Archive for July 4th, 2008

source: IC Publications

Botswana’s government urged its neighbours Friday not to recognise Robert Mugabe’s re-election in a one-man presidential poll as it reiterated calls for Zimbabwe to be suspended from a regional bloc.

“As a country that practices democracy and the rule of law, Botswana does not … recognise the outcome of the presidential run-off election, and would expect other SADC member states to do the same,” Foreign Minister Phandu Sekelemani said.

On Tuesday, Botswana called for Zimbabwe to be suspended from African Union and Southern African Development Community (SADC) meetings.

Sekelemani said violence ahead of the June 27 run-off election “was not conducive to the holding of a free and fair election”, adding that unrest “resulted in the loss of lives, destruction of property and displacement of people from their homes.”

“It is therefore Botswana’s position that Zimbabwe not be allowed to participate in SADC meetings until such time that they demonstrate their commitment to strictly adhere to the organisation’s principles,” he said.

Sekelemani’s comments came as Mugabe arrived back home to a hero’s welcome by his [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The Citizen (Dar es Salaam)

4 July 2008
Posted to the web 4 July 2008

Consesa John

Tanzania does not recognise Mr Robert Mugabe as the legally elected President of Zimbabwe because last Friday’s presidential run-off, which was boycotted by the opposition, was “highly flawed”, Foreign Affairs minister Bernard Membe said yesterday.

Addressing a press conference in Dar es Salaam, Mr Membe said the just ended African Union Heads of State Summit had declared null and void the June 27 presidential run-off election, in which Mr Mugabe was the sole candidate. MDC candidate Morgan Tsvangirai withdrew a week before the poll, citing increasing violence against his supporters.

Responding to a reporter who had asked him to state Tanzania’s stand on Mr Mugabe’s controversial election victory, Mr Membe said: “If you consider the [continue reading]

source: International Herald Tribune
By Neil MacFarquhar
Published: July 4, 2008

UNITED NATIONS, New York: Seeking to force President Robert Mugabe into negotiations with the opposition, the United States formally proposed UN Security Council sanctions on Zimbabwe, including an international arms embargo and punitive measures against the 14 people it deemed most responsible for undermining the presidential election through violence.

Aside from Mugabe, those singled out Thursday in the draft resolution to be subject to an international travel ban and a freeze on personal assets include the chiefs of the various branches of the Zimbabwean armed forces, the governor of the central bank, the head of the Justice Department and the presidential spokesman.

“We want to respond to the situation and respond in a way that encourages a move towards resolving the legitimacy crisis without negatively impacting the people of Zimbabwe who are suffering a great deal at the hands of the regime,” said Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

The United States expects to bring the resolution to [continue reading]

source: News24
03/07/2008 22:36 – (SA)

New York – South Africa suggested on Thursday that it would not back a US draft that seeks to impose sanctions on Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and 11 of his aides.

This comes after the United States said it expects the UN Security Council to vote next week on sanctions against Zimbabwe’s leaders for last week’s widely criticised election.

US Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad told reporters after a closed-door council session that he had formally submitted the US-drafted resolution to the full 15-nation council.

The sanctions would impose an arms embargo on Zimbabwe and travel bans and asset freezes on President Robert Mugabe, the central bank governor and 10 other top government and security officials.

Khalilzad said the council had no choice but to respond to Zimbabwe’s defiance. But it did not want to do anything that would harm [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The government has been told to raise bus fares within 14 days or there will be no buses, the Chairman of the Botswana Bus Operators Association, Tirafalo Mponang, has confirmed.

Infact, the bus operators wanted to “park” their buses yesterday, but government officials had to run helter-skelter convincing the operators that something would be done.

“Officials of the Department of Road Transport and Safety held a meeting with us on Monday night and said something would be done in the near future,” Mponang said. “They will be working on calculations with input from our representatives.”

The bus operators demand a 3 thebe per kilometre raise because of ever-rising diesel prices. Mponang said that they had requested a 20 thebe per kilometre hike in March before diesel prices reached the present P9.48 per litre.

But he admits that 20 thebe might have been too much. “It was going to force people who commute from [continue reading]

source: Times of Zambia
Veep spurns international media reports on death rumours…


THE Government has dismissed international media reports that President Mwanawasa has died.

Vice-President, Rupiah Banda said in Lusaka yesterday that the news reports carried by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Sky News and other sources were false.

Mr Banda said contrary to the reports, doctors attending to Dr Mwanawasa in a French military hospital were happy with the progress made and his condition remained stable.

“He has continued receiving treatment for hypertension in the Intensive Care Unit and there are no new developments. He had a satisfactory night at Percy Military Hospital in Paris, France.

“The First Lady, Mrs Maureen Mwanawasa, and family members are at the president’s bedside. The nation will be kept informed on his condition regularly,” Mr Banda said in a statement.

The story quoting somebody named Malone Zaza, who claimed to be a Zambian High Commission spokesman in South Africa, was originally reported by South Africa’s Talk Radio 702.

But Foreign Affairs Minister, Kabinga Pande, said in an interview that the story was a total fabrication because the Zambian mission in South Africa did not have anybody by that name.

“We don’t have anybody by [continue reading]

Michael Appel

4 July 2008

South Africa’s Department of Trade and industry (DTI) has launched the Enterprise Investment Programme that will enable firms operating in manufacturing and tourism sectors to receive investment support in the form of financial grants, as of 21 July 2008.

“We will be making these sectors more attractive to people to invest in,” said Trade and Industry Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa at the programme’s launch in Pretoria this week.

“The idea is to attract investment into [geographical] areas outside of the developed metropolitan municipalities in order to spread development and labour absorption.”

Deputy director-general of the DTI’s Enterprise Organisation, Tumelo Chipfupa, said the new programme would run for the next six years, replacing the Small Medium Enterprise Development Programme which was offered between [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

A piece of legislation to address issues relating to media practice and the media industry in Botswana is to come before Parliament soon.

The Minister of Communications, Science and Technology, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, recently published the Media Practitioners Bill in the Government Gazette.

The Bill, which has been on the drawingboard for a number of years, seeks to establish a Press Council whose members will be media practitioners, media institutions and other individuals and bodies engaged in the media industry.

The council, according to the Bill, will “monitor the activities of the media and ensure the maintenance of high professional standards and to provide for the registration and accreditation of resident media practitioners”. Media practitioners will be required to get accreditation from [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Lance Guma
03 July 2008

Zambia’s chief government spokesman Mike Mulongoti has denied South African media reports that President Levy Mwanawasa had died in a French hospital Thursday. He insisted Mwanawasa was ‘alive and stable’ in a Paris hospital and that ‘the stories (about his death) are coming from South Africa and have now spread to the rest of the world.’ Mulongoti appealed to the media in South Africa ‘to restrain themselves as they are causing anguish and pain to the Zambian people.’ He also denied reports that meetings between senior army and government officials were related to the reported death, saying ‘these are normal briefings and its government business as usual.’

On Sunday Mwanawasa suffered a stroke in Egypt, ahead of the African Union summit. He was later transferred to the Percy military hospital in Paris. On Thursday South Africa’s Radio 702, quoting a spokesman at the Zambian High Commission, reported that he had died. Radio 702 quoted the head of protocol, Malone Zaza, at the High Commission, but Zambian officials insisted no-one by that name is employed there. The French Foreign Ministry has also denied reports of Mwanawasa’s death, although they declined to comment on his health. The story picked up steam when South African president Thabo Mbeki also announced Mwanawasa’s death at a ceremony in Pretoria on Thursday.

The news, if true, would be a bitter blow to millions of suffering Zimbabweans who looked up to Mwanawasa as one of the few [continue reading]

source: Telegraph
By Christopher Munnion in Johannesburg
Last Updated: 8:49PM BST 03/07/2008

Botswana has deployed units of its army along its border with Zimbabwe as “a precaution” against trouble in its crisis-torn neighbour spilling into the country, sources close to the government have said.

Relations between the two countries have become strained by the influx in recent years of tens of thousands of refugees from Zimbabwe who have crossed the border illegally, fleeing the violence of Robert Mugabe’s supporters.

Botswana, one of the most prosperous and successful countries in Africa, built an electrified fence along its 300-mile border, largely desert scrub, with Zimbabwe five years ago and tightened controls at its border posts. It has refused to recognise Mr Mugabe’s victory in [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Tichaona Sibanda
3 July 2008

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown suggested on Thursday that the international community could send a peacekeeping force to stabilise Zimbabwe.

Brown told a parliamentary committee in London that plans are already on the table to explore ways of deploying an international peacekeeping force, following an escalation of violence against MDC supporters since the 29th March elections.

‘I think we have got to bear in mind that all the pressure at the moment is political pressure to try and achieve a desired result. But we’ve got to listen also to what the opposition in Zimbabwe are saying to us about what they think is the right course that they wish to see pursued and we’ve got to get the mediators working very quickly to achieve the transition we want to see,’ Brown said.
Gangs of militants, wearing the bandanas and scarves of Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party and carrying sticks and clubs, have been [continue reading]

source: News24
03/07/2008 17:13 – (SA)

Johannesburg – The estimated consumption of electricity in May 2008 decreased by 2.5% compared with May 2007, Statistics SA said on Thursday.

The estimated volume of electricity consumed (available for distribution) for the three months ending May 2008 decreased by 1.5% compared with the three months ending May 2007.

Electricity consumption after seasonal adjustment for the latest three months ending May 2008 decreased by 0.6%, compared with the previous three months ended February 2008.

The estimated production of electricity, after seasonal adjustment, showed a decrease of 2.1% for the three months ending May 2008 compared with the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

De Beers hosted a Leaders in Africa Summit in Sun City, South Africa, last week. The event gathered leaders from Diamond Trading Company (DTC) clients, De Beers’ leadership and African leaders, in particular their joint venture partners.

Guests included Former President of the Republic of Botswana, Festus Mogae and Nicky Oppenheimer, Chairman of the De Beers Group. The event was organised by the DTC, the distribution arm of the De Beers Family Of Companies. The aim of the Summit was to bring the company’s partners and fellow leaders together to discuss challenges and opportunities for investors on the continent.

Mogae spoke about the opportunities for foreign investment in Botswana and the importance of a cohesive partnership between the public and private sector to ensure a [continue reading]

source: International Herald Tribune
By Howard W. French
Published: July 3, 2008

SHANGHAI: For a crisis involving African despotism, the decibel readings in the West over Zimbabwe have reached almost unprecedented levels.

Beyond the din of condemnations of Robert Mugabe, that country’s aging, power-obsessed tyrant, however, a great many questions have gone unexamined.

Western governments led by London and Washington look at Mugabe’s rule and see such a clear-cut case of evil that they are at a loss to understand why the rest of Africa – or China, for that matter, a Security Council member with fast-deepening ties with the continent – doesn’t rush to join in on their condemnation.

The Zimbabwe case should be more, though, than a tragedy for its own people, for it presents an invaluable opportunity to think about how differently the world can look from different vantage points. And far from an idle thought exercise, this might helpfully lead to a rethinking of diplomatic strategy in Africa and in other parts of the world.

As the second most important country in southern Africa, Zimbabwe, like that region itself, has long functioned like a [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Alex Bell
03 July 2008

The South African president’s shameful role as the so called “mediator” in the Zimbabwe crisis appears to have isolated him from his own countrymen, who are now fans of a free Zimbabwe, rather than fans of Mbeki.

South Africa as a country has been the focus of global criticism because of President Thabo Mbeki’s failure, in his role as SADC appointed mediator, to bring an end to the ongoing crisis in Zimbabwe, as well as for his obvious bias towards his friend Robert Mugabe.

Katy Katapodis, the news editor for Talk Radio 702, an award winning news and information radio station based in Johannesburg, told Newsreel on Thursday that South Africans are strongly opposed to their president’s policy of “quiet diplomacy” and are using the local media to vent their anger and frustrations about the Zimbabwe situation. She said the Zimbabwean issue is one that is likely “to define Thabo Mbeki’s legacy as president, and there is pressure on him from his own countrymen to take action”.

She said “South African opposition parties and political analysts believe Mbeki needs to step down as mediator in the crisis” but she said at [continue reading]