Archive for June 25th, 2008

source: BOPA
19 June, 2008

MOSHUPA – Plans are underway to register all Simcards in use and new ones to curb abuse, says the Minister of Communications, Science and Technology Ms Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi.

Addressing a kgotla meeting in Moshupa this week, the minister said arrangements are being made with all businesses that sell cellular phones and sim cards to register them before selling to the public.

She said some people buy sim cards to swap them with familiar ones and then insult other people.

She said arrangements will also be made to register those in circulation, and that those who fail to register their numbers will be cancelled.

Residents of Moshupa welcomed the new initiative. Some even claimed unknown callers have abused them.

On other issues, the minister told residents that the analog system would be phased out in 2015 in favour of the digital system. She advised residents to buy radio and television sets that are using the modern digital system.

Ms Venson-Moitoi explained that [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)
25 June 2008
Posted to the web 25 June 2008

Ernest Mabuza

AFRICAN National Congress president Jacob Zuma has argued that suspended National Director of Public Prosecutions Vusi Pikoli and acting director Mokotedi Mpshe did not give him a chance in 2005 and last year to make representations before he was charged.

Zuma filed an application in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Monday to declare the criminal charges brought against him last December to be unconstitutional and to set the indictment aside as invalid.

Zuma argues that the National Prosecuting Authority infringed the provisions of section 179(5)(d) of the constitution, which states that the prosecutions director may review a decision to prosecute or not to prosecute after taking representations from the accused.

Zuma said the decision to prosecute him last year and in June 2005 constituted a [continue reading]

source: BOPA
24 June, 2008

FRANCISTOWN – The prevalence of poverty within Botswana communities remains a challenge to government, says Vice President Lt Gen. Mompati Merafhe.

The Vice President was speaking at Lions Club annual change over dinner in Francistown on Saturday.

Lt Gen. Merafhe said poverty robs human beings their dignity because it breeds hopelessness and despair.

Therefore, government appeals to humanitarian organisations such as Lions Club to partner it in attaining long-term objectives in poverty elimination.

Gen. Merafhe said the Lions club was helping the underprivileged find dignity, hence empowering them to contribute to the development of [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Inter Press Service (Johannesburg)

24 June 2008
Posted to the web 25 June 2008

Alison Raphael

U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe James McGee issued a veiled warning Tuesday that if the Mugabe government goes forward with its planned Friday electoral run-off – in the absence of an opposition candidate – the U.S. will view the resulting government as illegitimate and take the “expected” steps.

Speaking from the capital, Harare, via teleconference, McGee painted a dire picture of the current situation and urged African leaders to play a more active role in pressuring President Robert Mugabe to cease violence against leaders and members of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

“Regional bodies have a tremendous amount of influence, even more than the West,” McGee said, noting that Zimbabwe is a landlocked country where “very simple forms of pressure can be exerted and [continue reading]

source: News24
25/06/2008 10:35 – (SA)

Mbabane – Southern African leaders will hold an emergency meeting in Swaziland on Wednesday to discuss the crisis in Zimbabwe but key negotiator President Thabo Mbeki will not attend, officials said.

Earlier, Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai urged the United Nations to isolate President Robert Mugabe and said a peacekeeping force was needed in Zimbabwe.

Mugabe has shrugged off Monday’s unprecedented and unanimous decision by the UN Security Council to condemn violence against the opposition and declare that a free and fair presidential election on Friday was impossible.

The meeting in Swaziland’s capital Mbabane has been called by the leading regional body, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), as international pressure mounts on Mugabe to resolve his [continue reading]

source: BOPA
24 June, 2008

GABORONE -The government has expressed deep concern over recent developments in neighbouring Zimbabwe This follows the announcement by Zimbabwes opposition leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai on Sunday that he is no longer contesting the countrys presidential run-off election.

A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation says Botswana regrets that despite repeated appeals conditions for a free and fair election have been compromised.

The statement warns that failure to arrest and reverse the current situation of tension can only lead to Zimbabwe sliding further into deep economic and political crisis.

The government recently expressed its concerns and condemnation of acts of lawlessness, violence and intimidation in Zimbabwe.

Botswana thus calls upon the Zimbabwean government to assume primary responsibility in maintaining a climate of peace, safety and security in the [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Movement for Democratic Change (Harare)
25 June 2008
Posted to the web 25 June 2008

Morgan Tsvangirai
Attention: Honourable Justice Chiweshe
The Chairman
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission
7th Floor, Century House

Dear Sir,


JUNE 2008

I write this letter to advise you that for reasons set out in this letter, it is no longer possible for the holding of the Presidential run-off election set for the 27th June 2008.

In my considered view, the conditions presently obtaining thoughout the country make it virtually impossible for a proper election envisaged in both the Constitution of Zimbabwe and the Electoral Act [Chapter 2.13] to take place. This being the case, the election scheduled for Friday 27th June 2008 cannot be an election as provided for by our law and accordingly, it will be a nullity if it were to be proceeded with.

Section 107 of the Electoral Act deals with the withdrawal of candidature from a Presidential election. Subsection 1 thereof provides that a nominated candidate for [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

SELEBI-PHIKWE: The prevailing harsh economic climate characterised by high fuel prices and persistent regional energy constraints could bring about the collapse of micro businesses.

A member of the Small Business Council (SBC), Palalani Moitlhobogi, has warned that small businesses face closure while medium enterprises might be forced to downsize as a result of prevailing economic conditions.

High global fuel prices and constant power outages have eroded most business profit, with small-scale operations the hardest hit.

‘Small businesses do not have resources,’ Moitlhobogi said. ‘For example, some cannot afford to buy generators to sustain themselves during power outages, and this affects their operations. In comparison, big businesses can afford to buy generators.’

He said input costs have become prohibitive for the small businesses and it was difficult for [continue reading]

source: BOPA
24 June, 2008

GABORONE – CEDA is considering opening a separate fund for women.

Speaking at a media briefing on the upcoming National Womens Exposition last week, CEDA Public Relations Manager Mr Masegonyana Madisa said women had as much ability to make it in business as men.

However, he acknowledged the fact that women were often vulnerable to poverty and were more often than not, found at the lower end of the economic band. Thus CEDA was considering a separate fund.

But he warned that: As CEDA, first and foremost we are in the business of giving out loans. And loans have to be paid back, there are no exceptions.

Mr Madisa , however said women were better at paying back loans than men.

Also he said generally, women in rural areas who have taken loans from CEDA were better payers than those in [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

A week after a private economic consultant predicted that the Central Bank would adjust the Bank Rate upwards by 50 basis points or half a percentage point in response to runaway inflation, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of Botswana (BoB) has done just that.

‘There could be another 50 basis point increase,’ the Managing Director of Econsult Dr Keith Jefferis said at the Botswana Economic Forum (BEF) recently.

This was after two weeks since the MPC responded to rising inflation by raising the Bank Rate by half a percentage point or 50 basis points from 14.50 percent to 15 percent.

The Bank Rate is a benchmark rate at which central banks lend money to commercial banks and guide them on the starting point to borrowers.

Last Thursday, Jefferis had his forecast vindicated by the MPC when it increased ‘the Bank Rate by half a percentage point (50 basis points) to 15.5 percent’.

The MPC said since October 2007, inflation had trended upwards and [continue reading]

source: BOPA
24 June, 2008

LETLHAKANE – Khumaga residents, who were relocated from the lands around the Makgadikgadi National Park have been compensated to the tune of almost P600 000.

An official from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, Ms Masego Mokgwane said the compensation covered 26 people, who moved from the area called Gwaraga.

The issue over Gwaraga land, which saw the construction of a fence around the Makgadikgadi National Park has been dragging for more than seven years.

The Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Mr Kitso Mokaila told BOPA that the erection of the fence was aimed at resolving livestockwildlife conflict and to protect the residents from predators.

He said previously Boteti River formed a boundary between the animals in the park and the people, but the situation changed when the river dried up. He said the wild animals then started crossing over to the community scarring them away from [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Southern African News Features (Harare)
25 June 2008
Posted to the web 25 June 2008

Zimbabwe’s opposition withdrawal from the presidential election run-off is unconstitutional, the Zimbabwe electoral body has said.

The chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), Justice George Chiweshe, said on Monday that plans for the presidential runoff and the three House of Assembly by-elections scheduled for 27 June were at an advanced stage, and the withdrawal by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) at this stage was unlawful.

“The legal position according to the Zimbabwean Electoral Act is that the situation of a candidate for the run-off or the second election is not a voluntary exercise; one gives that consent when he/she contests the first election,” said Chiweshe.

Participating in the runoff, the chairman said, therefore becomes automatic once one is [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Developed capital markets can offer substantial benefits to their governments, like the ability to borrow in their own currency at the lowest possible rate.

In Botswana, however, capital market development has not been a great imperative because the government has consistently run budget surpluses.

In the years when deficits did occur they were usually small and easily financed by accumulated savings. The high liquidity in the banking system has also meant that there has been little need for external financing for investments.

While capital markets are not a prerequisite for attracting foreign capital, they do help. The development of the bond market started in 1997 with the issue of a P50 million bond by Botswana Development Corporation. In 2003 the government issued three bonds: a [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The Namibian (Windhoek)
25 June 2008
Posted to the web 25 June 2008

Brigitte Weidlich

The National Assembly yesterday approved a last-minute change to the Value Added Tax Amendment Bill to exempt bread from the 15 per cent levy.

It sees bread join other selected food items – such as cake and bread flour, beans, cooking oil and animal fats – in being zero-rated.

Finance Minister Saara Kuugongelwa- Amadhila asked MPs to agree to her new amendment, as last week’s bill only named bread and cake flour, sunflower cooking oil, fresh and dried beans and animal fats used for cooking to be freed from VAT.

“Items from bread or cake flour when furnished or served as a meal or as cooked or prepared food are not affected,” the Minster said last week.

Her proposal to put bread on the VAT-free list was welcomed, but [continue reading]

source: BOPA
24 June, 2008

SEROWE -Board chairperson of the Khama Rhino Sanctuary , Mr Raymond Watson says the protection and conservation of rhinos in Botswana has been successful.

In an interview Mr Watson said since the government swapped a herd of rone antelopes for 31 white rhinos with the South African government nearly four years ago, the number of rhinos in Botswana has increased to roughly 90.

He said that out of the total number of the white rhinos, 35 are at Mambo in Chiefs Island in the Moremi Game Reserve while 36 are at Khama Rhino Sanctuary.

Mr Watson also said that two females and one male donated by Khama Rhino Sanctuary are at Makgadikgadi National Park.

Another male white rhino is due to be relocated from the sanctuary to the national park to [continue reading]