Archive for August 23rd, 2008

source: Cellular News

Botswana’s Mascom Wireless has launched a 3G and HSDPA network – although coverage is initially limited to the greater Gaborone area only. Mascom Chief Marketing Officer, Ms Dzene Makhwade-Seboni said that the company has spent P50 million (US$7.7 million) on the network upgrade.

The download speed is limited to 1.8Mbps on the network, and falls back to EDGE when out of 3G coverage.

The upgraded network coverage should be expanded to Francistown in a few months time – and then to other cities as demand allows.

According to figures from the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

FRANCISTOWN: In an interesting twist in the Mahalapye West constituency ‘Bulela Ditswe’ race, one of the parliamentary challengers, Modise Malaakgosi yesterday withdrew his candidature to join forces with youthful Bernard Bolele.

The move is reportedly geared at building a formidable challenge against Vice President and incumbent area MP, Mompati Merafhe, 10 days before the 30 August Botswana Democratic Party primaries.

Speaking yesterday, Malaakgosi confirmed: “I have tendered a letter of withdrawal of my candidature after careful consideration and my party colleagues have prevailed over me and Bolele to do so.”

“I now support Bolele in his challenge of the VP in the Mahalapye West constituency. This is for party unity and ultimately for national unity,” he said.

Malaakgosi and Bolele did not want to split the votes in their challenge against Merafhe. It is the first time since the first primaries in 1994 that the BDP heavyweight will face a combined effort of candidates bidding to oust him.

In the 2004 BDP primary elections, Merafhe overcame [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Alex Bell
22 August 2008

The ZANU PF politburo has reportedly resolved that Robert Mugabe should not concede to MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s demands to become executive prime minister, even if the dialogue between the two party leaders collapses – a move that has seen the talks reach a dead end.

Mugabe apparently reported back to the Soviet-style politburo about the failure of the weekend SADC summit in South Africa to break the impasse between him and Tsvangirai in the power sharing negotiations. The politburo resolved not to grant any concessions demanded by Tsvangirai, resulting in the present political stalemate.

At the same time Mugabe has allegedly been told by war veterans and military chiefs to pull out of the dialogue with the opposition. Zimbabwe’s military chiefs are of the view that Mugabe had already ceded too much power to Tsvangirai in the deal now on the SADC appointed mediator, Thabo Mbeki’s table.

In the current deal, which Tsvangirai refused to sign, he would be in charge of all economic, social and humanitarian affairs ministries while Mugabe would be responsible for all security ministries. Tsvangirai described as [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Household credit grew 25.8 percent over the 12 months to the end of the first quarter of 2008, but monthly figures since then have shown significant volatility, most apparent in the business sector, statistics from the Bank of Botswana show.

For households, the year-on-year figure had grown to 30.6 percent by May, but for the business sector it had plummeted to 19.8 percent. “As far as this reflects a loss of confidence by the business sector, it is in sharp contrast to the findings of the Business Expectations Survey,” says a Botswana economic report prepared by Capital Securities.
The survey was conducted immediately after the 2008/09 Budget Speech which highlighted opportunities for robust growth, rapid acceleration in government spending and plans for major infrastructure development.

Respondents reacted with forecasts of real growth of 5.9 percent over 2007/08 and 6.4 percent over 2008/09. “Confidence levels were high, with exporters registering an average 78 percent, non-exporters 71 percent.” The report says.

“However, since then, unscheduled power cuts and [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)
22 August 2008
Posted to the web 22 August 2008

Dumisani Muleya

ZIMBABWEAN President Robert Mugabe is in a tight spot on how to form a functioning new government after a smaller faction of the opposition he banked on for a coalition said it would not work with him.

Mugabe now faces the prospect of going it alone, something that would compound his legitimacy crisis and plunge the economy even deeper into the doldrums.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) faction led by Arthur Mutambara assured its restless MPs at a national council meeting on Wednesday that it would not join Mugabe’s government. The party was facing a revolt from MPs after reports that it leadership was considering working with Mugabe.

The party deliberated extensively on [continue reading]