Archive for July, 2008

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

SELEBI-PHIKWE: As part of his countrywide tour to meet the people, President Ian Khama last Saturday took to the streets of Selebi-Phikwe East constituency.

The president started off at Ikageleng before he headed to Botshabelo where he addressed a Kgotla meeting. Multitudes of Botshabelo residents thronged the Kgotla to meet the head of state. The turnout was overwhelming and people seemed to enjoy the meeting as nobody left before the meeting was over like it usually happens with other meetings.

They enjoyed the President Kama’s speech so much that there were frequent ululations and cheers in between his presentation. In fact there was a near stampede when President Khama walked into the Kgotla as everyone was eager to at least catch a glimpse of him if not to shake hands with him.

Addressing the meeting, Khama said it does not necessarily mean that as president he knows everything around the country, hence it is [continue reading]

source: BOPA
28 July, 2008

SEROWE – The Minister of Communications, Science and Technology, Mrs Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi says her ministry has put the idea of community radio stations on hold until the nation is ready for them.

She told kgotla meetings at Mmashoro and Tshimoyapula last week that though the proposal was mooted with well intentions there were indications that it could cause more harm than good.

The Minister previously toured the country to among others brief the nation on the idea, which was received with divergent views. Some people including some parliamentarians welcomed it while others were fearful it would divide the nation, as it was the case in other countries.

Mr Leposo Mosarwe of Tshimoyapula welcomed the Ministers stance, arguing that he never supported the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Buyers continue to outweigh sellers at the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) as investors seek to hedge their funds against the ever-rising inflation rate.

Although the pressure has not been persistent or strong enough to warrant a bull run yet, the mainstream DCI has been making good recoveries from the heavy losses it experienced in the last quarter of 2007 and the first quarter of this year.

Inflation, at 14.5 percent for the month of June, has been a strong driver of share prices on the bourse as more and more fund holders chase stocks in a bid to safeguard the purchasing power of their money.

Although last week was short due to the Presidents’ Day holidays, the DCI surged further ahead, adding [continue reading]

source: BOPA
28 July, 2008

GHANZI – Government has increased the Self Help Housing Agency (SHHA) loan from P20 000 to P45 000 and the repayment period from 10 to 20 years.

Addressing a kgotla meeting at Kacgae in the Ghanzi area recently, agriculture minister, Mr Christian De Graaff said the loan will be interest free, but arrears will attract a 10 per cent interest.

The annual income of an applicant has been increased to P36 400 in order to cover more people. Turning to other issues, Mr De Graaf advised Batswana to bid for the 15 state farms advertised in the Government Gazette, adding that more farms will follow as the identification of un-utilised farms continues. He said boreholes will be drilled free of charge in farms within 30km radius that lack water.

Alternatively, they will be provided with water from un-used boreholes. Mr De Graaf informed Kacgae residents that Ghanzi South will be provided with amenities, including telephones, electricity in some villages, as well as tarring and [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Violet Gonda
29 July 2008

The talks – who knows what is true?

There was widespread media confusion on Monday night when an alleged “leaked” report claimed the talks had ended in a deadlock. According to some reports a senior official in the Tsvangirai MDC negotiating team had fallen for a trap and leaked a “false story” to the international media. claimed that Theresa Makone, the controversial leader of the MDC Women’s Assembly, was the leak for the “fake story” published by the world media saying the Pretoria talks had ended in a deadlock.
The saga became more dramatic when the online newspaper reported that Makone was allegedly set up, under the instigation of Tendai Biti – the head negotiator from her own party. It’s reported the talks broke down over Zanu PF’s insistence that Morgan Tsvangirai would be a third Vice President in a unity government.

There has been no statement from the MDC to refute these allegations. Mbeki’s spokesman then said that the talks were progressing well, leaving journalists completely confused.

Some commentators have said that while a media blackout may be necessary to reach [continue reading]

source: IOL
July 29 2008 at 08:07PM

By Peter Apps

London – South Africa stopped supplying electricity to its northern neighbour Zimbabwe “several months ago”, the chief executive officer of state electricity firm Eskom told Reuters on Tuesday.

Jacob Maroga said there was no political motive behind the shift. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has long been criticised by a string of western countries, particularly after the opposition pulled out of a June presidential election run-off citing violence.

“It is simply a contractual issue,” he told Reuters in an interview in London. “They had been paying for their electricity in advance. They simply stopped making new orders.”

Some Mugabe critics had also attacked South African President Thabo Mbeki, saying he was too soft on Zimbabwe and that South African electricity exports were helping him stay in power.

Maroga said Zimbabwe had shifted “two or three years ago” to paying for its electricity in advance, but earlier this [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Botswana appealed for international help on Sunday to ease the impact of an influx of Zimbabweans whom it says are draining its resources.

“The influx of Zimbabweans, whether there is or there is no government (in Harare), is an issue to be dealt with,” Foreign Minister Phandu Sekelemani said on South African public broadcaster SA FM.

“We ask the international community to help us because it is a drain on our resources,” he said.

“Even after the failed presidential (June 27) run-off, we have more 215 who crossed last week… But we cannot turn them back once they qualify” for refugee status.

According to government sources late last year, Botswana was playing host to an estimated 250,000 Zimbabweans — a number that was growing as [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Lance Guma
29 July 2008

Ongoing talks between ZANU PF and the MDC have failed to stem the tide of political violence rocking the country since the March 29 elections. Although the levels of violence have gone down, ruling party militia bases remain in place and thugs loyal to Mugabe continue to launch sorties on suspected opposition supporters. Newsreel understands 3 opposition activists have been killed since the talks began. No details were immediately available, although it has been suggested one of the victims died from injuries sustained in a ZANU PF attack before the talks.

In Buhera South over 17 MDC activists were badly beaten by militia around the 17th July. The injured remain marooned in the area with army Colonel Morgan Mzilikazi blocking their transportation to hospital. The MDC recently sent vehicles to try and collect the injured, but as happened in areas such as Gokwe, the militia have sealed it off thereby blocking access for aid groups, journalists or those wanting to provide medical treatment. Further highlighting the tensions in the area, the local MP for Buhera South Naison Nemadziva, remains holed up in Mutare fearing for his safety.

The MDC MP elect for Makoni South, Pishai Mucharauya, told Newsreel that on Monday their

source: Market Watch
Last update: 8:32 a.m. EDT July 29, 2008

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, Jul 29, 2008 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX) — Hana Mining Ltd. (CA:HMG: news, chart, profile) (FRANKFURT: 4LH) is pleased to report the discovery of new copper-silver mineralization at its sediment-hosted Ghanzi Copper-Silver Project in Botswana. Seven vertical percussion holes, HA-01-P to HA-07-P, were drilled on the north limb of Zone 2 along a 400 meter strike length. Six of the holes intersected mineralization and represent a new discovery in Zone 2. The new discovery is over 1000 meters from known mineralization.

Company President Peter Wilson states, “These results are very exciting and represent a new discovery along the mineralized horizon in an area where there was no previous work. We are more than a kilometer away from any previous drilling and open along strike. Our drilling to date confirms copper-silver mineralization in 7 distinct areas each open along strike and depth. It is worth noting that we have tested just a [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
By Business Reporter

Despite the odds being stacked against monetary policy authorities, the Bank of Botswana (BoB) believes inflation numbers will drop and settle within the bank’s target by the end of next year.

BoB Governor, Lihah Mohohlo, said last Thursday when launching the Mid-Term Review of the 2008 Monetary Statement that “all things being equal”, inflation is expected to reach 3 to 6 percent, which has been eluding the bank for sometime now. The June Consumer Prime Index (CPI) data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) shows inflation at 14.5 percent, which has prompted the central bank to use inflation targeting to limit the amount of cash in circulation.

Already, several times this year, central banks – including BoB – have used interest rates to fight inflation although the method is becoming questionable.

BoB says it is hopeful of falling numbers owing to a number of developments regionally and [continue reading]

source: BOPA
28 July, 2008

GABORONE – Parliament resumes today for the post budget meeting, which will be kick started by the swearing in of Serowe South MP Mr Tshekedi Khama.

Mr Khama of the Botswana Democratic Party won a bye-election that came as a result of his brother, Lt Gen Seretse Khama Ian Khamas ascendancy to presidency in April.

President Khama had been Serowe South MP since his entry into politics in 1998. Meanwhile Parliament is expected to debate nine Bills and at least 41 questions, some of them carried over from last session.

The hot potato among other motions will be the Media Practitioners Bill which seeks to regulate operations of the media industry in Botswana.

Minister of Communications, Science and Technology Mrs Pelonomi Venson Moitoi has already stared the groundwork of publicising the Bill through kgotla meetings, while on the other hand the media industry which does not like certain clauses in the Bill has already started lobbying MPs to reject the Bill if it gives the minister powers to appoint disciplinary committees.

The Botswana National Youth Council Bill has apparently been [continue reading]

source: IOL
Tania Broughton
July 29 2008 at 07:43AM

ANC President Jacob Zuma says that “in reality” he is facing no criminal charges and he is only going to court next week “out of respect for the legal process”.

His stance is rooted in his insistence that the prosecution of him on corruption, fraud and money-laundering charges is unlawful – and that the 2003 decision not to charge him, as publicly announced by then public prosecutions director Bulelani Ngcuka, still stands.

This is the essence of the argument that will be put before Judge Chris Nicholson in the Pietermaritzburg High Court next Monday as Zuma attempts to get his case struck from the roll or the charges withdrawn.

Both Zuma and the state have already filed [continue reading]

29 July 2008

While foreign arrivals to South Africa surged to a record of over nine million arrivals in 2007, the incoming tourists spent less than those who visited the country in 2006, as the global economic slowdown takes its toll on consumer spending.

A total of 9.07-million foreigners visited South Africa in 2007, representing an 8.3% increase over 2006, as the country broke its annual tourist arrivals record for the third year running – exceeding the global average of 6.6% and pushing the country from 29 to 28 in the global tourism rankings.

However, according to a Business Day article this week, revenue from foreigners dropped by some R6.5-billion, or 9.8%.

The paper reports South African Tourism CEO Moeketsi Mosola as stating that expenditure on accommodation decreased by some R800-million, as visitors chose more affordable options like bed and breakfasts, self-catering accommodation and hostels.

“Where people can travel, they spend less while travelling or opt to go on holiday for shorter periods,” he told the publication, though he was cautiously optimistic [continue reading]

source: BOPA
28 July, 2008

SELEBI PHIKWE – President Lt. General Seretse Khama Ian Khama says cabinet has taken a decision to establish youth offices in constituencies to speed up assessment of applications.

Addressing a kgotla meeting at Botshabelo over the weekend he said each youth office will now manage its own finances, rather than the current arrangement where they have to compete for funding from the Regional Youth Office.

The President said the idea is to reduce complaints about time taken in assessing grant applications and to also increase the number of projects that can be funded in a particular constituency as each office will now have its own finances.

He however warned youth to refrain from alcoholism which he said derails gains made by Botswana over the years and that they should spend their money wisely on projects which can sustain their lives.

The President said discouraging alcoholism among young persons will help develop a country which has future responsible citizens who do not waste money on alcohol.

He also said government is exploring ways of helping [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
By Lekopanye Mooketsi

Last April, the government implemented regulations reducing liquor trade hours, but the High Court subsequently ruled that nightclubs may continue trading in accordance with the old hours until they expire.

But just when tipplers were beginning to enjoy themselves, the government is at it again. This time, the announcement about ‘throttling throats’ was made by none other than President Ian Khama himself, Botswana’s most celebrated teetotaller, at a no less venerable place than the kgotla of a small village.

Addressing BaKwena of Metsimotlhabe near Gaborone last week, Khama disclosed that the government was going to slap a 70-percent levy on all alcoholic beverages with effect from next month, adding that if people continued to bend the elbow, he would raise the penal levy to 100 percent or by another 70 percent!

When he was Vice President, the renowned anti-alcohol crusader once indicated that if he had the power, he would outlaw [continue reading]