Archive for December 22nd, 2008

source: BOPA
22 December, 2008

GABORONE – Zimbabwe opposition party, Movement for Democratic Change, has no intention of setting up a movement in exile.

Its leader, Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, said in Gaborone on Friday, that he is ready to go home.

He said he was only waiting to be issued with proper travelling documents.

“I have been waiting for my passport for the last six months and it is only logical that I cannot return home illegally.” Mr Tsvangirai thanked the Botswana for hosting him, something he said comes at a great cost to the country.

He also highlighted that the humanitarian situation unfolding in Zimbabwe was of great concern to him and criticised Mr Robert Mugabe for bringing about the worst form of sanctions on the Zimbabwean people.

Mr Tsvangirai noted that under normal circumstances cholera is a treatable disease, which should have been brought under control quite easily, had it not been for [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Combi and taxi operators have vowed to take government to court over the reduced transport fares announced yesterday.

Shared taxi will go down from P3.60 to P3.20 per passenger, special taxi is now to P16 per trip, minibus trip goes down to P2.70 per passenger from P3. Long distance buses go down to 16.86 thebe per kilometre on tarred roads and 18.65 thebe on gravel and sandy roads. The new fares take effect on December 24.

Chairman for Gaborone Taxi and Local Bus Service Association Gibson Matenge said they would make an urgent application to the High Court to revoke the reduced fares which, if allowed to stand, would “impact badly” on their business.

At the time of the interview, the association had not yet received official communication. “We will start the court process as soon as we [continue reading]

EXCLUSIVE by AIDAN RADNEDGE – Sunday, December 21, 2008

Robert Mugabe’s critics are praying for Zimbabwe’s banks to finally, completely crash – and that day may not be far off.

Mugabe’s government may still be trying to apply emergency fixes to the country’s crazy economy – such as the introduction of new notes and cash withdrawal limits.

But even the invention of a finely-crafted $500million note – made from material worth an extravagant eight US dollars – looks like doing little.

After all, that will shortly be the price for just one loaf of bread – if you can find any left on the stripped-bare shop shelves, that is.

At the start of the week before last, when Metro first arrived in Zimbabwe, a loaf cost $10million, hitting $20million the next and $100million the following weekend.

Annual inflation now runs at an estimated 231million per cent.

And the amount of Zimbabwean dollars in the money supply has [continue reading]

22 December, 2008

MAUN – Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, Mr Dikgakgamatso Seretse has hailed the Maun business community for their sustained and concerted fight against crime but warned that they stand to lose if they do not involve the public in the campaign.

Addressing the Maun business community, this week, Minister Seretse said their neighbourhood watch initiative, 911, shows that they are far ahead of other parts of the country in the fight against crime.

He called on the community to sell their neighbourhood watch programme to the residents, so as to clear the perception that the initiative was for the white community.

Such perceptions, he said, stand to hamstring the success of the initiative, adding that the war against crime can be won if members of the community join hands in a wholesale effort.

“Let us not live the responsibility of policing to the police alone,” he

source: Mmegi

A recently released World Bank report indicates that Botswana will next year be among sub-Saharan African countries hardest hit by the prevailing global credit crunch.

According to experts, Botswana is among countries most exposed to the various negative effects of the crisis. Factors militating against Botswana include the fact that the country is a net importer of goods, particularly fuel, is economically dependent on mineral exports, especially diamonds and its growth prospects are largely built around investment in minerals.

The World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects (GEP) 2009 Report, released last Tuesday, states that growth in the sub-Saharan Africa economy is expected to decline to 4.6 percent, down from growth of 5.4 percent this year.

The report also projects that Botswana’s economy, as measured by the gross domestic product (GDP), will slow down in 2009, before picking up the next year. The World Bank Report holds the same views for [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

SELEBI-PHIKWE: As 2008 ends, businesses and consumers look back on a year that started with skyrocketing fuel and food prices and closes with global financial crisis and depressed metal prices.

Although falling fuel prices offer some cushion, this is hardly enough aginst the plethora of other challenges.Oil prices started at around US$100 in January, picking to an all-time high of US$147 per barrel in July and threatening to hit the US$200 mark before the end of 2008.Fuel prices were largely responsible for spiralling food prices globally.

The financial crisis and high fuel prices pushed Botswana’s inflation to a record high of 14.5 percent in August, but it has since eased off largely to falling fuel prices.

The effects of the global economic downturn, which saw metal prices drop significantly, have started to [continue reading]

source: International Herald Tribune
The Associated Press
Published: December 22, 2008

PRETORIA, South Africa: The United States can no longer support a proposed Zimbabwean power-sharing deal that would leave Robert Mugabe, “a man who’s lost it,” as president, the top American envoy for Africa said Sunday.

Jendayi Frazer, the assistant secretary of state for African affairs, made the announcement in South Africa after spending the last several days explaining the shift in the American position to regional leaders.

The new stance will put pressure on Zimbabwe’s neighbors, South Africa in particular, to abandon its support for Mugabe. But South Africa said its position was unchanged.

The United States, Frazer said, has become convinced that Mugabe is incapable of sharing power. She cited political moves he has made since September without consulting the opposition, reports that his government has continued to harass and arrest opposition and human rights activists, and the continued [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

African Copper announced Tuesday that it is proposing to seek authority from shareholders to issue up to 750,000,000 new ordinary shares as the company desperately needs US$15 million (P116.6 million) before January 15 to meet its immediate working capital needs.

The company, which operates Mowana Mine near Dukwi, said in the event that shareholders do not approve the issue or receive any alternative funding from other sources, it will not be able to meet its obligations and continue as a going concern beyond approximately January 15, 2009.

The copper producing company said failure to raise the cash means it will not be able to fund and implement its interim plan geared to maximising operating margins and minimising capital and expenditure.

As at 30 September 2008, the company had a working capital deficit of [continue reading]

source: Business Day

ZIMBABWE is back in the news. The human catastrophe unfolding in the country, and the political impasse in the negotiations have led to renewed calls for action.

What is new, however, is the demand for military intervention by high-profile political and religious figures. Led by a bishop, a head of state and a head of government, the calls by Desmond Tutu, Botswana President Ian Khama and Raila Odinga, prime minister of Kenya, have received widespread publicity.

What are we to make of these calls? The most charitable interpretation suggests these [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

African Queen Mines, has announced the Results of geochemical sampling have confirmed the presence of G10 garnets and other kimberlitic indicator minerals on key diamond targets at its Okavango property in Ngamiland.

The Okavango property of the company comprises three prospecting licences covering approximately 2592 square kilometres held by the company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, PAM Botswana.

The project is situated on a recently recognised extension of the Archaean Congo Craton which hosts numerous economic kimberlite and alluvial diamond deposits. The company said in a statement on Monday that the property is covered by sands of the Kalahari Desert of variable thickness averaging 60 metres.

“This helps to account for the fact that the strong targets recently identified by the company were [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

BULAWAYO: More than 5,000 illegal immigrants who were deported to Zimbabwe from Botswana last week have vowed to return despite the harsh conditions they endured during their arrest and subsequent detention in Botswana prisons.

Thousands of illegal immigrants, the majority who are Zimbabweans, were last week caught unawares in a joint operation conducted by the Botswana Defence Force (BDF), the Botswana Police Services and the Immigration Department. The operation is a routine exercise aimed at flushing out immigrants who have entered the country illegally and those who have overstayed and are working without residence and work permits.

However, those who were caught in the recent raids say this was a major operation as it caught veterans who came to Botswana 20 years back. The raids started on Monday last week. Armed soldiers and the police manned major roads leading into towns and stopped Combis and asking passengers to disembark and [continue reading]

source: The Standard
Saturday, 20 December 2008 22:05

THE two MDC formations yesterday dismissed claims by President Robert Mugabe that he had sent invitations to Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara to join him in an inclusive government.

Speaking to thousands of Zanu PF delegates at the just-ended conference in Bindura, Mugabe said he had written to the two leaders following the gazetting of Constitutional Amendment Bill Number 19.

He said he was yet to hear from “one of the opposition leaders” (Tsvangirai) whom he accused of taking instructions from the West.

But the formations said yesterday Mugabe never sent any letters to them and was bent on misleading the world into believing that he was committed to the power-sharing agreement.

“We have not received any communication from Mugabe or his office,” said Nelson Chamisa, the MDC-T spokesperson.

“The only communication we are receiving are the abductions of our officials and supporters across the country.”

“In any case, the President (Tsvangirai) is not in the country in circumstances caused by Mugabe himself. He needs his passport back.”

MDC spokesperson Edwin Mushoriwa also denied that his party received an invitation from [continue reading]