Archive for May 20th, 2009

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer and

Vice President Lieutenant General Mompati Merafhe yesterday justified shootings carried out by security agents saying they are targeted only at criminals.

He said that when criminals harass individuals they (individuals) have to respond by using force.

He was responding to a question during a press briefing at the Office of the President after presenting “The Best African Country of the Year, 2009“, award that Botswana received last week in the United States of America. The award is given to an African country with the best democratic ideals, good governance, religious tolerance, gender equality, respect for civil rights and transparency in resource management and sound economic management, to name but a few.

When the Vice President was away, John Kalafatis, a man said to have been on the wanted list of the police was gunned down in Extension 12 Gaborone on Wednesday night by security agents in what witnesses likened to an execution style killing like seen in movies. He is the seventh ‘suspect’ to be killed by security agents since April 2008.

On whether these shootings will not impact on the image of Botswana as a democratic country that respects human rights and the rule of law, Merafhe said that one or two shootings could not dent the [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Cape Argus (Cape Town)
Clayton Barnes and Ella Smook
19 May 2009

WORLD football body Fifa says it will transport foreign spectators itself during next year’s World Cup if the government does not resolve issues affecting the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) ahead of the tournament.

Taxi bosses have labelled this “disappointing”, with some even threatening bloodshed.

And at a lecture in Cape Town on Monday night, Deputy Transport Minister Jeremy Cronin said he was “desperately worried” about the future of the BRT system in the Western Cape, and has called on the DA and the opposition in the province and city to set aside their political differences to ensure development and delivery takes place.

Taxi bosses have threatened to make the World Cup ungovernable if the BRT system, which forms part of the bigger integrated rapid transit (IRT) system, is not scrapped.

Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele is expected to meet [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Last week, this paper and our sister publication, The Monitor carried the story of a man who was shot in cold blood in Gaborone.

According to reports, the man had been on the ‘wanted’ list of the security forces for a while. The man was shot in full view of the public, in fact, it would seem the security agents wanted to make a somewhat sadistic statement – that they could enact their rabid animalism right there in the full glare of the public.

We should first state our support for all law enforcement bodies in the countries. In fact we think the police service has done a job worth applauding since its inception. We know that the Botswana Police Service has been faced with a number of challenges, but we think it was relatively safe to be in this country until perhaps about half a decade ago. However, we also thought that enhancing the capacity of the police service would have assisted in stemming this decline.

That is why when Batswana were told that a new organ, the Directorate of Intelligence Services was [continue reading]

Bathandwa Mbola
19 May 2009

A team of International Monetary Fund (IMF) experts are in Zimbabwe to help the country start fixing its troubled public finances.

The IMF team, led by Erik Oppers and comprising Mike Andrews, Warren Coats, Kristian Kjeldsen and Kenneth Sullivan, will provide technical assistance in various areas, the IMF in a statement this week.

Technical assistance

This includes tax policy and administration, payments systems, lender-of-last-resort operations and banking supervision, as well as central banking governance and accounting.

“Shortly thereafter, two teams of experts from the IMF fiscal affairs department will provide technical assistance in the areas of tax policy and tax administration,” the IMF said, adding that its staff members were looking forward to working with the authorities in providing technical assistance in the targeted areas.

The mission comes weeks after the IMF board announced the lifting of a ban on technical support to Zimbabwe in the above targeted areas.

‘Thawing relations’

The IMF’s visit is seen as a sign of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

After remaining stable in March, the annual inflation rate slipped down in April, shedding 1.5 percentage points.

Figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that last month, the national year-on-year inflation rate stood at 10.2 percent, down by 1.5 percentage points from 11.7 percent in March 2009.

This means prices in general have increased by 10.2 percent between April 2008 and April this year.

The CSO says four group indices recorded changes of more than 1.0 percent between March and April. These are Furnishing, Household Equipment and Maintenance (2.2 percent); Miscellaneous Goods and Services (1.5 percent); Recreation & Culture (1.3 percent); and Clothing & Footwear (1.1 percent).

“The Furnishing, Household Equipment and Maintenance group index registered an [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Tichaona Sibanda
19 May 2009

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC will press ahead with referring all outstanding issues in the Global Political Agreement to SADC and the African Union for arbitration, despite ZANU PF’s objections.
Robert Mugabe’s ZANU PF party rejected the move by the MDC to refer their dispute to African leaders describing it as ‘premature’. Nicholas Goche, the ZANU PF negotiator in the dialogue that led to the GPA, told the Herald newspaper the discussions between the principals have not yet reached a stage where there was need for arbitration.

But the MDC has already sent out letters to SADC and the AU, officially requesting them to intervene. It is not known when these organisations will respond.

Goche, a ZANU PF MP and Minister of Transport in the inclusive government, said the fact that Tsvangirai indicated that 95 percent of issues had been resolved, meant the discussions were close to conclusion.
He is also quoted telling the Herald that the principals have not yet declared a [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The Ministry of Education (MoE) will reduce the allowances of Batswana students in Malaysia from RM2595 (P5307.75) to RM2100 (P4295.29) a month, effective June.

This comes a month after the government announced the reduction of student allowances studying at local tertiary institutions by P500. Explaining the reasons for the reductions at a press conference at Btv recently, Vice President Mompati Merafhe said the savings – which it is estimated will amount to P105 million – are to be channeled to sponsoring new students.

The allowances of students studying locally have been reduced from P1920 to P1420.
“They will have to pardon us for that decision,” Merafhe said. “Whatever sacrifices we make, all must contribute to assisting during this period.”

According to the principal public relations officer at MoE, Nomsah Zuze, the decision to reduce the Malaysian allowances followed [continue reading]

source: IOL
May 19 2009 at 03:58PM

Media statement by Minister Sibusiso Ndebele on the voluntary returning of the gift received from Vukuzakhe Emerging Contractors

19 May 2009

The recent public discussion around the S500 Mercedes Benz, valued at more than R1 million, that I received as a gift from Vukuzakhe emerging contractors last Saturday, 16 May 2009, refers.

I wish to announce that after careful consideration of this matter and in discussions with my family, I have decided to voluntarily return the S500 Mercedes Benz and the two cattle that I received from Vukuzakhe emerging contractors in KwaZulu-Natal at a function held in Pietermaritzburg last Saturday, 16 May 2009.

The Executive Code of Ethics states that a member who has received in the course of his/her duties a gift with a value of more that R1 000 must request permission from the President to retain or accept the gift. If permission is granted, the member can retain or accept the gift but must disclose particulars of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Botswana should strive to develop and entrench management systems directed at ensuring producing competitive goods and services for the SADC region, a spokesman of the Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS) has said.

The Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS) contends that business processes should adhere to specific standards to make locally produced goods and services marketable in the region and that the mechanics to monitor the processes must be strengthened.

Speaking in Tsabong at an event to mark the World Meteorology Day activities, BOBS Manager responsible for Trade Meteorology, Ditlhake Tau, said local industry players must embrace a sound measurement system because it is fundamental to the production and delivery of high quality goods and services.

Tau said fair trade cannot be achieved with a poor measuring system and [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)
Lesley Stones
19 May 2009

Johannesburg — AS CELLULAR giant Vodacom celebrated a successful listing on the JSE yesterday, foreign investors called for President Jacob Zuma to clarify SA’s stance on foreign investment, warning that union activism could herald the start of an investor-deterring new trend.

Vodacom’s listing went ahead despite a last-minute attempt by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) to have the high court stop it in its tracks.

Cosatu refused to back down yesterday, calling for citizens to boycott the network, and continuing with an existing application for a full legal review of Telkom’s unbundling of Vodacom. The South African Communist Party supports Cosatu’s calls for a network boycott.

Foreign analysts said the failure of Cosatu’s bid to halt the listing was welcome evidence of judicial independence that will help to salvage SA’s reputation among global investors.

But they are still highly cautious after the apparently politically motivated action almost sabotaged the [continue reading]