Archive for December 14th, 2009

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

PALAPYE: Construction of the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) is finally underway in Palapye.

The first phase of the development project, with an initial cost of P429 829 million is expected to be completed in the next 18 months.

Structures will include the administration and academic block, laboratories, library and auditorium, food court, multi purpose hall and 70 staff houses.

In a media briefing at the site this week, BIUST Vice Chancellor, Professor Kweku Bentil said the second phase of the project would be conducted through the Public Private Partnership.

He revealed that out of the eight consortiums which have [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Tlotlang Rahube
13.12.2009 7:35:06 P

The much anticipated Botswana International University of Science and Technology is scheduled to become a reality with its first intake in 2011.

The University is constructed on a 2500 hectares which the founding Vice Chancellor, Kweku Bentil, said the owners of the land were compensated.

BIUST Communications and Public Affairs director, Shakes Kebaswele, in his welcome remarks said they have undergone challenges, which turned out to be stepping stones to progress.
He said that people should not be mistaken that the university is for Palapye residents only.

“Every Motswana is entitled to it and should take pride in promoting it as a national university,” he said.

Kebaswele said the press briefing was meant to [continue reading]

Khama gets e-passport

source: BOPA
14 December, 2009

GABORONE – The President, Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama has been issued with the first ever Botswana e-passport.

Briefing President Khama on Friday, the Minister of Labour and Home Affairs, Mr Peter Siele said the e-passport project, which started with the signing of a two-year contract was on schedule and within budget.

He noted that the main objective of the passport component was to produce the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) compliant machine readable travel documents (MRTD).

He said the current generation of MRTDs with clip-based security features were the most secure and friendly travel documents.

Botswana is pleased to be joining a family of nations with this latest technology, he said.

Minister Siele further noted that all ICAO member states were expected to [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Morula Morula
13.12.2009 7:13:16 P

Botswana Telecommunications Authority (BTA) has expressed disappointment that only a fraction of pre-paid mobile subscribers have registered their simcards despite the looming December 31 deadline.

The telecom regulator’s Public Relations Officer Twobar Koontse told Sunday Standard this week that only 15% of mobile phone users in the country have up to now registered.

“I have worked out the 15% from the numbers I got on 31 October and do not think there has been much change from then though mobile phone companies have told me about users who have registered their phones,” he said.

Koontse warned subscribers that there will be no extension for registration date end of this month saying subscribers were given more time than in other countries where similar exercise is taking place.

“To be precise, we have given them 15 months, which is three months more than a [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The Nation (Nairobi)
Kitsepile Nyathi
13 December 2009

Harare — Zimbabwe’s long time ruler President Robert Mugabe has built a reputation as an astute and cunning politician.

For close to three decades he has held onto the reigns in the once promising Southern African country through a well oiled system of patronage and brutal suppression of dissent.

But at the weekend he was the first to admit that the game is up.

His Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (Zanu PF), which has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980 is disintegrating into tribal fiefdoms.

The party’s 5th National Congress ended on Saturday evening without any agreement on crucial amendments to the party’s constitution, which has a bearing on the selection of Mr Mugabe’s successor.One of the major constitutional proposals is a demand by party members for the scrapping of a clause that ensures that the party votes along tribal lines for the top posts in [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The mobile telephony market continues to grow albeit at a slower pace due to the global economic recession.

Figures availed by the Botswana Telecommunications Authority (BTA) show that the sector experienced a 26 percent growth between March 2008 and March 2009 compared to 29 percent in the previous period. The slower rate of growth is despite the entrance of the new player in the market, be Mobile.

According to the BTA Annual Report for 2009, the mobile telephony market grew from 1.48 million in March 2008 to 1.87 million in March this year. “The subscribers included those of the new entrant, be Mobile, which started operations in [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
13.12.2009 7:44:08 P

The controversial court case between embattled Tati Nickel Mining Company manager, Jan Gerber, and the state has finally come to an end, with Gerber booted from the country.

Gerber was on Thursday slapped with deportation papers by immigration officials in Francistown and given 24 hours to leave Botswana, after he allegedly insulted the president during a misunderstanding with some of his colleagues.

The deportation comes even before the case could be heard, as Gerber was waiting to have his day in court, at which his attorney Phazha Kgalemang was expected to vigorously defend him against the charges that he was facing.

Gerber was slapped with a charge of ‘insulting’ Khama in September. It is alleged that on the 16th of September, Gerber, while in a verbal exchange with one of the employees at the mine said that “I do not care if it is the f**k*ng president of Botswana coming”.

He was reportedly facing a fine of up to [continue reading]

Zim stops SA mining firms

source: News24
2009-12-13 23:36

Harare – Two South African companies partnering a state-owned Zimbabwean mining firm in a controversial diamond mining venture in eastern Zimbabwe have been ordered to stop operations by the country’s environmental protection authorities, reports said on Sunday.

The state-run Sunday Mail said Mbada Diamond Mining and Canadile Miners have been told to halt work after it was discovered they were exploiting the Marange diamond field without having had a mandatory environmental impact assessment.

The fields have become the focus of international condemnation after Zimbabwean troops and police in 2008 carried out a brutal eviction of thousands of illegal diggers and panners.

Geologists say the field has emerged to be the richest diamond area in [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

NDOLA: The late Local Government and Housing Minister Ben Tetamashimba startled the nation early this year with claims that there was rampant corruption during the reign of Zambia’s third president, the late Levy Patrick Mwanawasa.

To many people in the region and beyond, Mwanawasa had come to rid Zambia of corrupt practices especially those perceived to have happened during the reign of his predecessor Frederick Chiluba; so the nation was shaken by the statement from outspoken Tetamashimba.

The controversial minister even went to the extent of saying that he did not regret having issued the statement that there was corruption in Mwanawasa’s government.

Tetamashimba served as [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
13.12.2009 7:07:21 P

When times are hard as it is with the current long haul tourism because of global economic recession, marketers of the product have to change strategy.

With the number of foreign tourists visiting Botswana, tour operators divert attention towards domestic travellers who have the cash, but often prefer to spend it outside the country.

At times, questions are asked why Batswana prefer to visit outside destinations when they have majestic places in the country where they can spend the cash.

The issue ties well with the debate surrounding the controversial strategy on high-value, low-volume approach by the country towards tourism.

Dawson Ramsden, General Manager of Chitabe classic camp in the Okavango Delta has bemoaned fewer bookings from Batswana as they [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

FRANCISTOWN: Supermarkets in the city are quiet as compared to last year when Zimbabwean shoppers had literally taken them over.

Supermarkets such as Spar, Shoprite and Choppies say that things have normalised because now Zimbabweans come at normal rates as compared to last year when they emptied the shops. It is also a sign that the government of national unity signed by rivals president Robert Mugabe of ZANU-PF and Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement or Democratic Change (MDC) is working as shops in Zimbabwe are well stocked.

Last year the shops in Francistown were having to struggle to [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
BuaNews (Tshwane)
Proffesor Ndawonde
13 December 2009

Pretoria — President Jacob Zuma has bestowed National Orders, the highest award in the country, on 29 South African and foreign nationals at a ceremony at the Union Buildings.

Among those honoured were the late singer Miriam Makeba, long jump silver medalist Kgotso Mokoena and Reverend Mangena Maake Mokone.

The National Orders are bestowed on individuals that have contributed to the country’s attainment and building of democracy and human rights as well as those who contribute to a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa.

The President said South Africa would continue to recognise and honor local and international individuals who had sacrificed their lives in liberating the country.

“We will also continue to celebrate those South Africans who excel in [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by John Regonamanye
13.12.2009 7:08:23 P

Drums for tangible and sound economic empowerment destined to indigenous Batswana heightened Thursday with the members of parliament skeptical of government intervention in securing the livelihood of its inhabitants in the currently foreign predominant tourism sector.

Debating the tourism bill presented to parliament by the minister of education Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi on behalf of the responsible minister Kitso Mokaila who is away on official duties, members of parliament hurled stones at the minister Mokaila insisting his ministry was more inclined to appeasing the foreigners at the detriment of Batswana as evidenced by the tourism sector which is saturated by the expatriates.

Leading the pack the MP for Molepolole south Daniel Kwelagobe took a swipe at the ministry for concentrating all their efforts in enriching the foreigners investors who in the short term would accumulate wealth and disappear to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writers

The police have reacted with anger at news that the suspects shot on Wednesday by security agents died from his wounds. In a strongly worded statement released yesterday, the police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner, Christopher Mbulawa dismissed the reports carried in yesterday’s Mmegi.

“The suspect was in the company of three others who were also wanted for various offences when the incident happened. The suspect is admitted at a local hospital,” he said.

He said that the four men were on the police wanted list for several robberies.

He could not confirm nor deny that the men were armed. “When you approach a suspect who has been wanted for armed robbery, you tend to think he is armed. You never take a chance.

You assume he is armed,” said Mbulawa. Sources say the [continue reading]