Archive for April 8th, 2009

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer
07 April 2009

The pula lost 15 percent of its value against the US dollar in the first quarter of the year as the Bank of Botswana stuck to its crawling band exchange rate regimes.

Despite calls from some quarters for the pula to be deliberately devalued in order to boost waning exports, the central bank has stuck to its guns, placing faith in the current regime which it says best serves the interests of the economy at the present time.

In a financial statistics report, BoB says on an annual basis, the pula depreciated against the yen (16.6 percent) and the US dollar (15.3 percent) but appreciated against the euro (0.9 percent), the pound (17.9 percent) and the rand (0.7 percent).
However, during March 2009, the pula depreciated against the euro (2.0 percent) and the rand (0.8 percent) while it appreciated against the yen (2.4 percent), US dollar (2.0 percent) and the pound (1.9 percent).

At a time when export revenues are estimated to [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)
Mariam Isa
8 April 2009

Johannesburg — SA’s gold and foreign exchange reserves rose by a robust 1% last month after languishing for five months in row, but the increase mainly reflects valuation adjustments.

Gross reserves jumped by $329m to $34,12bn while net reserves, which exclude borrowing, climbed by $307m to $33,458bn, data from the Reserve Bank showed yesterday. The biggest increase was in the foreign exchange component, which surged by $444m, or 1,5%, to $30,40bn.

On the face of it this suggested the Bank could have stepped up its pace of buying foreign exchange, as the rand appreciated strongly against the dollar during the month. But closer scrutiny shows the key factor during that period was gains in the euro, which makes up about a fifth of the Bank’s holdings of foreign exchange.

The euro’s 5% rise against the dollar more than offset lower gold prices, which cut the Bank’s holding in [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
07 April 2009

The Botswana Mine Workers Union (BMWU) has lost, with costs, an arbitration case on the compensation of former employees of the collapsed Tati Activox project. The union wanted the employees to be paid for unfair dismissal because they were retrenched to cut the workforce the Botswana Metal Refinery (BMR).

Last year, BMWU withdrew its case against BMR from the Industrial Court and took the issue to Cyril Ziman for arbitration. BMWU wanted the arbitrator to make a ruling on whether BMR and its sub-contractors – Hatch Africa, CCB, G-LTA and Kalcon followed the right procedure when de-mobilising their employees when the Activox project was suspended.

The union was demanding a six-month compensation for the 568 ex-workers and a P5,000 relocation allowance for each of them. In his award, in favour of BMR, Ziman said that BMWU failed to provide evidence to support its case. The arbitrator said the papers from the union do not indicate that [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Alex Bell
07 April 2009

The intensity of the recent wave of farm attacks sweeping the country has been taken to new levels this week, with the wife of a Chiredzi farmer being used as bait by local police to lure her husband out of hiding.

Teresa Warth was arrested on her Wasara Ranch in Chiredzi on Monday, and was told by police that she was being used as ‘bait’. Her husband Gary has been in hiding for six weeks and police hoped her arrest would flush him out of hiding to face arrest and prosecution. Teresa was forced to leave behind her frail parents-in-law as well as their animals, including three tame elephant and a herd of cattle. The Warth’s property has come under brutal attack before and many of their animals have been slaughtered by land invaders, in an act of cruel intimidation. Teresa was later released on Monday night but is expected in court on Wednesday to face, as yet, unknown charges.

Gary Warth is just one of many farmers that have been forced into hiding as a result of the fresh wave of attacks aimed at removing the remaining commercial farmers off their land. The land invasions and fast-track prosecution of farmers began in [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
07 April 2009

Standard Chartered has announced that it has agreed with the IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, to develop a $1.25 billion funding partnership to facilitate global trade finance.

The agreement is the first to emerge from the Global Trade Liquidity Programme (GTLP), a trade finance initiative announced earlier this week by World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick.

As part of the programme, Standard Chartered will originate trade finance transactions of up to $1.25 billion from emerging markets banks, which will, in turn, extend trade financing to their importer and exporter clients in their presence countries.

IFC and other participating development organisations will invest up to $500 million in these transactions and participate in the risk.

This programme is expected to support trade flows of [continue reading]

source: News24
08/04/2009 10:49 – (SA)

Johannesburg – Sixty-four percent of the rooms FIFA needs for 2010 Soccer World Cup visitors have so far been secured, Beeld reported on Wednesday.

Match, the company handling accommodation for FIFA, has so far signed contracts for 31 926 out of the 50 000 rooms needed, a seminar in Cape Town heard on Tuesday.

A concession is in place that not all the rooms have to be in hotels. A total of 23 817 of the rooms secured so far were in hotels, the rest in other places.

Senior Match official Vivienne Bervoets was quoted as saying that the search for accommodation in Brazil, which would host the 2014 World Cup, was going well. Match had already signed contracts for 50 000 rooms in that country.

Bervoets encouraged owners of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer
07 April 2009

Negotiations are ongoing between government and the Ministry of Defence, Justice and Security to create a fund for Botswana Police Services for them to directly access the money they collect from fines.

It will be used to improve their competence, Minister Ndelu Seretse confirmed yesterday. He said currently, the money accrued from police fines goes straight to government coffers and is distributed to other departments.

He said that they are working on a statutory instrument to create a fund to have a 50/50 share between government and the police.

He said that the money will not only be proceeds from traffic fines but from crime in general. “If you are fined P2,000 it means P1,000 of that money will go straight to the fund,” he said. Seretse said that [continue reading]

source: IOL
April 07 2009
By Carien du Plessis, Angela Quintal and Karyn Maughan

It’s payback time and the African National Congress wants former NPA bigwigs Bulelani Ngcuka and Leonard McCarthy to be punished for allegedly conspiring against Jacob Zuma.

This emerged on Monday after acting National Prosecuting Authority boss Mokotedi Mpshe announced that charges would be dropped against the ANC president.

Mpshe cited evidence of taped phone conversations between Ngcuka and McCarthy as having played a key role in his decision.

‘I don’t have the proof that they met’
While Mpshe made clear that the State’s case against Zuma was strong, he said McCarthy’s alleged abuse of the legal process made it “unfair as well as unjust to continue with the prosecution”.

It was therefore neither possible nor [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer
07 April 2009

In the week in which the powerful G20 announced a $1.1 trillion rescue package for the world economy, the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) continued in the red as investors remained sceptical about the future and opted to wait on the sidelines.

Although the BSE’s Domestic Index reacted rather slowly to the turmoil on financial markets last year, apprehension about the global economy and its effects on Botswana has seen the DCI make persistent losses in the past five months.

Last week was no exception as thin volumes again characterised trading with around 5.4 million shares valued at P11.6 million swapping hands compared to 10.5 million shares valued at P19.7 million in the previous week.

Against this background, the DCI lost 0.91 percent to 6,401.56 points while the FCI added [continue reading]

source: IOL
April 07 2009

Today the Durban High Court withdrew the indictment against me following the decision of the National Prosecuting Authority not to prosecute.

This marks the end of a long and painful period. The investigation has brought untold pressure on the entire Zuma family especially my children and relatives.

We have been sustained throughout this by the unwavering support of comrades, friends and scores of well wishers nationally and internationally.

We thank all of them for believing in my innocence, my assertions of a political conspiracy and of being a victim of a systematic abuse of power.

‘I do not regard myself as being above the law’
I do not regard myself as being above the law and I believe that no public representative should be beyond scrutiny. That is why throughout the eight-year period, I did not use my position to [continue reading]