Archive for November, 2009

source: Mmegi

London-based Business Monitor International (BMI) has revised upwards its full year growth forecast for Botswana from -9.9 percent to -6.5 percent for 2009 because of significant recovery in diamond exports in the second quarter of the year. The firm now expects Botswana’s economy to have a robust growth in 2010.

“GDP growth in 2009 has not been as catastrophic for the economy as once had been anticipated. Indeed, with the economy having contracted less than previously envisaged in 2009 and given a rebound in exports, we are anticipating relatively robust growth in 2010,” BMI said in its recently published Botswana 2010 Business Forecast Report.

Following 450 bases points (bps) of interest rate cuts starting in November 2008, the Bank of Botswana (BoB) ended its easing cycle in [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
29.11.2009 10:45:26 P

The Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) and the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) have joined forces to investigate massive land corruption involving millions of pula and about 30 illegal land dealers

The crime busters are understood to have frozen suspected dirty money estimated at millions of Pula, believed to have changed hands under the table during the illegal land dealings.

The Sunday Standard has been informed that the pieces of land which form part of the investigation have also been confiscated by the investigating authorities and that about six land board officials are among the suspects implicated in the illegal land dealings.

The Minister of Lands and Housing, Nonofo Molefi, told Sunday Standard on Friday, “Though I do not have the exact number, yes, we have suspended a [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

FRANCISTOWN: Many in Botswana do not understand what title deeds and surety mortgage bonds are all about. They think ‘these things’ are none of their business, considering them to be matters of the wealthy.

To 35-year old Maipelo Chabaesele of Francistown, deeds, leaseholds, freeholds and mortgage bonds are foreign languages. She says she always comes across advertisements in newspapers with headings like “Application of Lost Title Deed”, which she never understands.

“I have given up on those things. I don’t think I will ever know what they are all about,” she says, noting that there is not enough public education from the relevant authorities on [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

FRANCISTOWN: The Francistown City Council(FCC) is working flat out to meet the deadline set by permanent secretary, Thato Raphaka when he addressed Ministry of Local Government workers last Friday.

Raphaka had given the council until today to have, among other things, made confirmations on those whose confirmations were long overdue and the issue of some people who reportedly refused to go on transfer when legitimately transferred.

Though she seemed ill at ease to reveal what they were doing to fulfill the demands, the council’s public relations officer, Priscilla Gulubane told Mmegi that the council management is addressing the [continue reading]

source: The Standard
Saturday, 28 November 2009 20:44

THE South African government has accepted that the ongoing land invasions are unlawful, and that rulings of the Sadc Tribunal were binding.

This followed a High Court application by farmers’ rights organisation Agriforum, which filed an urgent application seeking to stop the signing of the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (Bippa) on Friday.

Agriforum represents more than 200 South African farmers in Zimbabwe and some of them have been forced to leave the country.

South African lawyer Willie Spies, who instituted the urgent court proceedings on behalf of the organisation confirmed the SA position on Zimbabwe’s controversial land reform programme.

“The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria made an order in terms of which the Government of South Africa undertakes to respect and honour the judgments by the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) Tribunal in favour of commercial farmers in Zimbabwe, and to uphold the rights and remedies of victims of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writers

FRANCISTOWN: “My wife and her cousin had just arrived home after visiting some of our relatives and friends on the other side of the town,” recalls Ricardo Mbakile, tears welling up in his eyes.

“Three thugs,” he pauses before he could complete his sentence as pain from his broken hand hit deep right into his heart. He broke the hand in an unrelated incident when his motor vehicle overturned about a month-and-a-half ago. And before he could recover, three intruders – speaking with an Ndebele accent – raided his house, demanding cash and [continue reading]

source: News24
2009-11-29 21:28

Johannesburg – A team of South African officials departed for Zimbabwe on Sunday where they will facilitate talks on the Zimbabwean power-sharing agreement, the presidency said.

“The facilitation support team constituted by President Jacob Zuma to work on the Zimbabwean process will head to Harare, Zimbabwe on Sunday,” said presidential spokesperson Vincent Magwenya.

He said South Africa was ready to help ensure that the power-sharing agreement was fully implemented.

“The gains that have already been achieved by parties in Zimbabwe cannot be reversed.”

The facilitation team is led by Charles Nqakula, former defence minister and [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Godfrey Ganetsang
29.11.2009 10:31:44 P

BCL mine, the copper/ nickel miner, presented a rule book to its league of suppliers with the aim of rooting out some rogue associates and at the same time slashing out on costs.

The new terms of the rule book were presented to southern region suppliers’ indaba in Gaborone during the week and are aimed at helping the company emerging out of the effects of the global economic downturn to stand on its feet.

Speaking at the suppliers meet last week, Divisional Manager-Asset Management, Keenlord Dube, announced the introduction of the post completion audit and suppliers evaluation, which he said is meant to enable BCL to appraise supplier performance and [continue reading]

source: News24
2009-11-29 21:13

Johannesburg – A medical waste company which was found to be illegally dumping highly infectious raw waste is being investigated for corruption and fraud, the environmental affairs department said on Sunday.

“One aspect of the investigation focused on the burying and dumping of truckloads of medical waste in and around Welkom in the Free State,” said departmental spokesperson Albi Modise.

“However, this investigation, with the support of the SA [Police Service], also includes allegations of corruption and fraud.”

The company, which boasts multimillion-rand contract with more than 150 hospitals and [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Although the world economy is slowly but surely showing signs of recovery, Botswana faces imminent economic jeopardy with the shaky Southern African Customs Union (SACU) threatening to break up.

If that happened, it could result in the country losing billions of Pula, forcing it to take drastic measures like imposing a higher Value Added Tax, raising income tax and charging higher tariffs on imports from South Africa and other neighbouring countries to make up for the losses from the SACU Revenue Pool.

According to a study conducted by the Botswana Institute For Development Policy Analysis (BIDPA), the Interim Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU has had a divisive effect on SACU after Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland initialled the treaty last June while Namibia and South Africa balked at it, probably because of [continue reading]

source: Fin24
Nov 29 2009 10:48

Harare – Zimbabwe’s central bank governor said the country will not put the local dollar back into circulation anytime soon as the economy must first achieve growth rates of at least seven percent, a state daily reported on Saturday.

“For the avoidance of doubt and market uncertainty, it is hereby clarified that the re-introduction of the Zimbabwe dollar will only be contemplated when certain fundamentals have been achieved,” the central bank governor, Gideon Gono, was quoted as saying by The Herald.

Gono said Zimbabwe will continue using the US dollar and other hard currencies introduced at the beginning of the year until the economy has reached annual growth rates of at “least seven percent” with foreign currency reserves of [continue reading]

source: BOPA
27 November, 2009

GABORONE – The European Union has managed to set up institutions that have been able to deal with crises in the African continent.

Speaking during a public lecture titled European Foreign, Security and Defence Policy (ESDP): European interventions in Africa at the University of Botswana on Tuesday, Professor Fabien Terpan of the Institute of Political Studies at the University of Grenoble, France noted that while the setting up of institutions is necessary, the most important part is the institutional and human capability to perform their functions during interventions.

Professor Terpan maintained that the ESDPs strategic objectives include humanitarian and rescue tasks, peacekeeping, tasks of combat forces in crisis management missions including peace restoring missions, disarmament, military advice, conflict prevention and the fight against terrorism.

He highlighted that the European security strategy seeks to promote effective multilateralism by defending and developing international law in line with the UN Charter and conducting a policy of conflict prevention using a combination of civilian and military capabilities.

On other issues, he said the ESDP has been engaged in operations in [continue reading]

source: News24
2009-11-28 22:39

Johannesburg – Tons of highly infectious raw medical waste have been unearthed in the back yard of a brick factory in Welkom, Free State, the Sunday Times reported.

The 300 ton stash, which includes bloody swabs, body parts, filthy bandages, used needles vials and discarded pills was found buried, making it the Green Scorpions biggest medical waste discovery to date.

The dumping breaks waste management laws and poses serious health risks including ground water and bore-hole contamination, and the spread of [continue reading]

source: BOPA
27 November, 2009

GABORONE – The Simply Botswana CD-ROM is expected to take the country to greater heights through its creative concept to promote and market the country.

Speaking at the official launch of the CD-ROM this week, the Chief Executive Officer of Shell Oil Botswana, Mr Boitumelo Sekwababe noted that it was a great move that local people take advantage of new technologies to produce interesting products. He said even though Batswana were a small population, the new CD-ROM had a lot of investment opportunities for both the locals and the visitors.

This product should also encourage other young Batswana to follow suit, he said. He further noted that it was possible for local people to do a lot for their country through perseverance and determination.

The Chief Executive Officer for E-Tourism, Mr David Kepaletswe noted that they came up with the CD-ROM concept after realising that [continue reading]

Zim plane crashes in China

source: News24
2009-11-28 08:01

Beijing — A cargo plane carrying seven crew crashed during take-off in Shanghai on Saturday, killing three, state media reported.

The accident happened at 07:40 local time as the Zimbabwe-registered MD-11 aircraft was attempting to leave Shanghai Pudong International Airport, Xinhua news agency reported.

Four crew members were injured – one seriously – in the crash, state-run television reported, without providing details on their injuries.

All seven crew members were foreigners. The charter plane was heading to [continue reading]