Archive for April 7th, 2009

source: Mmegi
Monkagedi Gaotlhobogwe
Staff Writer
06 April 2009

The Botswana Railways (BR) has said it will sell 45 coaches by sealed bids and consider proposals from those who want to revive the passenger train service terminated last Friday.

“The Botswana Railways Act was amended in 2004 to allow the organisation to enter into Public Private Partnerships and form Joint Ventures. As a result, Botswana Railways has always been open to receive proposals from interested parties,” BR spokesperson, Alinah Masenya said.

“Botswana Railways will dispose of 45 coaches. They will be sold by public auction to the highest bidder through sealed bids; therefore we are not in a position to determine the exact figure that will be raised from their sale.

“We will advertise in the media inviting potential bidders and [continue reading]

source: News24
06/04/2009 20:15 – (SA)

Johannesburg – The ANC on Monday welcomed the “courageous” decision to drop charges against its president Jacob Zuma, at a press conference with its alliance partners, Cosatu and the SACP, in Johannesburg.

“Zuma endured an ordeal never experienced by any other citizen,” ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said.

Mantashe said since the beginning of Zuma’s legal woes, the prosecution had spent R100m of taxpayers’ money on the case.

The R10.7m forked out for ANC president Jacob Zuma’s legal defence will be paid by the State.

At a press briefing after the announcement by the National Prosecuting Authority that charges against Zuma would be dropped, ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said Zuma’s legal fees amounted to R10.7m.

Responding to a question on who would be footing this bill, Cosatu secretary-general Zwelinzima Vavi said: “The State will carry that tab.”

Pay for ‘blunders of others

“We will have to pay… After all we are the tax payers… so we will pay for [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Mqondisi Dube
Staff Writer
06 April 2009

SELEBI-PHIKWE: The European Union (EU) has released P4.5million to fund small- scale projects in a move that is bound to boost Selebi-Phikwe’s image and further accelerate the diversification drive.

The injection of EU funds would see the town hold the long-awaited conference on diversification later this year.
EU Press and Information Officer, Bester Gabotlale, said the works programme is being undertaken in conjunction with the Selebi-Phikwe Town Council (SPTC). The local authority has been instrumental in identifying the projects.

Gabotlale said the small-scale project is part of the euro 30million (about P300 million) Economic Diversification of the Mining Sector (EDMS) programme which started in 2004.
The EU has been instrumental in the drive to diversify the economic activities of Selebi-Phikwe away from mining.

The bloc has provided both technical expertise and [continue reading]

source: News24
06/04/2009 14:16 – (SA)

Pretoria – Dropping corruption charges against ANC leader Jacob Zuma does not amount to an acquittal, acting National Director of Public Prosecutions Mokotedi Mpshe said on Monday.

Delivering the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) decision to drop charges against Zuma, Mpshe said it had been the most difficult decision of his life.

The charges were dropped because there had been an abuse of process by the former head of the Directorate of Special Operations (DSO), Leonard McCarthy.

The decision was not based on the actual merits of the case, Mpshe said.

“It does not amount to an acquittal…

“Mr McCarthy’s conduct offends one’s sense of justice. It would be unfair as well as unjust to continue with [continue reading]

What Now For DK?

source: Mmegi
Ryder Gabathuse
Staff Writer
06 April 2009

FRANCISTOWN: The dramatic axing of Botswana Democratic Party strongman Daniel Kwelagobe from cabinet has raised concern about the future of the man and his faction and the long-term health of the party. Political analysts have raised fears that President Ian Khama’s decision might spell doom for Kwelagobe’s political ambitions.

“What I foresee is that Khama wants to isolate Kwelagobe and win his (Kwelagobe’s) supporters to his side. It goes without saying that by using the party’s established structures it is evidently a way of winning support than anything else,” analyses University of Botswana (UB) political science lecturer, Dr Zibani Maundeni.

The political scientist says according to the principle of collective responsibility, parties have to agree on an action collectively and own such an action or resultant decision.

Maundeni adds that it is apparent that before Khama put his foot down he had given members of his Cabinet an opportunity to choose between [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Gowenius Toka

Myra Sekgororoane, the Chief Executive Officer of the Botswana Tourism Board— is battling with her thoughts and the new world economic reality, which has seen the mineral sector’s contribution being heavily affected by the global down-turn.

In her thoughts, there are some painful sacrifices and bold decisions that have to be made in order for the tourism industry to forge ahead. From her simple calculation at the back of an envelop, the country’s tourism sector needs volumes and high spending net of tourists in a bid to win the hard currencies.

“I have some positive feeling for opening up for South African Airways (SAA flights into Botswana) because we need some tourists. I do not mind who brings them, whether it is Air Botswana or someone else,” she said.

The national carrier, Air Botswana, is currently besieged with a number of problems; firstly, it’s out of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Gale Ngakane
06 April 2009

FRANCISTOWN: The new traffic regulations have started to bite with 19 motorists having already been charged P1,000 each last Thursday.

Traffic Officer Commanding, Superintendent Pelontle Kesupile, does not mince his words when he says they are out to get traffic offenders in Francistown, who for too long have been a law unto themselves.

“People will just have to start complying with traffic regulations. There are people out there who do not behave on the roads and we are specifically out to get them,” he sternly warns in an interview with Monitor.
He says they have been watching the situation in the main mall, at the traffic lights next to the Barclays Plaza intersection unfolding for sometime and on Thursday they pounced.

What happens is that motorists have a tendency of unduly accelerating after [continue reading]

source: Voice of America
By Joe De Capua
Washington D.C
06 April 2009

Humanitarian officials are warning that flooding in parts of southern Africa will get worse in the coming weeks. The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has issued the warning for Namibia’s northeastern Caprivi region.

Matthew Cochrane is communications manager for the federation. From Johannesburg, he spoke to VOA English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua about how the flood regions are being monitored.

“We work very closely with a number of scientific partners, including NASA, the United States space agency. And we’re seeing now…this flooding around Lake Liambezi, which straddles Namibia’s Caprivi Strip and Botswana. So we’re seeing the water beginning to rise around there. And we’re also see water in [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Wanetsha Mosinyi
Staff Writer
06 April 2009

Negotiations for a management contract for Air Botswana (AB) remain in limbo as the tentative April 1 deadline passed without a deal after Cabinet ordered the Ministry of Works and Transport to “re-look at certain things”.

“We have gone back to the other party (International Development Ireland (IDI)) to re-negotiate,” permanent secretary Carter Morupisi said.

“We were re-directed by Cabinet to re-look at certain things,” he added.

Speaking to Monitor at the launch of Air Botswana’s new ATR 72-500 aircraft last week, Morupisi said the deal is still on, but there are “few issues that need to be discussed and clarified”.

In his budget speech in February, Finance and Development Planning Minister Baledzi Gaolathe said government started fresh negotiations with IDI, which were successfully concluded. He announced then that [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter

The Government is expected to embark on a full-swing of airways liberations plan that will see at least four more new airlines battling for domestic and international routes that might push the ailing Air Botswana to the brink.

The move comes after South African Airways—the continent’s biggest airliner with a business class —started its Gaborone – Johannesburg route a fortnight ago when its Airbus 319-100 with a 120 seating capacity flew into Botswana.

The SAA airbus gives customers an international experience as loyal customers with platinum card are given fast track check in at Johannesburg’s Oliver Tambo Airport.

Transport Minister, Johnnie Swartz, confirmed to Sunday Standard that [continue reading]