Archive for December 11th, 2008

BDP romps all over media

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) went on the rampage this week forcing its will on Members of Parliament by limiting their contributions to Parliament debates to only 15 minutes.

After passing five bills during this madness, they were again forced to pass the Media Practitioners’ Bill without debate yesterday.

Just after Minister for Communications, Science and Technology, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi finished presenting the bill, the floor was open for debate. MP for Mogoditshane, Patrick Masimolole, took the floor and moved against the debate saying the bill was debated in the winter meeting of the House.

The vote favoured debunking further debate.
MP for Lobatse, Nehemiah Modubule, tried to call for the debate to continue but his plea was overwhelmned by the weight of BDP numbers.

The Speaker called for an end to the debate and in celebration, Venson-Moitoi announced that the bill will go to committee stage.

Odubule then walked out of the House. Outside, he said in an interview that he was shocked at what has become of the National Assembly. He said he has lost confidence in the Speaker because the BDP was controlling him like he was not independent. He lamented the speed at which laws were being made.

Since Tuesday, Parliament has [continue reading]

received as comment:

The Press Council of Botswana (PCB) has disappointedly learnt that at its session on Wednesday, Botswana Parliament passed to committee stage the Media Practitioners Bill.

Experience with the Botswana legislative system shows that Parliamentary process is, in the majority of instances, merely a rubber-stamping exercise. It would therefore come as no surprise to us that the bill would in fact pass into law. Within the internal ambit of this process, our hope lies with the President, who is empowered under the Constitution to assent or refuse to assent to a Bill passed by Parliament. Before he assents to a bill, it cannot pass into law.

The President is obviously aware of the public outcry and objections to the bill in the form in which it has been presented to Parliament. He is, however, yet to pronounce his position on the intended law. We say this quite appreciative of the fact that it was his Executive that initiated the bill and that he must have instructed the Minister of Information, Science and Technology, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, to have it drafted and presented to Parliament in the form it is.

Nevertheless, President Khama has in recent times broken ranks with his peers at the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU) on the question of Zimbabwe. By so doing, Khama has departed from the conventional position of collectivism and consensual decision-making – perhaps to assert his democratic credentials – and this has earned him domestic and international acclaim.

The circumstances surrounding the Bill, its content, the mass opposition to it, it’s derogation from acceptable democratic and constitutional expectation, surely out to prod Khama to use his Executive prerogative to stop it in its tracks – if he is to further assert his democratic credentials.

Although the President enjoys the Constitutional authority of assenting or declining his assent to a bill of Parliament, it would be foolhardy and he would be ill advised, to think that his powers, in this regard, are unfettered. Ours is a Constitutional Democracy and Khama’s exercise of discretion would be liable to be impugned should he elect to assent to a bill such as the Media Practitioners Bill, which is clearly inimical to sound democratic principles and fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution.

Therefore, much as we continue to be expectant that the President would be stirred in the right direction by the democratic rationale, if such eludes him, the only recourse left for us and other defenders of democracy would be to approach the High Court. We may, in anticipation of this eventuality, provide a word of counsel to the Judiciary as well, by emphasising that, it is in trying times when there is a deliberate and systematic encroachment to liberties that the Court earn their mantle as the ultimate protectors of the individuals’ rights.

Short of Presidential intervention, the Press Council of Botswana has therefore resolved to institute legal action against the Government with the view of assailing this offensive piece of legislation.

We call upon all civil organisations, be they political or otherwise, within and outside the country, to lend their support by providing solidarity and assistance in any form, as we set out on this front to protect the democratic right of the media in Botswana.

Pamela Dube-Kelepang

source: CIOL News
Thursday, December 11, 2008

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Eastern Software System (ESS), a provider in technology solutions and services, announced on Wednesday that it has won a prestigious contract from the Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC), an operationally autonomous law enforcement agency of Botswana within the Ministry of Justice, Defence and Security, Govt. of Botswana.

The contract focuses to design, develop and implement an official website and a comprehensive intranet portal for the Directorate, said a press release.

The solution would be delivered through a content management system developed on LAMP (Linux Apache MySQL PHP) technology, it added. Anil Bakht, managing director, Eastern Software Systems, “This prestigious contract from the DCEC, Botswana will showcase our abilities to develop and deploy intricate portals and [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
BuaNews (Tshwane)
Nthambeleni Gabara
11 December 2008

Johannesburg — The newly launched Southern African Development Community (SADC) Science, Technology and Innovation Desk will ensure that the region benefits from the global pool of scientific knowledge.

Ministers responsible for science and technology in Southern Africa established this unit to coordinate science and technology activities in the region, following a three-day SADC Science and Technology Ministerial Meeting on Wednesday in Johannesburg.

South Africa’s Science and Technology Minister and the SADC Science and Technology Chairperson, Mosibudi Mangena officially launched the desk, which is based in Botswana.

He said through the desk, SADC countries would be able to use the technology and innovation to alleviate poverty in the region.

“The Science and Technology Desk will ensure that the SADC countries harness and apply science, technology and innovation to [continue reading]

source: BBC News

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has said there is no cholera in his country – as the United Nations warned the deadly epidemic was getting worse.

“I am happy we are being assisted by others and we have arrested cholera,” Mr Mugabe said in a speech. The outbreak has claimed nearly 800 lives.

He also claimed Western powers were plotting to use cholera as an excuse to invade Zimbabwe and overthrow him.

“The cholera cause doesn’t exist any more,” Mr Mugabe said.

He spoke as South African officials declared part of their northernmost province a disaster area, blaming Zimbabwe’s cholera outbreak spreading across the border.

In his nationally televised speech, Mr Mugabe denounced [continue reading]

source: BOPA
10 December, 2008

GABORONE – Batswana have been encouraged to buy shares in units earmarked for privatisation as this will boost the economy of the country.

The Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of Public Enterprises Evaluation and Privatisation Agency (PEEPA), Mr Joshua Galeforolwe said this will also enable the government to fully focus on issues concerning the welfare of the nation.

Mr Galeforolwe said this at a recent news briefing in Gaborone, which was meant to keep the media abreast of the latest developments on privatisation of some state controlled entities.

Regarding the 2008 transaction highlights, PEEPA chief noted that privatisation of the Botswana Telecommunication Corporation (BTC), National Development Bank (NDB) and Air Botswana were some of the issues that [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

BotswanaPost had to put major capital developments that would have stimulated revenue growth on ice due to unavailability of funds, the parastatal’s 2008 Annual Report has revealed.

The report, which was released this week, says BotswanaPost needs funds to develop its IT systems and mail processing at sorting centres, to build more infrastructure and to replace its mail delivery fleet and other major initiatives it has targeted in Pinagare, its 2011 corporate strategy.

The parastatal’s Board Chairman, Martin Makgatle, says inability to respond swiftly to changes in the market largely because of manual business processes and growing competition from players participating in an unregulated market added to [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
BuaNews (Tshwane)
Nthambeleni Gabara
10 December 2008

Pretoria — The Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Bill will help address the urgent need to strengthen South Africa’s forensic crime fighting capacity to effectively fight crime and convict criminals in South Africa.

This is according to Justice and Constitutional Development Minister Enver Surty, who on Tuesday said the office for Criminal Justice System Reform (OCJSR), which is responsible for reviewing the country’s Criminal Justice System, had identified an urgent need to improve and strengthen the collection, storage and use of fingerprinting and DNA evidence.

The minister said despite the number of [continue reading]

source: BOPA
08 December, 2008

GABORONE – The Botswana Police Service has intensified patrols and increased visibility to curb the escalating incidents of attacks in the streets.

The Police’s Public Relations Officer, Senior Superintendent Christopher Mbulawa, said they realised that some people committed crime because they did not see the police around.

“We intensified day and night patrols because we want to ensure that criminals do not take advantage of the absence of the police to carry out their activities”, he said.

“Street robberies are still a big public security problem”, he said.

He said street robberies and burglaries have increased rapidly to an extent that they happen even in [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

The Assistant Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Samson Guma Moyo, also MP for Tati East, whose stay in Cabinet was scheduled to expire in January next year, has quit Parliament and the Botswana Democratic Party.

President Ian Khama announced a cabinet reshuffle on Monday in which Moyo and Oliphant Mfa would have lost their cabinet positions in January.

In an interview, BDP executive secretary, Comma Serema, confirmed receiving Moyo’s letter of resignation. Serema refused to disclose the reasons why Moyo resigned.

Contacted for comment Moyo quipped: “Ke eng o sa di tseye ko go bone ba ba go di neetseng – Why do you not speak to the people who gave you the information?”

“These are internal correspondences,” he warned, adding that [continue reading]

source: afrol news

afrol News, 10 December – The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is dispatching more teams to look into and formulate help strategies in Zimbabwe’s crisis, despite the country’s pronounced suspicions on a Western-backed invasion. Two secrete meetings are underway.

The regional body has called for an emergency security meeting of the SADC Troika to be held in Maputo tomorrow, a source has revealed to afrol News. Though not disclosing the details of the Maputo agenda, Zimbabwe’s new security concerns, as well as an alleged invasion plot, are believed to top the meeting’s agenda.

The source further said another security meeting, at a technical and strategic level, was to be held in Botswana, though saying it was a rather sensitive issue to be discussed and not [continue reading]

source: IOL
December 11 2008 at 07:52AM

The Limpopo provincial government has declared the cholera-hit Vhembe area a disaster area, the office of the Premier said on Wednesday.

Spokesman Mogale Nchabeleng said the Limpopo Executive Council took the decision at the Peter Mokaba stadium after the Department of Health and Social Development presented a report on how provincial government was responding to the challenge.

“The report indicated that with the massive influx of Zimbabwean nationals, most people are infected with cholera bacteria. To date, no less than 664 people have been treated with cholera and practitioners are [continue reading]

source: BOPA
11 December, 2008

PARLIAMENT – Palapye MP, Mr Moiseraele Goya has called on government to introduce cameras in the cities’ highways to monitor traffic.

Contributing to the Road Traffic Act (Amendment) Bill in Parliament on Tuesday, Mr Goya argued that cameras would enable the police to nab traffic offenders and produce evidence of the offence when required.

“Our police currently charge motorists of offences that they can’t produce evidence of. The motorists charged can go to court and seek evidence and the police would fail to produce it. Traffic monitoring cameras would help in this regard,” he said.

He mentioned that developed countries like the United Kingdom and Australia have effectively used traffic cameras to control offences.

The bill was presented in Parliament by [continue reading]

source: BOPA
11 December, 2008

PARLIAMENT – Government intends flexing its muscle on traffic offenders.

This is atleast according to the contents of the Road Traffic (amendment) Bill being debated in the house.

The bill will see the introduction of modern technologies such as traffic cameras to instantly detect traffic offences and introduction of Demerit Point System.

The demerit points are a form of penalty imposed when certain traffic offences are committed.

Minister for Works and Transport, Mr Jonnie Swartz said his ministry is in the process of preparing detailed regulations for implementing the system According to Mr Swartz, when tabling the bill, the current act was [continue reading]

10 December 2008

Local e-commerce comparison site Jump Shopping has chosen bidorbuy as the best South African online auction site for the third year running. Bidorbuy attributes its success to a simple business model: make a website and allow other people to trade on it among themselves.

Established in 1999 for individuals to buy and sell their wares online, bidorbuy’s registered users passed the 300 000 mark by November this year, a growth of 40%, while average sales have risen from about R9-million a month a year ago to about R20-million a month currently.

About 80% of transactions are concluded in the auction format, the remainder being fixed-price sales. In line with perceived international trends, the company expects an increase in fixed-price listings.

“The move towards fixed-price items seems the logical next step,” bidorbuy director Andy Higgins said in a statement this week.

“After all, some people prefer to [continue reading]