Archive for December 20th, 2008

source: The Botswana Gazette

Parliament went ahead and passed what they call the Media Practitioners’ Bill 2008 which was engineered by people who seem to care little for the role of the media in a democratic system.

The laissez faire attitude that was displayed by some Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) MPs in passing the Bill indicates that this is a party that overstayed its welcome; a party that does care for the interests of the voter, a party that believes it can trample on people’s rights as it likes without any consequences for itself.

As we have always pointed out, laws such as the new Media Practitioners’ Act are not really aimed at media operators, journalists and other so-called practitioners. They are aimed at the general population – to control what people say and to curb the free flow of information that empowers people to make informed decisions.

That is why Botsalo Ntuane was made to withdraw his remarks about the kind of regime that rules by decree and lack of consultation; that interferes with people’s freedom of movement and freedom of expression.

That is why Pono Moatlhodi was recalled, because he [continue reading]

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source: BOPA
19 December, 2008

GABORONE – Former chairman of the Board of Directors of CEDA, Mr David Magang, has dismissed perceptions that the organisation could be experiencing shortage of funds.

In an interview, Mr Magang, said CEDA funds are sourced from government coffers.

The success of the organization , he said, was not judged on profit making but on the success story behind the company’s that CEDA funds.

“The mandate of CEDA is to provide funding in the form of loans, training and mentoring services to citizens and citizens in partnership with non-citizens,” Mr Magang said in a recent media briefing. Mr Magang also reiterated that consideration for funding projects is based on the commercial principles of viability and long-term sustainability as opposed to outright grants.

In his last message as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of CEDA, Mr Magang, pointed out that the [continue reading]

source: CNN

HARARE, Zimbabwe (CNN) — The man who would be Zimbabwe’s prime minister under a power-sharing pact said Friday his party will withdraw from efforts to implement the unity government unless 42 abducted members of his party are freed by New Year’s Day.
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai speaks Friday in Botswana, which has given him political refuge.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai speaks Friday in Botswana, which has given him political refuge.

The threat comes as President Mugabe apologized to Zimbabweans for the economic crisis that led Zimbabwe’s central bank on Friday to introduce a $10 billion note worth less than $20 in U.S. currency.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party have “willfully and repeatedly broken the letter and the spirit” of the agreement signed in September, while his Movement for Democratic Change, or MDC, party has “shown patience, political maturity and willingness to [continue reading]

source: International Herald Tribune
Reuters
Published: December 19, 2008
By Nelson Banya

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe announced on Friday he had invited rival Morgan Tsvangirai to be sworn-in as prime minister in a shared government, but expressed doubt whether he would accept.

Opposition leader Tsvangirai, meanwhile, threatened to ask for a suspension of power-sharing talks if the government did not stop what he called the persecution of political opponents.

The deadlock between the two has held up any chance of ending the spiralling crisis in the southern African country, where a spreading cholera epidemic has killed more than 1,100 people and food and fuel are in short supply.

Mugabe told supporters he had sent letters to Tsvangirai inviting him to be sworn in as prime minister but expressed doubt that a breakthrough could be [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

Johannesburg — The alarm was first raised about a fresh cholera outbreak in Chegutu, about 100km southwest of the Zimbabwean capital, Harare, on 10 December. Help did not arrive until three days later.

“When we got to the site it was horrific – 50 people had died within two days, there were only two nurses, and there were dead bodies everywhere,” said an exasperated Georges Tadonki, head of the UN Office for the Coordination Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Zimbabwe.

Custodia Mandhlate, representative of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and chair of the Zimbabwe Health Cluster responding to the cholera epidemic, said her team was struggling with failing communciation networks, and the incapacity of government agencies to stem an outbreak that was “out of control” and has claimed more than 1,000 lives.

The country’s health system has collapsed, the government is broke, and the inflation rate is unofficially in the trillions of percent. It is a “very complex [continue reading]

source: BOPA
19 December, 2008

GABORONE – Funding of research at the University of Botswana could add value to the economy by not only increasing knowledge in the country, but by also offering employment opportunities.

The Director of Research and Development at the University of Botswana Professor Isaac Mazonde and the Assistant Director for Quality Management Dr Mogodisheng Sekhwela told BOPA in an interview that unemployed graduates could be engaged by researchers and in the process gain knowledge which would be useful to the country.

Professor Mazonde said currently, the department does not receive funding from government and they depend mostly on external funding, which has amounted to P10 million in the past two years.

He said research could also benefit the country as interested people could purchase the material from the country unlike the current situation where the country has to spend huge amounts of money purchasing research papers from foreign nationals.

He said some of the policies the research department has formulated to assist the government is [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
WANETSHA MOSINYI
Staff Writer

Junior diamond miner, African Diamonds, says it has taken full ownership of its exploration activities in Botswana, buying out the portion of the projects owned by its joint-venture partner De Beers.

In its annual report for the year ending June 30, 2008, released Tuesday, the Botswana Stock Exchange-listed concern reported that it is taking full ownership of the Atlas joint venture with licenses to drill at four sites in the country.

The deal includes the AK08 and AK09 kimberlite discoveries near Orapa, where De Beers has completed analysis of bulk sampling data.

“We will evaluate the existing data on each pipe to see the potential for commercial grades in part of each pipe,” John Teeling, African Diamonds’ chairman, says in the report.

After smoking a peace pipe with De Beers over a messy dispute regarding AK 6 diamond project earlier this year, African Diamonds are [continue reading]