Archive for June 26th, 2008

source: ZimOnline
by Wayne Mafaro Thursday 26 June 2008

HARARE – Zimbabwe opposition secretary general Tendai Biti was on Thursday released on bail, a day before the country holds a controversial presidential run-off election that the opposition is boycotting.

High Court Judge Ben Hlatshwayo released Biti but imposed tough conditions including that the Movement for Democratic Change politician reports to police once every week, surrenders his passport and title deeds to his Harare house and that he deposits $1 trillion with the court.

Biti’s lawyer, Lewis Uriri, said: “He has been granted bail and we are processing the requirements. The state has not indicated that it may appeal against the ruling.”

The state is charging Biti with treason alleging he is the author of a controversial document that surfaced in government-owned media just before the March 29 elections and which the state claims outlines plans to seize power through unconstitutional means.

The state has claimed in court that the political violence that has [continue reading]

source: BOPA
25 June, 2008

SEROWE – The Minister of Communications, Science and Technology, Mrs Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi says Botswana is faced with the greatest challenge of having an adequate technology literate workforce.

Officiating at the Central Region Design and Technology Exhibition (CEREDTEX) in Serowe last week, she said her ministry is keen to see the development of young people into future engineers and technologists.

She said she believed that design and technology is one subject that could make a significant contribution to this country.

I am pleased to learn that the subject aims at producing multi-skilled, versatile, and adaptable youngsters who are capable of making a major contribution to the development of our country.

Mrs Venson-Moitoi said she found the aspect of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

TORONTO- Botswana-listed CIC Energy still hopes to be generating electricity by early 2013 from a coal-fired power station at its Mmamabula energy project, but will likely be doing it on a smaller scale, president Greg Kinross said on Monday.

The company was unable to reach an agreement with the preferred engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor before a deadline for securing manufacturing slots for big long-lead-time equipment passed last week, and is now looking at “alternative configurations”, which will probably mean building a smaller plant to begin with, and then adding more capacity at a later stage.

Shares in the company plunged when they resumed trading on Monday, after having been halted pending news on Friday. CIC Energy was down 44,64percent, at C$5,73 a share by 16:10 in Toronto.

The first phase of the Mmamabula energy complex, in Botswana, was to have involved the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Discovery Metals Limited has doubled its copper-silver tenements in north-western Botswana following its recent acquisition of seven more prospecting licences.

The company, which is listed on the Australian, Botswana and AIM stock exchanges, received formal approval from the Department of Geological Survey last week for the additional prospecting licences which cover 5,700 square kilometres stretching as a continuation from the western boundary of the company’s current copper-silver tenements across to the Namibian border.

According to the company’s estimates, an initial assessment of the seven new tenements indicate they have the potential to [continue reading]

source: BOPA
25 June, 2008

KASANE – The Assistant Minister of Education and Skills Development, Mr Lebonaamang Mokalake says his ministry is considering establishing an autonomous teaching council for Botswana.

Mr Mokalake said this during an annual conference of head teachers of private primary and secondary schools held in Kasane recently.

This arrangement will work more or less like the Botswana Law Society and the nurses association, which have powers to register and de-register lawyers and nurses respectively. It will among other things vet and register teachers before they can be allowed to handle our children, he said.

Mr Mokalake said the teaching council for Botswana will deal with challenges faced by his ministry.

The ministry of education and skills development has been facing numerous challenges associated with teachers discipline, declining performance and status of the teaching profession, he said.

He said cases of unprofessional conduct involving [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)
26 June 2008
Posted to the web 26 June 2008
Mariam Isa

INFLATION rocketed to a 5½-year peak last month, beating forecasts and backing the view that the Reserve Bank will raise interest rates again this year to tame rampant price rises.

Target CPIX inflation rose 10,9% year on year, up from 10,4% in April and its highest since November 2002, driven once again by the soaring costs of food and fuel. Headline consumer prices – a more comprehensive measure of the cost of living – rose 11,7%, up from 11,1% and above market forecasts for an 11,4% rise, official data showed yesterday.

The rand firmed 1,3% to R7,88 to the dollar after the news, which traders said sealed the case for a half-percentage point rise in lending rates at the Bank’s August policy meeting.

“Everyone is now back in the swing of expecting more rate hikes,” said Citigroup senior dealer Julian Wilson. Higher interest rates boost the [continue reading]

source: BOPA
25 June, 2008

GABORONE – President Lt Gen Seretse Khama Ian Khama will be the guest speaker at the Botswana Confederation of Commerce, Industry and Manpower (BOCCIM) annual general meeting (AGM) on Thursday.

BOCCIM director Ms Maria Machailo-Ellis said it will be the first time for the President to address them, adding that it presents an opportunity for the business community to know what the new administration has in store for them.

She said about 250 business people are expected to attend the event, noting that it is double the usual number as people are eager to hear directly from the President.

Ms Machailo-Ellis said other items on the agenda include elections for the vice president for the northern region and the presentation of the annual report.

On other issues, the BOCCIM director said they will hold their annual business conference in [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The failure of the promoters of MmamabulA Export Power Project to seal deals with Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractors may force them to go the route of what observers have been calling for – the downsizing of the project to make it more affordable.

Infact, the situation is so serious that a reservation deadline has twice been postponed by ministerial intervention and twice been missed.

Addressing a media briefing yesterday, the Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources Ponatshego Kedikilwe said the import of the precarious circumstances presently bedevilling the project was that Mmamabule could not go ahead as initially conceived.

Rising EPC and input commodity costs internationally that recently led to the suspension of [continue reading]

Gabi Khumalo

25 June 2008

Multinational computer technology and consulting company IBM has launched the Africa Innovation Centre in Johannesburg – the first of its kind on the continent – to drive IT skills development and address business challenges in the region.

The centre is part of IBM’s US$120-million (about R956.6-million), two-year investment in its African operations, which includes new market expansion initiatives and the development of Africa’s first cloud computing centre.

In cloud computing, dynamically shared computing resources are virtualised and accessed as a service, making it a particularly attractive proposition for small to large-sized companies in Africa.

The centre will showcase business approaches and open technologies such as cloud computing, Web 2.0 technologies, service-oriented architecture and systems management, as well as demonstrate the next generation in banking systems, offered [continue reading]

source: BOPA
24 June, 2008

FRANCISTOWN – Government is in the process of reviewing the National Petroleum Fund to improve its sustainability.

The Principal Energy Engineer in the Department of Energy Affairs, Mr Baruti Regoeng, said the fund was old, hence the need to review it.

Mr Regoeng told BOPA that the ever-increasing fuel prices drew a lot of money from the fund thereby rapidly depleting its capacity for growth.

He noted that investing some of the money to earn interest from international money market could increase the fund balance.

The fund was established under the Finance and Audit Act to stabilise fuel prices and provide financial support for construction and maintenance of the government petroleum strategy reserves.

He explained that the fund collects money by way of a levy put on the sales of petrol and diesel.

The levy rate is reviewed periodically to ensure that [continue reading]

source: International Herald Tribune
By Alan Cowell
Published: June 25, 2008

With just two days left before Zimbabwe’s one-candidate presidential runoff, Morgan Tsvangirai, the beleaguered opposition leader, called on the United Nations on Wednesday to send a peacekeeping force to bring calm to the country and help pave the way for new elections in which he could participate as a “legitimate candidate.”

“Zimbabwe will break if the world does not come to our aid,” he said in an op-ed in The Guardian newspaper in London. After weeks of mounting political violence against the opposition and its supporters, Tsvangirai withdrew from Friday’s runoff and took refuge Sunday in the Dutch Embassy in Harare.

He emerged from the embassy briefly on Wednesday to hold a news conference at his home in which he challenged President Robert Mugabe to cancel the runoff and open negotiations.

But, he said, he was not prepared to deal with a government validated by an election in which Mugabe is by default the only candidate. Mugabe has insisted Friday’s voting will go ahead.

“We have said we are prepared to negotiate on [continue reading]

26 June 2008
Posted to the web 26 June 2008
Faten Aggad

The African Union has the legal power to condemn the conduct of Zimbabwe’s elections, to suspend the country from membership and to require new elections, writes AllAfrica guest columnist Faten Aggad. The question is whether the continent’s leaders have the political will to do so.

As African heads of state and government prepare to meet for the 11th African Union (AU) Summit in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt, Zimbabwe continues to spiral downwards.

The Chairman of the AU Commission, Jean Ping, has now spoken out on the country’s political crisis, making clear that the AU is gravely concerned at what he called “increasing acts of violence.” He also indicated that the commission has entered consultations with the current AU chairman, Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, and leaders of countries in [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The government of Botswana respects a decision by Zimbabwe’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai to pull out of the run-off for the presidential election on Friday.

Speaking to the media yesterday, Defence, Justice and Security Minister, Dikgakgamatso Ramadeluka Seretse said that the Botswana government is not disappointed at Tsvangirai’s decision to pull out at the last minute. However, he said they expected Tsvangirai to take part in the elections. “I had expectation, but if something happens contrary to the expectation, I must first want to understand why it happened. I must investigate and put myself in the shoes of that particular person, before I can make any valued judgment on it. I can’t say I am disappointed. I can’t say personally I’m not disappointed,” he said. The Zimbabwe government has said it will continue with the elections on Friday and there is debate that if Tsvangirai does not stand, President Robert Mugabe will automatically be the winner of the run-off according to the laws of Zimbabwe.

Seretse explained that it is important for [continue reading]

source: News24
25/06/2008 22:13 – (SA)
Katherine Haddon

London – Former South African president Nelson Mandela spoke of a “tragic failure of leadership” in Zimbabwe during a celebrity fundraising dinner in London Wednesday to mark his 90th birthday.

In what are thought to be his first public comments on the situation, Mandela made a brief reference to Zimbabwe as he detailed a string of problems faced by the world.

“We look back at much human progress, but we sadly note so much failing as well,” he said.

“In our time we spoke out on the situation in Palestine and Israel, and that conflict continues unabated.

“We warned against the invasion of Iraq, and observe the terrible suffering in that country.

“We watch with sadness the continuing tragedy in Darfur.

“Nearer to home, we had seen the outbreak of violence against fellow Africans in our own country and the tragic failure of leadership in our neighbouring Zimbabwe.”

Mandela is in London for a week of [continue reading]

source: International Herald Tribune
Published: June 25, 2008

Queen Elizabeth II has stripped Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s strongman president for nearly 30 years, of his honorary knighthood as a “mark of revulsion” at the human rights abuses and “abject disregard” for democracy over which he has presided, the British Foreign Office announced Wednesday.

The rebuke showed the extent of international frustration over Mugabe’s insistence to go ahead with a presidential runoff on Friday, even though his sole opponent, Morgan Tsvangirai, pulled out of race on Sunday because of the persistent violence and intimidation against him, his party and their supporters.

Mugabe’s government has had a long history of human rights abuses, but he was granted an honorary knighthood during an official visit to England in 1994 when, the [continue reading]