Archive for December 3rd, 2008

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has dismissed reports that Botswana is closing its diplomatic mission in Zimbabwe.

The ministry spokesman, Clifford Maribe, said yesterday that reports of the closure of the mission by a Zimbabwe newspaper are false. “There is nothing of that sort. The minister has said it before that our mission in Harare will remain open,” Maribe said. It was business as usual at the Botswana mission in Harare yesterday. An official at the mission, Tiny Gaotlole, told Mmegi on the phone that nothing has changed. “You phoned us, and found that we are operating. We have not read that newspaper report, but we heard some people saying they read something to the effect that we are closing down our embassy,” he said.

He denied reports that the mission is looking for an auctioneer to sell its property. “There is no advert of that nature. It is not up to us to decide to close down. If our government has that intention, they will announce it. We fall under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” he [continue reading]

source: BOPA
01 December, 2008

GABORONE – Government support under the newly introduced Integrated Support Programme for Arable Agriculture Development (ISPAAD) may not be as planned this year.

“Preparation time for the period was very short. We don’t think the tractors (government owned) would be for the current season,” says Director of the Department of Crop Production, Mr Molatlhegi Modise.

Consequently, he advised farmers in a press conference last week to find alternative means as government has not been able to acquire the required number of tractors to assist farmers.

He observed that even the 2000 privately owned tractors are not be enough for the job on hand, adding that government tractors would only be available during the next season, given the length of the procuring process.

Mr Modise also informed farmers that the department is expecting supply of fertilisers at the end of last week.

“Stocks of fertiliser are expected to be delivered by [continue reading]

source: News24
03/12/2008 16:02 – (SA)
Sydney Masinga & Frans van der Merwe

Musina – Farmers in Limpopo fear for their health and crops after it was confirmed on Tuesday that the Limpopo River is contaminated with cholera.

Water samples were taken from the river on Monday and, on Tuesday, the Limpopo health department confirmed the samples tested positive for cholera.

“Many of our farmers who irrigate their crops with water from the Limpopo River are worried for their health and their crops,” said Jan Viljoen, chairperson of the Transvaal Agricultural Union’s northern branch, TAU-SA North.

He urged farmers and other community members along the river to be extra careful and boil the water from the river before using it and to sterilise it with bleach.

Spokesperson for the Musina local municipality, Wilson Dzebu, assured that Musina’s municipal water supply remained clear of cholera.

“Our water is properly purified and remains safe to drink,” he [continue reading]

source: International Herald Tribune
The Associated Press
Published: December 2, 2008

HARARE, Zimbabwe: As children play near cesspools, their parents shake their heads at a public service announcement that drifts over the radio urging people to boil water before drinking it. It sounds like a taunt in a country where water and electricity supplies are off more often than on.

This week, the authorities turned off the taps in the capital of Zimbabwe after the National Water Authority said it ran out of purifying chemicals and feared that contaminated water would spread a cholera epidemic that has claimed hundreds of lives since August.

The crisis is the latest chapter in the collapse of this once-vibrant nation under President Robert Mugabe, who has ruled for 28 years and refuses to leave office even though he and his party lost elections in March.

An agreement to form a unity government with the opposition has been deadlocked for weeks over how to share cabinet posts.

Harare is the center of the cholera epidemic, which has spread across the country and [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The 1 320 Megawatt Mmamabula Energy Project (MEP) is gathering momentum at a time when most mining and energy development projects are folding due to the global financial crisis.

MEP promoters CIC Energy yesterday announced the selection of Shanghai Electric Group Co. Ltd. (SEC) as the preferred Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor for the first power station to be built at the Mmamabula coalfields.
CIC Energy also announced the appointment of Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) as owner’s engineer for the project.

As a result, CIC Energy has entered into a preliminary agreement with SEC for MEP, a project whose power station and mine’s capital equipment and infrastructure costs are estimated at US$3 billion.

The finalisation of the EPC contract, including definitive terms, is expected before the end of the first quarter of 2009 and is seen as [continue reading]

source: IOL
December 03 2008 at 05:09PM

The Koeberg power plant will be operating at full capacity following repairs completed on Wednesday, said Eskom.

Eskom said unit two of the power plant had been shut down on November 22. This was because the unit had been in need of repairs due to a “technical fault”.

A complete shutdown was necessary for the repairs to take place.

As of Wednesday afternoon, unit 2 was operating at 75 percent of its capacity and was expected to be at full power at around midnight.

Eskom spokesperson Fani Zulu said that Koeberg coming back online had improved the power situation in South Africa.

“The reserve situation has improved, but we’re still vulnerable. The underlying vulnerability is [continue reading]

source: BOPA
03 December, 2008

FRANCISTOWN – The Vice President, Lt Gen. Mompati Merafhe has pleaded with people to be supportive of each other and do away with jealousy.

Addressing a kgotla meeting in Matsiloje recently, Lt Gen. Mompati Merafhe said there was a lot of jealousy among Batswana, adding that the attitude was a drawback in people’s lives.

He said citizen empowerment schemes would not benefit Batswana unless they stop jealousness.

He said government has introduced initiatives encouraging the purchasing of, among other things, uniforms from Batswana and maintenance of government facilities by resident contractors.

He expressed hope that jealousy would not destroy government initiatives. He said tenders and support should be given to [continue reading]

source: BOPA
03 December, 2008

SEROWE – The ministry of Local Government undertook an Organisation and Methods (O&M) exercise to identify bottlenecks in service delivery and devise ways to improve the system, according to Central District Council executive.

Council Secretary, Mr Molefi Keaja was addressing the full council meeting last week.

Mr Keaja said the move was also intended to develop a structure that would help the ministry address issues of attraction and retention of staff.

He said pursuant to the approval of the Local Government O&M Report in 2006, the ministry undertook a major job evaluation exercise covering all jobs.

Mr Keaja said management jobs (posts of D1 scale and above) were considered and approved by the upper panel, while jobs below management levels were considered by an internally constituted Local Government Service Management Job Evaluation Panel chaired by the establishment secretary.

He said as part of the reorganising and restructuring of [continue reading]

source: BOPA
03 December, 2008

SELEBI-PHIKWE – Government will continue to explore options to get water readily available to augment the current water supply, says the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources (MEWR), Mr Boikobo Baya.

Speaking at Dikgathong stakeholders meeting in Selebi Phikwe, Mr Paya said in addition to Dikgathong, other new dams such as Thune, Lotsane and Mosetse were being constructed to augment the existing supply rate from 393 million to around 1 billion cubic metres.

He said government was exploring ways to supply water to Tshabong, Bokspits and Middlepits in Kgalagadi District, which do not have adequate potable water.

He added that studies have commenced on the possibility of sourcing out water from the Chobe/ Zambezi River to use for irrigation at Pandamatenga.

“This water is intended to be used for commercial irrigation in Pandamatenga. An environment pre-feasibility study to determine how best to utilise water from the Chobe/Zambezi River is ongoing and would be completed in December 2008,” he said.

He said government would also explore possibility of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The profit taking on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) that had been prevalent on large capitalised counters has spread to small and mid-capitalised counters as investors jostle to take profits ahead of the festive season.

For the greater part of this last quarter of the year, share prices have been tumbling much to the detriment of investors who had taken positions on the local bourse.

The mainstream index DCI finished the week 0.92 percent softer at 7,820.41 points after recording losses on each trading day last week. Year-to-date, the DCI has slipped further into negative territory and is now down by 7.2 percent, while the FCI has plunged by 44.77 percent.

Against the background of such heavy losses, market analysts believe the bloodbath will go on for some time as investors continue to [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The New Times
2 December 2008

Kigali — Words – anguish, chaos, confusion, pain, suffering or death can never sufficiently describe the misery the people of Zimbabwe are going through.

The citizens of this once prosperous nation have had to deal with one crisis after another.

The highest inflation in the world, running into several billions of percentages; shortages of everything necessary for human survival, cash, bread, milk, education, health care. Urban scavengers roam the streets.

Cholera is the latest scourge to hit this God forsaken nation. People are dying not in ones or two’s, but in their hundreds. Those who braved the harsh economic and political life; remaining inside the country, as thousands fled, keeping the fragile fabric of that society together are now under siege.

As if their woes are not enough, cholera has in recent weeks claimed at least 3,000 lives, of the speculative statistics reported so far. Zimbabweans have taken to [continue reading]

Khama castigates Tawana

source: Mmegi

SELEBI-PHIKWE: President Ian Khama has castigated Botswana’s representative at the just ended Big Brother Africa III reality show, Tawana Lebani for her insatiable appetite for sex.

Khama said Tawana has disgraced the country. “O digile leina larona le flaga yarona. (She has the disgraced us as a nation),” he said during World AIDS Day commemorations yesterday in Selebi-Phikwe.

He added that Tawana had let the country down and her actions are detrimental to a country fighting a high HIV prevalence rate.Tawana received widespread criticism for her lurid and brazen sexual acts with two housemates from Angola and Zimbabwe.
She later declared her love for sex, which was met with further derision, attracting a barrage of criticism from the rest of the continent, with some questioning Botswana’s morals.

Khama urged the nation to [continue reading]

source: News24
02/12/2008 23:06 – (SA)

Johannesburg – The SADC tribunal ruling that fair compensation be paid to Zimbabwean farmers evicted from their farms holds implications for South Africa, Agri SA said on Tuesday.

“Important implications for the growing land problem in South Africa are the stipulated principles relating to compensation, accountability, reasonableness, non-racialism and accessibility to the legal system,” said Agri SA deputy president Theo De Jager.

Denied access to Zimbabwe’s courts, 77 farmers evicted under Zimbabwe’s land reform programme instead turned to the Southern African Development Community tribunal.

It found that the violation of their right to court access breached the SADC treaty. It instructed the Zimbabwean government to protect them, prevent their eviction and make sure their operations were not hampered.

It also ordered the government to fully compensate those farmers whose land had already been taken from [continue reading]