Archive for April 23rd, 2009

source: The Botswana Gazette
Written by Botswana Gazette online
Thursday, 23 April 2009

Recall Parliament to Discuss Education Crisis – Ntuane
Rural Students will be Mostly Affected – Expert

News that the government will only sponsor students who have scored 40 points and above in their Form V examinations has shocked the public and may disrupt thousands of young lives.

Some Members of Parliament are calling for Parliament to be reconvened to discuss the issue, which they described as a national crisis.

The Ministry Education announced last week that due to budget constraints, this year they will only sponsor students who have scored 40 points and above for tertiary education. They will be placed at local public institutions; there will be no external placement except for University of Botswana BSc students transferring to universities outside Botswana.

The Ministry also said that it would not sponsor any students studying at private tertiary institutions.

It said priority will be given to courses that are “critical to [continue reading]

source: IOL
April 22 2009
By Christelle Terreblanche, Carien du Plessis and Caiphus Kgosana

The ANC mobilised its 60 000-strong party agents on Wednesday night to canvass voters to rush to the polls before the 9pm cut off time as the ruling party led with 908 votes nationally, with the DA leading two provinces based on results counted.

Tell us about your voting experience

The DA got 359 votes, Independent Democrats 107, Congress of the People 76, Freedom Front 46 and Inkatha Freedom Party 10.

The ANC was leading in KwaZulu-Natal, with the IFP trailing far behind, while the DA was enjoying a lead in the Western Cape and Northern Cape.

The early figures are expected to change dramatically on [continue reading]

source: Republic of Botswana (22/4/09): TAUTONA TIMES no 11 of 2009
The Weekly Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President
Democracy, Development, Dignity and Discipline

C6) 17/4/09: Press Release by Office of the Ombudsman in response to Mmegi newspaper report

The Office of the Ombudsman wishes to disassociate itself from the headline and content of a report entitled “Ombudsman Urges Action on Khama”, which appeared in 16th April 2009 edition of the Mmegi newspaper.

Both the headline and content of the said article misleadingly implied that the Ombudsman in his 2006-07 Annual Report had raised concern about Parliament’s silence on previous reports with specific reference to the issue of the piloting of military aircraft by the then Vice President.

In fact, the 2006-07 report makes absolutely no reference to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Water is a key natural resource that contributes immensely to Botswana’s sustained economic development.

This point was highlighted at the start of a Southern African Development Community (SADC) workshop in Gaborone yesterday aimed at strengthening the River Basin Organisation (RBO).

Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources permanent secretary Gabaake Gabaake said it was commendable that the SADC region, which has 15 river basins, shared by at least two nations, “manages over 70 percent of the region’s surface water resources”.

“Cooperation for trans-boundary water management remains essential for development of our urban, agricultural, manufacturing, energy, mining and transportation sectors. The SADC Protocol on Shared Watercourses was signed and [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Diamond giant, Debswana, has revealed that in the last seven years, it funded 43 local companies to the tune of P40 million under its Business Development Unit, which aims to boost capacity among local suppliers.

Over the same period, the BDU also brought in P176 million in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) via companies relocating to Botswana in order to benefit from Debswana’s policy of favouring local companies over foreign ones in its procurement.

In the process, the foreign investment in Botswana generated 1611 jobs, while the funding of local companies resulted in the creation of 2 639 jobs.

The Business Development Unit (BDU) was formed in 2000 as an organ of Debswana’s Supply Chain Management Division, the latter being tasked with procurement for the diamond giant’s Head Office, Jwaneng and Orapa/Letlhakane Mines.

The BDU was charged with boosting capacity within local [continue reading]

source: IOL
April 22 2009
By Dasen Thathiah

The recent economic downturn has signalled a sharp decrease in confidence among retail industry bosses.

In the latest PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) CEO survey, only 14 percent of 64 retail leaders were positive they could increase their turnover over the next year. In the same survey last year, 44 percent of interviewees expressed the same sentiment.

Anton Wentzel, retail leader for PwC SA, said consumers would be cutting back on purchases of “big ticket” items – such as cars and luxury goods – even further.

“Given the harsh commercial environment, it is hardly surprising that retail CEOs are much less confident than they were at this time last year. The current economic downturn has shaken people everywhere, precipitating a huge drop in consumer confidence. The resulting change in consumer spending patterns has had an immediate and [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

The Botswana Training Authority (BOTA) has hailed the launching of Veldberry Management Training (Pvt) Ltd as a key effort towards improving service delivery and management.

Speaking at the official launch of Veldbery in Phakalane on Tuesday, Chief Executive of BOTA, Abel Modungwa, said service delivery in Botswana was still below acceptable international standards and thus there was every need to improve if the country was to be competitive.

“We know the challenge we face in Botswana is service delivery,” Modungwa said. “This is why we need such companies as Veldberry to train our people.”Velbebery, which is BOTA-accredited, is a franchisee of Crestcom International, a US-based management training franchise operating in over 60 countries globally and available in 25 languages.

Also at the launch, a Crestcom representative in charge of international franchise development, Charles Parsons, said his company was working closely with BOTA to ensure that [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Alex Bell
22 April 2009

The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum has taken Zimbabwe’s government to the SADC Tribunal in Namibia, for breaching the SADC Treaty.

Last year the forum filed the case against the government, on behalf of twelve of its clients, all victims of violence and torture at the hands of state agents, including the police and the army. The forum filed the case after the government failed to comply with court orders instructing it to make financial compensations to the victims.

The government is now being brought before the SADC Tribunal for the lack of effective domestic remedies for victims of violence and torture, and therefore breaching the obligations the government is bound to respect as signatories of the SADC Treaty. The protocols of the treaty that the NGO forum says government has breached include the obligations “to act in accordance with human rights, democracy and the rule of law” and “to adopt adequate measures to promote the achievement of the objectives of SADC and refrain from taking measures which jeopardise these.”

The case was set down for hearing at the Tribunal Seat in Namibia on Wednesday. But there are serious doubts over whether [continue reading]

source: Republic of Botswana (22/4/09): TAUTONA TIMES no 11 of 2009
The Weekly Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President
Democracy, Development, Dignity and Discipline

C5) 16/4/09: “PSP undertakes Districts Tour to ensure local service delivery”

This week the Permanent Secretary to the President, Mr. Eric Molale, began a three week consultative tour of Districts across the country.

The primary purpose of the tour is to ensure effective coordination and implementation of District Development Plans and the efficient use of recurrent expenditures by local authorities during the current (2009-10) financial year.

In an effort to promote closer cooperation between central and local Government stakeholders, on his tour the PSP is being accompanied by the Directors of various departments and agencies concerned with local service delivery, as well as the Permanent Secretaries from the Ministries Local Government and Agriculture, along with Office of the President representatives from the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

The Botswana Workcamps Association (BWA) has appointed Chinese businessman Miles Nan as its new president.

BWA exists to provide effective and quality voluntary service to communities at large but particularly, the disadvantaged communities locally and internationally. Nan is the Managing Director of Mileage air(Pty) Ltd and the Executive President of Botswana-China Friendship Association, and the Executive Vice- Chairperson and Secretary-General of Chinese General chamber of Commerce.

He is also the Chairperson of Miles Nan Charitable Foundation and a member of the Rotzry Club of Gaborone. Nan brings wealth of experience to Botswana Workcamps Association (BWA),having earned a lot of experience in many years, working with charity organisations in the world.
Botswana Workcamps Association, known simply as BWA and “Lekgotla la Baithaopi la Botswana” was formed in 1980.

The organisation’s head offices are based in Mochudi. Botswana Work camps Association is a national youth voluntary membership organisation with the main mission [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Tichaona Sibanda
22 April 2009

The three principals to the Global Political Agreement are meeting again on Thursday, to try to put to rest the outstanding issues that are inhibiting the operations of the inclusive government.

A highly placed source told us that Robert Mugabe, Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara all agreed and emphasized that the remaining issues had to come to some finality. The issue of Roy Bennett still not having been sworn in as Deputy Minister of Agriculture and the ongoing farm invasions, will also be discussed.

Analysts however remain unconvinced the meeting will be able to resolve all the outstanding issues, pointing out that the implementation phase of the GPA was a process and not an event.
‘I will be surprised if they tackle all the issues tomorrow (Thursday),’ one analyst told us.
Luke Zunga, an economist based in Johannesburg, told us a group of diplomats and financiers met Elton Mangoma, the Economic Planning Minister on Monday in South Africa, where he updated them on the process.
‘He told us the MDC was not against Gideon Gono as a person. The MDC was against the [continue reading]

source: The Botswana Gazette
Written by Botswana Gazette online
Wednesday, 22 April 2009

‘Law Allows Police to Shoot At Suspects’
Deputy Commissioner of the Botswana Police Service, Mr Kenny Kapinga, said last week that preparations were advanced to introduce less lethal firearms in an effort to reduce fatalities involving the police. “We will be deploying tazers to avoid fatalities. We are working around the clock to introduce small caliber weapons as part of our efforts to reduce fatalities between the police and suspects,” he said. Contrary to popular belief, Kapinga said, there is nowhere in the constitution where it states that police should shoot at suspects only when they are shot at.
“It is a misconception that police can only shoot at suspects when they are being shot at. Police may even shoot suspects in order to arrest them,” he said.
The Deputy Police Commissioner said recent fatal shootings countrywide were done by the police, not the Directorate of Intelligence Security (DIS) agents as has been alleged.
“What normally happens is that [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The Minister of Finance Baledzi Gaolathe has said that the P500 million loan that Botswana will extend to Zimbabwe under the Short-Term Emergency Recovery Programme (STERP) will be sourced through local banks and not directly from government coffers. “We are not going to extend the loan directly as government,” Gaolathe said at a press conference yesterday.

“We are going to encourage our banks to extend that line of credit,” he added.
He said government is going to guarantee the bank loans which will help Zimbabwe revive its economy.

“Banks will want some sort of comfort from us looking at what is happening in the international community (credit crunch). So the lines of credit is not from our resources as such,” he said.

There has been an outcry from the public that government is giving P500 million to Zimbabwe instead of [continue reading]

source: Republic of Botswana (22/4/09): TAUTONA TIMES no 11 of 2009
The Weekly Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President
Democracy, Development, Dignity and Discipline

C2) 21/4/09: Botswana not donating money to Zimbabwe. Gaolathe – Botswana-Zimbabwe seek “Win-Win Economic Opportunities”

Speaking at a news conference today, the Minister for Finance and Development Planning, the Hon. Baledzi Gaolathe, strongly denied allegations that Government intended to donate public funds to Zimbabwe.

In his remarks the Minister stated that Botswana was instead prepared to facilitate lending by financial institutions, as well as joint ventures by other private and parastatal bodies, in the interest of realizing win-win opportunities that would be for the economic benefit of both countries.

Contrary to some reports, the Minister explained that Government’s role would be focused on [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Alex Bell
22 April 2009

The owner of Chegutu’s Stockdale citrus farm, who has been forced to leave his land after violent invasions, is still being held behind bars after being arrested on his farm on Tuesday.

Peter Etheredge was taken into custody after visiting his farm, which has been forcefully taken over by the President of the Senate, Edna Madzongwe. Etheredge, his brother and some of his workers had been inspecting the plantation of oranges on Stockdale when they were met by police officers, who randomly opened fire on the group, seriously injuring two of the workers. Etheredge’s brother was able to flee with the injured workers, but Etheredge himself was hauled into custody.

The violence and subsequent arrest have occurred mere days after a ministerial delegation, led by Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, visited the Chegutu farming community, which has been worst hit by the countrywide wave of farm attacks. Mutambara ordered that all invasions cease, and that the farmers be allowed to [continue reading]