Archive for March, 2010

source: Sunday Standard
28.03.2010 8:39:14 P

With factional bickering deadlocked inside the ruling Botswana Democratic Party, some sections of the A-Team faction are reported to be lobbying President Ian Khama to dissolve parliament and call fresh elections.
The strategy is designed to outflank Members of Parliament sympathetic to Barata Phathi.

The A-Team is worried that at the pace at which things are going, their rivals in the Barata Phathi faction are poised to cross the floor with parliamentary seats which they won only last year under the BDP ticket.

BDP Central Committee insiders say the idea of a snap election was first broached by former cabinet and now central committee member, Tebelelo Seretse.

It is alleged that at a central committee meeting held on Monday, following the Barata-Phathi summit in Mogoditshane, Seretse suggested to the BDP leadership that the only way to break the impasse was [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Zimbabwe Standard (Harare)
Kholwani Nyathi
27 March 2010

Harare — PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has cobbled up an ambitious plan that might see government relaxing draconian media and security laws by the end of the year but analysts say its success is threatened by hardliners in Zanu PF who are determined to preserve the status quo.

The government work plan for this year, which Tsvangirai’s office indicated would be launched in parliament this week, also proposes monitoring mechanism for the performance of cabinet ministers.

Tsvangirai also commits government to conclude the constitution-making process and to strengthen the national healing programme as well as urgent reforms that promote free and fair elections.

Under the plan, the government will introduce at least 17 amendments to laws including the notorious Public Order and Security Act and repeal the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act used to ban critical [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Coupled with an expected favourable monetary environment, recovery in major export markets should power Botswana’s trade balance back to the black, following a near 13-month streak of running deficits.The country has recorded trade deficits since November 2008, with imports outstripping exports by more than P1 billion for most of that period.

According to the CSO, Botswana’s imports for 2009 amounted to P33.3 billion while exports for the year amounted to P24 billion, resulting in an overall deficit of P9.3 billion.

In comparison, the trade deficit for 2008 was P2.5 billion. The 2009 deficit is largely due to the contraction of prime export industries such as diamond mining, textiles, copper/nickel and beef, due to the collapse of target markets in the grip of [continue reading]

source: BOPA
26 March, 2010

GABORONE- The Architects Registration Council of Botswana (ARCB) has elected Messrs Goitsemodimo Manowe and Ishmael Mosinyi as the chairperson and vice respectively.

The body was created through the Architects Registration Act in 2008 to establish a council to regulate on behalf of the public the practice of architecture.

Mr Manowe said the inauguration of the ARCB was the culmination of 18 years of collaboration between architectural profession through the Architects Association of Botswana (AAB), which is currently represented by the Department of Building and Engineering Services (DBES).

Mr Manowe, who is the director of Pinagare Architects and the founding member of AAB, said the council would regulate the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

FRANCISTOWN: Regional Magistrate in the South, Lot Moroka has called for the Declaration of Assets and Liabilities Bill to be passed as a matter of urgency to nip corruption in the bud. Moroka said that the country needs the law as soon as possible.

He was speaking at a workshop on corruption and corporate governance organised by City of Francistown yesterday.The senior magistrate said that the absence of the law has contributed to rampant corruption in the country. “There are people who could have been arrested but they are protected, ” he said.

Moroka said that if this bill were to be passed and law enacted Batswana would realise that they do not know their country. “Some investors who come here need [continue reading]

source: BOPA
26 March, 2010

GABORONE – Parliament on Wednesday threw its weight behind the International Financial Organisation (Amendment) Bill as it sailed through its second reading with relative ease.

Presenting the bill earlier on, Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Mr Kenneth Matambo, said requirements of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) precipitated the move.

All IMF members were required to have accepted the amendment to the IMF Articles of Agreement by end of last year, and Minister Matambo said Botswana could not do so due to a tight parliamentary schedule.

The bill proposes to amend the IMF Articles to enhance the investment authority of the fund to allow it to use a members currency held in the investment account for [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Alex Bell
26 March 2010

South African civil rights initiative, AfriForum, has rolled out what it calls a ‘Civil Sanction Campaign’ in support of Zimbabwe’s farmers and farm workers, the first step of which is to seize Zimbabwean assets in South Africa.

The group has identified four Zimbabwean owned properties to be ‘attached’ as compensation for South African farmers who have lost land in Robert Mugabe’s land ‘reform’ programme. A 2008 regional ruling, declaring the exercise ‘unlawful’, has been ignored and legally dismissed in Zimbabwe, leaving farmers with no choice but to seek justice elsewhere. Farmers approached AfriForum to have that same ruling, made by the human rights court of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), registered in South Africa.

Judge Garth Rabie last month ruled in favour of the farmers, stating that the SADC Tribunal ruling, including a later order to pay costs to the farmers, should be honoured. AfriForum has since been seeking what Zimbabwean assets can be attached to settle these costs and [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

The state owned Botswana Television (Btv) and Radio Botswana (RB) are seemingly taking sides in the ongoing Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) wrangles.

Since the saga unfolded last week, both Btv and Radio Botswana have only been reporting the views of the BDP central committee, which is dominated by the A-faction.

On Wednesday Btv news bulletin, a member of the central committee, Tebelelo Seretse, was interviewed in the studio about the party position. The following morning she was doing the same interview on RB.

On Monday, Btv aired a statement, which was delivered late, warning members of the Barata-Phathi to surrender their BDP membership cards within 48 hours.

On the eve of the Barata-Phathi Saturday meeting, Btv aired another statement from the BDP leadership, which was warning that the convention would be “illegal”. Both Btv and Radio Botswana have never bothered to [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
United States Congress (Washington, DC)
26 March 2010

The following remarks were issued by Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson at a hearing of the Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health titled ‘An Overview of U.S. Policy in Africa’.

Chairman Payne, Ranking Member Smith, and Members of the Committee: I welcome the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss our policy in Sub-Saharan Africa. As you know this is my first appearance before this committee, and I salute your commitment to Africa as well as your efforts to examine tough issues. I look forward to working with the Congress and especially with this committee to identify appropriate tools to assist our [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The International Criminal Court Watch (ICC Watch) has accused Botswana of behaving like a European puppet and being party to the undermining of Africa’s independence from colonial rule.

The report by the ICC Watch says there is growing concern about Botswana’s position regarding the attempts by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague to indict, arrest and extradite Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir with regard to the conflict in Darfur.

The report goes on to say the ICC, established in 2002, has increasingly come to be seen as a European Court.”The ICC is overwhelmingly dominated and funded by Germany, Britain, France and Italy, Africa’s old colonial masters,” the report says. The report accuses President Ian Khama for being party to decisions fundamentally undermining African independence and re-establishing European domination of African affairs. “Sir Seretse was a leading figure in fighting for and asserting African independence. It comes as a great surprise therefore that his son, a subsequent President of Botswana, Ian Khama, has been party to [continue reading]

source: BOPA
26 March, 2010

GABORONE – The Botswana Exporters and Manufacturers Association (BEMA) on Tuesday launched its strategy.

Its vision is to be a dynamic catalyst for the competitiveness and growth of Botswanas manufacturing and export sectors.

Some of the key aspects of the strategy as explained by the managing director of Organizational Life Focus, Mr Mandei Mangori are to increase the size and competitiveness of Botswanas manufacturing and export sectors, to provide international trade expertise and to increase participation of local, regional and international stakeholders and strategic partners.

Promoting demand driven benchmarking regionally and internationally, is also key.

He expressed concern that BEMA is still in a weak financial position hence members will be encouraged to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

SELEBI-PHIKWE: CEDA clients are faced with several problems, among them market penetration and competition from more established South African companies which export to Botswana.

CEDA clients expressed these concerns and others during a media tour organised by CEDA last week. The tour started at Richmark Poultry in Moletemane village.

Richmark Operations Manager, Kim van der Mere, said the company was started as an ostrich farm 31 years ago but as time went on, they switched to broilers because of market needs.

She said the company has assets valued at P21 million. They slaughter between 9 000 and 10 000 chickens a day and make nearly P4 million a month in profits.

“We were offered a loan by CEDA in 2003 to expand the [continue reading]

source: BOPA
26 March, 2010

SEROWE – Shortage of water, which has negatively impacted on some sections of Serowe would be addressed once the anticipated measures are implemented, says Serowe water affairs assistant station manager, Mr Rebaone Matlhape.

Responding to a BOPA questionnaire, Mr Matlhape said the village is currently supplied through 39 boreholes, 23 being at Stekwane and 18 at Moriri but said three boreholes were closed due to high levels of nitrates.

He added that they are producing 6966M3/day but the daily demand is 8000M3/day and the daily consumption rate is 4809.15M3/day which means that they are pumping beyond the stipulated hours of operation in an attempt to meet the demand.

The figures show that we are producing enough water to meet the daily demand of the village. In reality however not all sections of [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Alex Bell
26 March 2010

The High Court has ruled against investors from Malaysia in a dispute over an invaded property, in a move that will further sour diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Malaysian authorities have already expressed anger over the forced takeover of the property, a banana plantation in eastern Manicaland, which is supposed to be protected under a Bilateral Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement (BIPPA). The property, Fangundu Farm (which is owned by the Malaysian and Dutch farming entity, Matanuska) was invaded over the festive season by Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Tanzania, former army general Edzai Chimonyo, who insists that he was awarded the property in 2006 under the land reform programme.

High Court judge Justice Yunus Omerjee dismissed an application filed by Matanuska, seeking to bar Chimonyo from appealing against an earlier ruling ordering him to vacate the property. That ruling was handed down in [continue reading]

source: BOPA
26 March, 2010

GABORONE – Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, Mr Ramadeluka Seretse, has applauded MPs for constructive contributions and support when debating the Magistrates Courts (Amendment) Bill.

The bill, which sailed through its second reading in Parliament Wednesday, seeks to amend the Magistrates Courts Act to allow magistrates to engage assessors in both civil and criminal cases in an advisory capacity.

Mr Seretse informed Parliament that the assessors were expected to help in stock theft cases because of their vast knowledge in cultures and traditions of the various tribes in Botswana.

He added that the assessors would be engaged as per the districts to [continue reading]