Archive for March 18th, 2009

source: BOPA
18 March, 2009

GABORONE – The Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS) says there have of late been instances where criminal elements have masqueraded as DISS agents in order to gain entry into properties for the purpose of stealing.

It says in recent weeks cases of this nature were reported in Mahalapye, Palapye, Selibe-Phikwe and Gaborone all of which have resulted in arrests and convictions.

The directorate says in each of the four cases the criminals had tried to gain access to properties by claiming that they were looking for certain individuals.

Therefore DISS reminds members of the public that in accordance with Section 22 of the Intelligence and Security Act, like other law enforcement agencies, DISS personnel are required to obtain a warrant from senior magistrates or judges of the high court before entering any premises to carry out their investigations.

It says the powers of DISS personnel to gain access without a warrant are limited to situations where [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Botswana has once again been named the foremost preferred destination for mining and mineral investment in Africa, according to the recently released Fraser Institute Survey.

This year’s Fraser Institute Survey of Mining Companies involved more than 3 000 mining entities representing 71 jurisdictions on every continent except the Antarctica. Botswana was ranked 18th overall in the world, coming behind global leaders mainly concentrated in North America. 2009 thus marks the fourth year in a row Botswana has been ranked the preferred mining destination in Africa, starting from the 2005/06 survey. All respondents who commented on Botswana said it had the most favourable policies towards mining.

Botswana, with an index score of 64.9, was ahead of other African states such as Mali (53.6), Namibia (52.5), Ghana (51.3) and Burkina Faso (45.1). South Africa was ranked 10th in Africa with 40.4. Botswana also eclipsed many more developed jurisdictions such as several states in [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)
Karima Brown, Hajra Omarjee and Amy Musgrave
18 March 2009

Johannesburg — IN A dramatic twist to the corruption case facing African National Congress (ANC) president Jacob Zuma, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is preparing to drop all corruption, fraud and racketeering charges against him in the next few days.

Business Day understands the NPA will hold a meeting today to put the final touches to its decision, with the outcome likely to be made public within days by acting NPA head Mokotedi Mpshe.

This decision will have profound implications, both positive and negative, for politics in SA.

The NPA yesterday would not confirm speculation that dropping the charges was imminent, but did not deny it either.

“Mr Zuma’s lawyers made contact with us on Monday. We indicated the NPA is still applying its mind and no decision has been taken,” the NPA’s Tlali Tlali said.

It is understood from sources close to the matter that the long-standing claim of political interference in the prosecution forms a [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

President Ian Khama has reportedly turned down a recommendation from the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to appoint three judges to the High Court. Inside sources say Khama has snubbed the JSC recommendation that Justice Gabriel Rwelengera, who has been acting as a High Court judge, should be confirmed.

It is understood that besides Rwelengera, Khama has rejected the appointments of Parliamentary Counsel Lizo Ngcongco and Francistown private lawyer, Gabriel Komboni as acting High Court judges.

Sources at the Office of the President have revealed that Khama has instead called for the Administration of Justice to re-advertise the positions. Last month the Administration of Justice carried out interviews to recruit two judges and one acting judge following an advertisement in December last year. Rwelengera, Ngcongco and Komboni were selected after the interviews but now their appointments have been reportedly blocked by the President.

In the past, judges were appointed by the President following a recommendation by [continue reading]

source: BOPA
16 March, 2009

MAUN – The Assistant Minister of Education and Skills Development, Mr Kavis Kario has warned underperforming teachers and ministry officials that would be no place for them after the ministry’s restructuring exercised.

Mr Kario said last week that come April 1st, job security would no longer be guaranteed but would be dictated by the demand for work performance. He emphasized that most ministry staff were performing at a low level when they have potential to offer more. “I have no doubt in my mind that you have the ability and capacity to do well, please go for it,” he said when addressing the west region ministry officials in Maun.

Under the current facilities, there is no justification for the teachers to guarantee only minimal performance, he said. “We must demand performance; we must demand good administration. There is no compromise in as far as performance is concerned. We must work very very hard.” Teachers, he said, used to teach under the most dreadful conditions but nevertheless managed to produce quality results.

Mr Kario rejected claims that the current student to teacher ratio was responsible for the poor performance of students, citing cases where [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Violet Gonda
17 March 2009

More MDC activists have been arrested in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s home area. Last week violence broke out in parts of Buhera during the funeral of Susan Tsvangirai, with the MDC saying 10 homes belonging to their supporters were burnt down. At that time 17 party activists and the MDC Deputy Mayor of Mutare, Admire Mukorera, were arrested. The Deputy Mayor was released after being detained overnight, but the 17 activists were remanded in custody, to March 30th.

The arrests continued on Tuesday with a further 26 MDC activists being picked up in Buhera North. MDC spokesman for Manicaland, Pishai Muchauraya, said despite being released without charge at the weekend, the Mutare Deputy Mayor was also re-arrested and had his [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

The world economic crisis will be deeper and longer if government stimulus packages are too modest and states fail to take joint action to fix their banks, World Bank President Robert Zoellick said on Friday.

Warning that 2009 will be a “very dangerous year”, he said state stimulus alone would give only a short-lived economic boost that would soon evaporate unless credit flowed again.

“The danger now is doing too little, too late,” Zoellick told reporters in London as G20 finance ministers and central bankers gathered in southern England ahead of a leaders’ summit next month. “Incrementalism will prolong and increase risk.

“If you don’t take on the banking issue, the stimulus is just like a sugar high. It pushes some energy into the system but then you get the letdown unless [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
15.03.2009 6:20:55 P

The process of setting up Non-Banking Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority suffered a setback this week when one of the key officials at the new parastatal was cited as unfit for the position.

A Namibian citizen, Mercelina !Gaoses was recently appointed Director of Licensing at NBFIRA, but her fellow citizens in Namibia have already started warning the Botswana Government that she is a high risk individual who should not be given such a sensitive position.

Citing !Gaoses’ past problems with the law back in Namibia, her compatriots have warned the Botswana government on the follies of appointing her Director in a sensitive institution such as the Non-Banking Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA), an institution whose only stock in trade is integrity.

It is said !Gaoses resigned her position of General Manager at the Namibia Financial Institutions Authority (Namfisa) amid allegations of corruption.

With !Gaoses already having taken up her [continue reading]

source: BOPA
17 March, 2009

GABORONE -In the amended Control of Smoking Act there is no provision for gazetted smoking points in public places such as the bus rank and train station areas.

This surfaced after BOPA realised that smokers in such places as stations and bus ranks do not respect non-smokers as they puff wherever and whenever they like.

According to Environmental Health Officer in the Ministry of `health, Gaesi Mophuting, the government cannot provide gazetted smoking places in such areas because it will appear as if the government is applying double standards. “The government of Botswana does not encourage smoking at all,” said Ms. Mophuting.

She also confirmed that there are no regulations to guide those smoking in public such as at stations and bus ranks though it is stated in the act that smokers have a duty to the people who do not smoke.

“Every person who smokes shall, while smoking, take all reasonable measures to ensure that other persons who do not smoke or do not wish to smoke are protected from exposure to tobacco smoke.” Passive smoking or [continue reading]

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17 March 2009

South African mobile phone company MTN is to expand its mobile banking services to countries in Africa and the Middle East, the company said in a statement on Monday.

The group said the successful launch of its mobile money transfer programme in Uganda marked the beginning of a series of planned launches across its international operations.

The product, called MTN MobileMoney, will allow customers to manage money and make payments from their mobile handsets.

The service is not new to South Africa, where MTN MobileMoney has been offering financial services by cellphone since 2005. However, the company will now expand into 20 other countries in 2009.

Specialist mobile financial services provider Fundamo will provide the software in a deal worth US$9.7-million, MTN said.

Mobile banking has become popular in the developing world, where [continue reading]

source: BOPA
17 March, 2009

TSABONG – Kgalagadi District Councillors were not pleased to hear that the proposed plan for the new Tsabong and Hukuntsi strips will not include runway lights as it is not recommended by the international standards.

Mrs Lesego Morewagae, a Senior Aerodrome Engineer from the Department of Civil Aviation said when presenting the proposed plans for the airstrips that as per Civil Aviation International Standards, the proposed plans for both air strips falls under category B which does not cater for international standards.

The move to relocate the Tsabong airstrip was taken as the current one is located within the village resulting in noise pollution and because there is not have enough room for expansion.

The Hukuntsi airstrip is said to be located in a grazing area resulting in disturbance to domestic and wildlife in that area.

Mrs Morewagae said both airstrips will be electrified but there is no provision for runway lights but added that as it is a concern raised by councilors it will be taken as an issue for thought as the plan is not yet finalized.

She said when addressing the ongoing Kgalagadi District full council meeting that the runway for [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Lance Guma
17 March 2009

Following the tragic crash which killed Susan Tsvangirai, the wife of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, almost 2 weeks ago, the MDC has confirmed that it has a team investigating the circumstances around the incident. Speaking to Newsreel on Tuesday a senior official said they want to allow their team to do their work quietly and would not be forced into, ‘shouting from the mountain top about the process.’ He said the party leadership is reluctant to issue inflammatory statements about the crash, in the absence of solid evidence. ‘As leadership we can’t fuel speculation. We have our suspicions but let the people say this. We can’t as the leadership. We will lose credibility since the burden of proof will come to us,’ he said.

On Monday we reported how the company who own the truck involved in the crash suspended one of its administrators, after it turned out the vehicle was not driven by one of their drivers. The truck was carrying AIDS drugs for a project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). A report by the weekly Standard newspaper says John Snow International (JSI) is the contractor for [continue reading]