Archive for December 9th, 2008

source: BOPA
08 December, 2008

GABORONE – Potential financers of the Morupule B Power Station have been told to ignore media reports concerning the awarding of a tender for the project.

The Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to China National Electric Equipment Corporation and Sheyang Blower Works Electro-Mechanics Import and Export.

The Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Mr Ponatshego Kedikilwe said the contractors, who were invited to tender for the project were identified through a pre-qualification process, as it is the usual practice in projects of this nature.

Mr Kedikilwe said tendering advertisements were placed in the local and international media such as the Economist magazine, the official Journal of the European Community and some foreign embassies based in Botswana and also on the BPC website.

He said a team of experts undertook the tender evaluations.

The BPC internal evaluation team was also set up in [continue reading]

source: International Herald Tribune
Published: December 9, 2008
By MacDonald Dzirutwe

U.S. President George W. Bush joined calls for Robert Mugabe to step down on Tuesday, but the African Union rejected tougher action against Zimbabwe’s president and said only dialogue could solve its crisis.

The death toll neared 600 from a cholera epidemic which Mugabe’s government accuses Western powers of exploiting to try to force his departure. The World Health Organisation said cholera could affect as many as 60,000 in a worst-case scenario.

“It is time for Robert Mugabe to go,” Bush said in a statement in Washington. “Across the continent, African voices are bravely speaking out to say now is the time for him to step down.”

But the African Union earlier made clear it did not back calls for much tougher action.

“Only dialogue between the Zimbabwean parties, supported by the AU and other regional actors, can restore peace and stability to that country,” said [continue reading]

source: BOPA
08 December, 2008

KASANE – Local tourism operators are already feeling the effects of global economic recession.

The financial meltdown, which started in some parts of Europe and the United States, is slowly threatening the local economy.

The mining sector recently expressed worry that the slump was likely to affect their business.

The tourism sector, the largest source of revenue after the mines, has already started feeling the effects of the global financial meltdown.

Local tourism heavily relies on tourists from Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom and the US, the countries, which have unfortunately been hard hit by this downturn.

Several tourism operators in Kasane are worried that they will encounter heavy loses if the situation fails to stabilise. Mowana Lodge General Manager, Mr John Gray said in an interview that [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
By Wanetsha Mosinyi
Staff Writer

Despite the liquidity challenges that have engulfed the global economy, international financiers have shown a huge interest to invest in the P11.5 billion Morupule B Power Station and Transmission Project.

This emerged on Thursday in Phakakane at a financiers’ conference co-hosted by the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources.

The conference was attended by bilateral, multilateral, and commercial financiers including the World Bank, Citi Group, Fortis Bank, Deutche Bank, China Exim Bank, the African Development Bank (AfDB), Southern African Development Bank, Investec Bank, Standard Bank of South Africa, Nedbank, Absa Capital and Calyon, a French investment bank.

Botswana banks Barclays, Stanbic, FNB and fund managers were [continue reading]

source: The Standard
Monday, 08 December 2008 13:18

BINDURA University of Science Education (Buse), the venue of the Zanu PF People’s Conference that opens this week, has been without running water for almost a year.

This state of affairs could expose 4 000 Zanu PF delegates to the cholera outbreak. Bindura has not been spared the cholera outbreak that has so far claimed the lives of nearly 600 people throughout the country.

Last month police banned two MDC report-back rallies in Harare saying the party would expose its supporters to cholera.
The MDC issued a statement saying it was waiting “to see with eagerness whether the Zanu PF conference in Bindura would proceed since cholera has virtually spread to all towns and cities”.
Officials at the university, speaking on condition of anonymity, last week expressed fears the institution could fail to handle the delegates coming from provinces ravaged by the fast-spreading epidemic. To worsen matters, the institution does not have running water.
University authorities were forced to send students home in October after [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Violet Gonda
8 December 2008

The cholera epidemic that has led to the deaths of hundreds of people and infected tens of thousands, has increased the call from world leaders for the removal of Robert Mugabe. Zimbabwe’s cholera epidemic is now being exported to the region and adding to the concern.

The chorus has been overwhelming. On Sunday Kenya’s Prime Minister Raila Odinga urged the African Union to call an emergency meeting to authorise sending troops into Zimbabwe. He said; “If no troops are available, then the AU must allow the UN to send its forces into Zimbabwe with immediate effect, to take over control of the country and ensure urgent humanitarian assistance to the people dying of cholera.”

Also over the weekend Botswana’s Foreign Minister Phandu Skelemani said: “SADC should never have recognised Mugabe as legitimate,” and called for internationally supervised elections or border fuel blockades if Mugabe remained intransigent. The Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi added his voice saying: “Zimbabwe either adheres to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
By Edgar Tsimane

Diamond miner Debswana says it has no plans to shut down its Damtshaa Mine inspite of the current financial crisis afflicting the globe.

“We are not planning to close down the mine,” the company’s spokesperson Esther Kanaimba told the Monitor on Friday.

“We are analysing the current situation to see how best to position the company.”
A not-so-glittery picture of the diamond industry was again painted last Thursday by financial services firm RBC Capital Markets, which warned there would be little hope of any significant improvement in the price of diamonds until well into 2009, according to Mining Weekly online.

Debswana appears thus far to have left those jittery about the future of its newest operation to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
By Brian Benza
Staff writer

Johannesburg: The first phase of the $3 billion Mmamabula Energy Project (MEP) will not fall victim to the global credit crunch.

Speaking at a press conference here last Thursday, the President of CIC Energy, Greg Kinross, whose company are the promoters of MEP, said he is confident that they will be able to raise the required capital because the targeted sources of the finances have not been affected by the financial crisis that is forcing a host of mining and energy development projects across the globe to be either shelved or downsized.

Kinross said the huge demand for energy in the southern Africa should see mining and energy development projects getting enough support to see them through financial closure, construction and full scale operation.

“We are looking at sourcing our funds from mostly development finance institutions (DFIs) and export credit agencies and these, unlike most [continue reading]

source: International Herald Tribune
By Stephen Castle
Published: December 8, 2008

BRUSSELS: With cholera spreading and the Zimbabwean economy in crisis, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France joined calls for the leader of Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe, to step down as the European Union extended its travel ban on government officials in Harare.

The move by Sarkozy, echoed by the EU foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, marked a significant increase in European pressure on a Zimbabwean leader who has so far proved immune to efforts to unseat him.

At a meeting in Brussels, Bernard Kouchner, the foreign minister of France, which holds the EU presidency, said that 11 more Zimbabwean officials had been added to the EU visa-ban list that already includes the president. The total on the list now stands at 160 officials, Kouchner said. An EU spokesman later put the new total at 178.

“President Mugabe must go,” Sarkozy said in Paris. “It is time to say to Mr. Mugabe: ‘You have taken your people hostage, the inhabitants of Zimbabwe have the right to freedom, security and respect.”‘

But many policymakers said that only a [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
By Isaiah Morewagae
Staff Writer

There was disruption of public transport on Friday when taxi and combi operators in Gaborone downed their tools to protest the recent reduction in fares.

Many commuters in the city were stranded at bus stops and had to walk to work, school and other destinations.

Some commuters claimed combi drivers blocked private motorists from giving them lifts. The situation was made worse by the fact that the operators did not give notice about the boycott.

Kgomotso Sebolao, who resides in Mogoditshane but works in the Main Mall, was close to tears after a struggle to get to work. “I woke up normally but things changed when I saw a group of people walking past the bus stop,” Sebolao said. She started hitchhiking but private car owners were reluctant to give [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Alex Bell
08 December 2008

Days after Zimbabwe’s soldiers caused havoc in Harare last week over not being able to access their money from the city’s banks, the government on Friday forked out millions of dollars to pacify its armed forces – partly causing a spectacular crash of the local currency over the weekend.

A large group of disgruntled soldiers went on a rampage in the capital a week ago, attacking foreign currency dealers, traders, breaking windows and looting shops. The attack, which saw the uniformed group clash with military police officers, led to the arrest of at least 16 soldiers.

But by the end of the week, the government moved in to pacify the growing unrest among its once dependable and loyal group of uniformed thugs, and paid out cash sums to both soldiers and police officials – with police members each receiving Z$100 million and soldiers receiving half of that.

The government’s reckless spending to [continue reading]