Archive for December, 2008

source: BOPA
30 December, 2008

GABORONE – Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) has decided to make significant changes to the prices of cattle sold to the abattoirs.

According to BMC’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Motshudi Raborokgwe, the price increase would lead to more money being in the pocket of the producer.

Dr Raborokgwe said in a press release recently that the move was due to the development of a plan to increase production at the abattoirs as well as good prices the commission continues to realise in the European Union market.

“The board has decided to make general price increase of P2.00/kg CDM for cattle of all grades delivered to BMC. This P2.00/kg increase is over and above the export parity which will continue to be the basis for cattle payments by the BMC,” Dr Raborokgwe said.

Dr Raborokgwe added that the average weight of carcasses delivered to the BMC over the last 12 months has been 201kh, noting that the [continue reading]

source: BOPA
30 December, 2008

FRANCISTOWN – Norilsk Nickel has suspended operations at the Tati Nickel Mine for 12 days as a result of the recent furnace breakdown of the BCL smelter.

A statement from the mine says they shut down from December 24 to January 5 while various options are being considered.

It further states that 90 per cent of the concentrate produced at the Tati Nickel Mine is trucked to the BCL.

Therefore, the mine is dependent on [continue reading]

UN News Service (New York)
source: allAfrica

The death toll from the worst cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe’s history continues to rise and now stands at 1,608, the United Nations said today, adding that the number of cases of the acute intestinal infection caused by contaminated food or water has risen to 30,365 as of 29 December.

UN agencies are continuing their efforts to help the country to tackle the epidemic, which affects all provinces of the southern African country and comes amid a collapsing health system and worsening humanitarian situation.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has in recent days set up a response team comprised of an environmental health officer, epidemiologists and data managers.

The agency has also presented the terms of [continue reading]

source: BOPA
30 December, 2008

TSHABONG – The police are investigating a case in which two South Africans with the help of some Batswana tried to smuggle live wild animals, including elands and kudus into South Africa over the weekend.

Station Commander Mokolobetsi Marata said the police gave chase after locating the suspects who were using two vehicles, one belonging to Batswana and another to the South Africans.

Mr Marata said after the chase the police found the vehicle that was used by Batswana abandoned while the one used by the South Africans was no where to be found. The South Africans are said to have re-entered their [continue reading]

source: BBC News

The latest figures from the UN and Zimbabwe’s health ministry reveal that two-thirds of the victims of the cholera outbreak have died this month.

The death toll at the end of last week stood at 1,564, with 29,131 suspected cases since August, the UN said.

Figures from the health ministry on 1 December put cholera deaths at 484.

The UN has warned it could take six months to control the outbreak that has been fuelled by the collapse of the health, sanitation and water [continue reading]

Murder cases drop

source: BOPA
30 December, 2008

GABORONE – The Police weekly report from December 15 to 21 shows that Botswana’s murder rate dropped in the past year with 212 murder cases recorded in January 2008 as compared to 239 recorded last year.

Armed robbery cases rose to 2079 in 2008 cases compared with 2003 cases in 2007.

During the 12 months ending in December 2008, 421 people perished on the roads as compared to 463 lives lost in 2007.

Rape cases were higher with 1628 cases reported as compared to 1427 cases reported in the previous year.

In 2008 motor vehicle theft showed an upward trend with 477 cases reported whereas 409 cases were [continue reading]

source: IOL
By Lindsay Dentlinger

A backdated average salary increase of 11 percent awaits municipal councillors in the new year, which will put the total annual salary of the council’s top earner, Mayor Helen Zille, at R858 260.

The Minister of Provincial and Local Government, Sicela Shiceka, has by way of a notice in the Government Gazette instructed that the increases be backdated to July. Councillors received only 7 percent in 2008 and an average of 5,75 percent in 2007.

In 2009 Zille’s salary will be almost R200 000 more than when she took office in March 2006, when her salary was R669 214. The mayor’s salary comprises a basic salary of R643 695 and a vehicle allowance of R214 564.

Deputy Mayor Grant Haskin (ACDP) and Speaker of [continue reading]

26/12/08 – Tautona Times Holiday Special

Below please find below transcripts in English (1) and Setswana (2) of H.E. the President’s Christmas Day and New Year’s message to the nation:


1. Bagaetsho! As we come to the end of another eventful year, it is a pleasure for me to have this opportunity to wish each and everyone a safe and pleasant holiday season.

2. For many of us this day holds a special significance as the anniversary of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, a pivotal event for believers that marks a transformative moment in humanity’s existence.

3. For all of us, this can also be a time of new beginnings, as we come together to enjoy an annual break from life’s routine.

4. As many of us have the pleasure of returning to our home villages; and as we find comfort and draw strength in [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

Francistown — The streets of Botswana’s Francistown, about 110km from Zimbabwe’s western border, are teeming with Zimbabwean shoppers ahead of Christmas.

But it is Christmas shopping with a difference. Most basic goods are not available in Zimbabwe, so the cross-border hop is a shop for everything – starting with the basics – and in the mix are job opportunities for other migrants.

“I started off carrying shoppers’ bags and luggage to the bus or railway station for five pula (US$0.50) when I first ventured here,” Priscilla Gombacheche, told IRIN, who has since found work as a domestic helper in one of Francistown’s upmarket suburbs.

“When I got a job as a housemaid, I graduated from the nightmares of sleeping at the railway station. Every night I dreaded police raids. I now have a job and a roof over my head,” the 18 year-old college drop-out, who arrived in Francistown five months ago from the dormitory town of Chitungwiza, about 60km from the [continue reading]

source: BOPA
24 December, 2008

FRANCISTOWN – The Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC) envisages building 29 000 houses during National Development Plan 10 but this milestone could be held back by an acute shortage of land in strategic places around the country.

Speaking during the ground breaking ceremony to officially mark the development of 545 housing units in Gerald Estates in Francistown the corporation’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Reginald Motswaiso said they intend to build about 4 000 houses in Francistown but unfortunately the 313 039 metres squared piece of land was the last piece of land to be allocated to BHC.

“This milestone can only be achieved if there is sufficient land for carrying out projects of the envisaged magnitude, and it would definitely help us go even further should the land we acquire be serviced.

This calls for even stronger collaboration between and amongst all stakeholders especially but not limited to [continue reading]

source: Zimbabwe Guardian
Our reporter/VOA
Sat, 27 Dec 2008

ZIMBABWE’S opposition Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai has received his passport together with a letter from President Robert Mugabe inviting him to join a unity government, MDC sources told VOA Friday.

Tsvangirai’s travel documents were hand-delivered by South African High Commissioner to Botswana Milo Moopeloa.

The MDC leader had spent more than a year without a passport.

Sources in Harare and Pretoria are said to have told VOA that President Mugabe’s letter to Tsvangirai was the required official communication inviting him to [continue reading]

source: IOL
December 27 2008 at 01:48PM
By Sheree Bega

Wildlife lovers around the world now have a bird’s-eye view of the mysterious breeding habits of South Africa’s only breeding population of lesser flamingoes at their acclaimed artificial breeding island in Kimberley.

A new live-streaming website, run by Africam, has been installed at Kamfers Dam, and for the first time, it offers rare close-up images of chicks hatching out of their eggs, parents feeding their chicks, as well as a rare glimpse into the breeding behaviour of 20 000 lesser flamingoes gathered at the permanent wetland.

The website project, co-ordinated by the Save the Flamingo Association, together with BirdLife SA and Africam, was unveiled this week.

Lesser flamingoes breed only at vast open pans and [continue reading]

source: The Star

GENEVA (AP): The death toll from a cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe has risen to over 1,500 and case fatality rates are increasing, the United Nations said Saturday.

Some 1,518 people have now died of the disease and a total of 26,497 cases have been recorded since the start of the outbreak in August, the World Health Organization said. More than two-thirds of deaths occurred in December alone.

Agency spokesman Paul Garwood said the cholera outbreak is still not under control and that neighboring countries such as South Africa and Botswana, where the disease has also been reported, should scale up their disease monitoring and preparedness. But the U.N. agency is counseling against mass vaccination campaigns, which it says are unproven and [continue reading]

source: BOPA
23 December, 2008

GABORONE – The Diamond Trading Company (DTC) Botswana remains confident of the long term sustainability of the industry despite the current global economic crunch, which has put the project under severe strain as a result of declining sales.

“We are also closely monitoring demand from our clients and are taking a conservative approach as we enter 2009 and beyond. We are an agile and nimble organisation ready to adapt to client demand as it shifts moving forward,” the company’s Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager, Mr Kago Mmopi said in an interview.

He said the long term dynamics of the diamond industry remains strong, saying with future demand growth in China and India, the demand for diamonds is predicted to surpass supply in the coming decade, placing the DTC Botswana in a very strong position.

Mr Mmopi said their belief in the future has encouraged them to show leadership by [continue reading]

source: IOL
December 26 2008 at 07:47AM

Two men were rescued from a 50 metre radio tower in Lenasia on Thursday, after they climbed up to be “closer to Jesus” on Christmas, paramedics said.

“When we arrived at the radio tower at 7.30am, we found two men aged 28, and 30, sitting on the tower from the night before for almost 20 hours with no water or food,” said ER24 spokesperson Werner Vermaak.

“A bystander who spotted the men sitting on the tower, alerted police and emergency services who then arrived at the scene and tried to persuade the men to climb down.”

He said after the men refused to climb down, paramedics and members of the fire department climbed up the tower to [continue reading]