Archive for December 10th, 2008

source: BOPA
04 December, 2008

PARLIAMENT – Parliament looks set to give government the green light to privatise the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) This was after the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (Transition) Bill was on Tuesday passed to the committee stage of the parliamentary debate.

However, despite the Bill proceeding to the next stage, opposition MPs opposed it. MPs Otsweletse Moupo, Mr Gordon Mokgwathi and Mr Mephato Reatile were critical of it.

Mr Moupo, MP of Gaborone West North said he opposed the Bill on the basis that privatizing BTC may bring social costs such as job losses and expensive rates for the service as the investors would be looking at cutting losses and maximizing profit.

“Privatizing BTC would bring loss of jobs. When we privatize BTC there is a likelihood that very few Batswana would benefit. Most of them don’t have money to buy shares,” he said.

The Leader of opposition also said the idea advanced by ruling party MPs that the BTC would become more efficient if it could be [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
BRIAN BENZA
Staff Writer

With a due diligence and transaction structure exercise carried out by the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) now completed, the privatisation of the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) is gathering steam.

“This week marked a major milestone with the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (Transition) Bill (reaching second reading) in Parliament,” said the CEO of the Public Enterprises Evaluation and Privatisation Agency (PEEPA), Joshua Galeforolwe, at a press conference last Friday.

“This bill should provide for the conversion of BTC from a statutory corporation to a public company as well as provide for the allotment of shares for purchase by a Strategic Equity Partner (SEP).

“The privatisation of BTC will see the introduction of a first tier telecommunications company that will allow for [continue reading]

source: BOPA
08 December, 2008

GABORONE – The Minister of Agriculture, Mr Christiaan De Graaf left for Paris, France on Saturday to attend a high level forum on Finances of Investment for Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa.

A press release form the ministry says the aim of the meeting was to discuss as directly as possible, with a representative sample of the European and African political, economical, professional and financial decision makers.

“The main issue is to examine conditions regarding the preparation, funding and implementation of the investment projects, in the public or private sectors, be it facilities or institutional environment building, with a view to achieving food security in the continent,” the release said.

The meeting was prompted by the fact that the international community has realised that African countries were [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
MONKAGEDI GAOTLHOBOGWE
Staff Writer

Since its inception in 2002, the National Master Plan for Arable Agriculture and Dairy Development (NAMPAAD) has spent P72,560,784.89 on four trial projects which are yet to prove profitable, Parliament heard recently.

P20,140,730.05 was used for infrastructure development while a staggering P52,420,054.84 was disbursed in professional fees.

The four trial production training projects are a rain-fed farm at Ramatlabama, a dairy farm at Sunnyside near Lobatse, and irrigation farms at Glen Valley and Dikabeya.

The Assistant Minister of Agriculture, Shaw Kgathi, said while all the four projects are operational and their production figures are higher than [continue reading]

source: BOPA
08 December, 2008

PARLIAMENT – Minister Jacob Nkate has absolved himself from blame following his ministry’s request for supplementary estimates of close to P915 million.

“I was never aware of this situation until this late because I do not directly deal with files on a day to day basis. The information that I often give to this house does not originate from me, I get it from my officials,” said Mr Nkate who heads the ministry of Education and Skills Development.

Mr Nkate was responding to Ngwaketse West MP, Mr Mephato Reatile who had called for the former’s expulsion from cabinet.

“I agree that it was wrong for us to wait until we are in this dire situation where we have students but can not pay their allowances, but it can not be my fault as a minister,” he said.

Minister Nkate said he was willing to take responsibility for any blunder that he felt he could be blamed for.

“I resigned from cabinet during the Zakhem feud because I felt public opinion against me needed to be [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
BuaNews (Tshwane)
Michael Appel
9 December 2008

Pretoria — The stalled establishment of a government of unity in Zimbabwe and the cholera outbreak is currently occupying government, according to Foreign Affairs Director General Ayanda Ntsaluba.

Briefing the media at the Union Buildings on Tuesday, Mr Ntsaluba the humanitarian situation brought about by the cholera outbreak had brought further urgency to the need for a political agreement to be reached in that country.

He urged all parties to work together to help address the situation.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), about 14 000 people have been infected while over 600 deaths have [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

The Permanent Secretary to the President, Eric Molale yesterday announced major appointments and redeployments in the public service, most of which take effect on January 1 next year.

According to a statement from that office, Solomon Sekwakwa is appointed Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, taking over from Serwalo Tumelo who retires from Public Service on December 31 2008.

Pearl N. Matome is appointed Director of Public Service Management. Ruth M. Maphorisa is appointed Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education and Skills Development.

Dr Micus Chimbombi is appointed Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture replacing Dr Lucas Gakale, who retires from the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

In a minor cabinet reshuffle, President Ian Khama has appointed Selebi Phikwe West legislator, Kavis Kario, the new Assistant minister of Education and Skills Development.

According to a statement from the Office of the President, Kario will replace Lebonamang Mokalake, who becomes Assistant Minister of Local Government, replacing Olifant Mfa who will step down.

The OP statement says Samson Guma will step down as [continue reading]

source: News24
09/12/2008 18:09 – (SA)

Pretoria – The South African government is, at this stage, not considering sending troops to Zimbabwe, Foreign Affairs director-general Ayanda Ntsaluba said on Tuesday.

“I can’t see that [sending troops] arising. I don’t think that’s on the agenda of [the] South African government at all,” Ntsaluba told a media briefing in Pretoria.

He said could not predict what may happen down the line but in the current debate, the government had not been persuaded that it would be an appropriate measure.

He said the government remained focused on applying “peaceful pressure” and “nudging” the parties in Zimbabwe to cement the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
LEKOPANYE MOOKETSI
Correspondent

Parliament has passed a motion calling on the government to provide MPs’ constituency offices with resources and facilities like vehicles.

The motion was passed on Friday after an attempt by Assistant Minister of Health, Gaotlhaetse Matlhabaphiri to change it to read that government should consider the provision instead of government should provide was defeated in a vote. During debate, the mover of the motion, Kanye North legislator, Calvin Batsile and a host of MPs rejected the proposed amendment. Gordon Mokgwathi of Letlhakeng East recalled that in the early 1980s, a motion calling on the government to consider building a senior secondary school in Okavango took nearly 30 years to be implemented. He asserted that the word ‘consider’ does not compel government to act. He said Parliament should be an independent body that can provide for itself without pleading for help from government. “Do we need to come to Parliament to plead with the government to [continue reading]

source: BOPA
08 December, 2008

GABORONE – The University of Botswana (UB) has launched its 2009 master plan which shows the development of the physical layout of the campus until 2020.

Outlining the plan, the university’s director of institutional planning, Dr Michael Gregory said the master plan would provide the university with an inspiring vision.

He said it was designed to highlight the university’s vision which is “to be a leading centre of academic excellence in Africa and the world.” Dr Gregory noted that in addition to planning for an enrollment of 16 000 students by 2016 and 20 000 by 2020, the master plan also addressed the need to improve the layout of the campus and to ensure that strong environmental standards are in place.

In that regard, the plan also included the creation of a botanical garden, a research centre as well as an integrated landscaping strategy to beautify the campus.

He said the plan would also include a new multi-purpose hall, academic buildings, student housing, refectory and a central campus plaza. Dr Gregory said the students residential buildings will increase to 7 500 units by [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
OLIVER MODISE
Correspondent

The Botswana Law Society (BLS) has failed to hold its annual general meeting that was expected to elect a new council.

BLS chairman, Duma Boko expressed disappointment that the meeting did not take place. He attributed the failure to the low turn out of lawyers from the Attorney General’s chambers.

“We could not continue with the meeting as expected because we did not form a quorum,” said Boko. He added that according to the Legal Practitioners’ Act, lawyers from the Attorney General’s Chambers are part of the meeting.

Boko said the meeting has been moved to end of January next year.
The race for the BLS chairmanship pits ruling party disciplinary committee member Isaac Seloko and Tebogo Sebego. Seloko is a former BLS vice-chairman, while Sebego currently [continue reading]

source: IOL
Keith Ross
December 09 2008 at 05:07PM

The government has failed, in some respects at least, to act decisively to protect the South African people from crime, says the Institute for Security Studies.

The institute says the government can be criticised for a number of its actions, including the premature scrapping of the commandos and the decision to do away with the specialised police units.

The government had also failed to deal with many of the socio-economic factors that have led to the increase in crime levels.

The institute’s senior researcher, Dr Johan Burger, said the government had, in at least three White Papers since 1994, identified crime as the main threat to national security.

‘At 38,6 we are still in serious, serious trouble as far as murder is concerned’
“One would then expect that you would go ahead and develop a national strategy that [continue reading]