Archive for June 25th, 2009

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Members of Parliament (MPs) started debate on the P180 million loan for the expansion of Kasane Airport to cater for large aircraft. The loan, which has been acquired from the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), will be repaid in 14 years at 0.4 percent interest per annum.

Minister of Finance and Development Planning Baledzi, Gaolathe told Parliament yesterday that the main objective of the project is to rehabilitate the airport, extending the runway from 2,000 meters to 3,000 meters; widening the runway from 30 to 45 meters; and refurbishing the terminal building to accommodate 673, 000 passengers per annum by 2030. The expansion will also provide serviced land for private tenants to erect their own hangars as well as construction of new airport offices.

“The airport is expected to be self-sustaining by [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Alex Bell
24 June 2009

An advertising campaign for the UK based newspaper The Zimbabwean, has won top awards at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival currently underway in France.

The campaign titled “Fight the Regime” used real Zimbabwean dollar bank notes to create posters, billboards and even wallpaper in South Africa, not only to promote the newspaper, but also to raise awareness about the dire state of the country under Robert Mugabe’s rule.

Printed over the banknotes were various taglines including: “Thanks to Mugabe this money is wallpaper”, “It’s cheaper to print this on money than on paper”, and “Fight the regime that has crippled a country”.

The campaign, developed by Johannesburg ad agency TBWA/Hunt/Lascaris, was awarded the internationally recognised Cannes Lion Grand Prix award for outdoor advertising, as well as a gold lion award in [continue reading]

source: Reuters
Tue Jun 23, 2009 4:10pm GMT

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Botswana’s central bank cut its main lending rate by 150 basis points to 11.5 percent on Tuesday, citing the decline in global economic activity and weaker domestic output.

In a statement posted on its website, the bank said while domestic inflation remained above a 3-6 percent target range, it was expected to maintain a downward trend in the medium term.

“In reducing interest rates, the bank recognises that the favourable inflation outlook continues to exist in the medium term, which is the relevant time frame for monetary policy, and provides scope for monetary policy [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Violet Gonda
24 June 2009

The United Kingdom government announced on Wednesday that it will be giving a total of $100million (£60m) to Zimbabwe, in humanitarian support in 2009 and 2010. The announcement was made by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown when he pledged an additional $8 million (£5m) for food security and educational textbooks, during a meeting with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Monday.

The UK’s International Development Secretary, Douglas Alexander, said: “Our £60 million package will provide support directly to Zimbabwe’s poorest people. Our assistance has already helped one million people in Zimbabwe get access to clean water and has enabled two million to grow more food, as well as helping get the worst cholera outbreak in the country’s history under control.”

“The new inclusive Zimbabwean Government presents a real opportunity to help the Zimbabwean people and to support economic, political and social reform. We stand ready to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Wanetsha Mosinyi
Staff Writer

The government says it will benchmark on the failures of its initially botched plans to privatise Air Botswana and consult extensively while it considers privatising another public entity, the National Development Bank (NDB).

“We learnt a lot from the Air Botswana privatisation process,” the Assistant Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Keletso Rakhudu, said on Friday at a stakeholders consultative conference on the privatisation of NDB.

“Privatisation is a complex process and we want to do it right by taking all opinions on board,” he said.

This will be done through the Public Enterprise Evaluation and Privatisation Agency (PEEPA) and Nedbank Capital, which has been tasked with [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Only the Ministry of Health, the Attorney General’s Chambers and Ombudsman have budgeted for the scarce skills allowance in the 2009-2010 financial year, the Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Margaret Nasha said yesterday.

She said that the allowance was introduced during the budgeting process hence other ministries did not cater for it.

The minister was responding to a question by the MP for Lentsweletau, Major-General Moeng Pheto at the beginning of the third meeting of the fifth session of the ninth Parliament.

Pheto wanted to know if it is true that only the Ministry of Health, the Ombudsman and the [continue reading]

source: News24
2009-06-24 22:16

Cape Town – Ministers will have to sign performance contracts with President Jacob Zuma, Collins Chabane, minister of performance, monitoring and evaluation, said on Wednesday.

Chabane, speaking after Zuma’s budget speech in the National Assembly, said the contract would outline the required performance of ministers and will indicate “the measurements of success”.

“On a quarterly basis all ministers will report back on the basis of a straightforward one-page report card.

“The president will provide feedback and guidance with the [continue reading]

source: News24
2009-06-25 07:29

Cape Town – The Matroosberg is covered with snow, students are trapped on an island, barges have run aground, vehicles float around on water with wailing alarms, electricity poles are blown over and power cuts abound.

These are the results of heavy storms which have been wreaking havoc in the Western Cape since Monday.

The worst of a series of cold fronts was predicted for Wednesday night and Thursday morning. The weather should finally start to clear up by late Thursday or Friday.

According to Derek van Dam, meteorologist and head of’s weather service, several places can once again expect rainfall of over 50mm within 24 hours.


On Wednesday, snow fell on [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Jacqueline Khama, elder sister to President Ian Khama has said, through her lawyer, that she is asserting her right in dragging the Sunday Standard newspaper before the newly created Media Complaints Committee.

Parks Tafa has denied that his client is being used as a proxy by her brother to get even with the weekly. He said Jacqueline’s complaint against the newspaper has nothing to do with the recent decision by President Khama to threaten and then withdraw from suing the Sunday Standard following a story the paper carried on the death of John Kalafatis.

“She is an individual and like every citizen, she has got rights that deserve to be protected by the law. He (President Khama) does not make decisions on her behalf,” Tafa said. He stated that his client is concerned about a report by the Sunday Standard alleging that she was robbed in Ruretse by the late Kalafatis. “She has never resided in Ruretse and she does not know Kalafatis,” he said. He said that there was no [continue reading]

source: The Botswana Gazette
Written by JFG
Friday, 26 June 2009 00:00

Our fears about the government’s intention to bypass the courts and establish a kangaroo court to try media practitioners – and to stop them from practicing journalism – have just been confirmed , firstly by the decision of President Khama to withdraw his case against Sunday Standard, and secondly by his sister, Jacqueline Khama’s application to the Complaints Committee set up under Media Practitioners’ Act to disbar Messrs Outsa Mokone and Pitse from practicing journalism.

It is clear now that the Act was not passed to foster ethical reporting, as Minister Venson –Moitoi claimed while campaigning for support for the Act; rather it is intended to muzzle the media and frustrate their efforts of disseminating information to Batswana.The Media Practitioners’ Act is a political tool – fashioned to muzzle the press, discourage dissent, and allow the government to rule without being accountable to the people who have elected it; to be secretive and not to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff writer

IEC chief, Gabriel Seeletso, has told observers to be impartial at the general elections to be held in October.

Speaking at a training workshop for election observers held in Gaborone last week Friday, Seeletso said that observers are not supposed to take sides with the party they favour. He said that their duty is to help IEC and the country to hold free and fair elections.

He told his audience, made up of non-governmental organisations like the Botswana Christian Church (BCC) and the Botswana National Youth Council (BNYC), that election observers are expected to write a report and hand it to the IEC.

The election chief implored [continue reading]

source: The Botswana Gazette
Written by JFG
Tuesday, 23 June 2009 09:34

But it faces disqualification if Botswana does Not form a local supporting committee

Zurich (Switzerland) – People worldwide chose the Kalahari to represent the beauty of Botswana and the region.

However without official support in Botswana it will lose its chance.
Currently the Kalahari Desert is an iconic multinational nominee in the thrilling global election to choose the Official New7Wonders of Nature. But unlike many of the 261 natural sites that qualified for the 2nd phase of worldwide voting, the Kalahari does not have an Official Supporting Committee (OSC) representing it in each of the countries involved.

Despite being now in its category of 21 nominees, all the votes that are being cast for it will be void unless an OSC is formed in Botswana.
The Kalahari Desert is currently ranked number one in Category A. It is currently among the Top 77 nominees, leading its group.

On July 7 the Top 77 based on voting will have the chance to be one of the 21 Official Finalists in the New7Wonders of Nature campaign.

The 21 official finalist candidates will be announced on July 21 and the [continue reading]

source: IOL
June 23 2009 at 04:29PM

Government will oppose a rapid rise in electricity tariffs, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters said on Tuesday.

Speaking in the National Assembly during debate on her budget vote, she said the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) would soon be making an announcement on Eskom’s application for an increase in the wholesale electricity tariffs.

“It is an important matter that needs to be put into proper perspective, particularly as it relates to the latent concerns about the impact on the indigent,” she said.

“At the outset, I must state categorically that we do not agree that the tariffs must rise rapidly.

“It is our view that this will lead to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

TONOTA: Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC) Chief Executive Officer, Reginald Motswaiso, has refuted allegations that the BHC does not empower citizen-owned contractors.

Speaking at the handing over ceremony of 26 district housing project in Tonota last Saturday, he said that accusation that the Ministry of Lands and Housing disempowered local contractors by passing jobs to non-citizens was without any foundation.

“The reality is that BHC endeavours at the opportunity to engage locally-owned contractors in the majority of its projects,” he said.

The project that includes two houses at Gojwane and [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Zambia Copper Mining (ZCI) has entered into a new term loan facility agreement with African Copper (ACU) to refinance the existing bridging loan facilities it made to ACU subsidiary, Messina Copper.

The term loan facility of up to $31,3 million, the equivalent of P217 million, will put ACU’s borrowings from ZCI onto a more permanent footing and it will be used by Messina to repay the bridging loan, the company said last Friday.

The new term loan facility would be done in two tranches, with tranche A providing an amount of $8,37 million, which was convertible into ordinary shares of one Pula each in ACU.

Tranche B of the term loan facility is for an amount of up to $22,7-million, and it is not convertible.

ZCI said that the term loan facility will only be [continue reading]