Archive for December 19th, 2008

source: BOPA
19 December, 2008

GABORONE – The Central Bank has reduced bank rates by half a percent from 15.5 to 15 percent, says a statement from Bank of Botswana.

The statement says although inflation remains above the bank’s medium-term objective range of 3 – 6 percent, a positive outlook for price stability is projected and it is anticipated that inflation will move towards the Bank’s inflation objective in 2009.

“There is, nevertheless, the likelihood that, in the short-term, the impact of the recent increase in the alcohol levy would outweigh the effect of the recent decrease in fuel prices, thus resulting in a temporary rise in inflation,” The statement however noted that [continue reading]

source: The Botswana Gazette

Tight Budget As Revenue Goes Down; It’s Still Unfolding

The Minister of Finance and Development Planning Mr Baledzi Gaolathe says the financial crisis has now started to impact negatively on the real economy. He said 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.

Briefing Parliament last week about the impact of the ongoing global financial and economic turbulence on the Botswana economy, Gaolathe said the credit crunch has also led to curtailment and postponement of capital expenditure programmes by many enterprises, thus aggravating the decline in aggregate demand, and exacerbating the negative impact on economic activity and employment.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the global economy is projected to slow down substantially this year and early part of 2009, with the global output growth forecast to decline from [continue reading]

source: BBC News

Robert Mugabe says African countries would not have the courage to intervene

President Robert Mugabe has said that “Zimbabwe is mine” and rejected calls from some African leaders to step down.

“I will never, never, never surrender,” he told delegates of his ruling Zanu-PF party at its annual conference.

Mr Mugabe also said he had sent a letter to the country’s main opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, inviting him to be sworn in as prime minister.

Earlier, Mr Tsvangirai said he would pull out of power-sharing talks unless abductions of his [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Botswana has denied fresh claims by Zimbabwe that it plots to topple President Robert Mugabe.

The government says claims by Zimbabwe that it has compelling evidence against Botswana “contains nothing more than distorted and, or concocted evidence, none of which is supported by facts”.

Zimbabwe claims to have submitted compelling evidence to the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security that Botswana has availed its territory, material and logistical support to Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) for recruitment and training of “youths for the eventual destabilisation of the country and effect illegal regime change”.

Zimbabwe said it made a [continue reading]

source: Zimbabwe Independent
Thursday, 18 December 2008 19:46

THE state this week pressed ahead with the prosecution of white commercial farmers for allegedly staying put on gazetted land despite a Sadc Tribunal ruling last month that they had no case to answer because the country’s land reform programme undermined the rule of law.

This comes amid reports that the then acting attorney-general (AG) Barat Patel had advised the government to abide by the tribunal ruling.

President Robert Mugabe on Wednesday appointed deputy AG (Criminal Division) Johannes Tomana as substantive attorney-general and Patel will return to the High Court bench where he is a judge.

Four farmers, among them Thomas Beattie and Colin Cloete, appeared before a Chinhoyi court yesterday, but magistrate Tinashe Ndokera postponed the matter to January 5 as state papers were not in order for [continue reading]

source: BOPA
19 December, 2008

GABORONE – The Department of Water Affairs says it is owed P20 million in water bills, P6.2 million of it by government departments.

Consequently, the departments director, Mr Vincent Bagopi says they intend to operate like the Central Transport Organisation (CTO) and introduce a Letter of Authority or simply and advanced payment from departments.

Currently after billing, our outstations deliver bills to various government departments who prepare adjustment vouchers and submit them to outstations for acceptance.

He told a stake-holders meeting recently that with the Letter of Authority, they will give an estimate of how much a department consumed a year and request that amount to be credited onto [continue reading]

source: The Zimbabwean
Thursday, 18 December 2008

The Press Council of Botswana (PCB) is planning to take legal action against the government amid fears that the media practitioner’s bill, which was passed to committee stage on Wednesday, may soon be passed to law.

The bill, which may be passed into law in the near future, threatens to stifle the democratic rights of the country’s media practitioners and it is to this regard that the PCB would seek legal recourse if President Ian Khama Seretse Khama signs it into law.

President KhamaThe council has sent an SOS to civil organisations, “be they political or otherwise, within and outside the country, to lend their support by providing solidarity and assistance in any form.”

PCB is, however, still hopeful that the President, whom they recognise as having broken ranks with his peers at the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU) on the question of Zimbabwe, “would also assert his democratic credentials at home and play a positive role.”

“Within the internal ambit of this process, our hope lies with the President, who is [continue reading]

source: Daily Nation
By KITSEPILE NYATHI, NATION Correspondent and Reuters
Posted Thursday, December 18 2008 at 18:13
HARARE, Thursday

Zimbabwe’s main opposition leader and Prime Minister-designate Morgan Tsvangirai is stranded in neighbouring Botswana after his temporary travel document expired while outside the country.

President Robert Mugabe has already written to Mr Tsvangirai officially appointing him the country’s Prime Minister in a proposed unity government between the ruling Zanu PF and the two opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formations.

The letter of appointment was reportedly delivered to MDC offices in Harare yesterday.

But Mr Tsvangirai says he has no intention of leaving Botswana until he has been issued a new passport by [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Education and Skills Development Minister Jacob Nkate, says he has no intention of resigning because he believes he is an asset to government.

Nkate told a press conference held at the Gaborone Technical College yesterday that he believes he is making immense contribution to government administration. He was answering a question whether he would heed calls to step down by the public.

“I am not going anywhere because I believe that I add value to government,” he said.

Nkate, a lawyer, asserted that he would be happy to engage anyone who feels he (Nkate) has misled Parliament about his ministry. “I have a problem with highly intelligent people who do not understand what sub-contracting means. It is a fact that we do not have a contractual relationship with [continue reading]

source: The Botswana Gazette

The Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) is said to have unearthed information detailing how thousands of bogus students were sponsored by the government at both local and international universities.

The Gazette is reliably informed that DCEC investigations revealed a scam whereby billions of Pula were spent the Department of Student Placement and Welfare to sponsor students who did not exist.

“It was discovered that there were many ghosts students who were sponsored and are still sponsored by the department,” said a source. It is understood that the scam became more pronounced between [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation says it is still all right for Batswana to travel to Zimbabwe.

Deputy Director of Public Relations, Information and Research Department Benetia Chingapane has however cautioned that Batswana should be careful while in Zimbabwe because of the cholera outbreak, which has already claimed over 800 lives.

The standoff between the governments of the two countries has not impacted on the cross-border movement of the people of the two neighbouring states.

Zimbabwe has recently alleged that it has compelling evidence that Botswana is training Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) militants to destabilise the Robert Mugabe government. The Botswana government has denied the allegations.

But yesterday, the Zimbabwe government further accused the Botswana government of [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Lance Guma
18 December 2008

SADC Executive Secretary Tomaz Salomao has confirmed to Newsreel that it’s secretariat received documents and video evidence from the Zimbabwean government, on alleged MDC banditry training in Botswana. The revelation will outrage the MDC and other pro-democracy activists who claim several abducted activists featured in the video were tortured into making confessions about this ‘military training.’ MDC Director of Security, Chris Dhlamini for example was abducted almost 4 weeks ago and is reported to be featured in one of the videos, making a confession. Also on the tape is councilor Emmanuel Chinanzvavana from ward 25 in Zvimba South. He was abducted nearly two months ago, along with his wife.

Confronted with these facts Salomao told us; ‘We are not aware of anything. This matter is between the government of Botswana and the government of Zimbabwe. It is up to the (SADC) team investigating the matter to [continue reading]

source: IOL
Henri du Plessis
December 18 2008 at 12:12PM

Specific limits on the amount of alcohol sold to individuals, a ban on drinking in cars, tough action against patrons of illegal shebeens and fines of up to R1-million to defaulting retailers are some of the features of the Western Cape Liquor Act which have been fast-tracked to take effect from January 1.

Not only owners of illegal shebeens but also their suppliers and patrons face stringent new measures as the Western Cape strives to contain alcohol abuse and illegal trade.

And drinking in cars, described by Garth Strachan, MEC for finance, economic development and tourism, as an abominable practice, will be outlawed.

Strachan said on Wednesday announced the rapid implementation of measures aimed at “dealing with the scourges we seek to address” from January 1, as certain regulations were [continue reading]

source: IOL
December 18 2008 at 02:23PM
By Esther Lewis

Some illegal shebeens around Cape Town are toning down their operations in a bid to make them less conspicuous to police who are on a major drive to shut them down.

The recently legislated Western Cape Liquor Act has made illegal shebeen owners nervous, with many becoming more cautious while others warn customers to adhere to certain house rules.

At an illegal shebeen in Grassy Park, customers are told to turn down the music in their cars and to switch off their headlights while waiting for their drinks, so as to not draw the attention of police vehicles on patrol.

In some cases, a waiter is sent to the car to take the order, and within a few minutes, the liquor is delivered.

Alternatively, customers are [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

The planned widening of the pit at Jwaneng Mine is expected to add seven years to the current life of the mine, officials have said.

Although studies are still underway, Debswana has already committed itself to expanding the Jwaneng Mine pit as opposed to the mine going underground.

Contractors involved in the expansion, known as the Cut 8 Extension Design, are already supplying equipment and technical personnel needed for the project.

It is understood tenders for more services and equipment will be issued out when the mine re-opens in January. The Cut 8 project is expected to gather momentum throughout 2009.Faced with declining mineral resources at Jwaneng, Debswana had earlier in the year contemplated either going underground within the decade or expanding the size of [continue reading]