Archive for March 24th, 2009

source: Mmegi
Lekopanye Mooketsi
Correspondent

A Financial Intelligence Bill aimed at providing a comprehensive legal framework to address money laundering issues was tabled in Parliament last week.

Finance and Development Planning minister Baledzi Gaolathe tabled the bill. He said the bill is also aimed at establishing a Financial Intelligence Agency, which will receive, analyse and disseminate information to various stakeholders.

These objective are in line with the government’s commitment to contribute to international efforts geared at fighting money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

Gaolathe said they decided to draft the proposed law after realising that the country needed to strengthen the implementation of various pieces of legislations dealing with money laundering in general. The intention is to also implement the [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Kabo Mokgoabone
22.03.2009 11:45:34 A

The national year-on-year inflation continued trending down last month at the back of lower energy and food costs sending the markets into anticipation that inflation will hit a single digit before the end of the year.

Data from the Central Statistics Office released this week showed that, in the month of February, the inflation rate stood at 11.7 percent, down by 1.1 percentage points from 12.8 percent in January 2009.

Observers say the falling numbers are in line with expectations as culprits (food and energy) prices have been stabilising.

Stockbrokers Botswana analyst, Pulafela Isaacs, sees the downward trend in inflation, which has been prevalent since the last quarter of 2008, originating from the drop in oil prices in the international markets.
“We have since seen oil prices fall to around US$ 40 per barrel. What followed was a reduction in petroleum pump prices and the reduction in public transport fares,” Isaacs pointed out.
However, as usual alcoholic beverages, tobacco & narcotics group nearly spoilt the party as [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Oarabile Mosikare
Correspondent

FRANCISTOWN: The High Court has located the missing file of eight murder suspects. The hearing of the case against the eight could not continue early last week before Justice Modiri because of the misplaced file.

But on Friday, the judge announced that the file has been found at the Criminal Registry. Apparently the file was misplaced when it was sent to the Registrar’s office for processing of claims for pro deo attorneys.

Though the file was located, the case could not continue on Friday because a defence attorney, Morris Ndawana, asked for a postponement in order to take instructions from one of the accused persons, Olatotse Lekoko. Ndawana said he needed time to formulate the defence for Lekoko. Sejabuliso Siziba who has since become a magistrate initially represented Lekoko. Ndawana informed the court that he failed to communicate with Siziba to get his line of [continue reading]

source: UPI.com
Published: March 23, 2009 at 3:53 PM

HERZLIYA, Israel, March 23 (UPI) — Botswana security authorities announced the installation of Israel-based ioimage’s video-analytics technology at a prison in the country’s capital of Gaborone.

The Botswana Department of Correctional Services installed ioimage’s video analytics at the 22,500-square-mile First Offenders Correctional Facility in Gaborone in a move to upgrade the prison’s perimeter-protection system.

Ioimage said its video-analytics system is designed to [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Gowenius Toka
22.03.2009 11:47:18 A

LICHTENBERG, South Africa: A Botswana citizen-owned chain store, Choppies Group, has this week opened its seventh branch outside the country amid ululations from a crowd of South African citizens who witnessed the occasion here.

The development was described by authorities as a giant leap in the growing of the relationship that exists between the two countries.

Edna Molewa, North West Premier, who conducted the official opening, expressed her government’s appreciation of Choppies’ decision to establish yet another outlet in her country, adding that it strengthened the already existing connection between the peoples of Botswana and South Africa.

“We celebrate also the fact that the investment will have multiple impacts on the lives of South Africans, especially in the [continue reading]

source: BOPA
23 March, 2009

LENTSWELETAU – President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama has dispelled fears that privatisation of state enterprises may result in unaffordable and poor quality services.

The President was responding to concerns raised by residents of Lentsweletau at a kgotla meeting on Thursday. They had stated that private companies were only interested in profits and will charge fees beyond the reach of an ordinary Motswana.

However, the President assured the residents that the privatisation process would be conducted carefully to ensure no one is hurt.

“Government treads with care when pursuing privatisation and safeguards national interests” he said, adding “that is why government stopped the privatisation of Air Botswana because something went wrong from the start”.

President Khama told the gathering that, “if we privatise, we ensure that majority of the shareholding goes to Batswana.” He said though privatisation is in progress, the state continues to [continue reading]

source: Engineering News
By: Terence Creamer
23rd March 2009

Toronto-listed CIC Energy, which is pursuing the $3-billion Mmamabula coal-fired power station in Botswana, announced on Monday that it had submitted formal bids to Eskom and the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) for 30-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) and expected that processes to finalise the deals would be completed by mid-year.

CIC Energy hoped to begin supplying power to the South African grid by 2013, which would require it to begin building the project later this year, with the company having already signed an engineering, procurement and construction contract with Shanghai Electric, of China.

The PPAs were key to unlocking the independent power producer (IPP) investment, which would be [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Violet Gonda
23 March 2009

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is expected to fly back to Harare on Tuesday, from South Africa where he went to recover following the tragic accident that killed his wife Susan.

James Maridadi, the Prime Minister’s spokesperson, confirmed Tsvangirai would be arriving on Tuesday and is expected to start work the following day.

The Prime Minister took time off and traveled to South Africa with his children, soon after burying his wife in Buhera and attending the burial of the late former Defence Forces chief, General Vitalis Zvinavashe, at Heroes acre over a week ago.

Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe has been acting premier in [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Bashi Letsididi
22.03.2009 11:42:38 A

The government has allocated more land to wild animals than to people in the Kgalagadi North constituency.

Beyond the obvious oddity of such status quo, the area MP, Victor Motobake, has queried through a parliamentary question, why this land distribution scheme still holds when “wild animals have decreased in numbers in the area”.

Figures that were released by Lands and Housing Minister, Nonofo Molefhi, in parliament last week show that 63 percent of the total land area is reserved for wildlife in the form of Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) and the Kalahari Transfrontier Park while 27 percent is for communal use and 7 percent is freehold. The total land area for the whole of Kgalagadi district is 106 850 square kilometers.

Although he does not have figures to back up his assertion about game numbers dwindling, Motobake told Sunday Standard that, as a resident of the Kgalagadi district, he has personally witnessed a [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Gale Ngakane
Correspondent

FRANCISTOWN: Tati Town Customary Court president, Margaret Ludo Mosojane has warned young women to stop stealing children from the ‘waists of men’. “These girls just sleep with a man and then they say he has impregnated them.

They (the girls) need to be taught about management of their reproductive system. There is no way they should just let themselves have babies in order to get maintenance money,” she warned.

Speaking as a discussant at a one-day workshop on gender violence organised by True Men for councillors and dikgosi in Francistown, Mosojane asserted that there is nothing like marital rape. She said a marriage is between a man and a woman and it is up to a wife to leave her husband when he does not fulfill his conjugal obligations without a [continue reading]

source: BOPA
23 March, 2009

GABORONE – Developers of the Mowana Mine, African Copper, are hopeful that the proposed terms of investment with Natasa Mining would be the best terms available to the company.

A press release from the company states that the severe reduction in demand and price, delays in shipping first concentrate due to delays in commissioning of the Mowana Mine and current market volatility and uncertainty, African Copper has been unable to achieve or obtain the anticipated cash flow required to finance its working capital requirements for continued operations.

“This situation, coupled with the unfolding global financial crisis, has resulted in extreme difficulties regarding the availability and terms of possible financing proposals,” reads the press release.

Under the proposed agreement, Natasa, an investment company in [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Morula Morula
22.03.2009 11:41 A

Olefile Moakofi, the Managing Director of Inter Cargo Services, which is managing South African Airways (SAA) that is launching services in Botswana next month, has vowed that they will provide clients wishing to fly to South Africa with scheduled and comfortable flights at all times as soon as they start operation.

Moakofi, who is a former Director of the Department of Civil Aviation, says that the decision to start operations in Botswana was borne out of the realisation that though the market seems saturated with two airlines already serving the route they intend to operate on, there are still potential customers who may not be satisfied with the services which are currently being provided by those airlines and that those are the customers they are aiming at.

“People have different tastes, the airlines already on the routes do not necessarily satisfy all of them, that is why we are here. We are here to add value and safety to the services already [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Tumelo Setshogo
Correspondent

Civil servants at the Ministry of Works and Transport (MWT) have been told to simply write resignation letters if they can’t resist corrupt practices.

Permanent secretary in the ministry, Carter Morupisi, sent this strong warning during the just ended two-day corporate planning workshop for the entire ministry staff across the country.

The workshop was conducted to enhance the ministry’s service delivery with the objectives of reviewing departmental performances, identifying organisational strengths and weaknesses, and developing the MWT 2009/10 annual plan.

“If you can’t resist corruption, just leave, just apply for retirement,” he pleaded. He added: “You will be doing yourself and the government justice”. Morupisi said this after telling the ministry employees that when he took up his current position from the Ministry of Agriculture, “I received numerous calls from many people asking me whether I will manage to run the [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Lance Guma
23 March 2009

First Lady Grace Mugabe will escape prosecution from charges that she assaulted a British photographer in Hong Kong, after she was granted diplomatic immunity. In January Grace flew into a rage after Richard Jones took pictures of her as she left the five-star Kowloon Shangri-la Hotel, with a female friend and a bodyguard. The bodyguard pinned the photographer to the ground while the first lady struck him repeatedly in the face. A diamond encrusted ring she was wearing caused cuts to his face. But on Sunday authorities in Hong Kong confirmed long held fears that Grace was entitled to diplomatic immunity, as the wife of a sitting head of state.

The photographer reacted furiously to the decision saying; ‘I think it’s a disgrace for the Hong Kong government to allow a person to walk on a street in Hong Kong, punch a member of the media, and walk free from it. This is a town where the freedom of the media is a strong tradition,’ he told the AFP news agency. Michael Vidler, the lawyer representing Jones, said they had secured CCTV footage and statements from witnesses, which was enough to provide strong evidence against Grace in court. They also felt the lacerations to [continue reading]