Archive for October 30th, 2008

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]

source: The Botswana Gazette

300 00 Cattle Under Threat.

Botswana’s biggest cattle producing area, Gantsi, is under threat. About five cattle have been found to display symptoms of the deadly foot and mouth disease, which was responsible for the rapid reduction of the cattle population in the north western part of the country and the closure of Maun abattoir.

Gantsi, which is assumed to be carrying a cattle population of about 300 000, last had foot and mouth 26 years ago. Botswana’s most recent foot and mouth recordings were in the Habu area in Nhabe; this course followed the northwest incident which led to the slaughter of over 200 000 cattle.

Botswana last reported a FMD outbreak in October 2007; earlier FMD outbreaks were in 2005 and 2006.
The Minister of Agriculture Mr. Christian de Graaf confirmed that there was a scare of foot and mouth, but it was still a suspicion.

“We will have the final results by Friday because we [continue reading]

BMC closes abattoirs

source: BOPA
29 October, 2008

GABORONE – The Department of Veterinary Services is investigating a possible outbreak of foot and mouth at Kuke in the Ghanzi District after five cattle showed symptoms associated with the disease.

Information from the ministry states that samples collected from the animals have been sent for laboratory testing at the Botswana Vaccine Institute (BVI). Results are expected later this week.

Movement ban of all cloven hoofed animals, that is, cattle, sheep, antelopes and pigs; and their fresh products, has been placed with immediate effect.

The outbreak threatens the operations of the Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) as the facilities in Francistown and Lobatse have also been closed with immediate effect.

Director of Veterinary Services, Dr Moetapele Letshwenyo, said the affected farm has been quarantined and [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

The Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) abattoirs in Lobatse and Francistown closed yesterday after reports of suspected Foot and Mouth Disease in Kuke extension in the Gantsi veterinary district.

A statement from the Ministry of Agriculture says five cattle were reportedly showing foot and oral lesions associated with the disease. Samples have been taken to the laboratory for testing and results are awaited.

“A complete movement ban of all cloven hoofed animals – cattle, sheep, goats, antelopes and pigs – and their products is hereby instituted with immediate effect, while surveillance to determine the extent of the disease spread is ongoing. All cattle slaughtering facilities, including the BMC abattoirs in Lobatse and Francistown, are closed with immediate effect,” the MoA statement says.

Veterinary officials throughout the country are [continue reading]

source: BOPA
29 October, 2008

BOBONONG – All government employees, regardless of their positions, are pivotal in driving the policies and initiatives of the government.

Therefore, employees of the Department of Veterinary Services at the Mabolwe Veterinary Camp have been told to maintain progress made in the fight against foot and mouth disease.

Assistant Minister of Agriculture, Mr Shaw Kgathi, said the slightest mistake by the workers could be detrimental to strides made so far since the disease broke out in area in 2006.

Mr Kgathi warned people against smuggling cattle between Botswana and Zimbabwe because that could jeopardise efforts made to date and thus dent the economy because development funds will be diverted to fighting the disease.

He implored veterinary employees in the area to put their country before anything else, saying another outbreak would be a disaster as [continue reading]

source: BOPA
29 October, 2008

GABORONE – The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government, Mr Thato Raphaka, has described the National, Development Plan (NDP) 10, as a unique document because it is aligned to Vision 2016.

Closing a five-day NDP 10 stakeholders conference in Gaborone last week, he said the dtaft NDP 10 also focused on results.

Mr Raphaka said Botswana had, since independence, adopted a bottom-up planning approach where district development plans informed preparation for national development plans.

He called for concerted efforts of all to achieve the objectives of Vision 2016 because planning required the involvement of all players.

He said the nation was determined to have prosperity for all by 2016 hence the need for NDP 10 to assist in [continue reading]

source: BOPA
29 October, 2008

GABORONE – Local investors continue to have confidence in the local bourse as evidenced by high volumes of trading in counters such as Barclays, Engen and Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL).

A weekly market report from Motswedi Securities states that 2.8 million shares valued at P17.3 million exchanged hands last week compared to 1.2 million shares valued at P3.6 million traded the previous week.

Due to profit taking and market correction in some counters, the Domestic Companies Index (DCI) finished the week 1.21 per cent softer at 8 432.00 points.

The Foreign Companies Index (FCI) dropped 0.03 per cent to 1 561.38 points after [continue reading]