Archive for October, 2008

source: BOPA
30 October, 2008

GABORONE – Botswana and the United Nations have signed an agreement for an improved mechanism for the effective and efficient collaboration. Speaking at the signing of the “One UN Programme” concept in Gaborone on Tuesday, the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Mr Baledzi Gaolathe, said the agreement was signed to formalise and expedite the process of a single UN in Botswana.

“The presence of a UN Resident Coordinator and the just about to be completed UN Development Assistance Framework 2010-2016 are two critical ingredients to the process,” he said. Mr Gaolathe said the next process would be the development of a single operational programme for the UN system in Botswana so that the delivering-as-one initiative was fulfilled.

He said the new initiative, which was on trial in eight countries, save for a few more self starters, was expected to [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
BuaNews (Tshwane)
31 October 2008
Bathandwa Mbola

Permanent Secretaries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) met at the Union Buildings on Thursday to discuss the issues affecting the region and faster implementation of programmes.

President Kgalema Motlanthe in his capacity as head of SADC reminded the Forum of the essence of expediting the process of implementation of SADC programmes.

On the issue of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad), the meeting noted the need to expedite the implementation of SADC/NEPAD programmes and reflected on accelerating the pace of [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
31 October 2008

South Africa’s former president, Thabo Mbeki, has told Jacob Zuma, his successor as leader of the African National Congress, that he is not engaged in efforts by dissatisfied ANC members, including members of his former cabinet, to form a breakaway party. Mbeki said after his resignation at the request of the party, he had no intention of ruling “from the grave” and would not become involved either in the internal politics of the ANC or in government.

Mbeki declared his position in a letter to Zuma which was leaked to the South African media on Friday. The full text of the letter follows:

Comrade President,

I imagine that these must be especially trying times for you as president of our movement, the ANC, as they are for [continue reading]

source: News24
31/10/2008 08:08 – (SA)

Jan-Jan Joubert and Carien du Plessis, Beeld

Cape Town – Former president Thabo Mbeki has declined overtures from the ANC and the breakaway group. Instead, he will be forming his own civil pressure group to promote democracy.

As the country buzzes about the contents of a letter he sent to the ANC this week and which, in the opinion of his inner circle, is being exploited by the ANC for its own ends, it was revealed that Mbeki is planning a book that will unequivocally state his side of the matter.

The book may even appear before the general election.

Although all eyes are on the Sandton Convention Centre on Sunday, Mbeki will not deliver an address at the convention despite an [continue reading]

source: BOPA
30 October, 2008

GABORONE – Media practitioners have been urged to report murder cases beyond face value to afford the public a balanced version of the situation at hand.

A human rights lawyer, who is also Bakgatla Kgosi-kgolo Kgafela II advised journalists against sensationalising the death and subsequent penalty. Instead he said in his personal presentation at a Ditshwanelo seminar on death penalty in Gaborone on Tuesday that they should be ethical in their reporting.

“The media is very powerful and influences so many people in our society and therefore your reporting should not be biased in any way.” Attorney Kgafela is renowned for successfully handling the murder case of Tlhabologang Maauwe and Gwara Motswetla by challenging their death sentences in 1999. He obtained a stay of execution and a declaration of a mistrial based upon the finding that they did not receive a fair hearing. He maintained during his presentation that execution by death brutalises and traumatises the family of the condemned prisoner and the hangman, among others.

“History tells us that almost all [continue reading]

source: BOPA
30 October, 2008

KASANE – The Ministry of Works and Transport is in the process of buying a pantoon to transport vehicles across the Chobe River at the Kazungula border.

Mr Samuel Mbaiwa, the ministry’s spokesperson, said on Tuesday that government wanted to improve service delivery at the border with neighbouring Zambia. Currently, there were only two pantoons belonging to Zambia that ferry goods trucks and people between the two countries.

“There is too much traffic that crosses into both countries,” he said. “We have to increase the number of pantoons to speed service delivery at the border post.” Mr Mbaiwa explained that the Zambian government has also communicated its intentions to buy two more pantoons.

He however said the project was still at a planning stage since the cost and place where the pantoon will be bought have not yet been determined.

The purchasing of the pantoons comes at a time when the governments of Botswana and Zambia have [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The Bank of Botswana (BoB) has been heavily criticised for its silence over the state of the country’s foreign exchange reserves in view of the unfolding global financial crisis that has seen markets crumble over the past 10 months.

Outspoken University of Botswana lecturer, Dr Oupa Tsheko, has described the central bank’s silence as “sheer arrogance” because the public deserves to know the status of the country’s wealth.

Speaking at a panel discussion on the effects of the global financial crisis on Botswana at UB recently, Tsheko said the central bank’s silence left researchers and analysts to merely speculate.

Though the Bank of Botswana was invited, it did not attend.

“The central bank and pension fund managers owe the [continue reading]

Top Civil Servants Retire

source: The Botswana Gazette

Will They Join Politics?

Two prominent civil servants are to leave their offices soon. Mr. Otefetse Kenneth Matambo and Mr. Serwalo Tumelo will retire to face new challenges in life. Matambo, the Managing Director of the Botswana Development Corporation (BDC), retires at the end of this month while Tumelo’s contract with the government is also coming to an end very soon.

Matambo joined the BDC in 1998 as Managing Director; during his tenure the BDC turned around and became a profitable parastatal, said Mr. Simon Meti, Human Resource Manager at the BDC.

The outgoing BDC MD has worked in government as an economist, principal economist and Secretary of Economic Affairs. He has also worked with the World Bank. His career in government can be traced to 1972 when he joined the [continue reading]

source: IOL
October 30 2008 at 03:58PM

Former Communist, trade unionist and civic leader Moses Mayekiso on Thursday also threw his weight behind the so-called dissident movement of Terror Lekota and Mbhamzima Shilowa.

Mayekiso, a former ANC MP, was expected to make the announcement at 4pm in Johannesburg.

It comes ahead of this weekend’s national convention which is the likely precursor to the formation of an ANC splinter party, provisionally called the South Africa National Congress.

However, the ANC is likely to object given the similarity to its own name, and in terms of the law the Independent Electoral Commission can refuse to register a [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Diamond Trading Company (DTC) Botswana will next Monday start its 9th sale of unpolished gems to its tightly screened sightholders.

DTC Botswana’s Communications and Public Affairs Manager, Kago Mmopi, says the final two “sights” for this year – which will be week-long events including the one next Monday and another in December – will be smaller and more focused than previous ones, with prices reflecting the polished outcome from the rough.

It was reported in the international media last week that the reduction in the sale of rough diamonds was the result of reduced demand and a call by an industry group spokesman earlier in the month for producers to cut supply amid the global economic turmoil.

It was also reported that a decline in demand during the Indian festival of Diwali prompted De Beers to react.

However, Mmopi says the sales reduction was not as [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
UN Integrated Regional Information Networks
29 October 2008

Armed informal diamond miners in Zimbabwe’s eastern Manicaland Province, scraping a living in desperate times, are resisting attempts by police to remove them in increasingly violent clashes.

According to police spokesperson Andrew Phiri, as quoted by the state-owned The Herald newspaper, several police officers were killed about two weeks ago in a shoot-out with diamond miners, known as “makorokoza” in the local Shona language. Local residents claimed a miner was killed by the police last week.

The diamond fields in the Chiadzwa area of Marange District, some 90km southwest of Mutare, the biggest city in the province, have attracted thousands of informal miners in the past two years; Gideon Gono, governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), said diamond smuggling had [continue reading]

source: BOPA
29 October, 2008

SELEBI-PHIKWE – Triprop Holdings has launched its mining exploration venture in the copper/ nickel rich Selebi-Phikwe.

The Botswana-based company holds a license from the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources to prospect for base metals in a 900 square kilometer area in the Selebi-Phikwe region.

Minister Ponatshego Kedikilwe performed the ground breaking for the exploration activity just west of Selebi-Phikwe along the road to Serule on Sunday.

Director of Triprop, Mr Suresh Vishwanath, said during the ground-breaking ceremony that the initial focus was to prospect for nickel, copper and other metals.

“We have appointed experts in the field of exploration who have [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The Media Institute of South Africa (MISA) Botswana has condemned this week’s publication of the controversial Media Practitioners Bill by the Minister of Communication, Science and Technology Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi.

MISA national director, Thapelo Ndlovu said the minister published the bill before the proposed consultation between the media fraternity and the ministry.

He said the fact that the minister went ahead and published the bill in its original form shows that the proposed consultations are irrelevant to the overall process. Ndlovu told Mmegi yesterday that he is not entirely surprised by the publishing of the bill, but he expected the minister to allow consultations with the media to come to its logical conclusion before publishing the bill. “We have always argued that the ministry was just conducting a public relations exercise with the consultations instead of truly wishing to take on board the concerns of the media fraternity. They want to [continue reading]

source: IOL
October 29 2008 at 03:06PM

Security guards participating in the crime prevention initiative will not be given police powers, said Honeydew police station Commissioner Oswald Reddy on Wednesday.

“There seems to be misunderstanding and confusion about the operational concept due to an article published in the media on Sunday, which incorrectly indicated that security companies will be given police powers and policing mandate.”

“This is not true and in fact it’s a misrepresentation of the project,” Reddy said when addressing guests at the signing of a Memorandum of Understating (MoU) between Honeydew police station and [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff writer

Botswana will be among four African countries that will be selling ivory this week.The auction opens almost 10 years after it was closed in southern Africa in 1999.

Other countries that will dispose of their stockpiles are Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. They will auction more than 100 tons of ivory to buyers from Asian countries, China and Japan.

According to BBC news, the 1999 auction raised about US $5m for conservation and community projects. Botswana will sell 44 tons of her stockpile, says BBC.

With the involvement of Chinese buyers, the article says, a total bounty of $30m or P210m is said to be possible this time around.

Namibia was expected to [continue reading]