Archive for January 27th, 2010

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

As the economic climate begins to warm up, a survey has revealed businesses in Botswana as among the most optimistic in the world despite having been bruised by a harsh 2009.

According to the International Business Report (IBR) survey, conducted by global accountancy and consultancy firm, Grant Thornton, Privately Held Businesses(PHBs) in India, Australia and Chile are the most optimistic in the world scoring over 70 percent in the global optimism/pessimism index for 2010, while countries such as Botswana, South Africa and China come second with scores of over 60 percent.

“Businesses in Chile, India, Australia, Vietnam and Brazil are the most optimistic in [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The Herald (Harare)
Published by the government of Zimbabwe
Fidelis Munyoro
27 January 2010

Harare — THE High Court has said it will not register the Sadc Tribunal ruling seeking to bar the State from acquiring land for resettlement purposes, saying the judgment contravenes Zimbabwe’s Constitution and public policy.

Justice Bharat Patel yesterday said enforcing the tribunal’s ruling would be against Zimbabwe’s domestic laws and agrarian policies, noting that “the greater public good must prevail”.

Gramara (Private) Limited – an agricultural company owned by white farmers — and the former president of the Commercial Farmers’ Union, Mr Colin Bailie Cloete, had sought an order for the registration of the tribunal’s decision for enforcement in Zimbabwe.

This followed the appeal made by 79 white commercial farmers to the regional court seeking to block the State’s compulsory acquisition of the farms they held.

In 2008 the tribunal, which is based in Windhoek, Namibia, passed interim and final orders barring acquisitions.

They then approached the High Court to enforce [continue reading]

source: BOPA
26 January, 2010

SELEBI PHIKWE – Member of Parliament for Selebi Phikwe East, Mr Nonofo Molefhi says government will reposses fields that are not utilised.

Addressing kgotla meeting in Selebi Phikwes Botshabelo Ward recently, Mr Molefi said repossession will include fields which have not been cultivated in a very long time.

He reminded the meeting about a problem of shortage of land for residential, commercial and agricultural purposes in Botswana.

Officials from the Ministry of Agriculture have been instructed to help facilitate the programme by counting the number of idle fields around the country with a view to acquire land to facilitate allocation of new fields, says Mr Molefhi.

He noted that the exercise to be undertaken by Agriculture as well as Lands and Housing ministries aiming at [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The Ministry of Education (MoE) is still looking at the recommendations in the recently released final report of the review of the grant/loan sponsorship scheme of the Department of the Tertiary Education Funding (DTEF).

Deputy permanent secretary responsible for the department, Golekanye Setume said yesterday that they are busy planning how to implement the recommendations. “This process will make us take a position on how to inform the policy on these recommendations,” he explained.

The final report of the review was released on November 25, 2009. The Evaluation Services Team – Botswana (BEST) recommended a new direction in human resources for the economy, award of government sponsorships and recovery of student loans for the scheme. The research team felt that [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Alex Bell
26 January 2010

Four Chipinge commercial farmers have all been ordered to immediately vacate their properties or face a possible jail term, as the state’s takeover of farms under so-called land ‘reform’ continues.

Magistrate Samuel Dzuze on Tuesday found all four farmers guilty of refusing to leave their properties, charges brought against them under the Gazetted Land (Consequential Provisions) Act. These same charges have been laid against more than 150 of the remaining commercial farmers who have tried to hang on to their properties. In separate judgements on Tuesday, the Magistrate sentenced the four farmers to pay US$800 fines and vacate their properties. Only one farmer, Mike Odendaal from Hillcrest farm, has been given more than 24 hour to pack up his belongings. The others all have to be off their properties by Wednesday evening.

The magistrate ruled that the farmers would be jailed for two years each if they did not comply with the ruling. The four were also denied the right to appeal against the judgement, saying there was ‘no doubt’ in his ruling. Urgent applications are now set to be filed in Harare on behalf of the farmers.

The Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) reported that the situation in court was [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

As the controversy over the whipping of people in Kgatleng rages on, Defence, Justice and Security Minister, Ramadeluka Seretse and police commissioner, Thebeyame Tsimako are said to have met Bakgatla paramount chief, Kgosi Kgafela II today to discuss the goings-on in the district.

The meeting interestingly coincides with a press release by the Attorney General Athaliah Molokomme published in the government owned Daily News paper, where she posited that “The flogging or caning of people without their consent, outside the foregoing legal framework, is illegal and offenders can be charged with criminal offences for assault and other offences, as well as being sued in civil proceedings,” she said.

Molokomme’s statement comes in the wake of the whipping of a 56 year old Mokgatla man, Tselapedi Mooketsi at the behest of Bakgatla royalty. According to Botswana law, as the attorney general states, corporal punishment against [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)
Hopewell Radebe
27 January 2010

Pretoria — The Australian government, a vocal critic of Harare and one of the governments instrumental in getting it kicked out of the Commonwealth, has softened its approach and will now provide assistance to Zimbabwe.

“We have agreed on projects to help Zimbabwe with taxation laws as well as water and sanitation technical expertise,” Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith told reporters yesterday.

He said Zimbabwe needed technical expertise to reform its tax laws and build the economy.

Smith said Australia’s longstanding view about Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe was that he ought to leave office. But he said that political developments in the country were encouraging.

He said Australia was keen to step up trilateral co-operation in support of recovery efforts in Zimbabwe. Since the establishment of the all-party government, Australia had provided more than [continue reading]

source: BOPA
26 January, 2010

GABORONE – Botswana is grappling with the challenge of turning its agricultural sector around to meet local food demand.

Briefing Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Stephen Smith, agriculture minister, Mr Christian De Graaff said Botswana continued to rely heavily on food imports.

He regretted that the agricultural sector produced less than half the countrys basic food requirements mainly due to the fact that production was not commercialised. As such, the country had a challenge to commercialise the sector to improve productivity.

According to Mr De Graaff, Botswana was working on developing appropriate technologies, training of farmers and extension workers as well as supporting youth to participate in agriculture.

Other initiatives included improving the bio-security and total management of the value chain of [continue reading]

26 January 2010

South Africa and Australia have reaffirmed the need to strengthen their existing relations and further expand cooperation between the two countries.

This follows a meeting between International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and her Australian counterpart, Stephen Smith, in Pretoria on Tuesday morning.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, the two said they had agreed on projects to deliver humanitarian assistance and help in rebuilding the strife-torn Zimbabwe.

In this regard, the two ministers agreed in principal that they would assist in Zimbabwe with the taxation law, water and sanitation. Smith said Zimbabwe needed technical expertise to reform its tax laws and build the economy.

Opening up trade

For her part, Nkoana-Mashabane said South Africa was looking forward to working with [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Three officers from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) are still detained in Zimbabwe after they crossed into the country by mistake last week.

The armed Botswana officers, travelling in a government vehicle, were tracking lions that had killed two cows in Lesoma village along the border between the two countries. The Botswana High Commissioner in Zimbabwe, Gladys Kokorwe said yesterday that the matter has been reported to her office and that the officers were supposed to appear in court for mention yesterday afternoon.

She was not sure whether they appeared in court because of poor communications between her office in Harare and the police station that detained the three in Victoria Falls.

Kokorwe said that she will send an officer to the town today to get more information.The two towns are [continue reading]