Archive for April 15th, 2009

Floods displace 518

source: BOPA
15 April, 2009

SHAKAWE – Okavango residents have been advised to keep away from the flooded river.

Shakawe police chief, Superintendent Jerry Halahala said 518 people have been evacuated from Kauxwi, Xakao, Nxamasere, Ikoga, Etsha 6 and Etsha 13 to a temporary shelter on a higher ground.

They are sheltered in tents provided by the district administration, Botswana Red Cross and Botswana Defence Force.

Supt Halahala said he has never seen the Okavango River reach the current level in all the years he has been in the area.

He urged the residents of adjacent villages to cooperate with the disaster management team in order to ensure the safety of everyone.

Also, people who are threatened by floods at Etsha 6, Ikoga and Sepopa have been advised to relocate.

This follows warnings from their Namibian counterparts to be alert as more floods are [continue reading]

source: IOL
April 15 2009 at 08:04AM

Whistleblowers will be able to report corrupt, lazy officials via a new free national hotline, African National Congress President Jacob Zuma pledged at a campaign rally on Tuesday.

Zuma told an ANC crowd at Ngwelezane, outside Empangeni, that he proposed introducing a tollfree number which people could ring to report corruption and lazy government officials. “This is my idea that I want to put forward. The number will not only have to report corruption, but will also ensure that there is constant communication between the presidency and people on the ground,” he said.

Zuma said he had noticed that very few people were reporting corruption.

He also said a performance monitoring structure would [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
12.04.2009 4:17:41 P

ABN AMRO, the world’s leading diamond bank is said to be at an advanced stage of setting up shop in Botswana, a move that will cement the country’s position as an international diamond centre.

The Special economic committee to cabinet this week told of the move that has been made by the Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander and Dutch government-owned bank in its attempts to set up in the country.

“They have received an approval from the Dutch government (main shareholder of the diamond division) to go ahead with the Botswana project last month. Now they have submitted two licence applications, one being for IFSC to serve the whole region from here and another one for the local market,” head of International Financial Service Centre (IFSC), Allan Boshwaen, said Friday.
He added: “They are confident that the diamond industry will eventually recover.”

The development is part of a [continue reading]

14 April 2009

The global economic slowdown, coupled with South Africans’ commitment to conserving energy, has saved the country 645 megawatts in the past year, the Energy Advisory Committee said on Wednesday.

“There is evidence that demand went down by eight percent due to the economic slowdown, particularly in the manufacturing sector,” said committee member Nelly Magubane, following a meeting with President Kgalema Motlanthe at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

This was good news for South Africans as they would not experience the same power failures this winter as they did last year.

“Most of the equipment… has now been taken for repairs to ensure that [continue reading]

source: BOPA
15 April, 2009

MAUN – The Department of Water Affairs in Maun has introduced an all-terrain vehicle known as the “hippo car”.

According to officials of the department, the vehicle, which cost the department P420 thousand is able to travel through various terrains such as swamps, muddy, sandy and dry lands, The principal mechanical engineer in the department Mr Gabofele Mokgwathi said the hippo has extraordinary features and is simple to maintain.

The head of Water Quality and Conservation Division, Ms Oarabile Serumola said that because the wetlands drive the country’s economy it is important that they are conserved.

Ms Serumola said pollution of the wetlands could be detrimental to the natural beauties the wetlands if there is no proper management, adding that the hippo vehicle will be used in a systematic quality monitoring for the Okavango delta.

She added that the systematic water quality monitoring for the delta is important because it [continue reading]

source: The Times
Sapa Published:Apr 14, 2009

Eleven percent of South Africans are considering leaving the country, according to a survey published today.

The study conducted in February by TNS Research Surveys found that 15 percent of the white population wanted to leave, compared to nine percent of Blacks and 12 percent of Indian, Asian and coloured correspondents.

All in all some 60 percent of citizens were confident about the future of the country, while 26 percent were negative and 14 percent unsure, TNS said in a statement.

Their survey indicated that sentiment varied considerably depending on the race of respondents, with whites, coloureds and Indians/Asians feeling far less positive about the country than Black citizens.

Of those who felt pessimistic about the future, only 15 percent were Black, while 48 percent were white, 42 percent of Indian or Asian origin, and 39 percent coloured.

“The much higher negativity… correlates with a great lack of confidence in the current leadership — these groups are much more negative about [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)
Ernest Mabuza
15 April 2009

Johannesburg — POLICE commissioner Jackie Selebi is expected to go on trial next month in spite of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) asking yesterday for a postponement until next January.

Judge Meyer Joffe in the South Gauteng High Court, Johannesburg, postponed the trial until May 4 to allow prosecutors to hear the outcome of a petition to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) and to finalise their investigation.

But the judge made it clear that the state should be ready to proceed when the court meets next month to assess progress in the case. “We need to know whether the charges were founded or unfounded,” Joffe said.

Selebi has been investigated since January 2006, and was charged in February last year. He has not pleaded to the three counts of corruption and [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Gowenius Toka
12.04.2009 4:23:48 P

“Domestic violence in any relationship always has an impact on the public because those affected consequently find it difficult to look after themselves,” said Christine Stegling, Director, Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV?AIDS.

To make matters worse, the ready acceptance of certain cultural stereotypes by those who are victimized, especially women, ensures that their subjugation is viewed as normal.

Speaking at a training workshop her Organization held for Botswana Magistrates at the Big Five in Gaborone recently to raise their awareness on the Domestic Violence Act, Stegling pointed out that since those in abusive relationships for the most part seem to tend the notion that they are culturally obligated or expected to serve their partners’ cravings regardless of [continue reading]

source: BOPA
15 April, 2009

GABORONE – Crime prevention strategies adopted by the police in Tlokweng yielded positive results over the long Easter holidays as crime levels in the village did not go up as is normally the case.

Station Commander, Assistant Superintendent Ernest Kelebonye said the police in Tlokweng embarked on a house-to-house campaign to sensitise members of the public on ways of combating crime as well as in assisting the police to bring the level of crime under control.

A/Supt Kelebonye explained that the campaign, which started last month, was complemented by foot patrols, in which the police partnered with members of the Botswana Defence Force to maintain high visibility on the streets.

The patrols, A/Supt Kelebonye said, were adopted with a [continue reading]

15 April 2009

Reports that the country is on the brink of a national petrol and diesel shortage due to the road freight industry strike are exaggerated, the South African Petroleum Industry Association (Sapia) said on Tuesday.

“The daily reports I receive from Sapia members demonstrate that the industry is acting in the national interest and maintaining supplies to the majority of the 5000 service stations countrywide,” Sapia executive director Avhapfani Tshifularo said in a statement.

At worst, some service stations had temporarily run out of stocks of some grades of fuel.

“I am glad to say that the contingency plans, drawn up and activated by our members … have been effective, despite some attempts to intimidate industry staff drivers who are not members of the striking union.”

Tshifularo appealed to those trying to intimidate fuel road tanker drivers to allow them to [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Morula Morula
12.04.2009 4:13:07 P

The Secretary General of Manual Workers Union, Johnson Motshwarakgole, has condemned leaders of government parastatals in the country for liking to sideline Trade Unions whilst discussing serious issues pertaining to the interest of their employees, such as exit packages, leading to Court cases which they always lose at a great expenses in legal costs to parastatals themselves and the tax payers.

His comments follow after several parastatals, namely Botswana Telecommunications Corporations (BTC), Botswana Power Corporation and, most recently, the Botswana Postal Services (BotswanPost), all lost cases in which they had wanted to sideline Unions when negotiating early exit packages.

According to him, this is borne by the fact that the parastatal bosses have no regard for the existence of Trade Unions in the country and that they, in fact, see them as a hindrance to [continue reading]

source: BOPA
14 April, 2009

PALAPYE – The construction of the long awaited second university, Botswana International University of Science and Technology situated in Palapye (BIUST) will finally start this month.

BIUST officials revealed this on Wednesday during the Serowe/Palapye Sub- District Development Committee meeting in Palapye.

Ms Eunice Mmono told the meeting that the ground breaking ceremony of BIUST will be done on April 16 by the Minister of Education and Skills Development, Mr Jacob Nkate.

She revealed that the construction tender has been warded to China Civil Construction and the company will start the construction immediately after the ground- breaking ceremony.

“China Civil Construction has won the construction tender of the first phase of BIUST, which is expected to last for 18 months.

“The company will commence construction immediately after the [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Gowenius Toka
12.04.2009 4:30:13 P

Stacks of audio tapes and volumes of documents containing recorded proceedings of both Parliament debates and House of Chiefs proceedings have gone missing.

Other files were destroyed by the heater in winter or unfriendly temperatures while some were never processed.

Those that are available are below acceptable standard, and reflect serious lack of professionalism by editorial staff to the extent that “one had so many errors to a point where it was incoherent with the meaning more often lost in the course of translation”.

The latest performance Audit Report No.7 of 2008 on the parliament of Botswana by the Auditor General paints a picture of chaos, inefficiency and negligence by parliament administration officers.

When both Parliament and the House of Chiefs are in session, their deliberations are recorded and [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Lance Guma
14 April 2009

Veteran editor Bill Saidi, who once worked as an Assistant Editor for the banned Daily News newspaper, has been offered the job of Deputy Editor in Chief at the state owned Herald newspaper. Saidi also worked for publisher Trevor Ncube’s Zimbabwe Standard newspaper, but retired in 2008. He is effectively being tempted out of retirement to come and join a paper long associated with the brutal regime of Mugabe.

The offer has ignited a fire of speculation around the intentions of the newspaper in approaching a long time critic of Mugabe. Some commentators say it might be an attempt to try and rescue the discredited paper and enable it to compete against the new daily newspapers that are planned.

There are reports the new coalition government, through the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee, is demanding [continue reading]

source: BOPA
14 April, 2009

GABORONE – It is high time Batswana adopted the use of biotechnology in production due to both political and economic changes, says the Director of Agricultural Research, Dr Pharoah Mosupi.

Officially opening the Regional Agricultural and Environmental Initiatives Network (RAEIN) Africa workshop organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and RAEIN-Africa, Dr Mosupi said modern biotechnology brings new challenges for policy and regulatory framework in the country.

The main limiting factors in the application of biotechnology and biosafety research and development, he said, are lack of biotechnology policy and biosafety legal framework, inadequate infrastructure, funding issues and lack of public awareness.

The aim of the workshop was to initiate the process of refocusing and broadening RAEIN-Africa’s activities and partnership base as well as to [continue reading]