Archive for March 13th, 2009

source: BOPA
12 March, 2009

GABORONE – The Minister of Communications, Science and Technology says political adverts would only be allowed after the issuance of the writ of elections.

Responding to MPs comments on her ministry’s budget proposal, Mrs Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi said she was not in a position to immediately explain why that was the case.

The minister also explained that she met with the Botswana Telecommunications Authority (BTA) on the issue of equitable coverage of political parties in the coming general elections, and that the regulations would only become operational after the issuance of the writ of elections.

Mrs Venson-Moitoi further said as part of general elections coverage, leaders of political parties would each be allocated one hour on Botswana Television to sell their parties, adding that the coverage would begin in about two weeks.

On the coverage of the President and Vice President, Mrs Venson-Moitoi said the two are historically given maximum coverage and that she [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

DAR-ES-SALAAM: Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete has accused the IMF of unequal treatment of its members as the American-inspired global financial crisis comes to bear on the African continent.

Speaking at the opening of an IMF conference on Africa here this week, Kikwete said the Fund was treating the US and the EU with kid gloves even though it was clear that the present crisis was the product of financial mismanagement and indiscipline in those regions.

“I am sure if an African country had caused this crisis, the IMF would have jumped and screamed about lack of discipline and the need for countries to stick to (the) prescribed rules and guidelines of financial stability,” the Tanzanian leader said.

“There should be no ‘untouchables’ when it comes to financial control and sticking to agreed guidelines. Through its surveillance and early-warnings systems, the IMF should have played a greater role in preventing [continue reading]

source: BOPA
12 March, 2009

GABORONE – There should be guidelines for government media to ensure equitable coverage of political party campaigns in the coming general elections, says specially elected MP, Mr Botsalo Ntuane.

Mr Ntuane said Botswana Television is concentrating only on his ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), adding that it makes it appear as if it is the only party going to contest the general elections.

“There must be some criteria to be followed,” he said when commenting on the Ministry of Communication, Science and Technology budget proposal for the 2009/10 financial year on Monday.

Mr Ntuane said the equitable coverage of political parties is necessary in an election year.

Mr Ntuane also questioned the logic of denying political parties the opportunity to advertise themselves on radio.

He also complained about the shortage of local content on Btv.

He further asked when the draft broadcasting policy would again be presented to [continue reading]

source: BOPA
12 March, 2009

TSABONG – Ex-miners who were engaged in the Asbestos mines in South Africa have been advised to register their claims with the Asbestos Trust Fund and the Kalahari Relief Trust in order to qualify for compensation if diagnosed with any cancer illnesses related to the trade.

Mrs Shireen Archary, a lawyer from South Africa with the Hattingh, Basson and Archary Attorneys, Notaries and Conveyances, visited Tsabong recently to address and register ex-Asbestos miners from the Northern Cape on behalf of the two trust funds.

Mrs Archary said the trust fund meant to compensate ex-workers of the Asbestos mines was established in 2001, as there were cases of ex-asbestos miners dying of cancer, adding after a number of cases were registered in South Africa in which ex-miners died of cancer related diseases and mesothelioma cancer arising from their work.

She added that most men from the Kgalagadi South were engaged in the mines in the Northern Cape and others in the Limpopo area, adding that the intention of the trust fund is to register all ex-asbestos miners and carry out medical check-ups in order to determine those who had been affected and [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The parliamentary labour relations committee says it is in the dark about the closure of Debswana mines in Orapa and Damtshaa and it does not know what is happening to the employees of the two mines.

Addressing a press conference yesterday, MP for Kgatleng West, Rakwadi Modipane also the chairperson of the committe, Palapye MP, Moiseraele Goya and Francistown West MP, Tshelang Masisi said that they have not been briefed on what is going on at the two mines, adding that they might have to visit the two mines in the near future.

The two mines were closed recently leaving over 600 employees not knowing what the future holds for them. It is hoped that the other mine will resume operations in the middle of next month.

The MPs said that they were impressed at the manner in which the BCL Mine and the workers unions proceeded with retrenchment of 300 employees. They said that there was proper consultation between the [continue reading]

source: IOL
Melanie Gosling
March 12 2009 at 11:42AM

The 30 million energy-saving light bulbs installed in South Africa since 2006 to ease the power crisis have created a huge waste disposal headache because the bulbs contain highly toxic mercury.

There is no formal system in place to separate these bulbs from normal household waste.

There are fears the bulbs could pose a significant health hazard, as ordinary municipal dumps are not designed to contain toxic substances like mercury.

This could pose a risk of contaminating groundwater.

Estimates are that around 20 million tube fluorescent lights, each of which contains between 5mg and 30mg of mercury, end up on municipal rubbish dumps around the country every year.

This waste problem will soon increase when the [continue reading]

source: BOPA

MISA engages lawyer to take government to court

Minister and state media advertise draconian media law

The private media’s tussle with the Minister of Communication Science and Technology, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi over the controversial Media Practitioners Act is set to take a turn for the worse.

This follows a meeting held by private journalists and media representatives this week in which they resolved to lodge a court case against the government over the law.

The Media Institute of Southern Africa announced that it is at an advanced stage of lodging a court case against the controversial Media Practitioners Act following the meeting with media representatives.

The media advocacy organisation says it will soon engage the [continue reading]

source: MISA

News Media publishers gathered on March 10, 2009 and resolved not to respond to the current invitations from the Government regarding the formation of the Interim Committee of the Media Council as dictated by the newly enacted Media Practitioners Act.

MISA Botswana, which was in attendance and facilitated the meeting sympathises with publishers. The publishers indicated that the executive committee of the media council would be the driving force behind the contested law, which compromises freedom of expression.

The media stakeholders, who included all the major mainstream news publishers, and MISA Botswana further resolved to seek redress from the courts should Government insist on their registration with the council. MISA Botswana therefore supports any court action initiated by the media stakeholders regarding the law.

It is MISA Botswana’s position that registration of media practitioners is unlawful, both in [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Leader of Opposition, Otsweletse Moupo was consulted on the appointments to the Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security and the Tribunal, and he raised no objections, said Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, Dikgakgamatso Seretse, on Tuesday.

“The President called the Leader of Opposition to his office where the President indicated to him that in accordance with the powers conferred on him he had the names of the people that he considered suitable for appointment to these structures,” he told Parliament.

The members of the tribunal are Isaac Seloko, chairman of appeals of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), Tsetsele Fantan and Adolf Hirchfeld.

Seretse said that upon being presented with the names, Moupo told President Ian Khama that he had no problems with the names and appointments. “It is at this stage that one would have reasonably expected the Leader of Opposition, if he had contrary views or [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Violet Gonda
12 March 2009

Roy Bennett the MDC National Treasurer and Deputy Agriculture Minister designate was finally released on Wednesday after spending a month in prison, in spite of two High Court rulings ordering his release. On Wednesday the Supreme Court also upheld the original High Court bail decision, ignoring a concerted effort by the State to keep Bennett locked up.

The extreme lengths the State has gone to in order to keep the MDC official behind bars do not auger well for the prospects of a government of national unity. Bennett himself believes Patrick Chinamasa, the Justice Minister, has a personal vendetta against him.

Speaking to SW Radio Africa shortly after his release, the MDC official said it felt good to be out of prison but that he was not really free. “I can’t really say I am free. I am under stringent bail conditions. I am in a country where the rule of law is questionable. There is no separation of powers and there is interference of the judiciary from the highest level. So you don’t feel safe at all. I could be re-arrested any minute.”

Bennett was told to pay US$5000, surrender his passport and title deeds and to report to the police three times a week. He is facing terrorism charges, which he [continue reading]

source: News24
12/03/2009 19:07 – (SA)

Pretoria – The manner and speed in which land restitution claims were being processed remained a concern, the National House of Traditional Leaders (NHTL) told President Kgalema Motlanthe on Thursday.

Speaking after a debate on Motlanthe’s February state of the nation address, NHTL chair Fhumulani Kutama urged the president to address the way the process was handled.

“We’re worried about the manner in which the Land Claims Commission is running its affairs. It’s moving at a snail’s pace.”

The president must address this, Kutama said, even if it meant augmenting legislation.

“The president must… make sure the commission does its work because our communities out there are waiting for their land.”

He said government appeared to be promoting the paying out of cash sums of money instead of handing back the land.

“We are saying that it is against the spirit of the Freedom Charter that says land shall be given to their owners.

“We are urging the government to say the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Kasane and Molepolole sewerage projects are delayed, according to the Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Kitso Mokaila.

Five new landfills and three sewerage infrastructure projects should be completed this year, but the two towns will have to wait their turn. Minister Mokaila said this when contributing to Parliament’s committee of supply debate.

Mokaila says there have been delays in starting the construction of the Kasane and Molepolole sewerage infrastructure, as well as the procurement of the Maun landfill equipment.

Although tenders for the Kasane sewerage were evaluated in December last year, Mokaila says the tendered financial component turned out to be three times its approved funds.

The Molepolole sewerage infrastructure project is yet to be put to tender, but Mokaila told Parliament that he [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Tichaona Sibanda
12 March 2009

Newspaper mogul Trevor Ncube on Thursday announced his plans to launch a daily newspaper in Zimbabwe.

The 47 year old Ncube told us from his base in Johannesburg, South Africa that his latest project will create at least 300 jobs in the media industry at an initial investment of US$4 million.

The Bulawayo born entrepreneur is the publisher of the Zimbabwe Independent and the Standard newspapers. In South Africa, he publishes the weekly Mail and Guardian newspaper, which is part of The Guardian group of newspapers.

“We are encouraged by the Global Political Agreement that recognises that a vibrant press is important to underpin its efforts to rebuild the country,” Ncube said.

“We have been having discussions with the government and the regulatory authorities and I can tell you that we are also encouraged through our conversations that we should get a licence pretty soon,’ Ncube added.

The new paper ‘NewsDay,’ will play a vital role in [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)
Mathabo Le Roux
12 March 2009

Johannesburg — BUSINESS confidence has dropped to its lowest level in 10 years as the local economy follows the global economy towards a precipice created by the meltdown in financial markets.

The Bureau for Economic Research (BER) business confidence index released yesterday was down six points to 27, indicating that only a quarter of correspondents thought business conditions were satisfactory in the first quarter.

The index is calculated from an average of confidence levels in five sectors — manufacturing, retail, wholesale, motor trade and building — and is now more than 20 points below the level it had been at the corresponding time last year, when the index started its plunge.

And the bureau’s prognosis for business conditions is gloomy.

With economic growth contracting during the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

SELEBI-PHIKWE: A decision by the Ministry of Agriculture to close the Selebi-Phikwe Town Council abattoir has disrupted meat supplies in the mining town.

The abattoir was closed on Monday after the closure of other similar facilities in nearby Bobonong and Mmadinare.

The Selebi-Phikwe region, which falls under Zone 7, is expected to face severe meat shortages over the next three weeks as restrictions on the movement of meat products remain in force.

SPTC Public Relations Officer, Ogomoditse Gaokethelwe, said the abattoir would be closed until March 28. The last date for receiving animals for slaughter was March 5.

“The closure is due to maintenance work to be undertaken in order to meet the required hygienic standards as per the Livestock and [continue reading]