Archive for August, 2009

Brendan Ryan
Fri, 28 Aug 2009 13:40

[] — ANGLO Coal has embarked on a major exploration drive to prove the existence of sufficient coal bed methane (CBM) gas reserves in Botswana to feed a proposed gas-to-liquids synthetic fuel plant.

The aim is to delineate gas reserves totalling at least 4 trillion cubic feet (tcf), which will be sufficient to justify construction of a dedicated synfuels plant.

Lesser volumes of reserves could be used to supply the synthetic fuel plant Sasol is considering building in the Waterberg, next to the South Africa-Botswana border.

Anglo Coal is already conducting gas exploration activities in the Waterberg, where it [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

FRANCISTOWN: An Ombudsman legal investigator has explained that the Office of the Ombudsman does not interfere where not necessary.

Addressing a full Francistown council session yesterday, Ipeleng Tshetlhana explained that, ” We have powers of investigations but the ombudsman does not interfere where not necessary.”

Subsequent to her presentation, councillors still posed more questions concerning the independence of the Ombudsman.

Ipopeng Ward councillor, Interest Tawele wanted to be well informed on the powers the [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Financial Gazette (Harare)
Clemence Manyukwe
27 August 2009

Harare — The government is seeking US$145 million from China for the construction of a new parliament building, Finance Minister Tendai Biti has said.

Biti told the parliamentary portfolio committee on Budget, Finance and Investment Promotion last week that negotiations for the funding of the state-of-the-art building to be located in the historic Kopje area of Harare are already underway.

“Negotiations are underway to secure concessionary funding of US$145 million from the China Eximbank to finance the construction of the new Parliament building,” Biti told legislators.

“The transport and communications sectors are set to benefit US$825 million under [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Former presidents, Sir Ketumile Masire and Festus Mogae are expected to meet President Ian Khama today to discuss the issue of suspended ruling party secretary general Gomolemo Motswaledi.

The meeting is another attempt to bring peace in the strife-torn Botswana Democratic Party (BDP). Motswaledi was suspended by Khama for 60 days and recalled from contesting the Gaborone Central parliamentary seat. Khama said he punished Motswaledi because he is indisciplined. He explained that Motswaledi undermined his authority as party leader. The suspension of Motswaledi is the high point of BDP rivalry that saw the Barata-phathi faction whitewashing Khama’s allies in the A-Team at [continue reading]

source: Fin24
2009-08-28 22:16

Johannesburg – Quick work is needed for Zimbabwe to stage a successful recovery, South African President Jacob Zuma said at the opening of the Harare Agricultural Society Show in Zimbabwe on Friday.

“The challenge we face is to ensure that Zimbabwe’s recovery is completed in the shortest space of time,” said Zuma in a speech prepared for delivery.

Zuma said he had seen “positive developments” in Zimbabwe since the January 2009 SADC extraordinary summit.

“The inclusive government is functioning and the joint monitoring and implementation committee is also [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Unless former presidents Sir Ketumile Masire and Festus Mogae pull off a sensational last minute deal in the impasse between the two factions in the ruling party, all indications are that the feuding will end in court.

However, there are complications in the impending court action because one of the respondents – the main one – happens to be President Ian Khama. There is talk that the case will die at the High Court even before it gets to the merits stage because Section 41 of the constitution protects Khama from prosecution. Indeed the Khama camp does not make secret of the fact that the case might not go far because of this protection.

They hope to use Section 41 as the grenade that will [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Violet Gonda
26 August 2009

Jacob Zuma makes his first visit to Zimbabwe as South African President on Thursday, to meet with the partners in inclusive government. The outgoing SADC chair is expected to hold separate meetings with the three principals and then attend a banquet at State House late Thursday. Zuma is also in the country to open the Harare Agricultural Show on Friday.

The South African President’s visit follows concerns raised by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai about the slow pace of reforms and delays in implementing the Global Political Agreement by ZANU PF, especially over the issue of the appointment of the Reserve Bank Governor and the Attorney General.

Government sources said the South African President is going to hold his first meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, to see if there is corroboration on the ‘complaints’ made by Tsvangirai. The Prime Minister’s spokesperson, James Maridadi, said Zuma was expected to meet Tsvangirai at 7:30pm and then hold a meeting with all the principals after the separate meeting.

However other sources said Zuma will only decide if there is a [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff writer

Following the decline in the annual inflation rate to 6 percent last month, the Bank of Botswana on Tuesday announced a further slashing of interest rates, a development widely seen a boon for borrowers.

BoB said in a statement that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) had decided to cut the bank rate by a further 0.5 percentage points from 11.5 percent to 11 percent, the fifth time the central bank has cut interest rates since December 2008.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) recently announced that annual inflation for the month of July fell to 6 percent from 7 percent, which is within the upper end of BoB’s medium-term inflation objective of 3 to 6 percent.

“At (a) meeting held today (Tuesday), the Bank decided to [continue reading]

source: Fin24
2009/08/27 05:43:00 PM

Cape Town – The “shocking” R9.7bn loss posted by Eskom this week was the result of years of bad management, the Cape Chamber of Commerce said on Thursday.

In the five years before the blackouts started, Eskom made a profit of R33.5bn, said chamber director Albert Schuitmaker.

Most of that money had gone to the government in taxes and dividends instead of being used to improve maintenance, train staff and preserve coal stocks.

Now the picture was one of declining reserve margins of electricity, while stocks of coal were run down to the point where the country had been plunged into darkness.

“Eskom produced some great balance sheets, but it is now clear that they concealed more than they revealed,” he said.

Some people were trying to blame the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) for [continue reading]

source: The Botswana Gazette
Written by JFG
Tuesday, 25 August 2009 07:24

Delayed Specially Elected MPs Bill costs them dearly
DK to lose close to P200 000
Pheto to lose P100 000

Some Members of Parliament who recently served as Cabinet Ministers have lost hundreds of thousands of Pula in benefits (pensions and gratuities) because Parliament failed to pass the National Assembly and Ministers’ Pensions and Gratuities (Amendment) Bill last week.

The Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Dr Margaret Nasha told The Gazette in an interview that she had tried her best in taking the Bill to Parliament. She blamed MPs for debating one Bill (to amend the Constitution to increase the number of Specially Elected MPs to eight) for too long, “choosing to forget that there is [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

The Assistant Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Keletso Rakhudu, says while the government has not drawn up a hefty stimulus package to prop the local economy against the recession, its range of initiatives and policy interventions have kept the country adequately afloat.

Speaking at the Annual General Meeting of Botswana Exporters and Manufacturers Association (BEMA) last week, Rakhudu said despite pressure from the private sector for a cure-all stimulus package, Botswana’s economic composition was different from some Western countries’ that have pumped in billions of dollars to rescue their economies.

“Unlike the developed countries, for us the big companies are not [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Lance Guma
26 August 2009

Un-named government officials have rubbished reports that Robert Mugabe missed the burial of the late nationalist Richard Hove because he was unwell and had flown to Dubai for treatment. “The president is not sick but was away on holiday. He returned home yesterday (Tuesday), and those reports are a load of rubbish that we get from sick and evil minds,” Reuters news agency quoted the official saying. The presence of Mugabe’s urologist in Dubai, Awang Kechik, fuelled suspicion he was there to check up on the ZANU PF leader. Kechik is normally based in Malaysia. A few years ago Mugabe suffered a prostrate cancer scare but it was never known whether the cells turned out to be ‘benign’ or cancerous.

Mugabe did return home on Tuesday and his party officials began issuing denials that he was not in poor health. “He took his children on a week’s holiday before schools open next week. He does this every year. He’s back in the country,” another official was quoted as saying. Mugabe’s health remains a closely guarded secret and it would be unlikely any of his close aides would admit he is [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The permanent secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology, Festinah Bakwena has said there was nothing wrong with the director of broadcasting services reading a statement from the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) on state radio and TV.

On Friday, Mogomotsi Kaboeamodimo read a speech by President Ian Khama explaining why he suspended the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) secretary general Gomolemo Motswaledi. Though there has been criticism that this is another sign of the ruling party’s abuse of state media, Bakwena said that the subject of the statement was not just a BDP issue. She said the speech tackled an issue of national concern. “Its wide coverage in the media had led to public concern and so it became a national issue relating to events that took place in the governing party and the engagements of the state president. We cannot make light of this fact,” she said.

She stated that Kaboeamodimo has the mandate to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The number of confirmed cases of the Pandemic Influenza A (H1N1) has risen to 30 from the 13 reported last month.

Director of Public Health in the Ministry of Health Shaneez El Halabi revealed this in an interview with Mmegi yesterday. “We are having lots of pending results in South Africa where we are sending the specimen for testing,” she stated, adding that the laboratory is currently overwhelmed with samples coming from all over the Southern African region.

El Halabi further stated that [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)
Dumisani Muleya
27 August 2009

Johannesburg — PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma arrives in Harare today amid speculation that President Robert Mugabe is gravely ill and a promise from his party that he will be more vocal in criticising Mugabe.

Zuma is expected to mediate outstanding issues dividing Zimbabwe’s unity government.

African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Gwede Mantashe indicated yesterday Zuma would be critical of Mugabe’s “adolescent” and “deviant” behaviour. “President Zuma will be more vocal in terms of what we see as deviant behaviour by our neighbours,” Mantashe told the Foreign Correspondents’ Association.

Zuma is due to meet Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and [continue reading]