Archive for March 11th, 2009

Republic of Botswana (10/3/09): TAUTONA TIMES no 6 of 2009 The Weekly Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President “Democracy, Development, Dignity and Discipline”

C5) 6/3/09: Press Statement in Response to media reports on the Executive Caravan:

In recent days a number of reports have appeared in the press with respect to the purchase of the Executive Caravan for His Excellency the President.

In as much as this Office respects the role of the press in providing a platform for comment and debate on this, as well as all other items of public expenditure, we likewise recognise our own responsibility to respond to some of the issues that have arisen about the purchase.

In particular, one Member of Parliament has been quoted in [continue reading]

source: BOPA
11 March, 2009

SHAKAWE – The residents of Shakawe have embraced the Media Practitioners Act, which became an act of Parliament in the last quarter of last year.

Commenting on the act in a kgotla meeting addressed by the Minister of Communication, Science and Technology, Mrs Pelonomi Vension-Moitoi in Shakawe recently, the residents warmly welcomed the act and said it would safeguard their rights to privacy as enshrined in the Constitution of Botswana.

They stated that some media practitioners had long trampled on their fundamental human rights reporting on some malicious allegations with no basis in fact and in law.

They said when that happened they were powerless to act and defend themselves, as there was no law to shield them in the event of unfair and harmful reporting. They said the new law had come in handy, as it would be of tremendous benefit to the nation.

One of the residents said everybody should have parameters within which to function and media practitioners as professionals should likewise be kept in check because their stories are consumed way beyond Botswana’s borders and [continue reading]

source: BOPA
11 March, 2009

GABORONE – The Minister of Communications, Science and Technology says although the media fraternity continue to express reservations about certain sections of the Media Practitioners Act, she believes the building blocks for effective media self-regulation have been put in place.

“It is only the media sector that can put its own house in order by using all the consultative structures that are available to ensure that the act is implemented on the basis of the highest standards of ethics, accountability and professionalism,” said Mrs Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi on Monday.

She said she remained committed to continued consultation with the media on how such ideals could be realised within the context of the act.

She said since the bill was passed into law in December last year, her ministry has been working on the implementation of the act by appointing all of the structures that are required.

On other issues, the minister said the implementation of the Radiation Protection Act would go a long way in improving health services in the country.

She noted that public outreach programmes such as kgotla meetings, workshops and seminars would enable her ministry to reach a larger number of users of radioactive sources in [continue reading]

Republic of Botswana (10/3/09): TAUTONA TIMES no 6 of 2009
The Weekly Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President “Democracy, Development, Dignity and Discipline”

C14) 23/2/09: Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology a) Interim Executive Committee of the Media Council and b) Film Commission

The Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology invites applications from Publishers of Information for membership the Interim Executive Committee The Media Practitioner’s Act 2008 provides for the establishment of the Interim Executive Council which will receive applications from publishers for membership to the Media Council until the substantive Council elects a substantive Executive Council. The Interim Executive Council will assist the Minister to start operation of the Media Council and assist in the process of [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Lance Guma
10 March 2009

Over 20 000 mourners packed the Glamis Stadium at the Harare Show Grounds on Tuesday to bid farewell to Susan Tsvangirai, the wife of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai who was killed in a tragic car crash last Friday. Tsvangirai and his wife were travelling to their rural Buhera home when an aid truck slammed into the right side of their Land Cruiser, causing it to overturn 3 times. An outpouring of love, affection and sadness at her death has since gripped the nation.

As soon as Tsvangirai and his family arrived at the stadium the huge crowd gave them an ecstatic welcome, waving placards showing their affection for the widely loved Susan. ‘Goodbye Mama’ and ‘We Miss You Mother’ were some of the placards waved around. A visibly shaken and emotional Tsvangirai briefly addressed mourners, thanking them for their love and support. He urged them to turn the tragedy into a celebration of the life of his wife. Tsvangirai’s eldest son took to the podium and thanked his mum for teaching him the values of loving people. He surprised everyone by saying he had changed his attitude towards Mugabe, after listening to him addressing mourners at a service earlier.

The Methodist Church in Mabelreign was the venue for that service and saw various political leaders and diplomats in attendance. Just as Mugabe had visited Tsvangirai in hospital after the crash, he made sure he attended the funeral service and told mourners the accident was ‘the hand of God’. The ZANU PF leader said ‘It will take him (Tsvangirai) time to recover from this shock. I plead with you to accept it. It’s the hand of God.’ On Monday Tsvangirai had also told mourners at his home that the crash was an accident. ‘I know when [continue reading]

source: BBC News

President Robert Mugabe has told hundreds of mourners at a mourning service for Susan Tsvangirai the crash that killed her was the “hand of God”.

The veteran leader also said political violence should be a thing of the past.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s wife died on Friday in a collision with an aid lorry in which he was injured.

Most of the new unity cabinet attended the service in the capital Harare, on the eve of her burial. Afterwards, some 20,000 gathered for a stadium memorial.

Large portraits of the 50-year-old mother-of-six hung around Glamis Stadium, where her husband spoke last month after being sworn in [continue reading]

Kitchen not operational

source: BOPA
11 March, 2009

GABORONE – The Ministry of Education and Skills Development is aware that the kitchen at Motopi Junior Secondary School is not in use.

The Assistant Minister of Education and Skills Development, Mr Kavis Kario said when the pots were removed to clear the soot that had blocked the chimney, it was discovered that the pots needed to be replaced.

Mr Kario said this has resulted in food being prepared outside, acknowledging that it could comprise health and safety standards.

He further noted that the kitchen was refurbished in May 2008.

He said at the time the tenders were floated for the replacement of the pots, the cost estimates turned out to be in excess of available funds, adding that replacement tenders will have to wait until the next [continue reading]

BOPA, 11.03.2009 “Geysers fixed

Republic of Botswana (10/3/09): TAUTONA TIMES no 6 of 2009
The Weekly Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President “Democracy, Development, Dignity and Discipline”

C6) 4/3/09: AfroBarometer Survey suggests Batswana open to international community

Recently released data from the Round 4 AfroBarometer Survey in Botswana, suggest that Batswana are relatively positive in their perceptions about the impact of various international actors on their well being. The figure below reflects the response by those sampled to the question: “In your opinion how much does each of the following help your country?”

[continue reading]

Republic of Botswana (10/3/09): TAUTONA TIMES no 6 of 2009
The Weekly Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President “Democracy, Development, Dignity and Discipline”

C11) 5/3/09: Press Statement by DPSM Director on Public Service Early Exit Policy:

Public Officers and members of the Public at large are informed that, Government has approved introduction of the Early Exit Policy for the Public Service.

The Policy is aimed at compensating Public Officers who will be required by Government to leave the Public Service before they reach the compulsory retirement age due to amongst others the following reasons:

i) The introduction of technologies and [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Alex Bell
10 March 2009

Production at the handful of functioning farms remaining in Zimbabwe has ground to a halt, with ongoing farm invasions and threats of evictions forcing farmers to abandon their crops.

A fresh wave of farm invasions have seen more than 80 farms seized since last month and has left more than 100 farmers facing possible prosecution. A High Court judge last week nullified a SADC Tribunal ruling protecting white owned farms, leaving the country’s remaining white farmers with little legal defensives against invaders. Most recently the owners of the Mount Carmel Farm in Chegutu once again came under threat, when on Monday a group of thugs arrived on the farm, accompanied by members of the CIO, a lands officer and police from Chegutu.

Mount Carmel is owned by Mike and Angela Campbell who were the first applicants in the farm test case that was taken before the SADC Tribunal last year. In November the farmers involved in the case were given full protection to continue farming without disturbance, in a ruling that has proved a short-lived victory with the nullification of it’s legality in Zimbabwe’s High Court last week.

The invaders of Mount Carmel were led by Peter Chamada who led a [continue reading]

source: BOPA
11 March, 2009

LETLHAKENG – Kaudwane in Letlhakeng Sub-District will host the annual World Telecommunications Day this year.

Mr Ephraim Balebetse from the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services told the Sub District Development Committee recently that the May 17 event, which would be celebrated in various districts, targets the remotest villages.

Mr Balebetse said there is going to be a great impact after the celebrations for the services will be left behind adding that this would “bring Kaudwane into the world map.” This year’s theme is “Protecting Children in Cyberspace”. He stated that the theme would be appropriate because it recognises children and young people, as well as enhance the development of children in ICT.

Mr Balebetse said life depends on information technology, therefore every Motswana has the right to communication regardless of place and status.

However, he said children should be protected from abuse in the context of ICT (Pornography and vulgar language).

Meanwhile the Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology would [continue reading]

source: BOPA
10 March, 2009

TUTUME – The controversial cofferdam erected across the Nata River by China Jiangxi International, the company that is constructing the Nata-Sepako road, still stands.

However, the contractor has been given an ultimatum of two weeks to have the cofferdam removed, failing which the environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Act will be applied.

The Director of Environmental Affairs, Mr Monna said they have been lenient with the company as they have withheld the fines that are prescribed under the EIA Act and if the company fails to adhere to the set deadline, the fines will be imposed.

He said at the moment, the contractor has been given permission to draw water from the river, though it was not clear which method they must use.

He said after the removal of the current wall, the contractor should follow the right procedure by [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Violet Gonda
10 March 2009

Supreme Court Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku has deferred his ruling on Roy Bennett’s bail request. Last Thursday the court had granted prosecutors the right to appeal the two High Court rulings granting the MDC official bail.

The MDC Treasurer General and Deputy Minister of Agriculture
designate, was arrested on February 13th and is facing terrorism and sabotage charges.

One of his lawyers, Trust Maanda, said a ruling could be expected any time, as Justice Chidyausiku had not given a time frame.

In their arguments the State argued that the High Court had erred in granting the MDC official bail, saying he is a flight risk. Prosecutor Christopher Mutangadura said if the Supreme Court did agree with the High Court ruling, it must at least tighten the bail conditions so that Bennett does not abscond. The stringent bail conditions proposed by the State include reporting everyday to the police, as opposed to just two days a week.

Maanda said the defence team challenged the issue of [continue reading]

source: BOPA
11 March, 2009

LOBATSE – The Assistant Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Duke Lefhoko has urged the residents of Goodhope to support the local businesses in their bid to diversify the country’s economy.

Addressing a kgotla meeting in Goodhope on Monday, Mr Lefhoko said given the global economic recession that has negatively impacted on the sale of the Botswana diamonds, there was a challenge for the nation to seriously consider effective ways of diversifying the economy in the interest of development.

He said it was a pity that some organisations still source out goods and material from outside the country even when they are available locally in adequate quantities.

The minister cited local businesses such as the Lobatse Clay Works and the Makoro Bricks, which he said are still struggling to secure a viable local market as organisations and individuals opt to buy bricks from the neighboring countries.

“The economy of the country cannot grow if we continue to do that,” he warned, adding that it does not help to criticise the government on issues of citizen empowerment while Batswana themselves do not support one another in business terms.

Minister Lefhoko told the residents to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Last week, President Ian Khama was engaged in a charm-offensive never witnessed before. He is said to have suddenly turned up at the Botswana Guardian office for an interview.

But that was after he had opened up to CNN the only way he could ever do for foreign journalists. Khama did for CNN what he has never attempted to do for the local private media. He gave them an all access pass into his life.

Khama has this ability to sometimes concoct a public image of a man who is easily accessible, but the fact is that he hates being quizzed about serious issues. He would rather shake the hand of a teenager in the street than face a journalist on issues such as unemployment, high-level corruption, his business interests, the militarisation of the civil service, an increasingly emasculated Parliament and the spread of his family members across the critical organs of the State.

We have always indicated that we [continue reading]