Archive for March 5th, 2009

source: BOPA
03 March, 2009

FRANCISTOWN – The Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) has cancelled the payment of entry fees at the gates of national parks.

Instead, the fees would be paid in advance at the reservation offices in Gaborone, Francistown, Tsabong, Kang, Letlhakane and Ghanzi.

Principal Public Relations Officer at the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Mr Golekanye Molapisi said the change effected on January 1, 2009.

Mr Molapisi said among others, the decision was based on the fact that the core business of wildlife officers at the parks and game reserves was to patrol the parks and take care of wildlife by supplying them with water and other necessities.

In addition, they also had to keep the park clean and remove any impingements within the parks to ensure that wildlife species were not endangered.

Mr Molapisi said they had realised that collecting fees at the entrance gates was not only compromising their job but was also endangering their lives as they could not remit the money as often as was required to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Tourism Minister, Kitso Mokaila has said that he will amend the law to allow the mushrooming guesthouses to be graded. The minister told a gathering of guesthouse operators in Gaborone that he will amend the 1996 Tourism Act to allow their establishments to get at least one star grading.

Mokaila said that the number of guesthouses in Botswana have gone up tremendously since the act came into being. He said the mushrooming of guesthouses have spun out of control. The minister stated that he agreed to convene the meeting because he is naturally sympathetic to the tourism operators. He said he would like to know how he can help the operators to trade according to the law.

Enterprising citizens have been exploiting the lucrative market offered by the acute shortage of accommodation in Gaborone to run guesthouses. Many Batswana have been expanding their homes or converting them into guesthouses to take advantage of [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Lance Guma
04 March 2009

Zimbabwe Doctors for Human Rights (ZDHR) has warned that cholera cases in the country could reach 123 000, more than double the 60 000 mark initially set as a worst case scenario. ZDHR Chairman Douglas Gwatidzo says that unless the country’s water infrastructure and health care system are rebuilt the outbreak will continue to wreak havoc. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) the official number of people killed by the epidemic so far stands at over 3900 while the total number of cases reported is nearing 87000.

The country has witnessed several cholera outbreaks but in each case a reasonably functioning health care and water sanitation system helped contain the disease. The current outbreak, which started in August last year, is probably the worst that Africa has ever seen.

ZDHR has produced a report recommending an emergency health response plan. ‘This plan should [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

The Air Botswana management team is working day and night to have the airline reinstated by the International Air Traffic Association (IATA) by September this year, Assistant Minister of Works and Transport Frank Ramsden told Parliament yesterday.

He was responding to a question by Member of Parliament (MP) for Mogoditshane Patrick Masimolole who wanted to know whether withdrawal of Air Botswana’s membership from IATA was associated with its non-compliance with IATA safety requirements and standards.

The legislator also wanted to know if it is true that non-compliance by the airline was communicated to its former chief executive officer who has since joined IATA.
Ramsden said that IATA Operational Safety Audit programme is an internationally recognised and accepted evaluation system designed to assess operational management and [continue reading]

source: BOPA
03 March, 2009

GABORONE – The new management contract of Air Botswana is expected to be in place in April, says the Minister of Works and Transport, Mr Johnnie Swartz.

Presenting his ministry’s budget proposal last week, Mr Swartz said consultations to get the necessary approval are currently ongoing within government.

Mr Swartz said the government started negotiating with International Development Ireland (IDI) after the unsuccessful management contract with COMAIR.

The minister said apart from efforts to secure the services of a management contract firm to improve operational efficiency, the government late last year assisted the national airline with about P160 million for the procurement of two aircrafts.

He said his ministry is currently in the process of disbursing a further P267 million as final payment and that delivery is [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Tichaona Sibanda
4 March 2009

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Wednesday called on all institutions in the country to uphold the rule of law and respect individual human rights, saying this is the only way that will allow aid to flow into Zimbabwe.

In his maiden speech in Parliament the Prime Minister said no donor country or institution is going to offer any meaningful assistance, unless the inclusive government projects a positive image.
He said by working together to promote freedoms at home and ensuring that they abide by the international treaties and conventions that they have ratified as a country, ‘this would lead to our acceptance by the international community as a country and as individuals in the family of nations.’
‘I therefore urge the international community to recognize our efforts, and to note the progress that we make in this regard, and to match our progress by moving towards the removal of restrictive measures,’ Tsvangirai said.

He added; ‘Brutal suppression, wanton arrests and [continue reading]

source: News24
04/03/2009 13:58 – (SA)

Johannesburg – About 2.5 million households in South Africa do not have electricity, according to the results of a study released on Wednesday.

“Over 4 million households do not cook with electricity and 2 million households rely on candles for lighting,” according to the study by Citizens United for Renewable Energies and Sustainability (Cures).

“This is in a country that has over 36 000MW of installed power generation capacity, its own nuclear power plant and one of the largest electricity utilities in the world,” the study says.

Some 70% of rural households rely on wood fuel and paraffin, even though some of them having electricity, the study shows.


It also reveals that South Africa’s Integrated National Electrification Programme has raised the level of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The government has postponed the construction of 10 new hospitals under the new national development plan that starts next month. The decision has been taken due to budget constraints, Health Minister, Lesego Motsumi told Parliament on Monday.

The hospitals were to be built in Moshupa, Tonota, Mabutsane, Lerala, Mmathubudukwane and Letlhakeng under the soon-to-start National Development Plan (NDP) 10.

Other health projects that were planned for the NDP 10 and have been postponed include the upgrading of hospitals in Tutume, Bobonong, Letlhakane and Mochudi.
Motsumi said government intends to upgrade existing clinics in the affected areas and provide the necessary human resources and medical equipment to improve health care service delivery.

She said the relevant stakeholders will be consulted about the [continue reading]

source: BOPA
03 March, 2009

MAUN – Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Mr Kitso Mokaila left Khwai on Friday without agreeing with some residents on whether government should or should not stop hunting tourism.

The minister was in the village to inform residents about government plans to stop hunting activities in areas near national parks and game reserves.

He also told the residents, who run the Khwai Development Trust, that it appears the money raised through hunting quotas was being misappropriated by board members.

“We have for 18 years allowed communities to freely manage themselves in community trusts but what worries me is that now people have started to use these resources to enrich themselves,” he said.

He said discussed with stakeholders to identify the problems in Community Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM).

“The board of trustees cannot decide on how to use funds on their own without consulting the community,” Mr Mokaila noted.

He said the Khwai Trust has for the past eight years made millions in various tourism projects, but what is [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Violet Gonda
4 March 2008

A Mutare magistrate has agreed to accept Roy Bennett’s bail payment. By around 7pm (Zimbabwe time) Bennett’s lawyers and the MDC leadership in Manicaland were waiting outside Mutare remand prison for his release.

There was confusion on Wednesday when it had been reported that the MDC official would remain in a Mutare prison after the Attorney General’s office appealed to the country’s highest court to deny him bail.

State prosecutor Chris Mutangadura said the MDC official ‘posed a flight risk’ and therefore Bennett should remain behind bars until the Supreme Court ruled on the appeal.

However the defence team said the AG’s appeal was [continue reading]