Archive for April 20th, 2009

source: Standay Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter

Botswana’s national year-on-year inflation rate for the month of March remained unchanged as the figures registered for February, according to data released this week.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures released on Thursday showed that in March 2009, national year-on-year inflation rate remained constant at 11.7 percent, as in February 2009.

This puts breaks on the downward trend that inflation has been going since the fall in fuel prices that are the major component of the basket.

However, observers have noted that inflation may be heading towards single digits before the end of 2009.

The CSO revealed that the cities and [continue reading]

Govt not broke – PSP

source: BOPA
20 April, 2009

MOCHUDI – Permanent Secretary to the President, Mr Eric Molale has assured authorities charged with implementing development programmes that the government is not broke.

He explained that the government was only experiencing shortage of funds. As such, development projects ear marked for the current financial year must go ahead as planned.

He was speaking at the beginning of a two-day workshop for directors and District Development Committees (DDC) from Kgatleng, South-East and Gaborone areas.

“We are running short of funds but we are not broke,” he said.

He called on the authorities to utilise both development and recurrent budgets recently announced for the various ministries and departments, adding that project implementation should be [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

The mobile market in Botswana has expanded, rising from zero in 1998 to 1.7 million subscribers as at the end of November 2008.

A recently conducted market study into the Telecommunications and ICT Sector in Botswana has revealed that 57 percent of the population owns a mobile phone and that this is bound to rise to 61 percent by 2014 with increases in coverage, wealth and changes in social norms.

The 61 percent mobile population penetration would translate into 107 percent SIM penetration once dual-SIMs is factored in.

It is against this backdrop that the Botswana Telecommunications Authority (BTA) held a stakeholders’ consultative workshop on Market Study of Telecommunications and ICT Sector in Botswana last week. The study was conducted by an independent team of consultants, Analysys Mascom, from the United Kingdom (UK), in association with Project3 of Botswana.

The objectives of the study were to gain a better knowledge and [continue reading]

source: IOL
April 20 2009 at 06:25AM
By Griffin Shea

South Africans have no doubt that Jacob Zuma will be their next president, yet the nation is on edge about a man with a dizzying trail of legal woes leading a democracy that once saw itself as a moral beacon.

Fifteen years after its spectacular rebirth as the “rainbow nation” under the lionised leadership of Nelson Mandela, South Africa will on Wednesday elect a parliament that is all but certain to choose Zuma as president.

“We must take it for granted that from a moral point of view, he will be in a weak position as president. He will not be a strong moral leader like Nelson Mandela,” said political analyst Dirk Kotze.

Doubts about the leader of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) have grown over the years along with his seemingly endless legal woes.

Zuma was acquitted in a rape trial in 2006, but is still ridiculed for telling the court that he had showered to prevent HIV following unprotected sex.

Just two weeks ago prosecutors dropped corruption charges against him, saying they were confident of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Internationally recognised hotel brand Holiday Inn is set to bounce back into Botswana early next year in time to capture visitors coming to Southern Africa for the FIFA 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.

The hotel is part of a P248 million Masa Towers property development project in the new Gaborone Central Business District (CBD) being constructed by Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE)-listed property concern RDC Properties through a subsidiary called Three Partners Resorts Limited (TPR).

In an interview with the BusinessWeek, RDC group financial controller Jayaram Karumathil said that as at December 2008, the company had invested P37 million into the project with the remainder expected to be obtained from local financial institutions.The renowned hotel management group African Sun Limited will operate the hotel which is set to be opened in March and will have in excess of 150 rooms.

Holliday Inn used to operate in Botswana in the 1970’s before [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Kagiso Madibana
20.04.2009 12:44:57 A

Botswana Police Services (BPS) is adamant that the necessary police action in enforcing the new laws will help realize a significant decline in both road and other non-penal code offences that are otherwise a cause for public discomfort.

Botswana Police Commissioner, Thebeyame Tsimako, decided to come up with measures on how best to curb the rapid rise of crime. He revealed this at a press conference on Friday.

Tsimako said that the aim of their new initiative to invite media houses was to improve the police/media relations in the area of information sharing that would be dispersed to the public

To curb the increase of fatal road accidents and house break–ins, the Botswana Police has long used the [continue reading]

source: BOPA
20 April, 2009

GABORONE – The Ministry of Education and Skills Development will this year finance students who have acquired the cut off point of 40 points and above.

The Ministry’s spokesperson Ms Nomsa Zuze said in an interview that placement will only be done in local public institutions with priority given to courses in critical human resource needs of the economy.

These include among others mining, Bachelor of Laws, Finance and Business, Energy and Science and Technology.

Ms Zuze said however that this change only applies this year as the global economic recession has caught up with everybody including her ministry.

She said students who will be admitted in local public institutions but [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The Ministry of Education (MoE) revealed yesterday that the government will not send any students abroad following the recent decision to stop scholarships to private tertiary institutions.

Only BSc students at the University of Botswana, who are transferring to other courses not available locally like medicine, will be sent abroad, a statement from the ministry said. Due to financial constraints, the government has decided that it will only sponsor students to local public colleges. Those who are already abroad or in local private institutions are not affected by the decision.

Deputy permanent secretary at MoE, Golekanye Setume told Mmegi previously that the money they got this year will be used to sustain students who are already abroad and those in local private institutions. The statement from the MoE says that [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)
Linda Ensor
20 April 2009

Johannesburg — “Go and vote”. This was the message Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille stressed in her election rallies at the weekend.

The DA is expecting to emerge as the largest party in the Western Cape and to rule the Western Cape either alone if it gets an absolute majority or in coalition with other parties if it does not. A key determinant of the magnitude of its win would be voter turnout and so it was critical that every DA supporter cast their vote, Zille told an audience in a school hall in Springbok on Saturday.

She flew to the Northern Cape town immediately after rounding up the DA’s 80-day election campaign in Mitchell’s Plain, where more than 4000 supporters waited in the drizzling rain to hear their leader urge voters to stop the African National Congress (ANC) from getting a two-thirds majority, which would enable it to change the constitution.

“Every single vote counts,” Zille told the crowd, noting that the choice in the election was “between prosperity or poverty. It’s a choice between success or failure … between being a winning nation or a lost cause.”

The disarray within the ANC in the Western Cape — the party has been rent apart by [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The recently announced merger of the Botswana Police Service and Local Police is reportedly bringing misery to Local Police officers.

Sources in the force, who preferred anonymity, have revealed that the merger is being done in bad faith by self-serving police authorities.

The first complaint is a requirement that local police officers aged over 55 years will not be accepted into the Botswana Police Service (BPS) and will have to fend for themselves. This is despite a resolution of a February 11, 2009 meeting held between officials of BPS, the Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM) and Department of Tribal Administration under which Local Police fall, that nobody would be laid off or given an option to opt out to get an exit package.

The BPS authorities are not complying with the resolutions, leading to some officers quitting the police service in protest at [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Rueben Pitse

A war of words has erupted between the two Police Commissioners of the Botswana Police Services (BPS) and the Local Police Service (LPS) over the merging exercise, which was expected to resume on April 1 this year but was put on hold.

It is alleged that the BPS pointed out that some of the LPS officers have criminal records and this is said to have soured the process of the merging of the two services.

It is understood that some local police officers are considering taking the BPS to court because they feel that their rights are being trampled upon.
The Attorney General is reported to have advised the BPS that they should not treat local police as new recruits to avoid spoiling the whole exercise.

It is also understood that the Tribal Department is reluctant to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

There are already signs that an improved economy in Zimbabwe could spell doom for businesses in Francistown who were literally cashing in on daily droves of Zimbo shoppers, writes GALE NGAKANE

FRANCISTOWN: Jitterbugs have started to torment Francistown shop owners who had been cashing in on the influx of Zimbabweans into the city’s shopping malls.

The streets of the city and its shopping malls are becoming emptier by the day as economic activity returns to Zimbabwe after a long nightmarish slumber.

However, some of the shop managers are reticent about the unfolding situation, which is becoming increasingly unfavourable to trade. A number of them said they have not been authorised to speak to the media by their bosses in either Gaborone or South Africa.

But Choppies’ director of public relations, Ben Stegling, said they were [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
West Cape News (Cape Town)
Patrick Burnett And Caitlin Ross
8 April 2009

Cape Town — The Home Affairs Department is downscaling a “Rolls-Royce” implementation plan for a special dispensation for Zimbabwean nationals in favour of a “leaner” version that would take four to six weeks to implement.

This is according to Home Affairs Department spokesperson Siobhan McCarthy. She was commenting on announcements by home affairs officials last week that a special dispensation would be granted to Zimbabweans that would enable them to apply for a six-month permit to stay and work in South Africa.

But hopes by Zimbabwean nationals for an immediate end to arrests appear to be on ice – at least for now. McCarthy said Zimbabweans without the necessary documentation would continue to be arrested because police had a mandate to arrest those without documentation. In the absence of documentation it was not the responsibility of the police to [continue reading]

source: BOPA
20 April, 2009

SEROWE – The first phase of the construction of the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) is expected to commence in two- weeks time.

Briefing the media before the groundbreaking ceremony, the founding Vice Chancellor, Professor Kweku Bentil said his team was ensuring that the first phase of the project was contemporary and addresses the entire essential needs of the staff and the students.

This phase encompasses, among others, the administration block, staff houses, laboratories, classrooms, halls of residence for the students, the auditorium and the bookstore.

Professor Bentil said this phase, would be wholly funded by the government.

He further stated that the process of soliciting private partners was ongoing and that so far eight partners have shown interest and they will be invited to submit their final proposals.

Professor Bentil said due to the magnitude of the project, the partners were a combination of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Ministry of Trade and Industry’s director of trade John Matsheng has assured the public that there will be no increase in the alcohol levy any time soon.

They will remain as they are at the moment. These things take time, you do not just wake up and increase the levy; there are consultations involved across ministries.

“There has been no instruction to that effect”, Matsheng said to dispel rumours that the ministry will hike the levy introduced last year to more than 70 percent.” At this stage there should be no uncertainty, we have not been instructed to hike the levy; such a process is usually a long one,” Matsheng said.Matsheng’s remarks come a few days after media reports indicated that a 30 percent increase was looming.

Subsequent to the 30 percent imposed last year, President Ian Khama, well known for his abhorrence of alcohol, had stated on numerous occasions that he would cause the levy to go up as high as 100 percent if [continue reading]