Archive for September 8th, 2010

source: VoaNews
Ntungamili Nkomo & Gibbs Dube
Washington 07 September 2010

Finance Minister Tendai Biti led a government delegation to Gaborone last Friday where the deal was reportedly sealed

Botswana has finally approved a long-promised credit line of 500 million pula, the equivalent of US$70 million dollars, to boost Zimbabwe’s struggling manufacturing sector.

Sources said Zimbabwean Finance Minister Tendai Biti led industrialists and government officials to Gaborone on Friday at which time the agreement was made final.

They said 70 percent of the funds will go towards manufacturing while 30 percent will go to other sectors of the economy. Economic recovery has been faltering for lack of [continue reading]

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source: News24
2010-09-07 16:34

Maputo – Mozambique’s government is reversing bread and water price increases that had touched off deadly riots, the planning minister said on Tuesday.

Protests last week in the capital, Maputo, over hikes in the costs of bread, water and electricity turned violent, with demonstrators clashing with police. The health department put the death toll at 13.

Planning Minister Aiuba Cuereneia told reporters after a cabinet meeting that the 20% increase in the government-set price of bread – which had followed a year of steady increases on [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
MBONGENI MGUNI
Staff Writer

The Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Kenneth Matambo, says the transformation of the Central Statistics Office (CSO) into a fully-autonomous body will be prioritised as staff members cry foul over delays in the project.

While the Statistics Act – the vehicles for transforming the CSO into an autonomous Statistics Botswana – was passed in December 2009, little progress has been made on the ground, much to the ire of staffers who feel in limbo. By contrast, the Competition Act, which entered Parliament and was also passed by legislators in December, is in the process of being fully operationalised, with seven commissioners, including a chairperson, being appointed recently. The Competition Commission is presently headhunting for a CEO. The Statistics Act also envisages a board overseeing committees dealing with 13 forms of statistics guided by a National Statistical System and producing data according to international best practice. However, the board is yet to take shape. The Statistics Bill and the Competition Bill – Bills Number 18 and 17 of 2009 respectively – are both seen as essential building blocks and key ingredients of other progressive economies around the world. At a staff meeting yesterday, Minister Matambo was put under pressure by disgruntled CSO staffers who said the delay in effecting the new [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Tichaona Sibanda
7 September 2010

Analysts have predicted that Zimbabwe would be thrown into serious political turmoil if long time President Robert Mugabe dies in office.

In recent weeks news of Mugabe’s allegedly failing health has dominated many newspaper columns around the world because recent pictures of Mugabe showed him walking unsteadily and requiring the assistance of aides to negotiate stairs. But the 86 year-old ZANU PF leader’s health has been a closely guarded secret for decades.

Notwithstanding his advanced age and ‘deteriorating’ health Mugabe, nevertheless appears determined to seek re-election in the next poll, once the redrafting of a new constitution is complete next year.

Academic and political researcher Clifford Mashiri told us this scenario increases the chances that he might die in office, or due to old age will become incapable of performing the duties of his office, by reason of mental or physical incapacity.

‘There is a danger that if he (Mugabe) dies while still in power, there are chances the country will be left in disarray as factions in ZANU PF fight to gain control of power. What is clear after 30 years of Mugabe at the helm of ZANU PF is that the party is incapable of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
BRIAN BENZA
Staff Writer

Efforts are underway to craft an overarching medium to long-term Economic Diversification Drive (EDD) Strategy for Botswana to give direction and guidelines on how best the private sector can be weaned off Government’s support and protection.

At a three-day workshop, which started in Phakalane yesterday, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dorcas Makgato-Malesu, said Government’s objective is to see the private sector operating more independently so as to compete openly in both domestic and global markets.

“This workshop is long overdue,” she said. “Diversification has been the longstanding agenda of our country for a [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Catholic Information Service for Africa (Nairobi)
7 September 2010

Johannesburg — After 21 days of strike, hundreds of thousands of South African public sector workers have returned to work.

However, this is only a suspension of the strike, civil servants’ unions said, refusing the government’s offer to increase employee salaries 7.5 percent and give a grant of 800 rands to cover housing costs. The unions demanded a wage increase of 8.6 percent and a 1,000 rands in housing subsidy.

According to Fides, the unions have given themselves 21 days to finalize an agreement in principle with its members to end the dispute over wages that has caused massive disruption of public services. The union protest has paralyzed schools and hospitals, particularly amongst the poorest families who [continue reading]