Archive for July 22nd, 2008

source: Mmegi
BRIAN BENZA
Staff Writer

The ever rising fuel prices have catapulted the June annual figures by a massive 2.4 percentage points to 14.5 percent from 12.1 percent, the highest to be recorded in Botswana in almost four years.

According to figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) this week, the June annual inflation rate surpassed the highest-ever annual inflation figure of 14.2 percent in April 2006.

The June rate is ascribed mainly to soaring costs in the Transport index. Five group indices recorded changes of more than 1.0 percent between May and June, which include transport (8.2 percent), food (2.5 percent), housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels (2.1 percent), furnishing, household equipment and maintenance (1.8 percent) and clothing & footwear (1.4 percent).

The month-on-month inflation rate also rose by a record 2.8 percent, the highest since January 2005.

“The Transport group index increased by 8.2 percent from 124.8 to 135.1 between the two periods. This was largely due to an [continue reading]

source: International Herald Tribune
By Alan Cowell
Published: July 21, 2008

Zimbabwe’s feuding political leaders appeared jointly for the first time in years Monday to sign a preliminary agreement laying out terms for negotiations to wrest their land out of political chaos.

The ceremony brought together Robert Mugabe, the president, and Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. News reports said the two men had not met for a decade, when Tsvangirai was a labor leader before he emerged as the head of the main opposition group in 1999.

While the memorandum of understanding was a modest step, the sight of Mugabe in the same room as Tsvangirai seemed a dramatic departure from Zimbabwe’s chaos and collapse, with its usual images of political bloodletting, electoral rigging and economic ruin.

The ceremony in a Harare hotel was overseen by Thabo Mbeki, the president of South Africa, who had labored for months as a mediator, defying critics who said his efforts merely gave Mugabe time to [continue reading]

source: BOPA
18 July, 2008

FRANCISTOWN – The prices of sunflower seeds, which have more than doubled, have driven a resident of Mosojane in North East district out of business.

Ms Grace Gaba of Pinda Enterprises traded in cooking oil produced from sunflower. In September last year, a 30-kilogramme bag of sunflower was P65 and now the price has been hiked to P125, which is really unaffordable, she said.

In an interview, she said during the time when the business was flourishing she supplied the Botswana Defence Force, some shops in Francistown and exported some of the cooking oil to Zimbabwe.

She said initially, she ordered sunflower from Pandamatenga farmers but the supply was terminated after the supplier also started producing oil from sunflower.

Mrs Gaba said transport of sunflower from Pandamatenga was also costly and she made no profit. “If sunflower is available, I can produce 200 litres of [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Lance Guma
21 July 2008

Zimbabwe’s economic decline was emphasized Monday when its currency slumped to an all time low of trading 1 British pound to Z$1,2 trillion. With inflation officially at 2,2 million percent but unofficially over 10 million percent, the Reserve Bank responded by introducing a Z$100 billion dollar note. But a loaf of bread alone is costing more than Z$100 billion, in an economy that is beset by crazy contradictions. Teachers and other civil servants are earning around Z$140 billion a month, just enough to buy two packets of potato crisps.

It was only in January this year that a $Z10 million note was issued. That was quickly followed by Z$50, Z$100 and Z$250 million dollar notes, meant to stave off cash shortages in the banking sector and allow for easier transactions. But it has only taken a couple of months to move from million dollar notes to billion dollar ones. While the regime has done its best to blame so-called ‘western sanctions,’ economists say the printing of money in an economy that is not producing anything has fuelled the hyper-inflationary environment.

Over eighty-percent of the population is living below the poverty threshold, with millions thought to be facing starvation, following the [continue reading]

source: BOPA
18 July, 2008

LENTSWELETAU – Minister of Communications Science and Technology, Mrs Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, says registration of cellular phone SIM cards is not intended to spy on anyone but to protect citizens from crime that is committed using the gadgets.

She told Lentsweletau residents recently that it was the duty of the government to protect its people and encouraged them to register their SIM cards with relevant service providers.

Registration commences on September 15 and people who do not register by December 31 2009 would be disconnected.

She said some media houses have expressed sceptisms that government intended to spy on them. However, Mrs Venson-Moitoi said the government had no reason to spy on anyone, but to protect the interests of its people.

She said the government needed the news media to help enhance democracy and to sell its policies and programmes to the nation.

She said the intention was to reduce crime hat was [continue reading]

source: BOPA
18 July, 2008

MOLEPOLOLE – “Hey you big headed bush mechanic, repair my gear box now, now!!, I want to collect a lot of money from public servants who fear the bite of this cold winter season in the morning, roars a taxi operator.

“Dont worry, Im the gear box doctor,” answers a red eyed strange figure, clad in tattered dusty overall splashed with grease and oil.

He is Mr Thabang Mosholombi aged 30 years who calls himself the doctor of vehicles gear boxes and diffs as he specialises in repairing them in Molepolole.

Mr Mosholombi was born and raised in Mathathane village in Bobirwa area in the Central District. He operates his business along Gaborone/Molepolole road opposite High Way Fresh Produce and LEA offices at Ga-Monametsana ward in Molepolole.

Entering the place, one is greeted by a big board with bold red letters, that read “Welcome to Mr Gear Box and Diff Hospital”.

Thabang started his business from scratch while still residing in Selebi-Phikwe township in 2001. He learnt to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
STAFF WRITER

CIC Energy (TSX: ELC, BSE: CIC Energy) reported a loss for the three month period ended May 31, 2008 of US$2,6 million (P16.7m) or $0.05 per share (basic and diluted), and a loss for the six month period of $4,089,000 (P26.3m) or $0.08 per share (basic and diluted).

The loss for the three and six month periods are attributable to non-capitalised exploration expenditures, administration and personnel costs, the company said in a statement on Wednesday. Capitalized exploration costs amount to $105 million (P674.1 million), with exploration costs for the six-month period totaling $18 million (P115.6 million).

The first phase of the Mmamabula energy complex, was to have involved the construction of a 2, 100 to 2, 400-MW power station and a ten-million ton a year associated mine.

A second phase envisaged another power station and mine of the same size. However, after a number of [continue reading]

source: BOPA
18 July, 2008

SEROWE – The Ministry of Education intends to roll out subject specialisation in all primary schools by 2010. Currently, there are 273 primary schools countrywide, which are implementing subject specialisation.

According to the ministrys spokesperson, Mrs Nomza Zuze, the move was the ministrys response to Recommendation 24 (c) of the Revised National Policy on Education (RNPE) of 1994, which reads “from Standard four onwards pupils should gradually be introduced to teaching by specialist teachers.” As a process of phasing in this initiative, subject specialisation would be introduced in some additional schools next year.

“The number of schools to be phased in will be decided during subject specialisation evaluation meeting to be held in Maun in August.” She added that the identification of schools was based on the number of per inspectoral area. “These schools are selected from urban, remote and remotest areas,” she said. “The other criterion is that the choices should include high, average and low performing schools.” Although the initiative was rolled out in 2007, she said evaluation reports by implementing schools and their supervisors have indicated [continue reading]

source: IOL
July 21 2008 at 10:39AM

Eskom has welcomed the National Treasury’s decision to bring forward the disbursement of the R60-billion deeply subordinated loan from government.

“Eskom welcomes the reduction of the disbursement period from the initial five years to three years, including the willingness to consider providing guarantees,” said Eskom Finance Director Bongani Nqwababa in a statement issued over the weekend.

“This decision of government gives recognition of the importance of maintaining Eskom’s strong investment grade credit rating and is a clear indication of the shareholder’s unwavering support in that regard,” he added.

Government would now disburse the R60-billion loan in three instalments of R10-billion, R30-billion and R20-billion in 2008/9, 2009/10 and 2010/11 respectively.

“This is an important step towards securing the [continue reading]