Archive for August 14th, 2008

15 years for Khama!

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Costly maintenance of Presidents Festus Mogae and Ketumile Masire’s retirement homes has prompted Assistant Minister of Local Government, Olifant Mfa, to plead for a 15 year presidential term for Ian Khama.

Mfa, believing that ‘Botswana is a small country with a small budget’, recommended in an interview yesterday that the constitution be amended to permit Khama to remain president until 2023, rather than 2018 to save another five years of taxpayers’ money.

He said he was not campaigning for Khama in particular, saying the provision would affect every other president in the future.

“Even President Khama will be leaving in a very short time. We will be having three former presidents to maintain,”he said.

The assistant minister said he is consulting with [continue reading]

source: IOL
August 13 2008 at 12:52PM

South Africa’s current Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) limit of 0,05 percent should be lowered to 0,02 percent for all drivers, the Automobile Association of South Africa said on Wednesday.

AASA spokesperson Rob Handfield-Jones said the crisis on South Africa’s roads demanded this tougher approach.

Drinking and driving could be combated more effectively by reducing the allowable alcohol limits for drivers and courts should impose tougher sentences on drink and drive offenders, he said.

“The AA has conducted numerous research projects into the effects of alcohol on driving. And, without exception, each one has proven that drivers are already significantly impaired at the 0.05 percent limit.

“We are concerned that this limit is inappropriate in South Africa where one is 14 times more likely to die in a traffic crash than in the USA,” he said.

The BAC limit for drivers driving under the [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
13 August 2008
My Fellow Zimbabweans:

The Movement for Democratic Change has always been a people’s project. We seek nothing but the best interests of the people of our country.

Tragically, Zimbabwe has become one of the worst man-made humanitarian disasters of a new and hopeful century. At least two million Zimbabweans have already fled our homeland. An estimated half million Zimbabweans have already died of starvation, malnutrition and preventable disease.

Because of the failed policies of ZANU PF, five million Zimbabweans now face starvation and famine. We cannot allow this to happen. All of us must provide decisive leadership.

My Fellow Zimbabweans, on March 29 you voted for change. You have been clear. We will not betray you. In this respect, the MDC entered these negotiations full of hope. We put aside our grievances and reached out to ZANU PF for the good of the people.

However, any dialogue to save our country must take place in an atmosphere of mutual respect and tolerance underpinned by our shared patriotism and desire to stop the suffering, and build a prosperous future for our children.

Let me be clear, MDC entered these negotiations seeking a transformative and healing solution to the deep-seated political and economic crisis facing our country. Our objective is simple – a peaceful resolution to [continue reading]

source: SABC News
August 13, 2008, 20:45
By Frank Nxumalo

High transport costs, multiple affiliations and conflicting interests over proposed tariffs reforms among Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states could hobble any advantages that the launch of a Free Trade Area (FTA) might bring to the region, according to the Trade Law Centre of Southern Africa (Tralac).

The SADC FTA will be launched at the region’s heads of state summit in South Africa this weekend.

There are also still strong rumblings among member states over whether the SADC Trade Protocol or the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) should form the foundation of the FTA, although it has been agreed that the former document will prevail.

“The distinction between the Trade Protocol and the RISDP is important. The Trade Protocol is a legally binding instrument, whereas the RISDP is a strategic plan which [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The Ministry of Roads, Works and Transport has confirmed that it has eight new caravans worth P860, 100, which are lying idle at its Maruapula warehouse.

The caravans were initially acquired from Jurgens, a Pretoria company, to replace eight worn out caravans used by traffic enumerators for camping.

Works and Transport ministry spokesperson, Samuel Mbaiwa, said in Gaborone yesterday that they were yet to decide what the small caravans would be used for after enumerators were last month told their jobs would now be done by computer.

“The Roads Department will make a decision as to what the caravans will be used for. They can be used as offices, or to accommodate some of our [continue reading]

source: IOL
August 13 2008 at 10:36AM

By Fiona Forde and Basildon Peta

President Thabo Mbeki left a trail of confusion in his wake on Tuesday night as the Harare talks collapsed amid reports that Robert Mugabe had brokered a deal with Arthur Mutambara after Morgan Tsvangirai refused to play second fiddle in his government.

“A deal has been reached between President Mugabe and MDC-Mutambara faction which has been signed in the presence of President Mbeki,” a Zanu-PF official said late Tuesday night.

However as Mbeki emerged from the venue of the talks in the early hours of this morning he denied that Mutambara had sold out on Tsvangirai, insisting that Tsvangirai, leader of the main faction of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) just needed time to reflect on the proposed deal.

“We have dealt with all the elements on which President Mugabe and Mutambara agree, but there is disagreement on one element over which Morgan Tsvangirai had asked for time to reflect,” said Mbeki. “We have adjourned to give Morgan Tsvangirai more time to consider these matters.”

However, sources close to the Tsvangirai team put a different interpretation on [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)
13 August 2008
Posted to the web 13 August 2008
Wilson Johwa

A WEEK-long boycott of goods bound for Zimbabwe and Swaziland is among several protest actions civil society plans ahead of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit.

To be held on Saturday and Sunday in Johannesburg, the heads of state and government summit is likely to feature measures by civil society to press the leaders of Zimbabwe and Swaziland to allow democratic reforms.

A march had been scheduled for Saturday to drive home the message that President Robert Mugabe and King Mswati were not welcome in SA “and that we can no longer tolerate countries that do not practise democracy,” Zwelinzima Vavi, general secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), said yesterday.

“We have noted and continue to note that electoral fraud, political manipulation by ruling elites, institutionalised oppression and state brutality are the key defining features of the two states,” he said at the end of a solidarity conference focusing on [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Government has extended the negotiation period with Boteti Exploration for mining licence terms and conditions for AK 6 Diamond Mine to September 30, 2008.

In a statement e-mailed to Mmegi yesterday afternoon, the Chairman of African Diamonds John Teeling says his company had received a letter from the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources about the extension of time and was pleased with the news. But just before the e-mail from African Diamonds, the government had told Business Today that it had yet to make a decision on the matter.

“As of August 11, 2008, the government is considering the request to extend (the deadline) by Boteti Exploration Company,” a statement from the ministry had said. “The ministry will make an announcement once a position is determined.”

Government had given the JV partners, De Beers and African Diamonds, until yesterday to accept the terms of [continue reading]

source: International Herald Tribune
By Celia W. Dugger
Published: August 13, 2008

JOHANNESBURG: After three days of intensive negotiations to resolve the political crisis in Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe and the main opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, were deadlocked Wednesday on the most fundamental issue: Which one of them would lead a new unity government.

The talks, which began last month with high hopes for a quick settlement, were adjourned with no date set for a resumption of negotiations. President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, the official mediator in the Zimbabwe crisis, left Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital, on Wednesday without the power-sharing deal he had hoped to broker.

In the meantime, hunger and hyperinflation worsen across Zimbabwe, which has sunk into a deepening economic morass under Mugabe’s leadership.

Mugabe, who won a presidential runoff election against Tsvangirai that independent monitors said had been neither free nor fair, has yet to lift a two-month-old ban on humanitarian assistance by nongovernmental organizations, which he accused of colluding with Western nations to remove him from power. More than 1.5 million people in Zimbabwe, which has a population of 12 million, have lost access to [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Lance Guma
13 August 2008

Zimbabweans reacted angrily to press reports suggesting Arthur Mutambara and his breakaway MDC faction had signed a power sharing deal with Mugabe, soon after Tsvangirai walked way from the talks on Tuesday night. Officials from the party spent the whole of Wednesday denying the deal, while some expressed ignorance at developments unfolding. A political commentator told Newsreel ‘deal or no deal Mutambara and his party have been severely compromised by these reports.’

The state owned Herald newspaper ran a front page headline, ‘Deal Sealed’ and our correspondent Simon Muchemwa reports that thousands of anxious people snapped up the paper within minutes. They were to be bitterly disappointed after perusing the contents of the article which said Tsvangirai, the victor of the March 29 election, had been left out of a unity government. Although the newspaper does not have a reputable history for telling the truth, observers say the article would not have been published without authorization from senior officials within ZANU PF.

Officials from the Mutambara MDC completely deny any deal was struck with Mugabe but it has been alleged that the threat of resignation from 7 of their 10 MP’s might have forced a u-turn. Trudy Stevenson, a senior official from the party, sent a statement saying; ‘What has happened is that there is one issue on which two of the parties are agreed but which Morgan Tsvangirai has requested more time to consult.’ South African President Thabo Mbeki weighed in to clarify the confusion, saying no deal had been [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

A few weeks after its property peer introduced a special product designed for the youth, the National Development Bank (NDB) this week entered the fray with a cheaper solution for property development.

The new product, the Bonno NDB Construction Loan, is a self-fulfilment of what the government-owned development finance lender promised it would add as development elements when it introduced Bonno NDB Home Loans last year.

“In 2007, the bank introduced Bonno NDB Home Loans to cater for home improvement, buying a plot and home purchase,” NDB says in a written response to Mmegi. “As part of the bank’s re-engineering and enhancement of products, the construction phase is now being rolled out.

“This move will ensure that the bank provides a complete package or a one-stop shop for property development for all Batswana.”

The NDB also says the product follows its realisation that property development and [continue reading]

source: IOL
August 13 2008 at 01:04PM
By Suren Naidoo

The burgeoning South African tourism industry requires up to 80 000 workers in the next two years ahead of hosting the Fifa World Cup in 2010.

This is according to a skills audit on the industry conducted by the environmental affairs and tourism department.

The audit found that despite the skills shortage in the country, workshops conducted in 2010 host cities had found that one of the key challenges within the sector was the lack of awareness of the benefits in pursuing a career in the sector.

Tourism is also the fastest-growing industry in South Africa
In light of this, tourism deputy minister Rejoice Mabudafhasi announced in Durban on Tuesday that her department would hold the first National Tourism Careers Expo, which was set to be hosted in the city in October.

The event – to be hosted in partnership with the KZN arts, culture and tourism department, the tourism, hospitality, sport and education training authority – is aimed at encouraging unemployed young people to pursue careers in the [continue reading]