Archive for August 5th, 2010

source: The Botswana Gazette
Wednesday, 04 August 2010 00:00

The Auditor General and the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament say P10 million has not been accounted for after being taken out of the National Disaster Fund, administered by the Office of the President.

The PAC noted in its recent report to Parliament that in 2008/09, while the DIS had a full budget (both recurrent and development), it went on to use P10 967 531 from the same Special (Disaster) Fund.

The PAC said it was at a loss as to why the Department continued to use the funds in 2008/09; “this leaves the Committee with no option but to conclude that there must have been some element of abuse of funds.”

According to the Auditor General when DIS was established in April 2008 the then Minister of Justice Defence and Security, Mr. Phandu Skelemani, authorized the diversion of around P19 million from the National Disaster Fund to set up the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The recovering economy and the Pula’s weakened position against the Rand are among factors contributing to the rise of the import bill, currently estimated beyond P15.6 billion.

According to recently released Central Statistics Office (CSO) data, total imports up to May 2010 this year amount to P15.6 billion representing an increase of 21.5 percent over the value of imports between January and May 2009.

The CSO report explains that figure of P15.6 billion does not include June figures and for May, factors in about 95 percent of imports. Thus, the CSO expects to soon revise the statistics, when it releases its trade figures for the second quarter.

Since January, monthly import figures have eclipsed those of last year, with April 2010’s bill of P2.79 billion representing an 11.8 percent jump from the same month last year. May 2010’s import bill of P2.77 billion is approximately 2.7 percent above the figure recorded for the [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Alex Bell
04 August 2010

A South African farming family in Zimbabwe has made a desperate appeal to Jacob Zuma’s government to intervene in a worsening invasion of their property.

Philip and Ellen Hapelt from Grasslands Farm in Somabhula have been fighting for several months to hold on to their property, which has caught the eye of MP Jabulani Mangena. Mangena has led a campaign of harassment, vandalism and violence against the Hapelts and their workers, claiming he has an offer letter entitling him to the property. Late last year, the Hapelts were brutally beaten by a gang of thugs, in an attack the family believes was meant to drive them from their farm.

The Hapelts many years ago voluntarily gave up the majority of their land for the sake of ‘reform’, under an agreement that would allow them to remain on their homestead with a small portion of farming land. They also have two Court orders that entitle them to live on the farm without fear of invasion or [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

LUSAKA: President Rupiah Banda starts a two-day official visit to Botswana on August 9-10 clearly concerned that Catholic bishops have rejected Zambia’s draft constitution, which is expected to form the basis of next year’s elections.

Elected in a by-election to replace president Levy Mwanawasa who died after suffering a stroke in August 2008, Banda will in 2011 be seeking re-election, which will qualify him for his first five-year term in office. But in a move that is sure to reopen old wounds between the church and the state, Catholic prelates have rejected the new constitution on the ground that it is not people-driven and cannot stand the test of time. They say that the National Constitutional Conference (NCC), which had been tasked with coming up with the constitution, had “failed to meet the aspirations of the Zambian people”.

In a bid to reduce, among other things, the powers of a [continue reading]

Khama or Merafhe?

source: The Botswana Gazette
Written by AUBREY LUTE
Wednesday, 04 August 2010 00:00

Who should go?
• Khama should resign – Ntuane
• BDP elders want Eric Molale out – allegation
• Removing Merafhe would set a bad precedent – BDP Sec. Gen. Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) members have admitted a “furious debate” on whether or not Vice President Lt General Mompati Merafhe should be sacked.

However others, especially those who left the BDP recently to form the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD), say President Lt. Gen. Ian Khama should resign.

Some senior politicians say the two men are the root cause of the ruling party’s problems, while others, more conciliatory, say if they have made mistakes, they should be [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Lance Guma
04 August 2010

The United States Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Charles Ray, has made it clear he has nothing to apologize for, after he and two other western diplomats walked out after Mugabe’s bizarre speech on Sunday.
The ZANU PF leader used the burial of his sister Sabina at the National Heroes Acre in Harare to tell western countries they could ‘go to hell’ over what he claimed was their interference in deciding who should lead the country. Ambassador Ray, German ambassador Albrecht Conze and the European Union’s charge d’affaires, Barbara Plinkert, walked out in protest soon after the speech.

On Tuesday Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said the ‘walk out’ was ‘unacceptable’ and he had summoned the ambassadors to demand an apology. He claimed their conduct was ‘very disrespectful to our national heroes’ shrine, the heroine who was being honoured and [continue reading]