Archive for December 1st, 2008

source: The Zimbabwe Times
December 1, 2008
By Our Correspondent

HARARE – The government of Botswana has decided to close its embassy in Harare after calling on Zimbabwe’s neighbours to close their borders to force regime change in Zimbabwe.

The Botswana government last week assigned an auctioneer to place all furniture and equipment at its embassy at 22 Phillips Avenue in Belgravia under the hammer. Information reaching The Zimbabwe Times was that the embassy planned to close before Christmas.

It remained unclear if Botswana was closing its chancery amid reports it could remain open.

A senior diplomatic source said the closure was a result of mounting exasperation in Botswana over President Robert Mugabe’s intransigence in sharing power with the opposition despite his party’s loss of elections in March.

Last week Botswana Foreign Minister, Phandu Skelemani said mediation has failed to remove President Mugabe and [continue reading]

source: BOPA
28 November, 2008

MAHALAPYE – Taxi operators in Mahalapye are complaining of the debilitating slush and mud at the rank.

Speaking in an interview, Mr Kediemetse Setabosigo, a member of the taxi association said the mud was a problem when they drop passengers in the morning.

He said the water that flows into the rank accumulate mud along the way and thus compounding the situation.

Mr Setabosigo said the taxi rank has not been swept for a long time and dust that has accumulated is resulting in the uncomfortable muddy waters during rainy season.

He said when the slush dries up, it leaves dust hovering in the vicinity and that is not good for people’s health.

He said the council has neglected its duty to clean the rank for easy access during the [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by REUBEN PITSE
30.11.2008 7:59:32 P

The Customary Court of Appeal president, Kgosikwena Sebele, has been interdicted from duty following the criminal charges preferred against him by the Directorate of Public Prosecution.

The court president was formally given his interdiction letter last Friday, ordering him to vacate his office until he clears his name before the court of law.

Speaking to The Sunday Standard the minister of Local Government, Margaret Nasha, said, “I can neither confirm nor deny that the customary court president has been interdicted.”

She explained that, procedurally, if an officer is charged with a criminal offense, the person is interdicted from duty until the case is complete.

“I have to look around for a person who will take over while Sebele is still under interdiction,” she said
Nasha said that the position of Customary Court of Appeal is not inherited like bogosi but [continue reading]

source: CNW Group

ROAD TOWN, TORTOLA, British Virgin Islands, Dec. 1 /CNW/ – CIC Energy Corp. (“CIC Energy” or the “Company”) (TSX:ELC, BSE: CIC Energy) is pleased to announce that Shanghai Electric Group Co., Ltd. (“SEC”) has been selected as the preferred Engineering, Procurement and Construction (“EPC”) contractor for the first power station to be built at the Mmamabula Coal Field in Botswana, Africa. As a result, CIC Energy has entered into a Preliminary Agreement with
SEC in respect of the Mmamabula Energy Project (“MEP”).

CIC Energy and SEC commenced discussions in mid-2008, which resulted in the preparation and delivery by SEC of a comprehensive firm bid package for a fixed price, lump sum turnkey power station build for the Mmamabula Energy
Project, a 1320 megawatt (“MW”) (gross) capacity power station. The signing of the Preliminary Agreement followed an initial due diligence of all aspects of the firm bid package, subsequent follow-up discussions on [continue reading]

source: IOL
Karyn Maughan
December 01 2008 at 06:06AM

Terror-reeling India and South Africa have something in common: both are rated as one of the world’s 20 most dangerous countries.

Backed by travel advice issued by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), London’s The Telegraph newspaper has placed South Africa alongside Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Colombia, Haiti, Eritrea, Pakistan, Burundi, Nigeria and the DRC in terms of danger to travellers.

According to the FCO, South Africa has “an underlying threat from terrorism”.

“Attacks, although unlikely, could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.”

The FCO’s travel advisory on SA also states: “South Africa has a very high level of crime, including rape and murder. However, most cases occur in the townships and in areas away from the main tourist destinations.

“In 2007 and 2008 there were a number of incidents involving foreigners being followed from [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The Herald (Harare)
Published by the government of Zimbabwe
1 December 2008
Posted to the web 1 December 2008

Harare

THE Sadc Tribunal’s ruling that 78 white former commercial farmers whose properties were compulsorily acquired by Government for resettlement could keep their farms will not reverse land reforms.

Responding to the ruling made last Friday, the Minister of State for National Security, Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement, Cde Didymus Mutasa, described the tribunal as “daydreaming” and said the Government would disregard the judgment.

He said the Sadc Tribunal would not stall the land reform programme to please former colonial masters.

“They (the tribunal) are day-dreaming because we are not going to [continue reading]

source: BBC News

Much of the Zimbabwe capital, Harare, is without water, state media reports, at a time of a cholera outbreak.

Water was cut because of a shortage of purification chemicals, The Herald newspaper quotes water authority officials as saying.

At least 400 people have died in recent months from cholera – a disease spread by contaminated water.

Health Minister David Parirenyatwa said people should stop shaking hands to prevent the disease spreading.

“I want to stress the issue of shaking hands. Although it’s part of our tradition to shake hands, it’s high time people stopped shaking hands,” he told The Herald.

The spread of cholera has been fuelled by the collapse of Zimbabwe’s health and [continue reading]

source: BOPA
28 November, 2008

The Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism has approved the construction of a more durable bridge over Khwai River to facilitate movement of tourists in and out of Moremi Game Reserve through the northern Khwai gate.

This comes as part of Wildlife Conservation and Management project co-funded by the government of Botswana and European Union.

This was said by the Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Mr Kitso Mokaila when answering a question from the MP for Chobe Mr Duncan Mlazie.

He said his ministry was not aware of any delay in the construction of [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
30.11.2008 7:55:02 P

Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) managers helped China National Electric Equipment Corporation (CNEEC) clinch the P8 billion Morupule Power Station contract through questionable means – Sunday Standard investigations have revealed.

Minutes of a BPC board committee meeting, which sat on 12th September 2007, state that bidding companies, among them CNEEC, were pre-qualified because of their “technical capacity, financial capacity experience and expertise to undertake the project”.
Sunday Standard can, however, reveal that CNEEC was pre-qualified although it had failed to secure financing to justify their financial capacity and did not have a single completed project of the size of Morupule B Power Station to justify their experience and technical capacity.

Doubt on the capability of CNEEC were further raised by the Chinese Ambassador to Botswana, Ding Xiaowen, who advised Ministers Ponatshego Kedikilwe and Mompati Merafhe that the Chinese state owned company was not certified to undertake a project of that magnitude.

In an apparent attempt to help CNEEC’s financial capacity, a BPC manager issued a letter to [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
30.11.2008 8:01:11 P

The Central Committee of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party has rescinded its earlier decision to recall Member of Parliament for Tonota South, Pono Moatlhodi, as its candidate for next year’s General Elections.

The BDP Secretary General, Jacob Nkate, said on Friday that the decision to withdraw Moatlhodi’s recall was taken after the Tonota South Constituency sent a high powered delegation to the party pleading for clemency on behalf of Moatlhodi.

Two weeks ago, the party high command recalled Moatlhodi.
The punishment against Moatlhodi was meted after he expressed concerns at the militarization of public institutions.

In particular, he took issue with the decision by government to second a military officer to head the Prisons Department.

The outspoken Member of Parliament was [continue reading]

source: Zimbabwe Independent
Saturday, 29 November 2008 20:22

A Sadc tribunal has ruled that 78 farmers facing eviction can keep their farms because the land reform undermined the rule of law.

The Namibia-based tribunal on Friday ruled in favour of the white farmers who had gone to the regional court seeking an order barring the government from acquiring their farms without compensation.

A five-member panel of judges drawn from five Sadc countries adjudicating in the landmark case between the government and 79 white farmers led by Chegutu-based William Michael Campbell also ruled that farmers already evicted from their farms before the judgement should be compensated.

“We therefore hold that, in implementing Amendment 17, the Respondent has discriminated against the applicants on the basis of race and thereby violated its obligation under Article 6 (2) of the (Sadc) Treaty,” said Justice Luis Antonio Mondlane.

The Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Act 17, which became law in 2005, empowered the [continue reading]

source: IOL
Jeremy Gordin
November 30 2008 at 03:27PM

All the indications are that ANC President Jacob Zuma will go into next year’s run-up period to the national general elections, and probably even to his inauguration as South Africa’s president, as “an accused person”.

A full bench of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) said on Friday it would deliver judgment on January 12 on the appeal by the National Prosecuting Authority against the September 12 judgment by Judge Chris Nicholson in the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

But, given the attitude and line of questioning of the lead SCA judges to Zuma’s case, presented by Kemp J Kemp SC, the proverbial writing seemed to be on the wall and – immediately after spending the day in court – Zuma told a few thousand supporters congregated outside the SCA that it looked as though he was headed “from Bloemfontein to Braamfontein” in Johannesburg, where the Constitutional Court is situated and where he will appeal the SCA judgment if it [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by SUNDAY STANDARD REPORTER
30.11.2008 8:23:04 P

The two government parastatals Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) and the Botswana Telecommunications (BTC) are not the only ones that lose millions of Pula every year to copper thieves.

The Selebi Phikwe-based copper and nickel miner, BCL, is another company that is a victim of cable thugs that skip the fence and cut the cables in search of copper wire, which they later sell to scrap yard owners.

The mine’s Security Superintendent, Noah Makaba, said on Tuesday that the situation is made worse by the Mines and Quarries Act that governs operations like BCL since the law is silent and does not specify the type of security needed in mines like the one producing copper and nickel. It is contrary to the Precious Metals Act that governs diamond mines which is clear on the kind of the security to be [continue reading]

source: Zimbabwe Independent
Saturday, 29 November 2008 20:18

A group of doctors has put the cholera death toll at 800 throughout the country, amid reports that seven prisoners died at Chinhoyi Prison following an outbreak.

The Zimbabwe Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) said about one in every 10 people who contracted the highly contagious but curable disease did not survive.

Last week the United Nations put the number of deaths at 366 while the Deputy Minister of Health and Child Welfare, Edwin Muguti on Friday said 386 people had died.

The government, which have been accused of trying to downplay the extent of the cholera outbreak, said about 8 700 cases of cholera had been reported in the country.

But Dr Douglas Gwatidzo, the chairman of ZADHR, said calculations based on government figures showed that the number of people killed by the disease had surpassed 800.

“The problem with trying to cover up statistics and downplaying a situation is that you end up [continue reading]