Archive for February, 2010

source: BOPA
25 February, 2010

Since April 2008 to date, 13 people have been charged for showing disrespect to President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama by uttering words of insult. This was revealed by defence,justice and security minister, Mr Dikgakgamatso Seretse, responding to a question in Parliament from Ngami MP, Mr Taolo Habano. According to Mr Seretse, three foreign nationals, one Indian, one Pakistan and one South African, were deported.

Mr Habano wanted to know how many people suspected of disrespecting the President by uttering words of insult had been charged. Furthermore, he wanted to know how many were deported before or after being charged and convicted and what their nationalities were.
[BOPA]

source: Mmegi
MONKAGEDI GAOTLHOBOGWE
Staff Writer

Despite President Ian Khama’s vow to fill vacancies in government departments when he took over in April 2008, the situation is getting worse, at least according to a presentation in parliament yesterday by Lesego Motsumi, Minister of Presidential affairs and public administration.

Presenting her budget proposal for 2010/11 Motsumi revealed that the number of vacancies in December last year was 3507 compared to 3228 of the manpower establishment in December 2008. This represents a 0.05% increase from the previous year rate.

Khama vowed to crack the whip and ensure that vacancies are filled with the view of providing employment to many [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
UN News Service (New York)
Government Action – UN Expert
25 February 2010

Botswana’s Government must step up efforts to tackle the challenges faced by many indigenous communities, such as land rights, according to a new report by a United Nations independent expert.

“The current problems faced by indigenous peoples in the country are associated with three underlying, interrelated issues: respect for cultural diversity/identity, political participation and consultation, and redress for historical wrongs,” S. James Anaya, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous peoples, said.

Mr. Anaya, who visited the country last March, noted that the Government has undertaken many initiatives to address the conditions of disadvantaged and marginalized peoples, as well as preserving and celebrating the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
BRIAN BENZA
Staff Writer

Mainly driven by the increase in Value Added Tax (VAT) effective from April, inflation will not be expected to fall back within the Bank of Botswana’s 3 to 6 percent objective range until the first quarter of next year.

VAT will increase from 10 percent to 12 percent in April as announced in the national budget for 2010/11 recently.A statement released by BoB PRO Chepete Chepete yesterday says the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) anticipates that following a short-term spike resulting from the impact of the increase in VAT, inflation will fall within the 3 to 6 percent objective range only in 2011.

Inflation, which registered a remarkable decrease in 2009 that led BoB to [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)
25 February 2010

Johannesburg — Civil Rights Group AfriForum says it’s registered a High Court case in Pretoria which confirms the SADEC Tribunal against decision against the land reform programme of Zimbabwe.

The registration of the ruling in South Africa now opens the door for farmers who have been disadvantaged by the land distribution programme at last to submit claims for their losses by means of South African legal processes.

The court also confirmed a cost order of the SADEC Tribunal, which means that non-diplomatic Zimbabwean assets in South Africa are now open to seizure for the execution of the cost order.

Farmers and workers who lost property during Robert Mugabe’s land-grab can now seize property owned by the Zimbabwean government in South Africa.

The Tribunal ruled in November 2008 that [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
EPHRAIM KEORENG
Staff Writer

As the war against narcotics, terrorism and other crimes intensifies, 36 officers under the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) will this weekend graduate in Otse.

The training course conducted under the Law Enforcement Executive Development Program (LEED) covered investigations on terrorism, narcotics, immigration, firearms and other policing techniques.

Ten officers are from Botswana, seven from Ghana, six from South Africa and 13 from Zambia. The course also looked at community policing issues.

ILEA was established in 2000 by the United States and Botswana governments, in a bilateral agreement based on their mutual interest to [continue reading]

source: BOPA
25 February, 2010

GABORONE – SADC has established the Southern Africa Telecommunication Association (SATA) as a platform to spearhead and coordinate the orderly development of telecommunication and ICT networks as well as services in the region.

Senior advisor at the International Telecoms Union (ITU) regional office for African telecommunications development bureau, Ms Chali Tumelo told the delegates at the 10th SADC Telecom Operators Bilateral Meeting (STOBM) that the need to set up the entity was done with a view to provide networks and services that were responsive to the diverse needs of commerce and industry in support of [continue reading]

Questions in Parliament

source: Mmegi

Question by G. Saleshando MP Selebi Phikwe West:
To ask the Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration to state: MP Gilson Saleshando of Selebi Phikwe West)

Answer: Whether research was carried out before the Public Service Management Directive No.2 of 2008 on Attraction and Retention Policy was implemented considering the mistakes that were made in the process of implementing the directive;

ii. The cost effectiveness of the exercise since implementation considering that new employees are registered as an when they are categorised as qualifying for the scarce skill allowance;

iii. Whether government has plans to carry out further research on the scarce skill in the country in order to determine if the skills initially categorised as [continue reading]

source: BOPA
25 February, 2010

GABORONE – Parliament should not approve the 2010/11 budget as long as it remained apathetic and unwilling to address the plight of public servants, Selibe Phikwe West MP, Mr Gilson Saleshando charged in Parliament last week. Why should we disadvantage our employees when they have been so committed to prudently running the civil service, he asked rhetorically.

He slammed government for not doing anything to help Batswana, arguing that foreign companies won most tenders while Batswana settled for crumbs.

MP Saleshando described Botswanas economy as an export platform for low quality goods.

To diversify the countrys economy, he said, there was need for an [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Alex Bell
25 February 2010

A landmark regional ruling declaring Robert Mugabe’s land ‘reform’ programme unlawful will now be enforced in South Africa, after the High Court in Pretoria ruled that the ruling should be honoured.

Judge Garth Rabie ruled in favour of the South African commercial farmers who have been victims of Mugabe’s land grab campaign in Zimbabwe. The farmers had approached civil rights initiative AfriForum to help them get the 2008 ruling made by the human rights court of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) enforced. The same ruling, which said that land ‘reform’ was unlawful, has been openly ignored by the government, which by law is meant to adhere to the Tribunal as a SADC member state.

Justice Barack Patel last month also dismissed the SADC Tribunal ruling, refusing to register it in Zimbabwe. Justice Patel said the regional Tribunal’s ruling would have no effect in Zimbabwe because of the political upheaval reversing 10 years of land seizures would cause. He added that [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

In a development that could push power tariffs in Botswana upwards, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has approved an Eskom power tariff increase of 24,8 percent as from April 1, 2010, and subsequent increase of 25,8 percent and 25,9 percent for 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 respectively, chairperson Cecilia Khuzwayo announced on Wednesday.

Botswana imports 80 percent of its power needs mainly from Eskom.In November last year, South Africa’s State-owned power utility Eskom applied for increases of 35 percent a year over the three-year MYPD2 timeframe, having initially requested yearly increases of 45 percent, which it said were necessary to help it cover rising operational and capital costs.

The electricity price will rise to 41,5 c/kWh this year, to 52 c/kWh in 2011/2012 and to over 65 c/kwh in 2012/2013. The increase, which will be wildly unpopular, will add to inflationary pressures and could limit economic growth and job creation.

Nersa has calcated the impact on inflation as being less than 1,5 percent a year over the three-year period. The regulator based its [continue reading]

Wal-Mart coming to SA

source: Fin24
Feb 26 2010 06:15
Andile Makholwa

Johannesburg – After a “stormy” first half, general goods retailer Massmart Holdings has expressed hopes for a turnaround, saying it expects a rise in second-half profit thanks to improving consumer spending and the effects of trading space rollout.

The group has also confirmed that Wal-Mart will enter SA.

Delivering interim results for the six months to end-December, Massmart CEO Grant Pattison said trading conditions in South Africa have improved over the past eight weeks. The group expects to see recovery in gross margins and profit growth in second-half trading.

That was after the group – whose brands include Game, Dion Wired, Makro and Builders Warehouse – reported a 19.9% fall in headline earnings per share and a 15% decline in operating profit (after foreign currency realisations) over the [continue reading]

source: BOPA
25 February, 2010

Assistant Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Mr Mokgweetsi Masisi has told Parliament that all committees needed for the implementation of the Media Practitioners Act were in place, save for the appointment of an appeals committee due to failure by the Law Society to recommend a legal practitioner to serve as the committees chairperson as prescribed in the act.

Mr Masisi was answering a [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Tichaona Sibanda
25 February 2010

South African President Jacob Zuma will use his state visit to the UK next week to plead with the British government to remove targeted sanctions against Robert Mugabe and his allies.

Speaking in an interview with the UK Financial Times in Pretoria, Zuma suggested he would be happy even if conditions were set for the removal of the sanctions. He said he was baffled that the targeted sanctions have remained despite there being an inclusive government in place.
“If we were in the shoes of the big countries, I would have said ‘here is an agreement, we are in support of this agreement and lifting sanctions, even conditionally, even for six months to a year, give a chance for this agreement,” Zuma said.

A number of demonstrations against Zuma’s soft stance towards Robert Mugabe have been lined up by [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
BRIAN BENZA
Staff Writer

Southern Africa fixed and mobile phone operators should seek to reduce international call costs by cutting down or scrapping termination and roaming charges between countries in a bid to increase traffic flows and revenues.

Speaking at the 10th SADC Telecommunications Operators Bilateral Meeting (STOBM) in Gaborone yesterday, newly appointed Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Communications Mabua Mabua said scrapping of these charges will benefit not only the operators through higher revenues from increased traffic flows but the consumers as well through lower tariffs.

Mabua who was the guest of honour at the meeting hosted by [continue reading]