Archive for August 9th, 2008

source: BOPA
07 August, 2008

PARLIAMENT – The Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources says he is aware that residential plots at Extensions six, seven and eight in Palapye are not connected to the water supply system.

Answering a question in Parliament, Mr Ponatshego Kedikilwe said the allocation of plots in Palapye had, as in many villages which were supplied water by the Department of Water Affairs, outgrown the existing water reticulation systems because of high demand for new plots.

He said to alleviate, albeit temporarily, the difficulties faced by residents of these areas, an interim measure involving the installation of new public standpipes with pre-paid meters at suitable locations identified in liaison with the residents of the said extensions was being undertaken.

“Construction using Department of Water Affairs teams to lay pipelines for the standpipes is expected to commence during August 2008,” he said.

Mr Kedikilwe said a project to design a long-term water reticulation network system for both rehabilitation and extension in Palapye was awarded to Bergstan Africa consultant in February this year.

He added that given the extensive nature of the [continue reading]

source: BOPA
08 August, 2008

PARLIAMENT – Parliament has been urged to debate the Media Practitioners Bill with a view to coming up with a law that will not stifle the flow of information.

In his four-hour debate this week, Specially elected MP, Mr Botsalo Ntuane reminded parliamentarians of the need to promote the development of Botswanas news media industry. He further urged MPs to interrogate the bill as a tenet to enhancing a credible democracy.

“We are approaching the crossroads here, do we wish to promote the growth of the media or to suppress this industry, why come up with a law whose constituents query so much?” he asked.

Last week, just after the presentation of the bill by the Minister of Communications, Science and Technology, Ms Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, Mr Ntuane successfully tabled a motion requesting the adjournment of debate on the bill so as to hear the submissions by the news media practioners through a forum that took place on [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Zimbabwe Independent (Harare)
8 August 2008
Posted to the web 8 August 2008
Dumisani Muleya

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe and his political rival Morgan Tsvangirai are expected to hold a make or break meeting on Sunday in Harare under President Thabo Mbeki’s chairmanship to endorse a power-sharing deal struck in Pretoria yesterday.

The meeting will decide whether or not the Zanu PF and the opposition MDC draft agreement would be approved by their principals.

Informed sources said a final agreement was expected on Sunday, although the talks ended yesterday.

Mbeki and his team are expected to fly into Harare either tomorrow or on Sunday morning for the meeting. Zanu PF and MDC negotiators started returning home last night.

There was speculation Mbeki would travel to Harare during the week but this was not [continue reading]

source: News24
08/08/2008 10:45 – (SA)

Johannesburg – The Mail and Guardian newspaper on Friday named the source of a R30m arms deal bribery claim against President Thabo Mbeki, but said the man had died in a car crash last year.

A former UmKhonto we Sizwe soldier and ex-member of the National Intelligence Agency’s (NIA) anti-corruption unit, Mhleli Paul Madaka, was reported to be the source of the allegations first printed in the Sunday Times at the weekend.

Madaka, 47, died last August when his car crashed into the premises of a MAN truck and bus yard in Centurion, the company allegedly involved in the bribe.

In a story headlined, “Dead men tell no tales”, the Mail and Guardian reported that Madaka’s allegation was included in a report on [continue reading]

source: BOPA
07 August, 2008

PARLIAMENT – There is no provision in the Tribal Land Act which allows or disallows the allocation of more than one residential plot to individual citizens, the Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, Mr Dikgakgamatso Seretse, said.

He acknowledged that some individuals had been allocated more than one residential plot by land boards around the country in separate localities Answering a question on behalf of Minister Nonofho Molefhi of Lands and Housing, Mr Seretse said the intention to provide for the allocation of only one residential plot to citizens in customary land was contained in the Draft National Land Policy which was yet to be brought to Parliament.

“It is only after Parliament has made a decision on the policy that, if necessary, the Tribal Land Act could be amended to accommodate the provision for a one person one plot,” said Mr Seretse He said in the meantime land boards were expected to [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)
8 August 2008
Posted to the web 8 August 2008

Dumisani Muleya

DESPITE negotiations on a power-sharing deal progressing well, Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has barred a United Nations (UN) envoy from visiting the country to assess the talks between Zanu (PF) and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

The blocking of the visit this week by UN assistant secretary-general for political affairs Haile Menkerios is likely to heighten tensions between Harare and the world body.

Menkerios, an experienced Eritrean diplomat, flew to SA on Tuesday to monitor the talks, UN spokeswoman Michele Montas said this week.

He was recently appointed part of President Thabo Mbeki’s three-man “reference group” on the talks which was set up as a [continue reading]

source: IOL
August 08 2008 at 06:05PM

By MacDonald Dzirutwe

Harare – President Thabo Mbeki, mediating in Zimbabwe’s post-election crisis, will go to Harare on Saturday amid growing optimism a power-sharing deal can be reached between the ruling party and the opposition.

A statement from South Africa’s Foreign Ministry said Mbeki would meet President Robert Mugabe and Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) President Morgan Tsvangirai.

Zanu-PF and MDC began talking more than two weeks ago to resolve a crisis that came to a head after the 84-year-old Mugabe was re-elected in a widely condemned June poll boycotted by the opposition.

‘It’s just too good to be true’
South Africa’s Business Day newspaper, citing unnamed sources, said Mugabe and Tsvangirai would hold make-or-break talks to finalise a deal in Harare on Sunday.

Business Day said it was understood the two were not “too far apart”, though the central issues remain unresolved.

Mugabe said on Thursday the talks were going well but dismissed as [continue reading]

source: News24
August 08 2008 at 07:04AM

By Fiona Forde and Boyd Webb

Morgan Tsvangirai’s attempts to broker himself an all-executive role have failed as Robert Mugabe holds on to the presidency under a South African-facilitated settlement.

Instead the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change will have to negotiate the minority executive power he will get when he meets his Zanu-PF counterpart on Sunday.

Under a final deal reportedly being drafted in Pretoria, with input from Harare, Mugabe will remain as the president of Zimbabwe, while Tsvangirai will be appointed as prime minister.

“With Mugabe holding 100 percent of the executive power as it stands, it now has to be decided what percentage of powers Tsvangirai will get,” a member of the talks has told Independent Newspapers.

That bartering will take place in Harare on Sunday when President Thabo Mbeki will facilitate a [continue reading]

source: BOPA
07 August, 2008

PARLIAMENT – The upgrading and expansion of the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport must adhere to the spirit of citizen economic empowerment, says Gaborone North MP, Mr Keletso Rakhudu. Debating the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport Expansion and Upgrading Loan Ratification Bill on Tuesday, Mr Rakhudu said local companies should be encouraged to form consortiums to increase their capability and capacity to undertake huge projects such as the envisaged airport upgrading and expansion project.

The bill seeks the ratification of a loan from the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) for the purpose of facilitating the financing, in part, for the upgrading and expansion of the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport.

Mr Rakhudu suggested that once local companies had formed consortiums, they could then be allowed to engage the services of established international companies as sub-contractors.

He urged government not to delay to undertake major projects, but to [continue reading]

source: BOPA
07 August, 2008

PARLIAMENT – Parliamentarians have requested the government to formulate a law sanctioning the Minister of Finance and Development Planning to seek loans from foreign financial institutions.

It emerged on Monday in Parliament that the country might not be having such a law. The MP for Lobatse, Mr Nehemiah Modubule, urged his colleagues not to be seen trampling on the law by ratifying the loan from the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) to finance, in part, the upgrading and expansion of the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport.

He maintained that there was no law sanctioning the Minister of Finance and Development Planning to seek and conclude loans over P500 000 from foreign financiers on behalf of the government.

He tabled a motion which requested Parliament to suspend debate on the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport upgrading and expansion project bill pending the identification of a piece of legislation sanctioning the minister but the motion was defeated.

He nevertheless said as per the 1997 law, the minister was only allowed to [continue reading]
07 August, 2008

PARLIAMENT – A bill seeking to ratify an agreement between government and OPEC Fund for International Development for the upgrading and expansion of the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport enjoyed overwhelming support from parliamentarians.

Most MPs who debated the bill on Monday welcomed the proposed upgrading and expansion, saying the renovated airport would contribute to the development economy of the country.

However, Mahalapye East MP, Ms Botlogile Tshireletso, urged government to ensure that Batswana and citizen-onwed companies derived maximum benefits from the project.

She said there was a need to connect Botswana directly with some strategic countries such as Kenya through air travel.

She advocated for the speedy implementation of the project, arguing that any delay would result in [continue reading]

source: News24
08/08/2008 15:35 – (SA)
Verashni Pillay

Cape Town – Credit cards may be a thing of the past after the launch of a new cellphone-based payment method in Cape Town on Friday.

Wiwallet, started by Bevan Ducasse last year, encrypts card details onto cellphones and allows consumers to pay at retail outlets simply by punching in their cellphone number.

Ducasse, a young entrepreneur with a background in mobile and retail, cottoned onto the idea after getting tired of his bulky wallet and numerous cards.

“It’s the first of its kind in the world that I’ve seen of making payments like this,” said Ducasse, 24.

Bank consultants approve each retail partner that comes on board with the new payment method, which also has PCI compliance – Visa and MasterCard certified security.

Security assured

All card information is encrypted onto a user’s cellphone once the [continue reading]

source: News24
08/08/2008 09:54 – (SA)

Marelize Barnard, Die Burger

Cape Town – Porsche, Dodge Viper, V8-Mustang, Corvette, Lamborghini… Name any luxury car and it appears on the list of super speed-monsters that Cape Town traffic police officers would like to use to do their patrol work.

The Mother City’s traffic officials feel somewhat inferior when they compare their standard vehicles to patrol vehicles in other cities around the globe.

Now an earnest search has begun for companies that are willing to help the traffic department realise its dream.

At the monthly meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Safety and Security on Thursday, Heathcliffe Thomas, the head of Cape Town’s traffic department, showed one photo after the other of other countries’ super-bling patrol cars.

“We have to have world standards,” was his [continue reading]