe)
Saturday, 14 June 2008 18:54

FORTY prominent Africans have asked President Robert Mugabe for assurances the 27 June Presidential election run-off will be free and fair, as Botswana called in Zimbabwe’s envoy in Gaborone to protest the arrests of MDC leaders.

Pressure continues to mount on Zimbabwe ahead of the arrival tomorrow of the United Nations envoy, Haile Menkerios.

Meanwhile, the University of Massachusetts’ Board of Trustees on Thursday voted unanimously to strip Mugabe of an honorary degree bestowed on him in 1986 calling his politics “egregious” and his leadership an “assault on human rights”.

The group of African leaders, including former UN chief Kofi Annan and Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, urged an end to violence and intimidation ahead of the run-off.

Former leaders Ghana’s Jerry Rawlings, Mozambique’s Joaquim Chissano and Nigeria’s Abdulsalami Alhaji Abubakar added their names to the letter.

Botswana’s Foreign Minister Phandu Sekeleman told the BBC the arrests of opposition leaders amounted to harassment.

“These repeated arrests do not [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Despite Norilsk Nickel shelving construction of the P4 billion Actiox Refinery project due to escalating costs, the company and its subsidiaries have registered their highest sales revenues, which stand at USD 17.1 billion.

In its consolidated financial results for the year ending 31 December 2007 released this week, the Group’s revenue was up by 44 percent.

During the year under review, Tati Nickel Mine produced 14,000 tonnes of saleable nickel. Saleable copper from the same mine was 9,000 tonnes, while platinum was at 6,000 ounces. Tati Nickel contributed 31, 000 ounces of palladium to the overall Norilsk production for the year.

Norilsk shocked Botswana last week when it announced that it has postponed construction of the Activox project that was touted as a major copper and nickel beneficiation milestone for the country.

The Russian company said reasons for postponing the project were [continue reading]