Archive for July, 2009

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

While the Ministry of Education (MoE) announced early this year that it would sponsor students with 36 points and above, students seeking sponsorship have been sent into turmoil over their points since the beginning of last week.

The ministry has confirmed that it is giving preference to “high flyers”,

The students, who were at the University of Botswana (UB) stadium, say they were told that the ministry would award sponsorships beginning with those with 48 points down until it reaches the quota of each institution. “We were so disappointed by the announcement that the government has backtracked on that decision and returned to its earlier one,” said one student who [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The delay in the signing of a purchase agreement between regional power giant, Eskom of South Africa and promoters of the Mmamabula Energy Project (MEP) is poised to setback Botswana’s ambitious plans to address its power demand and supply mismatch in the medium to long term.

The snag will result in the delay of the date in which MEP is supposed to start operating, further complicating power shortages in Botswana. Things might get worse after
Eskom’s announcement last week that it is not ready to commit to purchase power from the P22 billion MEP. Eskom is supposed to purchase 75 percent of MEP’s initial 1,200mw scheduled to come on stream in 2013 while Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) gets 25 percent.

Despite the seeming lack of commitment from Eskom, the Botswana government and CIC Energy, the promoters of MEP say there is no cause for alarm. Botswana government MEP coordinator, Modise Modise has said that [continue reading]

source: IOL
July 28 2009 at 07:53PM

Two private schools in Johannesburg, South Africa have closed early for their mid-year holiday after an outbreak of at least nine swine flu cases, schools and government said on Tuesday.

“The private school in Johannesburg, Redhill, closed a week early for their holiday because of nine confirmed cases of swine flu,” Simon Lee of the Independent School Association of Southern Africa said.

A second school also closed because of swine flu concerns, according to Fidel Hadebe from the Department of Health, but it was not confirmed how many cases there were.

The National Institute for Communicable Disease released a statement on July 22 that it was not [continue reading]

source: The Zimbabwe Telegraph

ZIMBABWE – PLUMTREE – The Botswana government has between April and June this year deported over 13 000 Zimbabweans from that country, The Zimbabwe Telegraph reports.

The acting Regional Immigration Officer, Plumtree, Mr Hebet Mudzvova said relations with the Tswana were “fairly deplorable”.

“There are reports of these people using the military to control queues at their side of the border. Some Zimbabwean who are deported are telling us horrific stories of their treatment at the hands of that country’s law enforcement agents. They speak of people being beaten up with sjamboks which is against International Human Rights,” said [continue reading]

source: News24
2009-07-28 22:05
Michael Hamlyn

Cape Town – President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday that intervention measures will be taken within the Southern African Development Community and other continental structures, should there be any indication that the provisions of democracy inside Zimbabwe are compromised.

“We have noted that since the establishment of the coalition government in Zimbabwe the nature and extent of violence has subsided,” he said, giving a written reply to a Parliamentary question tabled by Athol Trollip, the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

An economist has said that another interest rates cut is not likely this year though, inflation is expected to fall further and settle within the 5-6 percent range in the coming months.

Addressing the media in Gaborone last week, chairman of the Bifm Investment Committee, Dr Keith Jefferis, said that inflation which eased to seven percent in June, is set to continue declining and the rise in fuel prices in June is unlikely to retard the fall. “I expect the annual inflation rate to fall within the Central Bank objective of between 3-6 percent and the June fuel price increase is not expected to derail the decline in inflation.

For the rest of the year, I would expect inflation to be within the 6-7 percent range, although there remains considerable risks from [continue reading]

source: IOL
July 29 2009 at 12:41AM

Strike action at both the SABC and communications giant Telkom has been brought forward, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) said on Tuesday.

The union said in a statement this action had been taken after requests from members.

“Our members in both Telkom and SABC have run out of patience and requested their national leadership to allow them to bring forward the strike program of action against these two employers,” the statement said.

CWU members employed at the national broadcaster would be “staying away” from work on July 29 and July 30 countrywide, the union said.

The two-day stay-away would be followed by “other forms of industrial action” from the beginning of August until the “SABC respects and implements the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

A study has revealed that Botswana has the lowest rate of mother-to-child transmission ever recorded in Africa or for a breastfeeding population.

This was revealed by Dr Roger Shapiro of the Botswana-Havard AIDS Institute when releasing the findings of a random trial comparing HAART regimens for virologic efficacy and the prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission among breastfeeding mothers in Botswana at Boipuso Hall in Gaborone last Friday.

The Mmabana Study, as the programme is called, also revealed that Maternal Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) from early in the third trimester of pregnancy through six months of breastfeeding is a safe and effective strategy for [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Gowenius Toka
26.07.2009 11:57:41 P

Authorities have been cautioned that the world has become too complex and interconnected that it can no longer be permissible to look at problems in isolation from each other.

Thus, “when a mother dies, when an orphaned child does not get the food or education he needs, when a young girl grows into a life without opportunities, the consequences extend beyond the existence of these individuals”.

Argentina Matavel, United Nations Population Fund Representative in Botswana, stated that, in responding to the economic crisis, due recognition must be given to the importance of empowering women so that they can be able to [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Tichaona Sibanda
27 July 2009

Finance Minister Tendai Biti on Monday morning received a live bullet and a handwritten note enclosed in a khaki envelope, and addressed to him at his Harare home address.

Biti’s aide Nqobizitha Mlilo, confirmed that the 42 year-old secretary-general of the MDC and MP for Harare East constituency viewed this as a death threat on his life after receiving the 9mm bullet and note, written in shona.

The note was written: ‘raira nhaka,’ or ‘prepare your will.’ The envelope containing the bullet and the note is believed to have been delivered to his house. The Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was informed of the incident and so was the Acting President Joice Mujuru.

‘He’s a bit low and shaken up as a result of this episode. He says it is the first time he’s seen a bullet in his life and it is also the first time his family had endured something like this,’ Mlilo said.

The Minister made a report to the police as he viewed this as a serious threat to himself and his family. The Central Intelligence Organisation, which is [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Gasebalwe Seretse

A number of Pilikwe residents have expressed concern about government’s intention to build a temporary storage and conditioning facility for disused and abandoned radioactive materials near the village.

The concerns were raised during a Kgotla meeting held in the village on Thursday. Although one of the consultants engaged by government, Mookamedi Masie, of Water Resources Consultants, tried to explain the project’s environmental impact, dissenters mostly the youth were unhappy that their village had been chosen for the facility.

According to Masie, the proposed storage facility, the first of its kind in the country, will be secure as it will be made of reinforced concrete and the containers made of lead.

He further said that his company has recommended that [continue reading]

Chris Bathembu
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27 July 2009

The South African government will continue to respect media freedom in the country, and promote the role of the media in the socio-economic development of the continent, says President Jacob Zuma.

The African Editors Forum met with Zuma in Pretoria last week to brief South Africa’s new administration on the challenges facing journalists in Africa.
Media freedom

Issues of media freedom and the role of the media in the socio-economic development of the continent were also discussed, according to International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, who was part of the meeting.

Speaking to local journalists after the meeting, Nkoana-Mashabane said: “One thing we all agreed upon is that we are all … eager to project an image of an Africa that is [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Reuben Pitse
26.07.2009 11:53:21 P

Angry rioters in Dikaneng in the North West province of South Africa are allegedly targeting and smashing Botswana registered vehicles.

In one of such disturbing incidents, a Lobatse resident was caught by the angry mob, which pulled him out of his vehicle and poured used car oil all over his body before smashing his vehicle.

In a telephone interview with the Sunday Standard, the South African police spokesperson in the North West Province, Superintendent Lesogo Metsi, said that he had warned Batswana who are using the Ramotswa border post to be extra careful when using Dinokaneng Lehurutshi road, advising them to [continue reading]

South African Institute of International Affairs (Johannesburg)
27 July 2009
press release

Pretoria — The 2009 edition of the African Economic Outlook (AEO) was launched today at the National Treasury.

The 2009 Outlook covers 47 African countries, up from 35 last year. The report finds the region gravely affected by the global economic downturn.

Following half a decade of above 5 per cent economic growth, the continent can expect only 2.8 per cent in 2009, less than half of the 5.7 per cent expected before the crisis.

The AEO’s authors anticipate growth rebounding to 4.5 per cent in 2010. Growth in oil-exporting countries is expected to fall to 2.4 per cent in 2009 compared to 3.3 per cent for the net oil importers.

The collapse of commodity prices and plummeting demand from [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
26.07.2009 11:46:04 P

Although a recent rally in crude oil prices is inflationary, Botswana inflation is expected to fall within the Central Bank’s set objectives in the coming months.

According to the Central Statistic Office (CSO) figures released last week, inflation slouched-down 1.4 percent points during the period under review to 7 percent against the May figure of 8.4 percentage points.

“Inflation is falling and that is good news. That is positive for the economy,” says Dr Keith Jefferis, Chairman of Bifm Investment Committee.

“That process will continue. We expect inflation to fall below 6 percent and settle in the range of 5 – 7 percent,” added the former Bank of Botswana (BoB) deputy governor.

The expectation is that the Bank of Botswana Monetary Policy Committee will ease the monetary policy by cutting key interest rates to [continue reading]