Archive for August 20th, 2008

source: Mmegi

Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of Zimbabwean opposition Party, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), is in Botswana to have talks with President Ian Khama.

This has been confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “I know that there has been a request from MDC that Tsvangirai will like to visit the country,” said Ministry of Foreign Affairs, spokesperson Clifford Maribe. Tsvangirai left South Africa where Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders met principally to discuss the Zimbabwean political impasse albeit with little success. It was hoped that regional leaders would add their weight to the mediation efforts of South African President Thabo Mbeki to hammer out a political deal between Robert Mugabe of ZANU-PF and Tsvangirai’s MDC. However, there was no breakthrough at the summit.

Botswana boycotted the summit saying that it does not recognise the results of June 27 presidential election run-off [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The Nation (Nairobi)
19 August 2008
Posted to the web 20 August 2008
Kitsepile Nyathi

The Zimbabwean government today claimed that African leaders were warming up to President Robert Mugabe after realising that they were misled by the opposition on his re-election.

African leaders broke with tradition to condemn Mr Mugabe’s June 27 run-off election where he ran alone following the last minute withdrawal from the race by main contender and opposition leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai.

This was after more than 100 of Mr Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) supporters were killed and thousands others displaced in an orgy of state sponsored violence ahead of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The Vice President and Mahalapye West MP, Mompati Merafhe has said he totally supports government control of the media.

He accused the press of bias during debate on the Media Practitioners’ Bill in Parliament yesterday. Merafhe cited a Radio Botswana report yesterday morning which attributed the victory of Mochudi Centre Chiefs over Lobatse Extension Gunners in the Coca-Cola Cup to luck. He said the reporters should not have given their opinions of the match. He took a swipe at Mmegi saying the information and figures carried on its Friday edition, about Mahalapye primaries were not correct.

He complained that newspapers give a platform to some politicians who are anti-government. Because of these, the Vice President called for government control of the press and said that he supports those people who say they do not read local newspapers.

The MP for Mogoditshane Patrick Masimolole, a former journalist at Radio Botswana, called for more consultation with [continue reading]

source: International Herald Tribune
By Barry Bearak
Published: August 20, 2008

JOHANNESBURG: President Levy Mwanawasa of Zambia, whose economic policies won the confidence of international donors and whose robust criticism of President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe made him an anomaly among African heads of state, died Tuesday in France, seven weeks after a stroke. He was 59.

His death, at Percy Military Hospital in Clamart outside Paris, was announced by Vice President Rupiah Banda in the state news media; he called for a week of national mourning. Mwanawasa has no obvious successor. Banda is expected to continue as acting president until a new election, which must be held within 90 days under Zambia’s Constitution.

Inside Zambia, a poor, landlocked nation of nearly 12 million people in southern central Africa, Mwanawasa may best be remembered as a crusader against corruption. Upon taking office in January 2002, he took on, among others, his predecessor, Frederick Chiluba.

“Everyone thought he was going to be Chiluba’s puppet, but he showed very quickly that he took orders from no one,” said Dipak Patel, a former minister of commerce, trade and industry under Mwanawasa.

Outside Zambia, the president became well known recently for his outspoken criticism of Mugabe, a liberation hero who has led his nation into such an [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

The United Nations is fully committed to assisting Botswana in her efforts to achieve economic development and poverty reduction.

This affirmation was made by the United Nations Resident Coordinator Khin-Sandi Lwin when she paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Trade and Industry, Neo Moroka last week.

The purpose of the meeting was to reassure the Botswana government that the United Nations is devoted to helping Botswana in her endeavour to develop Batswana and further grow the economy.

Khin-Sandi Lwin, who is also the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative, added that the UN is aware of the challenges that Botswana is currently experiencing.

She said through its seven agencies based in Botswana, the United Nations is working closely with the government to develop NDP 10, adding that [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)
19 August 2008
Posted to the web 19 August 2008
Wilson Johwa

ZIMBABWE’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is again turning to regional leaders to help break the deadlock in power-sharing talks, after the failure to clinch a deal at the weekend summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) raised fresh doubts over the progress of the negotiations.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday headed off on a 10-day tour to consult regional leaders in an apparent bid to bring greater pressure to bear on President Robert Mugabe, and the SADC-mandated mediator, President Thabo Mbeki.

While Mbeki insisted after the SADC summit on Sunday that a solution remained within the negotiators’ grasp, observers said his credibility had been further dented by the failure of the talks, which were dragging on well beyond the original deadline.

Tellingly, Tsvangirai’s first port of call is Botswana, whose President Ian Khama has [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Government has established a task force to investigate illegal operations in the tourism industry, a cabinet minister has said.

The Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism Kitso Mokaila said yesterday that the government is seeking to tighten its grip on the sector, which has been identified as a significant driver of the country’s economic diversification efforts. The minister was speaking at the Tourism Pitso 2008 in Gaborone. He said the ministry appointed a task force after players in the industry raised concerns. Already, the recommendations of the task-force have necessitated changes in the Tourism Act.

Apart from looking at ways of curbing illegal operators in protected areas, the task force is looking at the payment levy by non-accommodation tourism enterprises and licencing categories.

“Illegal operations and increased activity by mobile operators, especially in the Northern Protected Areas are still a concern. As a result, the Tourism Board has [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
UN Integrated Regional Information Networks
19 August 2008
Posted to the web 20 August 2008

Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa’s death has dealt a double blow to Southern Africa, not only generating fears of possible political instability in Zambia but also concern about the impact on the process of finding a solution in Zimbabwe, according to analysts.

Under the current constitution, which is under review, Zambians will have to head for fresh polls within 90 days.

Mwanawasa, as chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), was one of the first regional leaders, together with the past and current presidents of Botswana, to openly criticise Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s policies.

Mwanawasa died in a French hospital on 19 August, nearly two months after he was admitted as a result of suffering a stroke, said Zambian vice-president Rupiah Banda. He was 59.

Describing Mwanawasa as a “good friend and comrade”, the leader of Zimbabwe’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Morgan Tsvangirai, said he had “left us at [continue reading]