Archive for May, 2010

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Botswana has received a US$136 million (P943 million) loan from the World Bank as part finance for the 600 MW Morupule B power stations currently under construction in Palapye.

Morupule B power station is seen as the sustainable long-term solution to Botswana’s power shortages, particularly in the face of the decreasing imports from South Africa.

Speaking at the signing ceremony in Gaborone yesterday, Finance and Development Planning Minister, Kenneth Matambo said the project is of great strategic importance to the country, as it will contribute to the national energy security and spur economic growth, thus improving the [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Reuben Pitse

The Botswana government has established an agency that will combat financial crimes like terrorism, human trafficking and money laundering.

The new organ, called the Financial Intelligence Agency, will be fully operational by April next year.

It will specifically analyze financial transactions that occur in the country, and also depend on information received from the public or informants.

Ellen Madisa, the Deputy Secretary for Financial Policy in the Ministry of Finance, said on Monday that the agency will not necessarily sniff into people’s bank accounts, adding that the banks will be [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The East African (Nairobi)
Jenerali Ulimwengu
24 May 2010

Nairobi — It’s the chief, not his cronies.

As they prepared to do the premiere of The Last King of Scotland in Kampala a couple of years ago, I hailed a cab and hurried to evacuate myself from the city centre before Yoweri Museveni and his guests could trap me in another traffic snarl-up.

The young man driving me was all jovial politeness as he related how popular the film, starring the hulking Forest Whitaker, was with the citizens of Kampala and how hundreds of them would throng the theatres to see it.This intrigued me, so I asked the young musajja whether he had known Idi Amin.

No, the lad replied, he had not known the man because Amin had cut and run a year before the cabbie was born, but, yes, he had heard a lot of things about the man who used to call himself the Conqueror of the British Empire.

Naturally, I asked my young friend what kind of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Botswana has benefited from a European Union (EU) support programme totalling 70.5 million Euro, aimed at boosting human resource development and mitigating the effects of commodity price flactuations in the country.

Speaking at the celebrations of Europe Day, Head of the delegation of the EU to Botswana and SADC, Paul Malin said there has been increasing cooperation between EU and Botswana.

Alluding to President Ian Khama’s visit to the EU, Malin said; ‘…since the president’s visit we have signed a 60million Euro programme to support the government on human resource development and allocated extra funding to Botswana of 10.5 million Euro to compensate for some of the export losses suffered by [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Kagiso Madibana

Bakgatla paramount chief Kgosi Kgafela Kgafela last week accused Cabinet Ministers of forgetting their Setswana culture and tradition.

Kgafela said at a recent kgotla meeting in Mochudi that he is mortified by the fact that none of the cabinet ministers, save for Ramadeluka Seretse, supported him when he was facing criticism for flogging Family of God church members recently.

“It seems our leaders have forgotten our Setswana tradition, which clearly states that the chief must be respected,” said Kgafela.

He rubbished allegations that the church members were elders, saying that the pastors who were flogged were just young boys in their late 20s.

“Anyone who disrespects the chief will be flogged. Just like [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

A newly released De Beers report states that the Government of Botswana earned P3.3 billion from taxes and royalties from Debswana mines last year, approximately 40 percent lower than previous levels.

Released on Wednesday, De Beers’ Report to Society (RtS) 2009 details the diamond giant’s contribution to governments, communities, the environment and its performance across several other non-financial indicators over the year. Before the recession, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa earned P8.4 billion in royalties, taxes and other charges on mines either wholly or 50 percent owned by De Beers. Generally, Debswana accounts for [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)
Siseko Njobeni
24 May 2010

Johannesburg — THE petroleum industry and other key sectors are bracing for disruption after SA’s largest transport union, the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu), this weekend rejected Transnet’s latest salary increase offer and vowed to prolong its strike into a third week.

The union said it would lobby for sympathy strikes from other unions which, if successful, could potentially cripple key sectors battling with a two-week backlog.

Of particular concern will be the availability of fuel supplies to the inland areas, 17 days before the start of the World Cup. The continuation of the strike threatens to cause a huge backlog in SA’s freight, fuel and other depots.

Avhapfani Tshifularo, executive director of the South African Petroleum Industry Association , yesterday said while the strike at [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

FRANCISTOWN: An economist at the University of Botswana (UB) Professor Narain Sinha says the 30 percent increase on electricity tariffs that came into effect last Saturday is a blessing in disguise because consumers will use less power in order to avoid paying high bills.

“In increasing the prices, the interest is in energy conservation,” Sinha says. “This means under the new structure, those who use less power will pay less. When the price of the commodity goes up, its consumption goes down, hence wastage decreases.”

The UB don was speaking in a telephone interview with Mmegi. He said the increase in power prices was necessary because Botswana was dependant on [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
The Nation (Nairobi)
Kitsepile Nyathi
5 May 2010

Harare — The United States is reviewing the decade old sanctions against Zimbabwe. But the measures are unlikely to end the travel restrictions and asset freeze imposed on President Robert Mugabe and his inner circle for alleged human rights violations.

A bill that seeks to amend the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZDERA) of 2001, which introduced wide ranging sanctions on the southern African country, was introduced in the US Senate on Tuesday.

Sponsored by Senator Feingold along with Republican Senator Johny Isakson and fellow Democrat Senator John Kerry, the proposed Zimbabwe Transition to Democracy and Economic Recovery Act will seek to direct new US policy towards Zimbabwe.

The Bill seeks among other things to a create a statement of US policy towards Zimbabwe, provide for technical assistance to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

Government has reduced levels of poverty in recent years and latest interventions have proved to be making an impact in the fight against poverty, said Vice-President Mompati Merafhe at a press briefing he jointly addressed with his assistant Mokgweetsi Masisi yesterday.

The objective of the briefing was to update the public on the achievements government has made in alleviating poverty since President Ian Khama assumed office in 2008. The duo said the objective of the poverty eradication programme is to assist the destitute to graduate to sustainable livelihoods within the shortest timeframe. “Destitutes will be provided with shelter and least costly technology will be deployed that will aid them graduate to sustainable livelihoods through micro enterprises. Those in sustainable livelihoods will be assisted to graduate into mainstream economy and wealth creation,” he said. He added that government is going to [continue reading]

source: News24
2010-05-05 18:03

Johannesburg – President Jacob Zuma announced new judicial appointments on Wednesday in accordance with the Constitution and on the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission.

“The President congratulated the judges on their appointments and wished them well in their new roles,” the Presidency said in a statement.

Zuma appointed Judge Dunstan Mlambo, as judge president of the Labour Court and the Labour Appeal Court, Judge Clement Temba Sangoni as judge president of the Eastern Cape High Court, Judge Herbert Qed’usizi Msimang as judge president of [continue reading]

source: BOPA
06 May, 2010

GABORONE – There is a noticeable change of trends in the way people tell time.

For many professionals, cell phones are an indispensable piece of technology, at times so indispensable that many people have become slaves to their gadgets.

Even young children now walk around with cell phones in their pockets.

One wonders how the mobile phone phenomena affected the wide spectrum ranging from the noble sundial on one end and a wristwatch on the other? Mmadiofa Pilara wears a black leather strap windup watch that she received as a present from her father about three years ago and surprisingly in this modern day and age she says its not just for show.

On the other hand Sam Dikgotla, a second year student at one of [continue reading]

source: BOPA
05 May, 2010

GABORONE- Botswanas immigration system needs to be revamped to make it easier for the country to attract the best skills in the global market.

Independent economist from E-Consult, Dr Keith Jefferies expressed need for a thorough regulatory review of the system because of too many outdated regulations.

He was making a presentation at the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs Pitso Forum.

He said since globalisation meant labour mobility and competition for skills, there was need to take it as a positive that people want to live and work in Botswana.

Immigrants, he said, did not take opportunities but created them. Consequently, Dr Jefferies argued that Botswana should benchmark against the best to become globally competitive.

He said countries such as Singapore, Dubai, Canada and Australia were among the fastest growing economies in the world because of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

May 3 has been set aside by the United Nations General Assembly as World Press Freedom Day. On this day Media Practitioners around the world celebrate the freedom to do their job without persecution.

The motivation to declare May 3 Press Freedom Day was to sensitise governments on the monumental importance of freedom of the press and to remind them of their duties to respect and uphold the right to larger issues of freedom of expression which, it had been observed generally received scant attention amongst most governments. It is no accident that Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights underscores freedom of expression as a basic human right. This year’s celebration was held under the theme ‘Freedom of Information, the Right to Know’. In Botswana media practitioners, academics, labour unions, civil society and [continue reading]

source: BOPA
05 May, 2010

GABORONE- Botswana journalists will, next Saturday, commemorate the World Press Freedom day under the theme Access to information, the right to know.

Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA) Botswana national coordinator, Thapelo Ndlovu stated that the theme was spot on especially in Africa where the need to access information is often unimportant.

He said the public has the right to access information adding that as MISA, they are hopeful that some day Botswana will realize the need for freedom of information act.

Mr Ndlovu noted that government institutions were starting to realize the importance of access to information by members of the public, citing a withdrawn Parliamentary motion by MP for Gaborone North, Mr Keletso Rakhudu on freedom of information.

Their hope, he said, has now been re awakened by [continue reading]