Archive for October 6th, 2008

source: BOPA
06 October, 2008

PALAPYE – Fifteeen skeletons that were exhumed from the site of the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) plot in Setlatse will be re-buried at the Mmaphula cemetery in Palapye tomorrow.

According to a BIUST official, Ms Eunice Mmono, the exhumation exercise on the university plot has been carried out since April 2008.

She indicated that the exercise was carried out after it was realised that there were burial sites within the BIUST plot. The graves that were not visible had been identified by relatives.

Ms Mmono indicated that the burial sites were a result of a traditional set-up where by family members who passed away while at the cattle post or lands would be buried in a kraal or compound.

She said her office, in consultation with the tribal leaders in Palapye, Malaka and Lecheng did all the consultations with the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

The debate on alcohol will be with us for some time. If by imposing a 30 percent levy on alcohol government had thought that they had banished for good the discussion on alcohol, they were only deluding themselves.

To be fair to President Ian Khama, we think we understand why he is so concerned with alcohol consumption, which borders on the abuse. The atrocities resulting from alcohol abuse are a compelling case that very few can argue against. We have seen families break-up, productive lives lost, insurance companies lose millions, many maimed, hospital beds taken up by patients that should not have been patients in the first place. As a leader of this nation, President Khama has a responsibility to be decisive in promoting and protecting the interests of his people even if it means saving themselves from a self-inflicted misery. We cannot fault Khama for trying to protect his [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
05.10.2008 1:06:29 P

African Diamonds Plc, the Botswana-London listed company, assured investors this week about prospects of its mining finds in Orapa area, adding that they are now in constructive negotiations with the world diamond giant, DeBeers.

In a statement issued out on Tuesday, the company said plans for being granted the mining licence have been shifted by another two weeks but indications are that it would be granted.

“Most of the differences have been chiefly resolved and what is left is for us to re-engage so that we commence production by March 2011,” African Diamonds’ Managing Director, James Campbell, told Sunday Standard.

“We have shifted the production date to March 2011 obviously because De Beers still needs to [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The Nation (Nairobi)
5 October 2008
Kitsepile Nyathi and Agencies

When Zimbabwe’s political rivals signed an historic power sharing agreement almost a month ago at a glitzy ceremony, former South Africa President Thabo Mbeki joked that he did not want to return to Zimbabwe again.

Praising him as a tough and intelligent negotiator, President Robert Mugabe had made a promise that the new government would be set up without any hurdles because what he considered to be the most difficult part had been overcome.

This was after Mr Mbeki spent a tortuous seven weeks mediating in talks between the ruling Zanu PF and the two factions of the Movement for Democratic Change to form a unity government.

The agreement was hailed as a diplomatic victory for a man who was vilified for his so-called quite diplomacy on [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

SELEBI-PHIKWE: Councillors here have rejected calls from President Ian Khama to have the matimela programme abolished.

Khama had recommended the abolition of the programme, saying it was a financial burden on local authorities.

But Selebi-Phikwe councillors, including those of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), rejected the proposal outright during a special full council session last Thursday.

According to correspondence from the Ministry of Agriculture, local authorities were required to debate the issue before making their submissions. Councillors said the issue of stray livestock would always be there and called on the government to amend the Matimela Act, which they consider outdated.

Botswana Congress Party (BCP) councillor for Leseding, Gaone Chamme, said it would be an ill-advised decision to abandon the programme. “We cannot just abandon matimela,” Chamme said. “Authorities are [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Gowenius Toka
05.10.2008 1:05:30 P

Standard Chartered Bank of Botswana’s international expertise and local experience, combined with “consistent delivery of world class products and services,” continues to build the bank’s reputation as the leading financial institution in Africa. It was in this context that the bank’s Head of Consumer Banking for the Africa Region, Raheel Ahmed, was in Botswana recently to welcome the local Bank’s new Head of Consumer Banking, Michael Wiegand.

To the extent that the bank’s products are not only innovative, many of which are ‘firsts in the market’, a considerable range of them is already benefiting majority of Standard Chartered’s Botswana banks in a big way.

Ahmed said in an interview that Standard Chartered’s competitive advantage in Africa is centered on the fact that the bank combines international expertise and capabilities with deep-rooted local knowledge in the respective areas of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writers

Sticking points on restructuring has led to the collapse of contract negotiations for the management of state-owned Air Botswana, government sources have revealed.

Ministry of Works and Transport sources privy to the negotiations say that one of the sticking points is the proposed retrenchment by the management company Comair.

It is understood that as part of the restructuring of the national flag carrier, Comair wanted to trim down the staff compliment at Air Botswana, particularly the top managers. The company felt the managers are too many and this has caused a duplication of roles and imposed a huge burden on costs.

It is understood that Comair has problems with the ageing Air Botswana fleet and had provided alternatives, which the government turned down.

Government now plans to negotiate a management contract for Air Botswana with International Development Ireland (IDI).

Comair was selected as the [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The East African (Nairobi)
5 October 2008
Terence Ranger

A day or two before he signed the power sharing agreement with Morgan Tsvangrai and Arthur Mutambara, Robert Mugabe spoke to an assembly of Zimbabwean chiefs, resplendent in their colonial-era red robes and white helmets. He told them that Zanu/PF and the MDC were completely different from each other — as different as fire and water.

This, too, has been the insistence of commentators in the state press. An agreement was easy to make in Kenya, they say, because Kenyan leaders are like peas in the same neo-liberal pod. But Zanu/PF is a revolutionary party, a party — as its favourite song says — of blood.

Mugabe complains that he has been humiliated and has had to allow the traitorous milk-and-water MDC into the very heart of government.

This cannot be allowed for long. Zanu/PF must rebuild itself and sweep to power in a new election, after which it can [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
05.10.2008 1:22:27 P

An impromptu meeting has been called to cool tempers between the Attorney General, Athaliah Molokomme, and private firm of attorneys, Armstrong Attorneys, who are acting on behalf of Kgalagadi Breweries.

Last week, the brewer obtained a relief from the High Court restraining government from imposing the 30% levy on alcohol which was supposed to have effected.

After the relief, Dr. Molokomme notified the Chief Justice through the High Court Registrar of “irregularities” that had occurred during the process.

Through her letter to the Registrar, Dr. Molokomme requested the Chief Justice to set up a panel of three judges to hear her interlocutory application which she said had not been heard prior to Justice Unity Dow giving relief to Kgalagadi Breweries.
Dr. Molokomme also took issue with the fact that Justice Unity Dow had sat as a single judge, despite the fact that there were some weighty constitutional issues arising from the case.

If the tone of the letter written [continue reading]

source: IOL
October 05 2008 at 04:21PM

Cape Town – The leaders of the African National Congress had to accept that their party had finally split, United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa said on Sunday.

“The new ANC leadership need to swallow their pride and accept that the hour has arrived,” he said in the text of a speech to be delivered in George at a ceremony welcoming new UDM members.

“The ANC of yesteryear, the much-vaunted ‘broad church’ is now split into two.”

His remarks come amid persistent reports that disgruntled members of the ruling party are planning to break away and establish a new political formation.

Holomisa said it might be wise after next year’s general election for all parties and South Africans interested in changing the political landscape to meet “and begin the discussion of how we can compete as an alternative government in the 2014 elections”.

“In the meantime there would be no harm for us to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Zulu Energy, a US-based coal bed methane exploration and development company has unexpectedly hit natural gas while drilling for coal bed methane in the Pandamatenga area.

The surprise discovery occurred during initial exploratory drilling by Nyati Resources, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Zulu Energy.

The company announced last week that as a precautionary measure, the well was temporarily shut until the required safety equipment is mobilised and installed at the drilling location.”During the initial phase of exploration in Botswana, we plan to drill approximately nine exploration wells to confirm the coal deposit, estimate the gas content of the coal and identify production pilot locations,” said Zulu chairman Brian Hughes.

“The discovery of a conventional deposit of natural gas at [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Gowenius Toka
05.10.2008 1:04:34 P

Government is not about to consider any drastic alteration to the existing water and electricity tariffs for both commercial and domestic consumers. That is despite the fact that there is concern that it is not possible to attract foreign direct investment into the country as a result of the prohibitively high tariff rates.

Fears have been raised that the current problem of power supply and demand mismatch, which has resulted from South Africa’s Eskom’s decision to limit Botswana’s portion of their energy has the potential to impact on the availability of water.

This emerged at the official presentation of the Water Utilities Corporation Annual Report 2007/2008 to the Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Ponatshego Kedikilwe, by Abednigo Humanly, who is [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Only days after Kgalagadi Breweries and Botswana Breweries successfully had the government’s 30 percent levy on alcoholic beverages temporarily suspended by the High Court, President Ian Khama has raised the stakes.

In his Independence message on September 30, President Khama, who is the paramount chief of Bamangwato, blamed alcohol for most of the social ills besieging the nation.

Perhaps an indication that his government would rather implement sterner measures to fight alcohol abuse than bend to the wishes of the alcohol industry, Khama became the first state president ever to present shocking statistics on the magnitude of alcohol abuse in his Independence Day message.

Quoting government statistics, Khama said a national household sample survey found that by the time, “our youth reach age 13, 18 percent were already drinkers, rising to 72 percent by the time they were 17. No responsible government, no government professing to be of, by and for the people, can afford to turn a blind eye to such circumstances”.

Khama said: “The challenge of [continue reading]