Archive for March 27th, 2009

source: BOPA
26 March, 2009

SHAKAWE – A number of homesteads, governments buildings, fields and private properties were this week submerged in water as the Okavango river continued to over flow.

The floods have already displaced a total number of four hundred and five people as per Monday assessment and there is likelihood that the number could up according to the Ngamiland district Commissioner ,Ms Beneddette Malala.

The settlements which are already overwhelmed by the floods include Xakana, Kauxwi Mohembo East, settlements along Ikgoga and Sepopa and while some are still under threat from the over flowing river, according to Ms Malala.

Ms Malala said they are expecting fierce flooding as the water levels continue to rise rapidly everyday.

The information provided by Ms Malala indicated that the highest floods level received were in 1969 measuring 1300 cubic meters while this year 9000 cubic meter has been recorded as of [continue reading]

source: IOL
March 26 2009 at 09:20AM
By Frank Nyakairu

Lusaka – Zambia and Namibia face their worst floods in at least 40 years as rains swell the Zambezi River to record levels, destroying crops and swamping whole villages, disaster officials and aid workers said on Wednesday.

Zambia has put its air force on standby to airlift people to safety and Namibia has declared a state of emergency in flood-hit areas as waterways burst their banks in the narrow Caprivi Strip between Zambia and Botswana.

About 400 000 people have been affected on both sides of Namibia’s border with Angola alone, the international Red Cross movement said, adding that the number was likely to rise.

“We’ve heard some incredible stories,” Matthew Cochrane, a spokesperson for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), said by telephone from [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The government will spend a whopping P18 million on rented vehicles from Imperial Car Rental, it has been revealed.

The vehicles, 90 vans consisting of Nissan and Toyota Hilux Double cabs, will be rented out to the Central Statistics Office (CSO) for use in a survey. The CSO will conduct the Botswana Core Welfare Indicators Survey, a project expected to last a year. According to a press release from the tendering body, the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB), the total deal will cost the taxpayer a total of P18, 149, 625. At this rate each van will cost the taxpayer P201, 662.50 a year, nearly the price of a brand new vehicle. Furthermore at this rate, the taxpayer will part with P16, 805 a month for every [continue reading]

source: BOPA
26 March, 2009

PALAPYE – The northern English medium schools are this year’s Stanbic Bank sponsored Swimming Gala Champions.

The northern schools ended the southern schools three-year dominance by defeating them by 702 points to 660 points at the Kgaswe English Medium School in Morupule over the weekend. The northern schools included Matshwane, Clifton and Kopano while those from the south were Broadhurst, Northside and Thornhill primary schools.

The northern schools dominated the under eight, under nine, under 12 and under 13 categories. The participants were a marvel to watch in the events such as individual medley, backstroke, butterfly and medley relay.

Their dominance highlighted interesting swimmers such as James Freeman, Lombe Mwape, Adrian Robinson, Karla Rawlinson, David van de Cloff and Jarryd Brown.

Even though they were on a song they were neutralized in the under 10, under 11 and under 12 in which the [continue reading]

source: News24
26/03/2009 22:26 – (SA)

Cape Town – The Dalai Lama should not be allowed to raise global issues on South African soil that would impact on the country’s standing, Finance Minister Trevor Manuel said on Thursday.

Speaking during a debate at the University of Cape Town, he said not allowing the Dalai Lama into South Africa was “a matter of relations between states”.

“To say anything against the Dalai Lama is, in some quarters, equivalent to trying to shoot Bambi,” he said.

“Let’s put our cards on the table. Who is the Dalai Lama? I’ve heard him described as a god. I’ve heard him described as Buddha.

“Is he just the spiritual leader of the Buddhists in Tibet, or is he the one who on March 28, 1969, established a government-in-exile in the same way as Taiwan was established to counter the reality of a single China?”

Manuel said Tibet’s history had to be [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

FRANCISTOWN: Councillors here have expressed disapproval of the decision to halt the services of the blue passenger train. The councillors spoke at a special full council meeting yesterday after the Ministry of Works and Transport (MWT) made a presentation on the delicate issue.

In response to the Deputy Permanent Secretary of MWT, Lewis Malikongwa, councillors of Botswana’s second city said they did not agree with the decision, primarily because they were not consulted beforehand.

The passenger service of Botswana Railways has been a crucial link between Gaborone and Francistown and a vital gateway to neighbouring Zimbabwe.

Councillor Sam Masunga said there was no point in MWT and BR coming to explain fait accompli – after the reality of the decision.

Masunga said many people “in this part of the country” depended on the trains passenger service for its convenience and safety.

Councillor Tabengwa Tabengwa said it is strange to be told the train passenger service was not making money after 15 years. “What have you been doing about it all along?,” Tabengwa said.

The “unfortunate” decision would [continue reading]

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26 March 2009

Real gross domestic expenditure fell at an annualised rate of 3.9% in the fourth quarter of 2008, the South African Reserve Bank said in its latest quarterly bulletin, released on Wednesday.

This followed an increase of 0.7% registered in the third quarter. The fall was a result of a drop in household spending and slowing investment growth.

“The contraction in real gross domestic expenditure was the net result of slower growth in real gross fixed capital formation and real final consumption expenditure by general government, coupled with declines recorded in real final consumption expenditure by households and in the real level of inventories,” the Bank said.

Household expenditure, declined further in the fourth quarter of 2008, registering an annualised rate of decline of 2.7%, compared with a decline of 0.9% in the preceding quarter.

“The current slowdown reflects the impact of a [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

HARARE – Pan-African hotel group, Cresta Hospitality has budgeted $7 million to refurbish its facilities and build additional rooms.

TA Holdings, the parent company of Cresta Hospitality said in a statement accompanying its financial results for the year ended 31 December 2008, that the investment will be done in preparation for next year’s 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

The money will be used to build 28 more rooms at Cresta Riley’s in Maun. Cresta Churchill in Bulawayo will also get an additional 50 rooms. “A US$7 million refurbishment programme has been initiated for completion by the middle of 2010,” TA Holdings said. The refurbishment and expansion work is scheduled to be completed by June next year in time for the start of the World Cup.

Hotel and leisure groups in southern Africa are [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Violet Gonda
26 March 2009

Robert Mugabe spoke to a visiting Norwegian envoy on Wednesday about the progress of the inclusive government. He said: “At the moment, we feel in partnership with those who have joined the Government. It is smoothly running. It is now in our rhythm. It’s like tradition… we no longer have an opposition and we are working together towards the same goals we have set as a government.”

He also went on to appeal for international financial help, but insisted it must have no strings attached.

Observers have commented on how worrying Mugabe’s statements are. It appears that as far as he is concerned, nothing had changed and he has managed to get rid of the irritating opposition.

The only thing that has changed is that after years of food shortages, goods are returning to shop shelves and prices of basic commodities are beginning to fall but the basic infrastructure remains broken.

Journalist Jan Raath reported this week: “The sense of optimism is alive, but after the repeated violent destruction of [continue reading]

source: BOPA
26 March, 2009

LETLHAKANE – The Ministry of Agriculture has developed a programme to be followed in order to upgrade zone 4a around Boteti Sub District to the status of an FMD free zone without vaccination zone in line with the guidelines from the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH).

Speaking in kgotla meetings at Motopi, Khumaga and Rakops on Monday, the Minister of Agriculture, Mr Christian De Graaff said the programme involves regular inspections and blood sampling of cloven-hoofed animals in the district to verify that there are no signs of FMD virus or the vaccine for at least one year.

Cattle in zone 4a, he said, have been regularly inspected and blood sampled for FMD since 2007 and the results have consistently shown no evidence of the FMD virus. There is a waning of vaccine in the cattle population.

Mr De Graaff said the aim was to gather enough evidence to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

SELEBI-PHIKWE: BCL employees are expected to heed the call to switch off their lights for an hour this Friday under the global ‘Earth Hour’ initiative meant to support efforts to combat global warming.

Most buildings around the world will go dark for one hour on Friday March 27 in support of the Earth Hour, a climate change initiative of the United Nations.

BCL public relations and communications superintendent, Tiro Kganela, said all BCL employees are encouraged to turn off their lights for an hour to demonstrate support for the Earth Hour initiative.

“To support the global Earth Hour campaign and to show that BCL is also involved with the climate change initiatives as well as reducing its carbon footprint, employees are invited for a voluntary ‘Big Switch Off’ at [continue reading]