Archive for February, 2009

source: BOPA
27 February, 2009

SEROWE – The Member of Parliament for Serowe North East constituency, Mr Ramadeluka Seretse has called on the political leaders and the civil servants in the Serowe/Palapye Sub-district to develop a strategy that expediate implementation of government projects.

Mr Seretse expressed concern that some government projects, which were included in the Sub-District 2007/08 financial year budget, have been shelved whilst some have not even taken off the ground at a time when funds were readily available.

He said this confused state of development, which led to the delay in the orderly implementation of budgeted projects, was due to lack of communication between the civil service authorities and the political leaders.

He cited the Mabeleapodi/Tshimoyapula Road construction project, stating that it was first included in the 2006/07 and then the 2007/08 financial year budget allocations, yet nothing has happened about it even though the funds were availed for [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
BuaNews (Tshwane)
Michael Appel
27 February 2009

Pretoria — South African motorists will be forking out 45 cents more per litre of petrol from 4 March, while diesel drivers will enjoy a decrease of 38 cents per litre, the Department of Minerals and Energy reported on Friday.

The wholesale price of diesel with 0.05 percent sulphur content and 0.005 percent sulphur content will decrease by 38 cents a litre.

Speaking to BuaNews on Friday, Chief Economist at Nedbank Dennis Dykes said there had been some under recovery on petrol figures and that he had expected an increase of 40 cents or more in the petrol price.

Diesel on the other hand had an over recovery and he was expected a decrease of over 30 cents.

The increases in the Road Accident Fund (RAF) tax and government fuel levies, as announced by Finance Minister Trevor Manuel in his February 2009 Budget Speech, will come into play in April this year. Mr Dykes explained: “We can expect an additional increase of [continue reading]

Fri, 27 Feb 2009

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is considering the investment of US$2-billion into Zimbabwe’s reconstruction, South Africa’s Finance Minister, Trevor Manuel, said on Thursday.

This was much less than the $5-billion which Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said was needed to reconstruct the crisis-torn country.

“I was present when Prime Minister Tsvangirai gave the number, but it was just a number given,” Manuel told SABC radio in an interview on a meeting of SADC finance ministers this week.

“There’s a document… that actually splits the immediate costs over the next 10 months into two amounts of about a billion dollars each.”

This included a $1-billion loan to “restimulate retail and all kinds of things… that’s one billion we are exploring”, said Manuel.

“The other (is) about a billion dollars for [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Alex Bell
27 February 2009

A British bank currently operating in Zimbabwe has been accused of propping up Robert Mugabe, reportedly by transferring money directly to the dictator’s regime.

The accusations by the UK’s Foreign Office were made in internal British government emails last year, which showed concern about the involvement of Standard Chartered Bank in Zimbabwe. According to the emails, seen by the UK’s Telegraph newspaper, an internal Foreign Office briefing document accuses the bank of diverting money directly to Mugabe’s government, through a loans scheme.

According to the Telegraph, the one email, dated August 25 2008, says: “Standard Chartered risks real reputational damage if seen as passing funds to the Government of Zimbabwe.” A further email from July last year accuses banks operating in the country of ‘propping up’ Zimbabwe’s Reserve Bank, which has a notorious reputation for diverting funds to Mugabe’s cronies. The August email even suggests that Standard Chartered should close its operations in the crisis ravaged country, reading: “We should ask the companies to take a long hard look at what they are doing and with whom.”

UK leaders have been particularly critical of [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)
Ernest Mabuza
27 February 2009

Johannesburg — THE Constitutional Court yesterday was not sure whether it had jurisdiction to hear an application by a South African farmer whose farms had been seized in Zimbabwe, because it was not clear whether the court could rule on the president’s conduct in the matter.

Crawford von Abo was granted an order in the Pretoria High Court in July which declared that the failure of the government of former president Thabo Mbeki and of three other ministers to consider, decide and deal with Von Abo’s application for diplomatic protection in respect of the violation of his rights by Zimbabwe was inconsistent with the constitution.

Judge Bill Prinsloo also declared that Von Abo had the right to diplomatic protection from the government regarding the violation of his rights by Zimbabwe.

Von Abo brought yesterday’s application to confirm the order of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

SELEBI-PHIKWE: Some defects have been detected in a multi-million sewer reticulation system constructed by a Chinese contractor in Botshabelo. The project is still under a two-year defects guarantee. This means the contractor has to rectify the defects at no cost to the Selebi-Phikwe Town Council (SPTC).

“There are some minor defects but these would be communicated to the contractor since the project is still under the defects liability period,” the mayor, Amogelang Mojuta said.

In some areas, it is reported that there are no outlets leading to the main pipe from the manhole while water leaking from the pipes is flowing into roads. Mojuta said such defects should be expected in a major project, citing the North-South Water pipeline.

“Such minor defects should be expected. That is why we have the defects liability period and we have not paid the contractor in full until the liability period lapses,” he said. The mining town is faced with the burden of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

As the debate on the controversial Intelligence and Security Bill raged on a few years ago, members of Parliament on both sides of the aisle complained of a seeming lack of oversight mechanism in the draft.

Perhaps in the recent history of the House no other legislation inspired such heated debate. Most MPs argued that the law did not offer enough oversight on the performance of the intelligence community. An amendment to the draft proposed The Tribunal on Intelligence. MPs further demanded an oversight body; a full parliamentary committee in the fashion of the Public Accounts Committee. One can only surmise that MPs believed, quite rightly too, that only a full committee with full parliamentary committee powers would be adequate, given the powers that the law gives to the intelligence organ.

At the time, we expressed our own reservations about the Khama presidency’s ability to [continue reading]

source: IOL
Keith Ross
February 26 2009 at 11:39AM

Staff of South African Airways tried to warn management of suspicious activities involving flight crew before the recent drug bust in London, but their bosses “just shrugged their shoulders”.

The staff’s warning was given to management after some of them had been offered huge amounts of money to swop flights with others.

This has been disclosed by the Aerospace Aviation Sector manager of the United Associations of South Africa, which represents SAA staff, Willie van Eeden.

Van Eeden made his disclosures when taking part in SAfm Radio’s After Eight Debate on the recent arrests of SAA flight crews in London and the steps now being taken to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Minister of Defence, Justice, and Security Ramadeluka Seretse told the House that the purpose of the caravan is to provide accommodation for the president when travelling around the country. “It will serve as a substitute for hotel accommodation and will make up for absence of hotels in other places. In this way, the caravan/mobile home will offer the President flexibility of movement and duration of meetings, as well as minimise flying back and forth,” Seretse said.

Seretse further said that the provision of the mobile home/caravan together with a number of vehicles has always been a benefit accruing to the president.

“These benefits are contained in a document that [continue reading]

source: News24
26/02/2009 14:04 – (SA)
Michael Hamlyn

Cape Town – According to opinion pollsters Ipsos Markinor fewer than half (41%) of ANC supporters think that the ANC presidential candidate Jacob Zuma is innocent of corruption. The survey was published on Thursday.

Not surprisingly white and coloured South Africans have little confidence in Zuma. Few believe that he is innocent of corruption or accept his explanation that he is a victim of a political conspiracy.

On average, only around one in every ten white, coloured and Indian South Africans thinks Zuma is innocent.

The poll was taken as long ago as October last year so things may have changed since then and the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

FRANCISTOWN: Capital Bank has officially launched a branch in Francistown. The bank chairman Hitesh Anadkat said they would like to do business in Francistown even through the rough times.

“We are positive in the long term future of this area,” he stated. He said that Capital Bank opened a branch in Francistown in record time. “The first branch opened in Gaborone last year and we opened a second branch in Francistown in record time,” he said.

He added that when they started applying for the licence, the people and even the central bank wondered if their business will benefit Botswana. He said that the central bank might have wondered how a bank from a small economy like Malawi could compete in a much larger economy with so many international banks.

“They studied us for two years and went through the bank with a [continue reading]

source: News24
26/02/2009 18:14 – (SA)

Cape Town – Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on Thursday urged the international community to lift sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.

Addressing the Southern African Development Community (SADC) council of ministers’ meeting, she said the formation of an inclusive government in Zimbabwe had indeed paved the way for Zimbabweans to begin the process of national reconciliation, economic recovery and reconstruction and development.

SADC and the rest of the international community should help the people of Zimbabwe in their endeavour to address their economic challenges as well as the humanitarian crisis facing their country.

“Accordingly, as the international community we must create an [continue reading]

source: International Herald Tribune
By Celia W. Dugger
Published: February 26, 2009

JOHANNESBURG: Two weeks after Zimbabwe’s opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, was sworn in as prime minister and joined President Robert Mugabe in governing, the archrivals are openly matching wits and wiles in a struggle to dominate the political landscape of a country whose people endure hunger, cholera and political repression.

A senior official in Tsvangirai’s party, Eddie Cross, wrote recently that this contest was playing out “building by building, street by street, close combat between two forces.”

So far, Mugabe and hard-liners in his party, ZANU-PF, have remained true to form, ruthlessly claiming the prerogatives of power. But Tsvangirai and major opposition ministers — especially those for finance and education — have shown a willingness to confront them and seize the initiative where they can.

Mugabe, the 85-year-old patriarch who vowed during the [continue reading]

source: BOPA
26 February, 2009

GABORONE – Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP), Mr Eric Molale has decried laxity and complacency in the public service.

Addressing ministry officials, directors, district commissioners and council secretaries in Gaborone yesterday, Mr Molale regretted the continued down spiral of productivity in the service.

“Standards have been taking a nosedive over a period of time and this calls on you to exercise sound leadership and control.” He also complained that his call in 2007 for a public service that is efficient, recognises urgency and does its work in a cost effective manner has gone unheeded. Consequently, Botswana’s good policies and programmes have not been matched by equally good implementors due to laxity and complacency. Mr Molale also blamed lack of decentralisation and devolution of authority to districts. He cited instances where schools still paid suppliers after six months as authorization had to come from head offices instead of regional offices.

“There is need for improved collaboration and information flow from the central government to districts.”Mr Molale expressed worry over indiscipline among some directors, district commissioners and [continue reading]

source: Republic of Botswana (23/2/09): TAUTONA TIMES no 4 of 2009
The Weekly Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President “Democracy, Development, Dignity and Discipline”

C1) 23/2/09: Press Release (1) Re: Afrobarometer – 88% Approval for President Khama’s leadership; Survey shows strong public support for Government efforts

The Botswana results 2008 Afrobarometer Survey were released on Friday. Prominent among the surveys finding’s was record high level’s of public support for the leadership of H.E. the President, Lt. General Seretse Khama Ian Khama.

Asked “do you approve or disapprove of the way President Ian Khama has performed his job since taking Office in April 2008?” a total of 88% said they approved, with 52% saying that they strongly approved. Only 8% said they disapproved of the President’s performance.

The President’s approval rating was [continue reading]