Archive for March 30th, 2009

source: Mmegi
ISAIAH MOREWAGAE
Staff Writer
27 March 2009

The police have received three reports alleging abuse by the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS).

The Minister of Justice, Defence and Security, Dikgakgamatso Seretse told Parliament yesterday that one report is from a police officer, while two are from civilians. Seretse was answering questions from the Member of Parliament for Gaborone Central, Dumelang Saleshando. The minister said a DIS operative was killed by his pistol during a shoot-out with thugs. “Investigations on this matter are still on-going therefore, I am not in a position to disclose any information,” Seretse said. A Zimbabwean, Blessing Mukweni is currently in court on allegations that he shot and killed DIS officer, Daniel Moilwa in Gaborone on November 19 last year.

Since its inception early last year, the DIS has dominated news headlines for the wrong reasons. Four members of the security forces claimed torture at the [continue reading]

source: BOPA
30 March, 2009

FRANCISTOWN – Francistown councillors have criticised government’s recent decision to terminate the passenger service trains with effect from April 1.

Speaking in a special full council meeting addressed by the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works and Transport, Mr Lewis Malikongwa, Wednesday, the councilors said the move would impact on the socio-economic sphere of Batswana.

Councillor Sam Masunga of Itekeng ward said the train service was benefiting poor people who could not afford other means of transport such as air and road.

He said terminating the passenger train would not only affect passengers but will also lead to the retrenchment of people who were working in the coaches.

He suggested that while the train has gone for overhaul, Botswana Railways (BR) could loan coaches from neighbouring countries.

Councillor Tabengwa Tabengwa of Ikageleng ward condemned BR and the government for failing to come up with [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
29.03.2009

Veteran Cabinet Minister and ruling party National Chairman Daniel Kwelagobe is said to have indicated to President Ian Khama that if he is forced to choose between position of cabinet minister and party chairman as was looking increasingly likely this week, he would opt for the party chairmanship.

This was after President Ian Khama called a meeting of BDP Members of Parliament where he dangled a carrot and a stick, giving MPs an ultimatum to choose between party Central Committee positions and a possibility of being appointed to Cabinet.

Kwelagobe who was the BDP Secretary General for 27 years before becoming Chairman is said to have made it clear that he will defend the BDP constitution to the last, arguing that the party constitution would be his guiding principle, especially since cabinet appointments were the President’s prerogative anyway.

Khama is said to have given MPs and ministers week to make their choices.

Perhaps as a forerunner of things still to come, at the BDP National Council on Saturday Kwelagobe implored party activists to follow their party constitution to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
LEKOPANYE MOOKETSI
Correspondent

Parliament has been told that eight suspects have been shot dead by security agents since April last year.

The Minister for Defence, Justice and Security, Ndelu Seretse, said 12 shooting incidents involving the police, were recorded from April 1, 2008 to date.

Out of these incidents, eight suspects lost their lives. Seretse revealed that the eight suspects died in four shooting incidents in Gaborone, Serowe, Francistown and Maun. He said in two incidents, which occurred in Serowe and Francistown there was an exchange of fire between the law enforcement officers and the suspects.

The two incidents claimed six lives. Seretse said in the other two incidents, which occurred in Gaborone and Maun, the suspects were [continue reading]

source: BOPA
30 March, 2009

GABORONE – President Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama has appointed Major General Otisitswe Tiroyamodimo to be the Deputy Commander of the Botswana Defence Fforce.

According to a news release from the BDF, Major General Tiroyamodimo is taking over from Major General Gobuiwang Tlhokwane, who is retiring from the army end of this month.

General Khama, who is also Commander-in-Chief of the BDF has also promoted Brigadier Tumelo Paledi to the rank of Major General and the BDF Air Arm Commander.

Major General Tiroyamodimo has held several seminars in Strategic studies, Civil military Relations and Law of Armed Conflict.

He completed the International Defence Resource Management at the Naval Post Graduate School in the USA.

Some of his command appointments include being [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Gowenius Toka
29.03.2009

Civil servants may be punished or even lose their jobs if they turn up for work in pants, tight skirts, bare back tops or tops that reveal a cleavage.

The Office of the President has issued a directive that all civil servants should dress in a manner that ensures that certain parts of their bodies would not be exposed, and that failure to comply with the instruction shall be viewed as breach of law and punishable in line with stipulated provisions governing civil servants.

The directive has enumerated clothes which have been banned and that only religious and traditional head covers and headgears would be allowed subject to the discretion of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry concerned.

The directive says: “It is mandatory for public employees to dress in a manner that reflects credit on the Public Service, in line with General Order 34.1”

A copy of a circular savingram, dated 19th March, 2009 which was circulated to all heads of government departments stated that [continue reading]

source: BOPA
30 March, 2009

GABORONE – Construction to upgrade the water treatment plant in Kasane is expected to commence at the beginning of May 2009, says the Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Mr Ponatshego Kedikilwe.

Mr Kedikilwe said the commencement of the project was delayed because of repeated tendering, which was done three times.

He said the first tender in February 2008 attracted only one bidder but the bid failed to comply with the tender requirements.

He said a second tender was floated between April and May 2008 and that four bids were received.

He added that three were disqualified for non-compliance with [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT
27 March 2009

The long-awaited expansion of Morupule B Power Station is set to take off in earnest next month, following the fulfilment of an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract between the Botswana Power Corporation and Shanghai Electric Company of China, the main contractor.

BPC hopes to fund the project through debt and equity finance. The Morupule B Power Station project involves the installation of 4 x 150 megawatt units. Associated projects include water supply works and the construction of transmission lines and substations for the distribution of power to the rest of the BPC grid.

The project also involves expansion of Debswana-owned Morupule Colliery that traditionally produces less than a million tonnes of coal annually.

Responding to written enquiries from Mmegi, Modiri Badirwang, BPC’s General Manager (Strategic Projects) said following the signing of the EPC contract with China National Electric Equipment Corporation (CNEEC) on November 15 last year, BPC and the Chinese firm have been working towards the fulfilment of the contract and [continue reading]

source: News24
Julian Rademeyer, Beeld
30/03/2009

Johannesburg – It’s nonsense that the National Prosecuting Authority is going to halt Jacob Zuma’s prosecution on Monday, said a senior NPA official who asked not to be named.

When telephoned for comment, NPA spokesperson Tlali Tlali said abruptly: “I hope you’re not calling about Zuma. There’s nothing new. As soon as a decision has been made, we will announce it.”

According to reports in Sunday newspapers, the NPA was going to take a decision on Monday to stop Zuma’s prosecution.

Zuma’s lawyer, Michael Hulley, told Die Burger that he wasn’t aware of any NPA meetings regarding the case on Monday.

According to one newspaper report on Sunday, the NPA is expected to approach [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Kagiso Madibana
29.03.2009

The Road Traffic (amendment) Act comes into effect on Wednesday despite negative criticism thrown at it by the public.

The Act, which was passed in Parliament in December 2008, has had the country in jitters ever since the announcement of its intended implementation.

Batswana are said to be complaining about the high charges enlisted in the Act, citing that some of them would end up in prison because they wouldn’t be able to afford to pay the impossibly high amounts.

The Minister of Works and Transport, Johnie Swartz, had addressed such complaints as a result of years of stagnant levels of fines and penalties that didn’t arouse any effect on motorists as the fines had been progressively affected by inflation.

“The significantly increased levels of fines is one of the strategies involved in fostering better driving standards, better driving ability and road courtesy,” said Swartz.

Some people are complaining that [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Andrzej Zwaniecki
27 March 2009

A boost in international emergency funds and agreement on financial-markets oversight likely will be among the concrete results of the April 2 meeting of the world’s major economic powers.

Leaders of developed and developing economies that make up the Group of 20 (G20) are scheduled to meet April 2 in London to consider measures aimed at addressing the recession and financial crisis. Worsening economic conditions have added urgency to the meeting, which is expected to build on the principles agreed to by the leaders at their November 2008 meeting in Washington.

The final document of the London summit is likely to be more action-oriented, observers say, but its language broad enough to make sure that everybody agrees.

“Nothing forceful can emerge from such a large group with divergent views,” said Adam Lerrick, a senior scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a policy research group in Washington.

Lerrick, like many, expects one of the few concrete results to be [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
BRIAN BENZA
Staff Writer
27 March 2009

CIC Energy Corporation has signed an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract with Shanghai Electric Group Co. Ltd.

(SEC) for the first power station to be built at the Mmamabula coalfields, the company announced on Monday.

CIC president, Greg Kinross, said in a statement after the signing of the EPC contract that they now expect to complete Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) with the Botswana Power Corporation and Eskom of South Africa, the two potential power off-takers for the project.

“With the EPC contract signed, we are on track to complete the Power Purchase Agreements and financing this year for the Mmamabula Energy Project,” Kinross said. “All (things) going well, we expect to begin supplying power to the grid in early 2013.”

“Shanghai Electric is pleased to have [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
29.03.2009

The Mmamabula power project is being hurried after it suffered setbacks last year when power off-takers Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) and Eskom declined to underwrite risk at the back of escalating costs of the project.
This week the promoters of the project, CIC Energy—listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) —revealed that the expectation is to complete the Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and financing this year.

“These bids are being reviewed by the management team and board of Eskom and BPC and the outcomes of this process are expected in the second calendar quarter of this year,” Greg Kinross, President of CIC Energy said in a statement.

The proposed PPAs are for 30 years.

The move follows the formal award of an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) to Shanghai Electric Group.

The developers last year signed a preliminary agreement with the Chinese outfit immediately after [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
BUSINESS
CORRESPONDENT
27 March 2009

Relief could be on the horizon for the country’s top producers of base metals, BCL Mine and Tati Nickel Mine, in the form of an emerging positive trend in copper and nickel prices on the world market.

Base metal prices fell by more than 60 percent from their levels in the first half of last year, resulting in massive retrenchments and other cost-cutting measures. BCL Mine is expected to lay off 200 workers with scores of others voluntarily retiring while Tati is at loggerheads with unions over a voluntary separation package.

Thankfully, trends on international commodity markets indicate that copper and nickel prices could recover towards the end of this year and into 2010, driven by renewed demand in the world’s fastest growing economy, China.

While the projected recovery is not expected to [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Gowenius Toka
29.03.2009

The Chief Executive Officer of the Botswana Tourism Board, Myra Sekgorwane, maintains that Botswana’s tourism industry has remained elastic despite the negative and seemingly unabating impact of the unfolding global recession on world economies.
Sekgororwane said Botswana has not been severely affected to the traditionally long booking lead time.

That notwithstanding, there is an estimated 19% decline in bookings compared to the previous year and some facilities are said to have recorded cancellations even though they are seen as relatively insignificant.

Sekgororwane posits that she found comfort in the recognition that the investment appetite has not at all declined, but decided the best thing to do in the circumstances is to capitalize on the opportunities available at the moment.

However, it is my considered view that in times such as these the important thing is to have an assertive and [continue reading]