Archive for January, 2010

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

For the past two years Botswana has experienced a few radioactive incidents. Speaking at an event held to discuss Botswana`s nuclear security support plan Radiation Protection Inspectorate director Stephen Williams said in 2008 his department attended to two incidents in Palapye and Mmamabula Coal Mine.

He said at the mine around December 2008, a radioactive source had contaminated the soil surface on the site when a company engaged in well-logging drilled through the source. After the soil samples were contained in drums, some people stole the drums.

It was through the help of the police that all the drums were recovered and the thieves identified.

“However, we are yet to recover the last drum. The radioactive material could be hazardous especially if one drinks water from [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)
Miriam Isa
28 January 2010

Johannesburg — INFLATION rose more slowly than expected last month, but breached its official 3%-6% target range for the first time since September, official data showed yesterday.

And the Treasury said it and the Reserve Bank were addressing “the adequacy and effectiveness” of inflation targeting, which has come under harsh criticism.

The annual rise in the consumer price index (CPI) targeted for monetary policy accelerated to 6,3% from 5,8% the previous month, just below consensus forecasts for a 6,4% increase.

This followed nine successive months of slowdown, including two with inflation within its target range for the first time since April 2007. Petrol price cuts a year earlier and last month’s fuel-price hike helped boost the annual increase through “base effects”.

Local markets shrugged off [continue reading]

source: BOPA
29 January, 2010

SEROWE – The Department of Wildlife and National Parks in Serowe region has recorded 635 livestock deaths caused by predators since the beginning of 2009 to date.

In an interview, the Regional Wildlife Officer, Mr Amos Ramokate said of the number of domestic animals killed, the predators accounted for the loss of 150 cattle, 160 calves, 90 donkeys and 25 horses as well as 210 small livestock.

Mr Ramokate explained that reports of calves and small stock being killed by the predators were relatively high and he attributed this to the fact that this group is generally defenseless.

He said lions and leopards were reported to have caused havoc in the cattle posts located in the Sandveld area near the Kalahari Game Reserve where they sneaked into the ranches and killed cattle.

Meanwhile, in other areas in the Serowe region, wild dogs, leopards and hyenas accounted for a large number of deaths in relation to [continue reading]

Cobra kills three women

source: Mmegi

FRANCISTOWN: Residents of Mokobaxane village between Orapa and Mopipi are reeling in shock following the death of three women who were bitten by a snake.

According to village chief, Meshack Kaponene one woman survived the snakebites but is still fighting for her life at Maun Primary Hospital.

He said the incident happened in the early hours of Monday morning, last week while the women were sleeping in the same hut. He said residents managed to hunt for the venomous snake and found it in a shallow hole inside the hut.

“It was a cobra and it appears it bit each of the women more than once, inflicting them with several snakebites. Villagers managed to hunt for it and killed it,” said the chief.

The chief revealed that the deceased were an elderly woman aged 85, her daughter, 45, and [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
SW Radio Africa (London)
Violet Gonda
27 January 2010

South African President Jacob Zuma is coming under increasing pressure to help break the political deadlock in Zimbabwe.

Despite claims by the partners in the power sharing government that progress was being made, Finance Minister Tendai Biti told journalists in Washington DC on Tuesday that the shaky coalition could collapse if fundamental outstanding issues are not addressed.

The Finance Minister, who is also a negotiator for the MDC-T in the inter-party talks, reportedly called for the intervention of Zuma as they had failed to break the impasse. Zuma is the SADC appointed mediator in Zimbabwe.

However Biti is quoted by Voice of America saying he was optimistic about the future of the country, in spite of the disputes, adding: “This equation can only work if those fundamental foundational cornerstones which brought the Zimbabwean parties involuntarily together are [continue reading]

source: BOPA
28 January, 2010

KANYE – Moshupa MP, Mr Mokgweetsi Masisi says despite the trying economic conditions, the countrys leadership has decided to do all it can to avoid job losses in the public service.

Mr Masisi, who was addressing kgotla meetings at Manyana and Tlanege said government decided to apply for loans from the international financial institutions and even draw from the countrys foreign reserves to mitigate the effects of the global economic meltdown.

He said the countrys economy was inter-related to the economies of other countries where mineral resources were sold.

Therefore, when such economies were in bad shape, they impacted negatively on Botswanas economy.

Mr Masisi, who is also Assistant Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, expressed disappointment that government was hard done by some citizens and non-citizens who have been doing a shoddy job when [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

FRANCISTOWN: The Francistown South Constituency Member of Parliament (MP), Wynter Mmolotsi and his constituents are clearly in one accord on some constitutional matters discussed in the last sitting of Parliament.

This emerged recently at a well-attended consultative meeting the vocal legislator addressed at Block Seven in Francistown.

Mmolotsi, a backbencher, alongside other ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) backbenchers and opposition MPs have been agitating for a constitutional review. One of the sections that came under particular scrutiny is the provision for nominated councillors and MPs in the Constitution.

Ironically, the specially election dispensation has always been quoted by opposition politicians in this country to support their argument that Botswana elections might be free but [continue reading]

source: News24
2010-01-28 22:57

Johannesburg – Five new chief executive officers have been appointed at Gauteng state hospitals to stabilise, improve and sustain the quality of services, Health and Social Development MEC Quedani Mahlangu said on Thursday.

This was a part of Operation Kuyasheshwe-la, which was launched in June last year.

“They know that they can’t manage from their offices… they know that they cannot give me any excuses,” Mahlangu said of the new appointments.

“Things are improving, but they know that they can do better… I’ll be very happy when people can go in and out of hospital within two hours as opposed to them waiting the whole day in queues.”

The new chief executive officers [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Following the film ‘Avatar”s win at the Golden Globes, tribal people have claimed that the film tells the real story of their lives today.

A Penan man from Sarawak, in the Malaysian part of Borneo, told Survival International, ‘The Penan people cannot live without the rainforest. The forest looks after us, and we look after it. We understand the plants and the animals because we have lived here for many, many years, since the time of our ancestors.

‘The Na’vi people in ‘Avatar’ cry because their forest is destroyed. It’s the same with the Penan. Logging companies are chopping down our big trees and polluting our rivers, and the animals we hunt are dying.”

Kalahari Bushman Jumanda Gakelebone said, “We the Bushmen are the first inhabitants in southern Africa. We are being denied rights to our land and [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Violet Gonda
28 January 2010

The inter-party negotiations were dealt another serious blow on Wednesday when ZANU PF’s supreme decision making body, the Politburo, said there will be no more Global Political Agreement concessions until the sanctions have been lifted.

Ephraim Masawi, ZANU PF Deputy Secretary for Information and Publicity, is quoted in the Herald saying remarks by British Foreign Secretary David Miliband that, ‘London would remove sanctions at MDC’s request exposed MDC-T’s treacherous role in the initiation and drafting of the illegal sanctions against Zimbabweans.’ The paper went on to say the party was a, ‘tool of Western imperialism, and that the hypocrisy of the MDC-T’s denial of its role in the evil saga of the imposition of illegal sanctions now stands exposed for all to see.’

Commentator Dr. Alex Magaisa said the statements made by the British official have added fuel to already burning embers in the context of Zimbabwe’s fragile political settlement.

He told SW Radio Africa on Thursday that Miliband’s statements were ‘unfortunate,’ and gave an indication that the MDC had the power to influence the lifting of sanctions, thereby giving ZANU PF a wonderful gift, which it is exploiting to the detriment of the GPA.

Magaisa said it is not clear whether or not the MDC actually have such power, despite [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Former Trade and Industry Minister, Neo Moroka has been appointed resident director and chief executive officer of De Beers Botswana.

This is a new post in the organisations’ Botswana office. Moroka lost his Kgalagadi South parliamentary seat to John Toto in the last general election.

He becomes the third minister, who lost in the elections, to be appointed to a high profile job. The other two are former Education Minister, Jacob Nkate, who was appointed to head Botswana Export Development and Investment Authority (BEDIA) and Kavis Kario, who rejoined BCL mine as ore production manager.

With the appointment of Moroka, it is not clear what has happened to De Beers Botswana chief executive officer, Sheila Khama. A statement by De Beers Botswana chairman, Stephen Lussier, suggests that [continue reading]

source: IOL
January 28 2010 at 11:17PM

The Competition Commission is investigating collusion among local airlines, it said on Thursday.

“The Competition Commission has initiated an investigation against major airlines BA/Comair, South African Airways, 1Time, SA Airlink, Mango and SA Express for allegedly colluding on prices and pricing strategies to be adopted during the Fifa 2010 World Cup tournament,” it said in a statement.

The commission said the investigation followed a leniency application by South Africa Airways (SAA) in December in which it undertook to fully co-operate with the commission, in exchange for leniency from prosecution under the Competition Act.

“In November 2009, the Office of the President also requested the commission to look into concerns that airlines planned to escalate their airfares during the [continue reading]

source: BOPA
29 January, 2010

GABORONE – The local economy is poised to register substantial growth this year, but full recovery is not expected until 2012, Bifm chairman has said.

Speaking at the launch of Bifm Economic Review for the last quarter of 2009, Dr Keith Jeffries said given improvements in the mining sector, the local economy should improve, although the diamond market has not improved to pre-crisis levels.

The mining sector should have a better year than in 2009, with improved prices for copper, nickel and diamonds, although there is always the danger of a price bubble that may not be sustained, he said.

He said improved global prospects should also help to stimulate a recovery of prospecting activity and support emerging projects that had been put on hold during the depths of the economic crisis.

Companies such as Mowana, Tati Nickel and BCL should be encouraged by the increased copper/nickel prices which have been buoyed by [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The Botswana Training Authority (BOTA) is currently sitting on over P164 million in unclaimed Funds that are supposed to be reimbursed to employers who would have trained their workers.

Speaking at a ceremony to handover a BOTA accreditation certificate to Events Venture, an events management and training company, the Authority’s CEO Abel Mudongwa urged employers to undertake training for their employers in a bid to develop their organisations’ human resources, the full cost of which will be covered by the Vocational Training Fund(VTF).

“Most management training companies in the country are doing all they can to get BOTA Accreditation, but I am not sure if stakeholders are taking advantage of the top quality programme that these companies have to offer. In the last 12 months we have accumulated over P164 million and only P24 million has been claimed by [continue reading]

source: News24
2010-01-28 14:08

Davos – South African President Jacob Zuma defended his polygamy before a crowd of business and political elite in Davos and called for acceptance of Zulu culture.

Zuma, 67, a Zulu traditionalist, married earlier this year, bringing his number of wives to three. Another wife died in 2000 and he divorced a fifth in 1998.

Asked by Newsweek International editor Fareed Zakaria, who was moderating a panel on Zuma and South Africa, about his “many wives”, Zuma said on Thursday he believes in the “equality of women”.

That prompted Zakaria to ask if he loves all his wives equally.

“Absolutely,” Zuma responded, drawing laughs from the crowd.

“There are many people in this audience who find it a challenge to be married to [continue reading]