Archive for June 21st, 2009

source: Mmegi

The trade volume between China and Botswana jumped from $145 million in 2007 to $360 million in 2008, the new Chinese ambassador to Botswana has said.

Liu Huanxing said on Tuesday that the 80 percent growth was accompanied by a favourable balance of trade for Botswana, for the first time in its commercial relations with China. “Growth of trade volume has made headway and enjoys further space of improvement,” he said. The ambassador was speaking during a party he held at his residence. He said that although it is his first time in Botswana, he has already adapted to the working and living conditions of the country. He stated that he is learning the history, culture, education and other things about the country. Liu served as China’s ambassador to [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Lance Guma
18 June 2009

Fed up with negative publicity emanating from state owned media outlets, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s office has launched a weekly newsletter updating people on the ‘progress and problems’ in government. The first run of the newsletter, made up of 40 000 copies, was distributed on Wednesday. “This is in line with the new governance culture of transparency and accountability, which is one of the key commitments of the global political agreement,” the newsletter read.

The Prime Minister’s office said the newsletter was an opportunity for people to air their views and opinions about the new inclusive government. The development however highlights the inability of the state owned media to embrace ZANU PF’s partners in the coalition government, and to report objectively on their efforts. Tsvangirai’s world tour, for example, has been projected as an ‘assignment from Mugabe’ for the Prime Minister to go and have targeted sanctions against the ruling elite removed.

Even after the unity deal was sealed in February this year the MDC has continued to [continue reading]

source: The Botswana Gazette
Written by JFG
Wednesday, 17 June 2009 07:23

BCL Mine general manager Montwedi Mphathi last week travelled to Gaborone to present a cheque for P29 million as company tax to the government, thanks to high international commodity prices before the credit crunch set in.
After declaring a profit of P73 million in 2008 Mphathi presented the tax remittance to the Commissioner General of Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) Oliver Modise.

For many years BCL had failed to make profit with Mphathi stating that the mine incurred losses from the first day it started operating. He said the mine has been haunted by technical problems, outstanding loans in foreign currency. “We had huge debts, incurred operating losses and could not get a good balance sheet. This is the first time in many years we have paid tax, whether we will pay again next year will depend on how long the metal prices remain [continue reading]

source: Fin24
2009/06/18 05:51:00 PM

Cape Town – Work with us and be competitive, or we will work with other airlines, was Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk’s message to national carrier South African Airways on Thursday.

The tourism department’s goal was to get as many tourists as possible to visit South Africa, he said, speaking at the end of debate on his budget vote in the National Assembly.

“Our message to SAA is: We want to work with you. We think there should be much better alignment between… SA Tourism and SAA.

“But the message is also: Our interest is to have as many tourists here as possible. So if we need to work with other airlines, we’re going to do that.

“Be competitive. We want to work with you, but [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Violet Gonda
18 June 2009

Irene Khan, Amnesty International Secretary General, said on Thursday the human rights situation in Zimbabwe is precarious. While the Global Political agreement in Zimbabwe provided a framework for change she explained, there is still no consistent commitment to its implementation throughout the government. The Amnesty International official said ‘words’ have not been followed by ‘real change,’ and there was no real urgency by some government officials to transform.

“The government must give as much attention to securing human rights reforms as they are to seeking economic resources,” said Khan. She was speaking after a six day high level mission to the country, where she said the socio-economic conditions are desperate for the vast majority of Zimbabweans.
A statement issued by the international pressure group said the Secretary General met with senior government Ministers, human rights activists and victims of human rights violations.

“Persistent and serious human rights violations, combined with the failure to introduce reform of [continue reading]