Archive for January, 2010

source: BOPA
29 January, 2010

GABORONE – The three Department of Wildlife and National Parks game scouts detained in Zimbabwe will appear in court on Monday.

They were detained when they mistakenly crossed into the neighbouring country while tracking a pack of lions that had killed two cows in Lesoma.

Assistant Superintendent Chakalisa Nkoni of Kazungula Police Station said according to reports they received from their Zimbabwean counterparts, the officers will be remanded in custody until February 1 and that their vehicle and guns have been confiscated by the Zimbabwean police.

A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation says the ministry is deeply concerned about the continued detention of the officers, adding that they made a genuine mistake of crossing the border into Zimbabwe.

The ministry said it has reassured Zimbabwean authorities that the officers had no intention of violating the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The arrest of three Botswana wildlife officers in Zimbabwe last week is threatening to trigger a diplomatic row between the two countries. So far, Botswana Foreign Affairs Minister, Phandu Skelemani has expressed his frustration at the way Zimbabwe has handled the matter.

Skelemani said on Tuesday that he met the Zimbabwe High Commissioner in Botswana to lodge a complaint about the treatment of the officers but the response was not satisfactory. “The response was that the (Zimbabwe) police have made up their mind that the three should go to trial and there was nothing they could do as government,” Skelemani explained.

To further complicate the situation, Skelemani’s attempts to speak to the Zimbabwean Foreign Minister have been fruitless. Skelemani said that [continue reading]

source: SouthAfrica.info28 January 2010

After three of five ticketing sales phases for the 2010 Fifa World Cup™ South Africa, over 2-million tickets – two-thirds of the total available – have been sold.

The third ticketing sales phase, which will conclude with a random draw for oversubscribed matches on 1 February, saw a total of 1 206 865 applications received from 192 countries.

Six matches are currently oversubscribed (in all categories), among them the semi-finals and the final. In total, 55 matches are oversubscribed in at least one category.

There was huge interest from South African residents, who accounted for 79 percent of the total applications received (958 381) in this phase. This represents an increase of 24.9 percent in applications from South African residents in the third sales phase when compared to the earlier ticketing stages.

Apart from the host country, the USA led the ticketing standings for the third phase with 50 217 applications, followed by [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Standard Bank has reinforced its credentials in providing project finance to African power plant projects winning another award for its role in Morupule B Power Station, named as ‘African Power Deal of the Year’ by Project Finance International (PFI).

PFI is the leading source of global project finance intelligence. It is published every two weeks, PFI reports on the entire lifecycles of deals, from the initial rumours through to post-completion analysis. Morupule B was the first major transaction involving Standard Bank and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China(ICBC) since the Chinese bank took a 20 per cent stake in Standard Bank in February 2008. This transaction demonstrates the benefits of the Standard Bank and ICBC partnership to African companies looking for financing and to the local communities whose quality of life is enhanced through increased expenditure on essential power and infrastructure projects.

Commenting, Rob Walker, Director, Investment Banking Coverage Africa, Standard Bank, said: “Standard Bank is delighted to win another award for our role in [continue reading]

27 January 2010

The Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has decided to keep the repo rate unchanged at 7%.

“The MPC noted that inflation is likely to remain close to the upper end of the target range over the forecast period, and is of the view that the risks to this outlook are fairly evenly balanced.

“Electricity price increases pose the biggest upside risk, counteracted by the weak state of domestic demand. Against this background the MPC has decided to keep the repurchase rate unchanged at 7% per annum,” said Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus on Tuesday, following the bank’s first meeting this year.

Electricity price concern

Marcus said electricity price hikes remained the single biggest risk to the inflation outlook: “We are extremely concerned about the impact,” she said.

Domestic consumption expenditure, she said, remained under stress, and that there were no perceived risks to the inflation outlook from this source.

However, she added that CPI inflation was expected to increase above the target range in the next three months due to [continue reading]

source: BOPA
28 January, 2010

GABORONE – Government will make sure that only deserving companies benefit from the envisaged stimulus package for the ailing textile industry.

It cannot be ruled out that some companies may obtain assistance by false pretences and if found out, they will be dealt with accordingly, warned Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Mr Boniface Mphetlhe.

The bail out plan is aimed at helping companies survive the ravages of the global economic meltdown as well as mitigating job losses in the textile sector.

According to Mr Mphetlhe, the ministry was still working on finalising the details of the bail out plan and will be communicated to the industry in due course.

Government is not necessarily forced to bail out the companies, but the assistance is intended to [continue reading]

source: BOPA
28 January, 2010

Gaborone – Botswana and China have enjoyed increased trade volumes amounting to over one billion Pula (US$200 million) in 2009 although both were negatively affected by the global financial crisis.

The Chinese Ambassador, Mr Liu Haunxing revealed this during the 35th anniversary celebrations of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Botswana.

Mr Huanxing said trade and technical cooperation boosted the two countries bilateral relations. He stated that the Chinese government had been providing economic assistance to Botswana such as grants, interest free loans and low interest loans, with which 28 projects were to date completed.

Mr Huanxing stated that the Chinese government attached great importance to technical exchange and transfer with Botswana.

Therefore, three Chinese agricultural experts were helping Botswana in agricultural policy making and [continue reading]

source: The Botswana Gazette
Written by AUBREY LUTE
Wednesday, 27 January 2010 13:58

As Attorney General explains the customary law

The Commissioner of Police, Mr Thebeyame Tsimako has informed the Attorney General’s Office that they are investigating a number of cases that have been reported to Police relating to flogging of persons in the Kgatleng District. He has told the AG that they are ready to hand over at least two dockets to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to consider whether charges should be laid against the suspects.

The Attorney General, Dr Athaliah Molokomme has said she find it appropriate, in the light of recent developments in the Kgatleng District, the ensuing public debates on the issue, and following enquiries, to inform the public on the legal position with respect to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE)-listed African Copper has moved to implement a number of strategies that will increase production at its flagship Mowana mine, near Francistown.

In a statement , African Copper said that it will install a mobile crushing unit and amend the Environmental Management Plan (EMP) at its Mowana mine to remove bottlenecks hampering the ramp-up to full capacity.

African Copper reopened Mowana mine in August last year after being bailed out by Zambia Copper Investments. Since then the company has reached “encouraging” levels of production in October and November, but lower plant availability impacted on output in December and January.

Jordan Soko, Executive Director of the Company, said:”Starting in late August 2009 we have successfully reinstated production, reaching encouraging levels in [continue reading]

27 January 2010

A fuel task team is working on plans to ensure there is enough petrol, diesel and jet fuel to get millions of spectators to all the World Cup games, the SA Petroleum Industry Association (Sapia) said on Tuesday.

“… From a fuel supply perspective, this will be a major logistical exercise, the likes of which we may never see again,” Sapia’s incoming chairperson Maurice Radebe said in a statement.

He said visitors and teams would start arriving in the country two to three weeks before the 40-day tournament and many would stay on afterwards for a holiday in the country.

Radebe has given the assurance the petroleum industry will be ready to meet the spike in demand. To this end, Sapia, Transnet,the Airports Company South Africa and the energy department, among others, were co-operating.

“Stock levels are the key. Refineries will be producing at top capacity ahead of and during the event and import, distribution and storage facilities will all be optimally utilised.

“We will be ready to meet the needs of transport operators, airlines, tourist destinations, industry and commerce in the run up to the Fifa World Cup™ and beyond when South Africa will be showcased to [continue reading]

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]