Archive for August 5th, 2008

source: Standay Standard
by SUNDAY STANDARD REPORTER
05.08.2008 9:17:03 A

Stanbic Bank of Botswana is widening its operations within the country by opening yet another branch in Palapye within the next 10 days as its tries to position itself closure to the mining and government driven economic activities in the northern parts of the country.

The new branch is expected to open its doors to customers on April 11, this year as the bank is also positioning itself for the new guard that will be approved by the board towards the end of this month.

Dannies Kennedy who has been at the hem of the bank for nearly 10 years will have seven branches before he leaves at the end of the month. The plan is in line with Bank Governor’s ambition which is aimed at localizing the financial institutions which is increasingly putting Capital Bank, Bank of Gaborone, First National Bank of Botswana and Standard Chartered Bank of Botswana under an intense pressure.

Stanbic first opened shop in Botswana in 1992 and it has been steadily growing and [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The Nation (Nairobi)
5 August 2008
Posted to the web 5 August 2008

Kitsepile Nyathi
Harare

Zimbabwe’s opposition has broken silence on its demands at the ongoing power-sharing talks with President Robert Mugabe’s ruling Zanu PF saying it will not accept anything short of executive powers for its leader.

The two factions of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and Zanu PF resumed negotiations on Sunday after a short break and indications are that the proposal to have the opposition leader, Mr Morgan Tsvangirai as prime minister is top on the agenda.

The protagonists had made a commitment not to discuss the progress of the talks in public but the outbursts by senior MDC officials could signal serious disagreements on the way forward.

Monday was the deadline to conclude the talks but both sides have indicated that more time would be needed to thrash out the stick points.

“The MDC will not accept any deal that denies Tsvangirai executive powers,” said Mr Sam Sipepa Nkomo, an MDC executive member. “The talks would rather collapse or not move forward unless Mugabe is offered a ceremonial post or forced to retire.

“We have said if Mugabe refuses to give in we will just say ‘go ahead and govern.”

Mr Tsvangirai’s deputy, Mrs Thokozani Khuphe was also [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
By Wanetsha Mosinyi
Staff Writer

MRI Botswana will de-list from the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) at the beginning of September, after its protracted takeover bid by Southview failed.

On Friday, the company’s board of directors issued a notice convening an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) for August 29, 2008 to approve cancellation of the admission of the company’s ordinary shares to trading on the BSE (de-listing).

MRIB Chairman Dr Paul Davis said in the notice that if shareholders approve the cancellation at the EGM, the date for the proposed de-listing will be September 5, 2008.

“Shareholders should note that cancellation is likely to reduce significantly the liquidity and marketability of the company’s ordinary shares,” Davis said.

The securities of MRIB on the BSE remained halted since Southview announced that it required the remaining ordinary shares in [continue reading]

source: IOL
August 05 2008 at 10:34AM

Day two of ruling party leader Jacob Zuma’s legal bid to have graft charges scrapped started in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Tuesday.

Zuma made a low-key arrival just before 10am, smiling and glancing at his watch as bodyguards accompanied him into court.

Some 20 photographers and fewer television cameras than Monday snapped pictures of him wearing a grey suit and silver tie.

Outside the court, supporters started arriving in small groups under the close watch of armed police officers.

KwaZulu-Natal newspapers reported on Tuesday that Pietermaritzburg businesses had been disrupted minimally by the case which was expected to bring the city to a standstill.

The vows of mass support, however, did not [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by John Regonamanye
05.08.2008 9:20:04 A

Investec Asset Management has come out strongly against Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) accusing the institution of misinformation and distortion over the inflation rate in that country.

Investec, one of South Africa’s biggest companies, said StasSA, which is tasked with the forensic calculations of the country’s inflation rate, has lately overestimated the country’s inflation level, unleashing wrong readings to the South African monetary institutions.

“The two-year delay by StatsSA in implementing the rebasing and reweighing of the inflation basket is having serious implications for the economy. Calculations by Investec Asset Management have shown that the real inflation rate in the economy is probably far lower than the official inflation number,” Investec Asset Management said in a statement.

The head of fixed income at Investec Asset Management, Andre Roux, said: “Official CPIX for May was 10.9 percent, but had the numbers been rebased and reweighed last year as they should have been, our calculations show actual CPIX of 8.7 percent.
“The official peak in inflation will be in the order of 13 percent, once the impact of electricity tariff adjustments is fully incorporated. Once again, if the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

The media fraternity in Botswana wishes to register its strong objections to the Media Practitioners Bill which is to be debated by the 2008 winter parliament.

The bill is to be presented before parliament without any consultation and input from media practitioners who are principal stake-holders. The Media is deeply concerned that the Minister of Communications, Science and Technology is unduly using the official media in her attempt to force the bill on both parliament and the nation. In some of those public consultations the minister has not been very candid to the extent that she proclaimed that the bill was requested by the media when she knows the same not to be correct. The media has always called for a self-regulatory body which is independent from political interference and this remains the position today.

The media objects to [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Lance Guma
04 August 2008

South Africa’s Star newspaper claims that Morgan Tsvangirai and Robert Mugabe will this week begin a series of face to face meetings, aimed at swiftly concluding power sharing talks. The newspaper, quoting a Zanu PF official, says South African President Thabo Mbeki will travel to Harare this week to meet Mugabe and Tsvangirai. There is speculation the process has reached deadlock over who will lead a proposed unity government and Mbeki will sit through meetings between the two men to ensure the impasse is resolved. ‘Until a settlement is agreed, Mugabe and Tsvangirai will meet weekly and hammer out any obstacles. They will then brief their mediators on the subsequent steps to be followed,’ The Star reported.

Last week negotiations broke off amid official claims the negotiators needed time to consult their party leaders. Sources privy to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
By Monkgedi Gaotlhobogwe
Staff writer

Hundreds of Zimbabweans resident in Gaborone on Friday expressed their disgust at South African President Thabo Mbeki’s handling of the on-going ZANU-PF-MDC negotiations.

The demonstrators marched from White City location in Gaborone to the South African High Commission on Queen’s Road to hand in a petition asking Mbeki not to continue with the planned government of national unity talks as it is not a solution to the Zimbabwe crisis.

South African deputy High Commissioner Liezel Castleman received the petition from Botswana Human Rights Group director Alice Mogwe, for the Botswana Civil Society Solidarity Coalition for Zimbabwe (BOCISCOZ). Castleman promised to send it to President Mbeki in Pretoria as soon as possible.

Among others, the petition asked Mbeki to recognise the proven weakness of the concept of a government of National Unity as [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Violet Gonda
4 August 2008

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has been accused of creating confusion with the chaotic new currency system that it implemented last Friday. Two currencies are now useable at the same time, creating a nightmare for those in the businesses sector and making it complex for the consumer.

RBZ governor Gideon Gono slashed 10 zeros off the currency on Friday and re-introduced the old coin system. The ‘new’ currency will run side by side with the family of bearer cheques until the end of this year. Daily cash withdrawal limits were also increased from Z$100 billion to Z$2 trillion, now re-valued to Z$200.

But although the daily withdrawal limits have been increased to help consumers access more of their own money to cope with the hyper inflation, some building societies have reportedly increased the minimum balance that you need to hold in your account to Z$5 trillion, now Z$500 re-valued. Our Harare correspondent Simon Muchemwa said Beverley and CABS have done this, making it impossible for many workers to access their own money, as most people earn [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
By Kabo Mokgoabone
Staff Writer

Batswana have been told to add value to the economy by improving service delivery in order to prepare for the diamond plateau expected in less than 10 years.

Addressing a change management conference at the Gaborone Sun recently, the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the President responsible for Public Service Reform (Unit), Dr Omponye Kereteletswe, said there was need “to jerk up productivity”.

“The worry is that we are increasing the civil service without improving productivity,” Kereteletswe said. “We need to improve service delivery and add value (because) it is expected that diamond revenues will go down by 2017.”

The conference was organised by EOH Consulting in collaboration with Credmark EDC. It ran under the theme ‘Driving a High Performance Culture in the Public Sector: The Change Leadership Challenge.’

It sought to cultivate a culture of high performance in the [continue reading]

source: International Herald Tribune
The Associated Press
Published: August 4, 2008

PIETERMARITZBURG, South Africa: The man expected to become the next president of South Africa pressed Monday for the dismissal of corruption and fraud charges against him in a case testing the strength of the country’s democracy and political stability.

Inside the Pietermaritzburg High Court, lawyers argued the legal technicalities of dropping the charges against Jacob Zuma. Outside, after the hearing, a large crowd of Zuma supporters went wild as he appeared on a trailer and belted out an anti-apartheid song that has become his personal anthem: “Bring Me My Machine Gun.”

“We are here in our thousands to say, ‘Hands off our president, hands off,”‘ declared Zwelinzima Vavi, a trade union leader and one of Zuma’s most outspoken loyalists.

Zuma, 66, ousted President Thabo Mbeki as head of the governing African National Congress in December and is likely to succeed Mbeki as South African president next year. The corruption case is the last remaining obstacle.

The former apartheid-era guerrilla leader fell out with Mbeki in 2005, when Mbeki fired him as the country’s deputy president after Zuma’s financial adviser was sentenced to 15 years in jail for trying to elicit bribes from [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
UN Integrated Regional Information Networks
4 August 2008
Posted to the web 4 August 2008
Harare

Attempts to tame Zimbabwe’s multimillion percent annual inflation rate had an inauspicious beginning on 1 August when banks turned customers away after running out of cash.

Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono sees the introduction of a new currency that will lop off ten zeroes from the old currency, effectively revaluing Z$10 billion to one Zimbabwe dollar, as the solution to the country’s hyperinflation.

On 4 August, US$1 was equivalent to Z$75 on the parallel currency exchange market. The largest denomination of the new currency is Z$500 (US$6.60).

The new attempt to curb inflation – estimated at 2.2 million percent by the government and at more [continue reading]