Archive for October 15th, 2008

source: BOPA
15 October, 2008

GABORONE – Botswana has been ranked 45th out of 104 countries in the world and second in Africa, out of 15 states, by the latest Legatum Institute Global Prosperity Index.

According to the institute, “the index defines prosperity as a holistic combination of material wealth and life satisfaction, measuring how well nations are promoting both economic growth and quality life”.

Australia holds the top spot, ahead of Austria and Finland; Yemen ranks last, following several African nations including Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mali.” The institute further says, “Well-governed Botswana has, over a period of 30 years, achieved one of the fastest rates of income growth in the world, despite still high HIV/AIDS infection rates”.

It says Namibia trails closely behind Botswana in 55th place and is unique in the region in having no severe weaknesses and one notable strength, equality of opportunity. South Africa has enjoyed success in enabling individual entrepreneurship by lowering the costs of formalising a business.

Countries said to be in the bottom quartile of the index are said to be [continue reading]

source: BBC News

Zimbabwe’s leaders are due to resume talks on assigning posts in a new cabinet and rescuing the country’s power-sharing deal.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said there was “no conclusion” to a first day of negotiations on Tuesday.

Former South African President Thabo Mbeki is mediating the discussions.

Mr Tsvangirai threatened to pull out of the negotiations after President Robert Mugabe gave key ministries to officials from his own party.

The talks began on Tuesday as Zimbabwe’s parliament held its first working session under opposition control since disputed elections earlier this [continue reading]

source: BOPA
14 October, 2008

FRANCISTOWN – The President, Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama, has called for the immediate intervention of SADC, African Union and the United National mediators to resolve the Zimbabwean political impasse.

He was speaking at the official opening of the Francistown College of Technical and Vocational Education (FCTVE) in Francistown on Friday.

General Khama’s urgent call follows failure by the Zimbabwean President, Mr Robert Mugabe, and MDC leader, Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, to break a deadlock over the allocation of key cabinet ministries.

He said four weeks ago the heads of states and government from SADC were in Harare to witness the signing of the power-sharing agreement, which they welcomed as a new era for Zimbabwean people.

He said they were hopeful that the signing of the deal would relieve Zimbabweans from the [continue reading]

source: BOPA
14 October, 2008

FRANCISTOWN – African National Congress (ANC)’s Treasurer, Dr Mathews Phosa says his party supports President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama’s position regarding the political situation in Zimbabwe. Dr Phosa who was a guest speaker at the Botswana Democratic Party Women’s Wing fund-raising dinner in Francistown on Saturday said “just because someone was a freedom fighter does not give that person the right to override democracy. No one should claim to be a leader if he is not elected by the people.” He said ANC believed that SADC should be empowered to act against dictators. “We must put pressure on the ZANU (PF) leader, Mr Robert Mugabe to abide by the principle of democracy and the rule of law,” he said. President Khama was the first and the only SADC leader who openly criticised Mr Mugabe after he lost the March 29 Presidential election.

The MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, also failed to take over power on a constitutional technicality. However Dr Phosa who was also launching the BDP Women’s Wing motto and theme: “We are Visible, we are Here, you can Trust us,” called on government to increase women representation in [continue reading]

source: IOL
Aziz Hartley
October 15 2008 at 06:33AM

Some leaders of disgruntled ANC Western Cape members who backed former ANC chairperson Mosiuoa Lekota’s plan for a national convention, have been suspended from the party and more could follow, the ANC’s Western Cape leadership said.

City councillors and the party’s Dullah Omar (Cape Town metro) regional executive members Mbulelo Ncedana, Ebrahim Sawant and Brain Heber, ANC Boland co-ordinator Moegamat Majiet and West Coast councillor Onel de Beer would be disciplined because their public support for Lekota had undermined their party’s unity, ANC provincial chairperson Mcebisi Skwatsha said.

The action followed the ANC head office’s suspension of Lekota and fellow ANC dissident Mluleki George.

“The PWC (ANC provincial working committee) believes this drastic action will bring clearer understanding to our [continue reading]

source: BOPA
15 October, 2008

SELEBI-PHIKWE – The Minister of Labour and Home Affairs, Mr Peter Siele, has reminded Sinohydro Corporation and its employees of the need to complete the P1.34 billion Dikgathong Dam on time.

“This project is a big national asset,” he said when addressing a meeting between Sinohydro directors and the workers last week. “It is going to be the biggest dam in the country. It will solve water crises in several big villages and provide water for the Mmamabula Coal Project. So there is a need to complete it on time.” During the meeting, the workers appealed to Mr Siele to him to help resolve a stand-off between them and their employer.

They voiced dissatisfaction about several issues including poor supervision and abuse by their Chinese supervisors. In addition they alleged that they were requested to pay for protective equipment, which they felt they should be provided with free of charge.

The workers further complained of poor accommodation at the camp site, which they described as poor, with six people sharing one room, and we are not allowed to bring their utensils.

Mr Basimane Tidimalo, a representative of the employees, said management had [continue reading]

source: IOL
October 15 2008 at 09:47AM

South Africa must not give up on economic growth in the face of threats from what has been called a global financial meltdown, according to ANC president Jacob Zuma.

Addressing delegates at the National Union of Metalworkers’ eighth congress on Tuesday, Zuma said: “The current global financial crisis impresses upon us to work even harder to ensure that our people are cushioned against economic shocks.

“An increase in the prices of food and other critical produce is anticipated, economic growth will be hard to achieve, and there will no doubt be other difficulties and challenges, but we must not give up trying to achieve growth and development.”

SA Communist Party general secretary Blade Nzimande said assurances were being made that SA would not be as affected as the [continue reading]

source: BOPA
15 October, 2008

JWANENG – The Member of Parliament for Ngwaketse West says the failure to timeously inspect projects in villages will result in loss of money as the government will have to re-finance such projects when they later show serious deficiencies.

Mr Mephato Reatile was responding to queries raised by Metlobo residents who complained about the state of bad roads in their area, especially the Mmathethe-Metlobo Road during a kgotla meeting on last week.

The villagers said they were disappointed that despite government’s efforts to grade the road, it was evident that a shoddy job had been done in its construction as the road was worse than before.

Mr Reatile encouraged the Village Development Committee (VDC) to monitor the implementation of projects as inspectors in the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The Assistant Minister of Trade and Industry, Duke Lefhoko told local business people on Saturday that they can make good money if they take advantage of the recently launched SADC Free Trade Area (SADC FTA).

Lefhoko was the guest speaker at the annual Botswana Confederation of Commerce, Industry and Manpower (BOCCIM) Gala dinner at the GICC, where he represented his boss Neo Moroka.

The Assistant Minister urged the local business community to improve the quality of their products and services and their competitiveness to tap into multi-billion dollar markets offered by the newly introduced regional free trade area. The theme of this year’s BOCCIM Gala Dinner was: “Unlocking the potential of the SADC Free Trade Area”.

Lefhoko hailed the SADC FTA saying it creates a regional market of 170 million people with an annual turn over of $360 billion. The picture looks even much brighter when [continue reading]

source: Cuban News Agency

HAVANA, Cuba, Oct 14 (acn) The Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture of Botswana, Gladys K. Kokorwe, met on Monday with the Cuban ambassador in this African nation, Jorge Luis Lopez Tormo, and thanked him for Cuba’s assistance and cooperation with her country.

During the meeting, Kokorwe and Lopez Tormo spoke of topics related to youths, sports and culture in both countries.

The Minister noted that her country has begun to obtain positive results in different sports events at the regional and international level thanks, among other reasons, to the Cuban cooperation in this sector.

Fort his part, the Cuban diplomat expressed his [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

A group of anonymous soldiers in the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) has threatened to wreak havoc before end of this month.

The group also claims responsibility for the veldt fires that have swept across the country since August, in a paper circulated to media houses. The fires have ravaged the country’s tourist destinations such as the Central Kgalagadi Game Reserve (CKGR), Tsodilo Hills, National Parks and grazing land.

The group had earlier threatened to derail Botswana Railways trains to cripple its operations during Independence holidays, but their threats never materialised.

Yesterday deputy commander of (BDF) and Commander of the BDF Air Arm Major General Gobuamang Thokwane downplayed the threats, describing them as “unfortunate”.

In an exclusive interview with Mmegi, Thokwane said the threats are empty, but BDF would continue with investigations to determine if perpetrators are from its ranks. He confirmed that a similar document has reached BR and Btv chiefs. “It is difficult to deal with faceless people, very difficult, because as [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Violet Gonda
14 October 2008

Former South Africa President Thabo Mbeki arrived in Zimbabwe on Monday night to try and save the interparty power sharing agreement from collapse. On Tuesday he was locked in closed door meetings with the leaders of ZANU PF and the two MDC formations, at the Rainbow Towers hotel in Harare.

This is the first time that Mbeki is in Zimbabwe since stepping down as South Africa’s President a couple of weeks ago. Journalists waiting outside the hotel said the normal reception for a Head of State was clearly missing, when the former President arrived for the talks in one of Mugabe’s old Mercs.

The night before Mbeki was met at the airport by Minister of Foreign Affairs Simbarashe Mumbengegwi. The days of Robert Mugabe meeting him, complete with flower girls, have gone.

Journalist Angus Shaw said: “I saw him today in a motorcade with just two outriders, it wasn’t even a motorcade. He is not being afforded that protocol of being a top leader anymore. So I think we are down to a situation where his authority has been undermined.”

However, Mbeki is still the ambassador of the Southern African Development Community (SADC); a [continue reading]

source: International Herald Tribune
By Celia W. Dugger
Published: October 14, 2008

JOHANNESBURG: Military commanders in Zimbabwe have pressured President Robert Mugabe to shield them from prosecution for a violent crackdown on his political foes this year, and his response now threatens to derail a power-sharing deal that was supposed to halt the country’s dizzying downward economic spiral.

Mugabe’s efforts to placate his generals, as well as senior politicians in his party who are disgruntled about their loss of clout, culminated in his decision last week to unilaterally claim control of ministries that have been pivotal to his 28 years of unbroken political dominance and are now critical to protecting his senior generals from the risk of being charged criminally.

Mugabe, 84, signed an agreement a month ago to share power with the political opposition after a brutal election season in which more than 100 opposition supporters were [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The Central Transport Organisation (CTO) hold its first ever vehicle auction sale for citizens only on Thursday this week in Gaborone.

CTO general manager, Lt-Col Moakohi Modisanyane told Mmegi yesterday that about 1,813 vehicles are up for auction. The vehicles will be sold in batches with the first units from Gaborone going under the hammer on October 16 and October 30.

Other auction sales will be in Ghanzi on October 21, Tsabong on October 22, Kasane on October 27, Francistown on October 28, Selebi-Phikwe on October 29, Serowe on November 4, Lobatse on November 5 and Mahalapye on November 3.

Modisanyane said those wishing to bid for the vehicles must pay the required P2,000 deposit three days before the date of sale.

Those who have paid will be allowed to inspect the vehicles before the auction.

Modisanyane said security will be [continue reading]

source: IOL
October 14 2008 at 06:19PM

South Africa’s state power utility Eskom said Tuesday it planned to almost double its generation capacity by 2026, as it seeks to ease power shortages that have dented economic growth.

The announcement came one day after the company said it was doubling its spending to R343-billion rands over the next five years to build new electricity generating plants and expand the transmission lines.

That spending is likely to grow to more than one trillion rand by 2026 as the company seeks to boost its production, the company said in a statement Tuesday.

“Eskom will double its capacity to 80 000 megawatts by 2026,” from the current level of 43 037 megawatts, it said in a statement.

The beleaguered company has struggled to meet growing demand for electricity and [continue reading]