Archive for June 16th, 2009

Thanks Khama

source: Mmegi

President Ian Khama’s withdrawal of a lawsuit against Sunday Standard Newspaper is a welcome move that deserves to be commended.

It is a step in the right direction for the president and our democratic society. There is no doubt that the case between the President and the paper was going to be an embarrassing one for this country. We hope that the two will set aside their differences and move forward, for a better future for this country.

But we will not be fair if we fail to state that there seems to be a serious problem with the president’s advisors. This lawsuit should never have come up in the first place had the advisors, if he has any, performed their task. The President should have spoken the first time the shooting of [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by John Regonamanye
14.06.2009 6:47:43 P

Following recent sustained reports that President Ian Khama is impudently breaching traditional Botswana Democratic Party constitution ahead of the national congress, the party secretary Friday came to his aid, defending his position to disallow renowned factional leaders to contest the party executive positions.

By barring faction leaders from competing for executive positions, Jacob Nkate argued president Khama was looking beyond the horizon, particularly as the country gears for the national elections, which the president vehemently desires to win by a landslide.

“Reports have been rife of late to the effect that President Khama is [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Oliver Modise

President Ian Khama has abandoned his plans to sue the weekly Sunday Standard newspaper for defamation arising from the shooting to death of suspect John Kalafatis by security agents.

The withdrawal was announced in a televised statement read by Information and Broadcasting director Mogomotsi Kaboyamodimo after Botswana Television (Btv) 9pm news bulletin on Friday.

According to the statement, the decision to withdraw the suit was taken at the meeting of the High Level Consultative Council (HLCC) held to discuss progress towards Vision 2016, held on June 12.

The courtroom battle between Khama’s lawyers, Collins Newman and Company, and the paper’s legal brains Dick Bayford, was averted by one of the participants who raised the issue and appealed to [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
14.06.2009 6:27:44 P

BCL, the copper/nickel mine, is well on track to extend its lifespan by a further seven years, thanks to the ongoing underground exploration exercise, the company said Thursday.

The oldest copper/nickel mine founded in 1974 embarked on desperate moves to extend its life-span in late 2006 at the height of the global commodity prices by undertaking some underground exploration.

The mine, which is the life-blood of over 80,000 people in Selebi Phikwe and surrounding areas, started some underground explorations late last year, following an appeal by its Chief Executive Officer, Montwedi Mphathi, two years earlier.

“The geophysics Titan 24 survey preliminary report indicated a number of interesting targets. However, drilling of one of the targets produced poor results prompting the reinterpretation of results and engagement of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Goitseone Kgopana

Aiming at full production by June next year, Firestone Diamonds will commission its US$7.5 million plant near Orapa by the end of this month.

Speaking at the Botswana Resource Sector Conference at the GICC last Wednesday, the company’s Chief Geologist, Polite Khutjwe, said it was putting all its resources behind its BK11 diamond project in order to begin production on schedule in June next year.

He said Firestone is also ready to move one of the plants from a previous project in South Africa to Botswana. The plant, which has a production capacity of 1.5 metric tonnes per annum, has operating costs of $6.50 per tonne.

Firestone Diamonds intends to focus on BK11, which lies four [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Tichaona Sibanda
15 June 2009

The German government on Monday pledged close to 30 million euros to Zimbabwe to be used to improve the education, health and farming sectors.

The pledge followed a meeting between the Chancellor and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in Berlin, where the German government assured him of its full support for his pro-democracy work in Zimbabwe.
Tsvangirai arrived in Berlin on Sunday from Washington and before Monday’s talks he was received with full military honours. He also inspected a guard of honour.

James Maridadi, Tsvangirai’s spokesman told us that the Prime Minister was heartened by the fact that Chancellor Merkel was able to express support for Zimbabwe.

Merkel also described Tsvangirai as a ‘symbol of democratisation’ in Zimbabwe, and added there were some encouraging signs following the formation of the unity government four months ago.
Merkel said wherever possible Germany would give support, but this remains conditional upon further democratic advances in [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
14.06.2009 6:35:33 P

Botswana Defence Force (BDF) privates are losing patience with the army high command who they feel are dragging their feet on their promise of salary increments, allegedly made to appease dissident soldiers believed to have started fires that ravaged the country last year.

The privates complained to Sunday Standard that they were excluded from an across the board government salary increment that covered government and parastatal workers. The soldiers explained that after the fires that ravaged the country, and memorandums threatening to break the railway line and derail the passenger train allegedly by dissident BDF members, the army high command promised them a salary adjustment. They complain that the army leadership has not honoured the promise.

BDF Protocol & Public Affairs Officer, Second Lieutenant Patrick Mfaladi, told Sunday Standard that [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Wanetsha Mosinyi
Staff Writer

In a first for Botswana and First National Bank of Botswana (FNBB), a Motswana woman has been appointed to the position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the bank has announced.

In a statement to shareholders, FNBB says Lorato Boakgomo-Ntakhwana becomes its new CEO effective June 15, 2009. She becomes the first woman to hold this prestigious position in a local commercial bank.

Boakgomo-Ntakhwana joins Leina Gabaraane at Stanbic and Thuli Johnson at Barclays to become the third Motswana to head a local commercial bank.

Botswana commercial banks have come under scrutiny for ‘make-believe’ localisation programmes. Observers have questioned why the banks, which have a longer presence than [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
14.06.2009 6:40:40 P

The Secretary General of the Botswana National Front, Mohammed Khan, says his organization is “very disappointed” by a decision by the Botswana Police Service not to issue them with a permit to stage a peaceful demonstration to protest the growing number of extra judicial killings by security agents.
Khan says although issuing such permits is the responsibility of the Police, the BNF has a reason to suspect political interference.

He says it’s likely that the police received orders from the top not to give out such a permit to an opposition party.

The long planned BNF demonstration was supposed to start from [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Patricia Maganu
Staff Writer

FRANCISTOWN: Shebeen-owners in Francistown are reportedly making a kill from discarded foodstuffs they retrieve from the landfill, the Monitor has learnt.

Patrons at these drinking holes are said to be eating food prepared from leftovers picked from refuse dumps. The scavenged foodstuffs range from canned products to perishables such as meat. Sources say that people come from as far away as Monarch to buy the food prepared from stuff retrieved from the landfill. “Some of the stuff is clearly rotten or spoiled but they wash it and sell it,” she added. A woman who lives near a shebeen has expressed her disgusts at the practice. “These people (shebeen owners) like all others are not scavenging the foodstuffs for their own consumption but to sell it to unsuspecting individuals. We know that some people forage for food from the dumping sites but it is for [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Violet Gonda
15 May 2009

On Friday, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai became the second African leader to meet Barack Obama since he moved into the White House. Analysts say many world leaders would cherish the opportunity to be in the Oval office with Obama and the world media. It is considered ‘political gold,’ as Obama is the most popular politician in the world and therefore represents quite an honour for the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister left Washington with the promise of only US$73 million for humanitarian assistance. Tsvangirai may have been hoping for more as the sum does not help in the major rebuilding project Zimbabwe requires.

The trip was unprecedented and significant in terms of how the US will deal with the unity govt. The US government has a travel ban and other restrictions against most of the ZANU PF members of government, while at the same time they publicly support the MDC members of [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
14.06.2009 6:34:36 P

Mystery surrounds circumstances surrounding increased security presences following members of President Ian Khama’s family.

Sunday Standard can confirm that over the past few days, members of the intelligence and other security services have increased their presence around President Khama’s sister (Jacqueline) as well as the twin brothers (Anthony and Tshekedi), their spouses and children.

A source from inside the security services has confirmed that school going children from the Khama family have also been given increased security attention; a rare development in Botswana.

Under the national laws, only the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

A gathering last week of senior police officers in Gaborone resolved to commit more resources and intensify police operations in Gaborone and surrounding areas.

The resolve has come about due to the discovery by the police that crimes where homes and property are intruded into, have become common in the city.

The conference also noted that youth aged between 18 and 35 years have become vulnerable to road accidents hence the need to engage them in finding solutions to the problem.

Some of the causes of the vulnerability of the youth is excessive alcohol intake, overspeeding and carefree driving among many others. The police said they will intensify public education on [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
14.06.2009 6:24:49 P

The days of cheaper fuel at the pumps are numbered as crude oil prices have been rising for the past two months.

This week, Botswana energy authorities had to adjust the retail prices of fuel in response to the developments in the international markets.

According to Gabaake Gabaake, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, the retail prices for both unleaded and leaded replacement petrol will increase by 56 thebe a litre.

He said price of diesel will go up 55 thebe per litre while illuminating paraffin will increase by 18 thebe per litre.

“The price adjustment is caused by the increase in the crude oil prices between the [continue reading]