Archive for December 13th, 2008

source: BOPA
12 December, 2008

PARLIAMENT – Parliament outdid itself Wednesday by passing six Bills in less than an hour.

Last Friday Vice President Lt General Mompati Merafhe complained that MPs spent six weeks debating just one piece of legislation, a step that he said might give wrong signals to the nation regarding the productivity of Parliament.

This Wednesday six Bills sailed through at the blink of an eye leading to an early adjournment of the House.

The Civil Aviation Authority Bill, Electoral Act Amendment Bill and the Architects Registration Bill were among those whose debate did not attract much controversy.

Among contentious Bills were the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation transition Bill that seeks to provide for the registration of BTC under the Companies Act and for its continued existence as if it had been incorporated under that Act and for matters incidental thereto.

MPs especially from the opposition criticised the motive behind the Bill on the basis that it was the embryonic step to privatising BTC and many other state enterprises, a move which would no [continue reading]

source: Reuters Africa
Fri 12 Dec 2008, 10:29 GMT

GABORONE, Dec 12 (Reuters) – The global economic crisis has started to impact Botswana’s output, and will hit the mineral sector hardest which accounts for the bulk of export earnings, Finance Minister Baledzi Gaolathe said on Friday.

Gaolathe told parliament that the world credit crunch had forced the curtailment and postponement of Botswana’s capital expenditure programmes, worsening the decline in demand and hitting employment.

“The lack of available credit and long-term investment funds has slowed down growth in consumer spending, reduced employment and incomes, as well as causing capital losses on personal savings and other assets,” he said.

Mineral exports, in particular diamond sales, had [continue reading]

source: Zimbabwe Independent
Thursday, 11 December 2008 22:00

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe yesterday said he was prepared for fresh elections to settle the current political impasse which has stalled the formation of a government since his disputed re-election in June.

Mugabe’s remarks yesterday — which follow hard on the heels of similar pronouncements last week — demonstrate a tacit admission that his re-election in the June 27 one-man presidential election run-off was a sham. They are also seen as a bid to force the opposition MDC into a unity government.

African election observers, including Sadc, the Pan African Parliament and AU, among others, rejected his re-election as [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Standard Chartered has taken 150 of its African SME customers to Guangzhou, China and to the annual World SME Expo in Hong Kong on the 7th- 13th December.

This is the third consecutive year in which Standard Chartered Bank has taken its SME customers to the annual SME EXPO in Hong Kong. The EXPO offers participants the chance to participate in forums with suppliers and customers, obtain market advice and build valuable business ties with other SMEs from around the world.

Raheel Ahmed, Regional Head of Consumer Banking, Africa, said: “I am delighted that we are again able to offer this opportunity to our SME customers. I am confident that this year’s event will once again prove to be very beneficial for our SME customers in assisting them to build their business links in Asia.

“Standard Chartered has a unique and well established footprint in Asia, Africa and the Middle East and will continue to provide the necessary financial tools and strategic advice to SME customers with [continue reading]

Fuel prices down again

source: BOPA
12 December, 2008

GABORONE – The Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources has reduced the price of a litre of petrol, diesel and illuminating paraffin by P1, respectifully, following the fall of crude oil prices between October and November this year.

A news release from the ministry says international crude oil prices averaged US$52.45 in November from US$71.58 in [continue reading]

source: Zimbabwe Independent
Thursday, 11 December 2008 21:38

ZIMBABWE has sent a team of investigators to Botswana to probe an alleged plot of banditry involving Botswana authorities and opposition MDC activists for the second time in as many weeks as it seeks to substantiate claims which have angered its neighbour.

Zimbabwe and Botswana — uneasy neighbours since 1980 due to political and trade disputes — have been on a collision course since the widely-disputed June presidential election run-off.

Botswana President Ian Khama has refused to recognise President Robert Mugabe as a legitimate head of state, saying he retained power through a campaign of violence.

The Botswana leader has said if [continue reading]

source: The Botswana Gazette

Government has reversed its decision to reduce transport fares after transport operators slammed on the brakes,

citing lack of consultation over the reductions announced the previous week.
The tariffs which were gazetted on November 28 indicated that a shared taxi would go down from P3.60 per person to P3.20. The ‘special’ fare would be P16 per trip from P18. Minibuses would charge each person P2.70 down from P3.

A long distance trip on a bitumen road was to cost 17.33 thebe per kilometre from 18.58 and a long distance bus trip on a gravel or sandy road will be 19.30 thebe per kilometre from 20.55 thebe.

Business in Gaborone was brought to a standstill on Friday after transport operators decided to park their vehicles in protest. As a result, thousands of commuters could not reach their work places on time or stayed home for lack of transport.

The situation in most parts of the nation’s capital was chaotic as [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Hana Mining has announced that the private placement announced on September 11 as amended October 13 was not proceeded with. Instead, the company has now arranged a non-brokered private placement for proceeds of up to $1,500,000 (P12 million).

The net proceeds of the private placement will be used to fund on-going exploration of its highly prospective Ghantsi Copper-Silver Project. Hana said on Monday that some of the funds raised will also be used for increasing the number of drilling rigs on the property and to develop the property’s mineralisation into proven, indicated and inferred resource categories.

The non-brokered private placement will consist of up to 30,000,000 units at a price of $0.05 per unit. Each unit will consist of one common share and one non-transferable share purchase warrant. Each share purchase warrant will entitle the holder to [continue reading]

source: BOPA
12 December, 2008

PARLIAMENT – The Engineers Registration (Amendment) Bill was approved by parliament to become a law after it went through the committee stage on Wednesday.

Members of Parliament did not contribute to the bill, paving the way for it to go to the committee stage after the assistant minister of Works and Transport, Mr Frank Ramsden presented it for second reading earlier on the day.

During presentation, Mr Ramsden said the aim of the bill was to provide for self-regulation of the engineering profession in Botswana.

He said the proposed Act would create an environment that would enable efficient delivery of service to customers by the engineers fraternity, and assure professional standards.

My ministry will also endeavor to support the [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)
Zimbabwe: Country Unveils Z$500 Million Note
12 December 2008

Johannesburg — ZIMBABWE’S central bank today introduced a Z$500m note,as the African country struggles to cope with the world’s highest inflation and crippling currency shortages.The half-billon note, worth about $10 US dollars, was released together with a Z$200m, which the central bank said in a statement was introduced for the “convenience” of the public.

Finance minister Samuel Mumbengegwi announced the new bills in a government gazette, bringing to 29 the number of new notes put into circulation this year alone.

Just last Thursday, Zimbabwe introduced a Z$100m bill that at the time was worth 14 US dollars. One week later, it’s worth less than 50 cents. Zimbabwe’s highest inflation was last estimated in July at 231-million % but is now believed to be much higher.

The central bank struggles to print money fast enough to keep pace with [continue reading]