Archive for December 16th, 2008

source: Mmegi
By Lekopanye Mooketsi
Correspondent

The European Commission has increased the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) allocation for Botswana.

EU Botswana’s spokesman, Bester Gabotlale, has told the media that the allocation for the country under the 10th EDF, which runs from 2008 to 2013, is now fixed at E73 million (about P610 million), an increase of E17 million compared to the E56m originally foreseen.

Gabotlale says the additional funds were agreed on by the EU Commission based on a series of commitments by the Government of Botswana to further improve its achievements in the area of governance.

These include improving court case management, control of corruption, public procurement and [continue reading]

source: Bloomberg
By Brian Latham

Dec. 16 (Bloomberg) — Zimbabwe’s air force commander, Perence Shiri, survived an assassination attempt on Dec. 13, according to Interior Minister Kembo Mohadi.

“Unidentified gunmen opened fire on Air Marshal Shiri as he was driving to his farm at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday,” the home affairs minister said today in a phone interview from Harare. “He is receiving treatment in a Harare hospital and was not badly wounded.”

Mohadi, a senior member of President Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front party, said the attack “appears to be part of an escalating terror campaign against high-profile persons, government officials and buildings.’’

“The terror tactics appear to be aimed at destabilizing [continue reading]

source: BOPA
15 December, 2008

PARLIAMENT – A bill moved by the Assistant Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Duke Lefhoko, which intends to amend the Companies’ Act of 2003, was passed by Parliament last week and now awaits the signature of the President for it to be law.

The bill proposes amendments to the Companies Act to make a provision for the registrar to delegate powers to sign and issue certificates of company incorporation to senior officers from the level of the principal commercial officer and above.

According to assistant minister Lefhoko, the registrar and the deputy registrar alone currently carry out functions of signing certificates of incorporation, but are far outweighed by the demands of these duties.

“This situation is no longer tenable because it compromises Botswana’s competitiveness for investment attraction.

It is also counter productive for [continue reading]

source: BOPA
15 December, 2008

PARLIAMENT – Parliament last week adopted the Media Practitioners Bill after opposition legislators walked out walked out in protest.

Announcing the walk out, Mr Otsweletse Moupo who is leader of the opposition said the BDP had monopolised the bill by excluding them at caucus and blocking debate during second reading in Parliament.

When the bill was up for debate in Parliament last week, Mogoditshane MP Mr Patrick Masimolole immediately proposed that no debate should ensue and all BDP MPs supported him.

The BDP has 51 MPs in Parliament while the opposition only has 11.

“It would be difficult for us to stay during the committee stage of this bill after we have been excluded throughout all previous stages,” said Mr Moupo.

The bill in total has 39 clauses most of which are queried by the media on the basis that they are too repressive and will prevent free flow of information.

Last Thursday, Minister Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi moved 18 amendments which were dispensed in 25 minutes while prior to [continue reading]

source: Voice of America
By VOA News
15 December 2008

The United Nations says the death toll from a cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe has risen to 978.

The U.N. humanitarian office said Monday that the total number of suspected cases in the country stands at more than 18,000.

The outbreak has added to the political and economic turmoil in Zimbabwe that has brought calls for President Robert Mugabe to resign.

Earlier today, a Zimbabwean official accused Botswana of training insurgents to topple Mr. Mugabe.

Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa told state media he had “compelling evidence” Botswana is training members of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to destabilize the [continue reading]

source: BOPA
15 December, 2008

FRANCISTOWN – The City of Francistown is on high alert following the outbreak of cholera in Zimbabwe.

The city’s Environmental Division recently wrote to all food outlets in the city advising them of precautionary measures they need to prevent the diases from spreading.

Food handling has been cited as one of the ways that can easily spread the deadly disease. Recently two cases of cholera were reported in Francistown.

The acting Principal Environmental Officer, Mr Letso Leselamose, said in an interview that due to the outbreak of cholera in Zimbabwe they have found it fit to advise food outlets to wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before consumption and to stop the sale of salads. He said food outlets must also pre-pack foods that are supposed to be pre-packed to prevent cross contamination from [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Lance Guma
15 December 2008

MDC Secretary General Tendai Biti has told Newsreel that several of their activists abducted in the last few weeks have been tortured into making confessions about alleged ‘military training’ in Botswana. He said Mugabe’s regime is forcibly extracting false and incriminating information in order to justify declaring a state of emergency. Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa claimed in the state owned Herald newspaper on Monday that they had evidence the MDC was training bandits in Botswana, a charge his ZANU PF party has been repeating for the past few months. The MDC reacted swiftly and used a press conference in Harare on the same day to deny the claims.

Biti said, ‘We have no doubt as a party that they are going to declare a state of emergency. We are aware that they have produced a 27 page document which is full of rubbish that contains the purported evidence. We are aware that they have three DVDs of purported confessions by MDC activists. The document is as mendacious as fictitious. They would not have gone that far to prepare expensive DVDs, power point presentations and materials that are annexured to that document if they did not want to use it. They are using this as an entry point to declare a [continue reading]

source: BOPA
15 December, 2008

KASANE – The government has specifically amended labour laws for the employee and the employer to become responsible partners, who can honour, respect agreements and manage contracts, says the Minister of Labour and Home Affairs.

Mr Peter Siele told the Botswana Tribal Administrator Service Association (BOTASA) annual general conference that the role of the government should be viewed as mediatory particularly when things go wrong.

He regretted that he came across cases of failure by the employees’ representatives to stand for the membership when negotiating with the employer but later blamed the government even though they were the ones who failed to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
By Business Reporter

The Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) has announced some early Christmas cheer for cattle producers in the form of a general P2 per kilogramme increase in prices for cattle sold to its abattoirs.

BMC said last week that the changes are meant to increase production at its two abattoirs and are also due to the good prices being realised in the EU market.

There are four components of the changes that are meant to lure cattle producers to the BMC who have complained of low prices, resulting in Botswana struggling to meet the EU quota.

Hence, BMC decided to make a general price increase of P2 per kilogramme for all grades of cattle delivered.

“This P2/kg increase is over and above the export parity prices which will continue on [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by REUBEN PITSE
13.12.2008 3:17:05 P

A war of words has erupted between the Botswana Railways (BR) and the Ministry of Transport over who should head BR after the former CEO, Andrew Lunga, had his contract terminated by the ministry almost seven months ago.

Information reaching Sunday Standard suggests that the Ministry of Transport is planning to appoint a military officer to fill up the position of a Chief Executive Officer which has been vacant for almost seven months. The BR board on the other hand is opposing such an appointment, saying it is un-procedural.

It is understood that Tsa Babadi Consultancy long completed the selection of a suitable candidate to fill the CEO vacancy at the BR.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Transport, Jonnie Swartz, says that he is not aware whether [continue reading]

source: BOPA
15 December, 2008

PARLIAMENT – The Ministry of Agriculture does not have a targeted assistance programme for Botswana Horticultural Council and its members to access fertilizers.

Answering a question in Parliament the Assistant Minister of Agriculture Mr Shaw Kgathi explained that with its low interest rates of between five and seven per cent, CEDA assists horticultural farmers to acquire their production inputs including fertilizers.

He said he was however not aware that major suppliers of fertilizers favour distributors who in turn mainly supply big farmers in merchandised farming.

Horticultural farmers are one of the major users of fertilizers and fertilizer suppliers do good business with them, he said.

Mr Kgathi noted that, “in fact suppliers such as Botswana Agricultural Marketing Board (BAMB) and [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
By Monkagedi Gaotlhobogwe
Staff Writer

A team of Botswana government officials who left Gaborone on Monday last week to discuss prospects of the diamond industry with De Beers in London, were shocked by the news that De Beers might not transfer its DTC diamond aggregation to Gaborone next year as formerly planned.

De Beers made the announcement on Tuesday, two days before the diarised Thursday meeting with Botswana government officials. Government officials said on Friday that they are waiting for the Botswana delegation to return from London today to brief them on the latest developments.

Aggregation involves the blending of categories of rough diamonds like-for-like, regardless of their country of origin. These are then split into the appropriate types and quantities to be sold to clients or sight holders.

Since the renegotiation of the De Beers sales agreement for the [continue reading]

source: Market Watch
Last update: 10:05 a.m. EST Dec. 15, 2008

IAG 5.08, +0.12, +2.4%) (BOTSWANA: IAMGOLD) is pleased to declare an annual dividend payment of USD$0.06 per share payable on January 12, 2009 to shareholders of record as of the close of trading on December 24, 2008.

“We are pleased to announce our eighth consecutive annual dividend to shareholders. The dividend represents a return to shareholders and continues to be an important component of our business management philosophy,” said William Pugliese, Chairman of the Board. “Over the past year, IAMGOLD has remained focused on delivering solid operating results and we will continue that approach in 2009 and beyond.”

The dividend will be distributed in Canadian funds to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
By Edgar Tsimane
Correspondent

Monitor bumped into the leader of the Zimbabwe Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Morgan Tsvangirai, having lunch at the Gaborone Sun on Friday afternoon. He was reportedly on an unannounced visit.

Tsvangirai, who was seen having a chit-chat with Botswana’s ambassador to Zimbabwe, Pelokgale Seloma, declined to grant Monitor an interview so did Seloma despite prodding.
“Be patient. We will arrange an interview at some stage,” Tsvangirai told Monitor between giggles, before he was whisked away from Gaborone Sun Hotel.

Clad in a charcoal suit, he looked relaxed as he sat in a couch next to a woman whom he jokingly referred to as Mrs Tsvangirai. The government of Botswana on Friday was tight-lipped about Tsvangirai’s visit to [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Alex Bell
15 December 2008

As Zimbabwe’s deadly cholera outbreak continues to claim countless lives across the country, and also continues to spread across the Southern African region, an ally of Robert Mugabe has piled the blame of the epidemic on the British.

The death toll as a result of the disease officially reached 783 last week, but daily reports indicate that the number is not only rising by the day, but is also far higher than official reports have made out. The actual death toll is widely believed to be closer to 3000, but with only a tiny majority of sick people receiving treatment at the handful of operating facilities across the country, there is no way of knowing the full extent of the disease.

At the same time, as hundreds of sick Zimbabweans continue to flee across the borders in a desperate attempt to receive treatment, authorities in Zimbabwe’s neighbouring countries are now also [continue reading]

Zimbabwe: Britain blamed for cholera outbreak
watch video on BBC News