Archive for March 24th, 2010

March 23, 2010, 11:12 AM EDT
source: Businessweek
By Jerry Bungu

March 23 (Bloomberg) — Botswana’s ruling party, which has governed the world’s biggest diamond-producing nation since 1966, may split, said a leader of a breakaway faction that wants to form a new opposition movement.

Disgruntled members of the Botswana Democratic Party, who form a group known as Barata Phathi, met on March 20 to discuss their opposition to President Ian Khama, said Sydney Pilane, a member of the steering committee of the faction. Pilane was among three members of the BDP suspended last week pending a party disciplinary hearing.

“We have been given the mandate to go ahead to do what is necessary to form the new party,” Pilane said in a phone interview today from [continue reading]

source: News24
2010-03-23 21:09

Gaborone – Three top members of Botswana’s ruling party are set to form a rival faction, officials said on Tuesday, accusing President Ian Khama of undermining democracy with his heavy-handed leadership.

The new grouping would be the first to split away from the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), which has ruled this diamond-rich southern African nation since independence from Britain in 1966.

The three dissidents were suspended from the party last week, after they sided with the opposition in objecting to Khama’s decision to unilaterally appoint four special lawmakers meant to be named by the ruling party.

Khama, a former military boss and the son of Botswana’s founding father, has come under criticism for his autocratic style but still led the party to another landslide victory in [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

In a move expected to unlock wealth for local investors, the Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) is to embark on a major divestment from its multi-million pula property portfolio.

The divestiture is part of BDC’s Strategic Plan for 2007 – 2011. Between 2007 and 2008, BDC reviewed its various wholly, owned and equity property assets with a view to shedding its interest in selected properties.

BDC’s strategists are targeting mature investments for divestment, thereby unlocking funds that will kick-start a process through which local investors will tap into the profitability of the property investments.

According to information available, BDC plans to off-load targeted properties into a Property Fund that will create the [continue reading]

source: BOPA
23 March, 2010

GABORONE – Marking officer with emergency assist 991 says this years roads safety campaigns will be characterised by random alcohol checks and speed trap along the high ways in roads leading to the capital city.

Giving a key note address during the launch of mini traffic road safety campaign at Gaborone Bus Rank Saturday, Ms Milidzani Lesifi said many road accidents are caused by over speeding coupled with drunken driving.

She therefore said as a measure to counter these unwarranted accidents, the police will be on the lookout to see those who are hell bent of breaking road traffic law this coming festive season.

She noted that the theme of this year which says; Kill speed, drive to live, is a challenge to everyone to avoid accidents and [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Africa Confidential (London)
23 March 2010

President Jacob Zuma’s suggestion that fresh elections might offer a way out of the current impasse has sparked off a complex game of ‘call my bluff’ amongst the parties to the power-sharing government. It seems clear that Zuma and his advisors would prefer some form of power-sharing to continue in Zimbabwe, even after polls.

The timing will depend on whether Zuma’s 16-18 March mission to Harare can secure a deal on the key battles between the parties: appointing provincial premiers, the Reserve Bank Governor and the Attorney General, and President Robert Mugabe’s unilateral decision to strip four ministers from rival parties of any effective powers. Otherwise, it will be back to the election gambit. None of the parties really wants elections now but they are happy to pretend that [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Most parliamentarians on Friday agreed to reduce the age of maturity from 21 years to 18 years of age.

Member of Parliament for Mogoditshane Patrick Masimolole, who tabled the motion, argued that there was inconsistency in Botswana laws as some government ministries recognised somebody as mature at 21 years, while others did so at 18 years.

He cited a situation where an 18 year-old person is allowed to vote, to stand for elections and to hold a driver’s licence, but can only acquire land at 21 years.

This, he said disadvantages the youth who may be trying to utilize government assistance schemes. Only a few MPs expressed reservations. Kagiso Molatlhegi of Gaborone South said he did not support the motion because 18 year olds are still young and dependent on their parents hence they were not mature enough to [continue reading]

source: BOPA
23 March, 2010

GABORONE – Government has lost more than P37 million after 1 472 projects funded under the Out of School Youth Grant during NDP9 folded.

Youth, sport and culture minister, Mr Shaw Kgathi told Parliament Friday that altogether 3 150 projects were funded under the grant while 242 were funded under the Youth Development Fund. Thus, a total of 3 392 youth projects were funded during NDP9.

According to Mr Kgathi, some projects collapsed primarily due to abandonment as some youths went for further studies or found fulltime time employment elsewhere hence it had not been possible to offer remedial support for this group.

The minister further said some businesses collapsed due to factors such high rentals, limited business knowledge, market skills and [continue reading]

source: Fin24
Mar 23 2010 22:09

Johannesburg – The SA Reserve Bank’s March Quarterly Bulletin shows that SA’s economy is recovering, Investec Asset Management said on Tuesday.

Earlier, the SARB released a somewhat bullish bulletin in which it said that the SA economy had continued to gather momentum in the fourth quarter of 2009.

André Roux, head of fixed income at Investec Asset Management said the data contained in the bulletin represented the expenditure side of the economy and showed an expenditure pattern that was consistent with an economy that was recovering.

“Driving this recovery in expenditure is the fact that the decline in inventories is slowing sharply.

“This will continue to be the driver of growth for the foreseeable future as businesses begin to restock properly again,” Roux said.

He added that consumption was a [continue reading]