Archive for November, 2008

source: The Botswana Gazette

Public concerns about the motive behind establishing the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services will not be allayed by speculation that it is largely a Botswana Democratic apparatus, headed by a President Khama loyalist and overseen by a trio of BDP activists.

It is extremely worrying that a large part of our society will increasingly feel that national resources are being hijacked by a small elite group to use them for their own benefit and for the benefit of persons who are close to them.

There can be no greater danger in a country than a partisan security service; it is therefore imperative that when such bodies are set up, that they are seen to be above reproach; to be impartial. To quote an oft used phrase: in such cases justice must be seen, to be done.

Already some Opposition parliamentarians have dismissed the tribunal as a trio of BDP functionaries. This means whatever they do, their acts will be viewed though the political prism.

The image of this country to the outside world is partly dependent on how seriously we view the [continue reading]

source: IOL
November 29 2008 at 12:57PM
By Esther Lewis and Melanie Peters

In a major coup for South African medicine, clinical tests on two locally developed HIV vaccines will start in the US next week.

The South African Aids Vaccine Initiative (Saavi) announced on Friday that it had received the green light from the Medicines Control Council for the first locally developed HIV/Aids vaccine candidates to undergo human trials in Boston.

The two candidates have already been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

The initiative is a lead programme of the Medical Research Council and the medical field was abuzz with the news of the approval this week.

Elise Levendal, Saavi’s interim director, said she was “shaking with excitement”.

She said it was significant that this would be the first time that a vaccine developed in Africa would be tested in human trials in a first world country.

Generally, vaccines were developed in the US and [continue reading]

source: Zimbabwe Guardian
Our reporter/AP
Sat, 29 Nov 2008 07:14:00 +0000

THE leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, Morgan Tsvangirai has defied South Africa’s immigration laws by travelling to Morocco on an expired Emergency Travel Document after the country had denied him exit.

Tsvangirai managed to sneak out of the country and is now believed to be in Tangiers – a city in Northern Morocco.

A spokesperson for South Africa’s Ministry of Home Affairs says Tsvangirai was refused permission to board a flight to Morocco on Wednesday.

It is not clear how Tsvangirai managed to sneak out of the country. A report by the Associated Press indicated that he was now in Morocco where he was scheduled to receive a human rights award.

“Opposition officials said Tsvangirai had managed to cross the border by road into Botswana, where officials were trying to organize an aircraft to carry him to Morocco,” reported the [continue reading]

Phandu Skelemani – BBC HardTalk Interview 1/3

Phandu Skelemani – BBC HardTalk Interview 2/3

Phandu Skelemani – BBC HardTalk Interview 3/3

source: Mmegi

Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Daniel ‘DK’ Kwelagobe has indicated that the country is not yet ready to introduce the direct election of the president and funding of political parties.

Kwelagobe was responding to MPs’ comments on a bill he tabled in Parliament to amend the Electoral Act.

He said that he has noticed that MPs especially from the opposition want proportional representation and direct election of the president to enrich Botswana’s democracy. He said such major changes would require the ruling party to look at its policies as well as to make further consultations.

Kwelagobe criticised suggestions that Botswana should copy from neighbouring countries to enrich its democracy. He said that some electoral reforms that have been introduced in the country have not been beneficial.

He cited the lowering of the voting age from 21 years to 18 years and [continue reading]

source: BBC News

Zimbabwe’s political parties have agreed on constitutional changes central to a power-sharing deal, an opposition spokesman has said.

But Nelson Chamisa said that other issues remained outstanding before a unity government could be formed.

The changes agreed in South Africa pave the way for opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai to become prime minister – as outlined in a September deal.

The rivals have still not agreed on the allocation of cabinet posts.

President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party and Mr Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) agreed to share power after disputed election to try to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

We live in an era where there is widespread talk and fear of terrorism. People think a lot about security.The attack on the World Trade Centre remains an indelible mark that will forever serve as a reminder that terrorism lives with us.

Ever since that security watermark now known as September 11, many governments around the world spend a lot of money getting more arms and ammunition for their armies to secure themselves.

Civil aviation procedures had to be rewritten on the face of the terrorism attacks.
We are aware that in other instances, some governments have used the September 11 attacks as a way of instilling fear in the population for devious political ends.Discounting these shenanigans, the reality is that security is a challenge that should be taken seriously by all.

Unfortunately, as we grapple with the dangers of terrorism, information technology has made it [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Lance Guma
28 November 2008

A tribunal of the regional SADC grouping on Friday has ruled that Zimbabwe’s violent land reform exercise did discriminate against the 78 white farmers who filed a group application challenging the seizure of their farms. The ruling, which was made during a sitting in Namibia’s Supreme Court, has far reaching implications for Mugabe’s land grab, widely seen as punishment for white farmers who allegedly supported the opposition. It means the 78 farmers who filed the application can keep their farms. Whether the regime will comply with the order is another matter.

The President of the tribunal, Judge Luis Mondlane, ruled that Zimbabwe was ‘in breach of the SADC treaty with regards to discrimination’ when it seized the farms. It also slammed the fact that government hasn’t paid fair compensation for any farms. The government meanwhile said it has not yet received the judgment from the court. The SADC tribunal was set up to ensure the objectives of the regional grouping’s founding treaty are adhered to. These include issues of human and property rights.

William Michael Campbell filed the test case last year in December and [continue reading]

source: BBC News
By Martin Plaut
BBC’s Africa analyst

A southern African regional court has ruled in favour of more than 70 white farmers who faced expropriation under Zimbabwe’s land reform programme.

In a landmark ruling, the court, which sits in Namibia, ruled President Robert Mugabe’s reforms were discriminatory.

Farmers should be allowed to return to their farms unhindered, the court said.

The ruling was greeted with jubilation by the farmers. “It’s unbelievable,” said one. “The end of a long battle. We are going home to farm.”

But it may not be quite that easy.

Although Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Namibia, Chipo Zindoga, said the government would note the ruling, she warned that the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

SELEBI-PHIKWE: In an anti-corruption and pro-transparency drive spanning four years, BCL has recovered P5million from South African and local suppliers.

Dube said the recovery of the money was facilitated by an offer of amnesty BCL made to individuals and companies that may have defrauded the company by corrupt means.
“Trust is one of our values,” he said. “Our organisation was built on trust and we want to believe that people will act in the best interests of the company.”

BCL had nasty and costly dealings unearthed in 2004 had necessitated the launch of the anti-corruption drive.”Our employees were involved in unethical behaviour which cost the company huge sums of money,” Dube said. “In some cases, senior managers were involved. This cost the country as well.”

He said the launch of the company’s ethics was [continue reading]

source: News24
28/11/2008 20:00 – (SA)

Bloemfontein – Advocate Kemp J Kemp received a grilling from five Supreme Court of Appeal judges on Friday over the claim of ANC president Jacob Zuma that he should have been allowed to make representations before being charged.

Each of the judges at various stages questioned Kemp repeatedly over Zuma’s claims that he had “legitimate expectation of representation”.

Kemp argued that apart from its being provided for in legislation, Zuma was entitled to a legitimate expectation of representation because of a “cumulative effect” of the events which had transpired since the allegations against him arose.

Judge Mandisa Maya asked Kemp to explain Zuma’s legitimate expectation simply, but Kemp said he could not.

Judge Azar Cachalia said: “In fact what you want them to do is [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The Ministry of Education (MoE) will next year introduce specialisation in 243 primary schools on top of the 273 which piloted the project since 2007. The principal public relations officer (PRO) at MoE, Nomsah Zuze says they are hoping to roll out to the last batch of 224 schools by 2010.

She explained that they are looking at results of the pilot project, which guides them on how they should roll out. Zuze stated that they changed the medium of instruction from Setswana to English and this has improved the confidence of the students.

“This does not confuse the young students. It gives them exposure of knowing that there are other people around them instead of seeing their one teacher as the person with all the knowledge,” she said, adding that [continue reading]

source: News24
28/11/2008 11:28 – (SA)

Johannesburg – The retail price of all grades of petrol will decrease by a whopping 161c a litre on Wednesday December 3, the department of minerals and energy announced on Friday.

This follows the 45c drop in November and will be good news on the inflation front.

Diesel prices will also decrease, with 0.05% sulphur falling by 81c and 0.005% by 80c.

Wholesale paraffin decreases by 75c and illuminating paraffin by 100c.

Petrol in Gauteng now [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

FRANCISTOWN: At least 133 employees of the Botswana Metal Refinery (BMR), a subsidiary of the Tati Nickel Mine, will lose their jobs on December 31 when the ‘suspended’ Activox project closes for good.

An anxious employee of BMR based at the Activox Demonstration Plant at the Tati Nickel Mine says management briefed them early this week about their ‘inevitable’ job losses. Says the man, who prefers anonymity: “We have been informed that this decision was taken following the fall in metal prices and the global financial crisis that is currently wreaking havoc.”

The closure of BMR comes five months after construction of the P5 billion Activox plant was “suspended”. Tati Nickel Mine is one of the non-Russian assets of Norilsk Nickel International.

The Russian mining giant, which is the world’s largest nickel miner, recently warned of [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Alex Bell
28 November 2008

Harare’s streets were on Friday the site of total chaos as angry uniformed soldiers decided to vent their frustration on traders, forex dealers and passersby, on the city streets.

The attacks began after a large group of soldiers went on the rampage at a bank on Thursday. Bank tellers had been unable to pay them the full amounts they wanted to withdraw, after they had spent a full day in the queue. These long queues outside banks have become a common feature because of the serious shortage of currency, as well as the restrictive limit on cash withdrawals. It’s understood the group ran amok and vented their anger on the staff of Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group along Samora Machel Avenue in Harare, after the bank ran out of cash by the end of the day.

The group of an estimated 60 to 70 men had queued to make cash withdrawals until closing time on Thursday afternoon. Banks in Harare are now required to serve all customers already in the banking hall at closing time. But roughly an [continue reading]