Archive for December 15th, 2008

source: Standay Standard
by Bashi Letsididi
13.12.2008 3:49:24 P

ICT was supposed to spell doom for the postal sector but BotswanaPost has managed to piggyback on technological wonders to adapt to an altered business landscape.

“At the close of the year, work was at an advanced stage on an electronic money transfer product that would not only expedite and improve on the security of transactions but also offer customers value added services such as SMS notifications,” says BotswanaPost’s board chairman, Martin Makgatlhe, in the just-released 2007/08 annual report.

In partnership with the government, BotswanaPost has also upgraded 24 post offices to become public information centers or Kitsong Centers as they are more commonly known.

The centers were set up after a study undertaken by the Botswana Technology Centre established the following: that rural communities needed ICT for [continue reading]

source: The Watchdog

The Botswana Parliament has pressed ahead with passing of the controversial Media Practitioners Bill according to a statement by the Media Institute of Southern Africa.
Zambia may end up with the same kind of law should the current calls by certain sectors of the society prevail.

The bill, which faced fierce objections and an outcry from the media and the public in general, is now at the parliamentary committee stage before the final vote after the 10 december vote.

The bill provides for the setting up of a statutory media regulatory body and the mandatory registration of media workers. MISA-Botswana opposes the bill, stating that it infringes on free expression rights as well as imposes unreasonable penalties on the media through the statutory regulatory body.

Meanwhile the media has mandated the Press Council of Botswana (PCB) to take legal recourse. In a press statement, the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

A Russian billionaire who was reported to be keen in investing in Air Botswana appears to have abandoned the idea. Alexander Lebedev an ex-KGB spy has not communicated with the Botswana government ever since it was announced that he is interested in the national carrier.

Last August, the Ministry of Works and Transport announced that the billionaire was interested in buying a stake in Air Botswana. But so far, he is yet to pitch up for talks with the government.

The Ministry of Works and Transport spokesman, Samuel Mbaiwa who broke the news in August with a sense of optimism sounded more pessimistic yesterday about the investor. “That man never pitched up. He has not communicated. We invited him so we can ask him questions about his [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The Herald (Harare)
Published by the government of Zimbabwe

Harare — GOVERNMENT says it now has “compelling evidence” tying Botswana to the training of bandits believed to be linked to an alleged MDC-T plot to unconstitutionally unseat the Government.

The Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Cde Patrick Chinamasa, yesterday said evidence collected established that Botswana had provided human and material resources for the training of the bandits.

He also warned Botswana’s President Seretse Khama Ian Khama that the route he had chosen would have dire consequences for the entire region.

The turn of events casts a shadow on whether or not an inclusive Govern-ment involving Zanu-PF, MDC-T and MDC will be formed following the gazetting of Constitutional Amendment Number 19 Bill on Saturday.

“You are aware that the last time the Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security met in Harare, we lodged a complaint against Botswana. Botswana has [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

The Masedi Farm Project was established in addition to Peo Holdings (Pty) Ltd and Business Development Fund by Debswana as part of a broad socio-economic investment and citizen empowerment, Parliament has learnt.

The Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Ponatshego Kedikilwe told the House on Monday that one of the main objectives of the initiative was to contribute towards the social and economic stability of the country.

The project was also meant to generate employment opportunities in the rural areas, create model farming enterprises and demonstrate that agro-industry can be viably established in the country.

However, Kedikilwe said after six years, none of the intentioned objectives was achieved and [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
13.12.2008 3:44:37 P

Government Enclave and its senior advisors were this week confessing to the old truth that they were told by the media over the last 12 months about the global economic down-turn on the fortunes of the country.

The move followed a series of meetings in the northern parts of the country in the last three weeks where four cabinet ministers were consulting with the residents, trade unions, employment bureaus and mining houses about the global impact of the financial crisis on the area.

“The financial crisis has now started to impact negatively on the real economy. The lack of available credit and long term investment funds has slowed down growth in consumer spending, reduced employment incomes, as well as causing capital losses on [continue reading]

source: News24
15/12/2008 12:32 – (SA)

Musina – Plans are underway to assess the need for shelter, sanitation and hygiene in areas affected by cholera in Limpopo, said the province’s local government on Monday.

Local government and housing spokesperson Malusi Mohale said his department, responsible for the province’s disaster management, would visit Musina, following the declaration of the Vhembe area as a disaster zone.

A team lead by local government and housing MEC Maite Nkoana-Mashabane would visit affected areas in [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The De Beers Group is postponing the move of its aggregation from London to Botswana next year due to continued engagement with Government to ensure conditions are “right for success”.

Both De Beers Botswana and Diamond Trading Company (DTC) Botswana on Wednesday confirmed to Business Week that “it is unlikely that aggregation will move in 2009” as earlier envisaged.

De Beers said they have completed a detailed feasibility study that has identified a small number of key issues that need to be resolved to ensure a smooth and successful transition of this important function.

“While we expect these (engagement with Government) to be resolved in time, it is unlikely that aggregation will move in 2009,” De Beers says. “We believe it is essential that this [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
13.12.2008 3:40:32 P

At a time when ratings for many countries around the world have deteriorated because of the current financial crisis, Botswana has been given good rating by international rating agencies although they warned that the economy will be battered by the credit crunch if it persists.

This week, rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S & P) released the 2008 sovereign credit rating for Botswana and affirmed the country’s “A/A-1” foreign currency and “A+/A-1” local currency with the outlook remaining stable.

“The assessment by S & P in the context of the current global economic slowdown reflects Botswana’s continued strong financial position, together with a reputation for sound economic policies and prudent financial management”, the rating agency [continue reading]

15 December 2008

The first World Conference on Constitutional Justice, organised by the Constitutional Court of South Africa and the Venice Commission, will take place in Cape Town from 23 to 24 January 2009.

The conference will bring together, for the first time, courts of constitutional jurisdiction from all over the world, including Commonwealth courts and members of various regional groups of courts of constitutional jurisdiction.

The conference will explore the impact these courts have, both on their own societies and on the development of a global jurisprudence on human rights. At the same time, it will seek to promote co-operation between these courts, and further the development of global human rights principles.

South Africa’s Constitutional Court, established in 1995, played a crucial role in the finalisation of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Human rights activists have expressed concern about the number of cases in which the police have shot suspected criminals to death. But the deputy Commissioner of Police, Kenny Kapinga, said it could only be alarming when the police start shooting chicken thieves and pickpockets instead of armed criminals.

He insisted that in cases of armed criminals, the police return fire when shot at.
In a recent shooting incident in Serowe, police shot to death three alleged robbers, all young Batswana.

A local newspaper showed gruesome photographs of the alleged robbers after they shot by the police. Some of them seemed to have been bleeding from the head.In September, Francistown police also killed three other alleged robbers who were believed to be foreigners.

The police always claim that there was an exchange of fire as [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) walked out of the House yesterday in protest against treatment they got from the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) as regards the Media Practitioners Bill.

Leader of Opposition Botswana National Front (BNF), Otsweletse Moupo, told the House that they found it unnecessary to take part in endorsing a law of which they had been sidelined.

Moupo was referring to the Wednesday incident when, with the support of BDP colleagues, Mogoditshane MP, Patrick Masimolole thwarted debate on the Bill. MP for Lobatse Nehemiah Modubule interjected, trying to call for the debate to continue.

The Speaker of the National Assembly, Patrick Balopi, did not intervene, but agreed with the BDP to discontinue the debate.According to Moupo, the debate should have started afresh because Minister of Communications, Science and Technology, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, had re-tabled the bill.

“The Speaker should have checked to ensure that the [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
13.12.2008 3:21:55 P

Responding to a question in parliament, the minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Daniel Kwelagobe, revealed that the total amount of money spent by President Khama and his entourage to attend the meeting of the Board of Conservation International in the United States of America was an astounding P1 361 321.44.
Breaking it down, Kwelagobe indicated that P342 756.59 was used for diem payments while P898 174.00 was for aviation fuel.

The other remaining monies, including landing fees, catering and handling charges shot up to P89 277.25 while air tickets used up P31 113.60.
The revelation comes amid growing economic uncertainties currently weighing heavily against world economies, with Botswana now [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
13.12.2008 3:53:01 P

The Cresta Group, which runs several hotel outlets across the country, this week said it is embarking on an expansion drive following a P105 million refurbishment programme, including the relaunch of the famous President Hotel last year.

The company says the refurbishment of the hotel, nicknamed ‘Press’, was one of the most eagerly awaited events in the domestic hospitality sector on the eve of the 2010 FIFA World Cup to be held in South Africa.

Head of Marketing at Cresta Marakanelo, Patrick Chivese, told Sunday Standard that the original property of ‘Press’ was built in 1966 and underwent a series of upgrades in [continue reading]