Archive for September 22nd, 2010

source: Mmegi
MBONGENI MGUNI
Staff Writer

The eagerly-awaited graft busting unit, the Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA), has gotten off the ground with the arrival of a US Department of Treasury adviser and the secondment of four officers from the DCEC and the Botswana Police Service.

Supported by Ministry of Finance and Development Planning officials, the FIA’s five experts are presently head-hunting a director, formulating an “extensive” work plan and preparing to study local trends in money laundering, financial crime and other vices targeted by the FIA Act.

Yesterday, Assistant Finance and Development Planning Minister, Charles Tibone, said government’s intentions of “massively” kick-starting the Agency were inhibited by budgetary constraints. Earlier this year, Finance Minister, Kenneth Matambo, announced that the FIA’s development would be suspended “until such time that resources permit.” However, government, supported by the US Department of Treasury, has since rescinded that [continue reading]

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source: allAfrica
allAfrica.com
Bunmi Oloruntoba
22 September 2010

New York — At the opening of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Summit on Monday, mixed reactions greeted the World Bank’s announcement of an additional U.S.$750 million funding of basic education in sub-Saharan Africa and other parts of the world that are not on track to meet the education MDGs by 2015.

The president of the World Bank Group, Robert B. Zoellick, announced the increased funding during his remarks for the opening plenary of high-level meetings on the MDGs. He lauded efforts of the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) fund, which since 2000, he said, has helped immunize 311 million children; provided access to water and sanitation for 177 million people; helped more than 47 million people access health services; and provided nutrition supplements to 99 million children.

However, going forward, Zoellick said the World Bank was going to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
ISAAC PINIELO
Correspondent

SELIBE-PHIKWE: The General Manager of BCL Mine, Montwedi Mphathi, says they are pushing ahead with plans to diversify the mine and extend its life to 2020.

Speaking at the launch of the mine’s new corporate values held at Phokoje Bush Lodge last Friday, Mphathi said BCL has developed a roadmap towards becoming a globally credible diversified base metal and related products’ development, services and supply business.

Through the roadmap, the mine will increase ore resources and reserves. The key objective is to find new resources to enable the life of the mine to be extended to at least 2020.

“Targets for the exploration programme was to come up with at least nine million tonnes of new resources in extensions to current ore bodies and a further 31 million tonnes from new ore bodies within the [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Alex Bell
21 September

ZANU PF has lashed out at attempts by a British billionaire to encourage foreign investment in Zimbabwe, saying they will not tolerate “backdoor entry by ‘vultures’ disguised as angels.”

Billionaire Richard Branson, who heads the Virgin business group, has urged international investment in Zimbabwe, saying on Monday that the world was wrong to wait, instead of helping the country revive itself.
Virgin Unite, the philanthropic arm of Branson’s Virgin Group, has helped create Enterprise Zimbabwe, a non-profit group aimed at connecting philanthropists and commercial investors with different opportunities in Zimbabwe. Branson said ,that the idea is to provide a ‘safe haven’ for people to invest through.

“In life, people have got to take risks. If everybody waits on the sidelines it will be the people who suffer,” said Branson. “The present state of politics in Zimbabwe is by no means perfect, but it’s a great deal better.”
“Zimbabwe, of all the African countries, it’s got the best chance of [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
DIRANG LEKUNTWANE
Correspondent

MAHALAPYE: Kgosi Moses Maherero says the merger of Local Police and the Botswana Police Service has serious problems of service delivery at tribal authorities, especially customary court summons.

“We used to have vehicles with which we delivered summons,” he says. “The court clerks alternated with police officers – even the driver – to deliver summons to suspects. Kgosi Maherero, who is the Headman of Records at the Mahalapye Kgotla, says the problem is serious and should be treated as a priority. However, government efforts to control alcohol consumption are praiseworthy, he says. “Since the enforcement of the alcohol restrictions, I don’t recall attending to any case relating to alcohol abuse. The new law is being enforced in my community, especially on [continue reading]

source: News24
2010-09-22 08:01

Cape Town – The government’s proposed media crackdown should be seen in the context of its own crisis of legitimacy, Mail and Guardian editor Nic Dawes said on Tuesday.

The issue was not about metropolitan journalists trampling on people’s rights, but of control, he told a panel discussion in Cape Town.

“I think that really the reason we’ve seen the debate ratchet up to this level now is not that the press has suddenly become much worse than it was five years ago or ten years ago, but that there’s a crisis of hegemony within the governing party,” he [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
ISAIAH MOREWAGAE
Staff Writer

Newly appointed assistant Attorney General, Bongi Radipati is facing charges of financial embezzlement. Barclays Bank has filed a case in the High Court seeking to recover over P100,000 it claims it lost due to Radipati’s fraud.

It is alleged he defrauded the bank at the time he resigned from the University of Botswana (UB) in 2007.

The case originated from a loan he acquired from Barclays Bank, through a UB Loan Guarantee Scheme to pay for a Mercedes Benz valued at P130,000.

When Radipati resigned, UB used his benefits to clear the outstanding loan amount. It is alleged that in December 18, 2007, UB issued a cheque of P107,682.39 to settle the loan. But Radipati allegedly channelled the money into his personal account. “On December 19, 2007, the defendant (Radipati) negotiated the said cheque and deposited it into his personal account with [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Inter Press Service (Johannesburg)
Servaas Van Den Bosch
21 September 2010

Cape Town — The beleaguered Southern African Customs Union (SACU) has to face up to serious challenges at its upcoming heads of state meeting in October, including the divergent interests of its member states and the lack of coordinated industrial policies in the union.

In Oct 2010 SACU heads of state will meet again to discuss progress on critical issues in the customs union, such as the raging debate on the revenue sharing formula that sees significant capital flows into the national budgets of the small states of Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland (BLNS).

High-level intervention could assist in pushing through the structural changes that the customs union has embarked on. “One of the key challenges in SACU is lack of leadership on how it can be a platform for deeper regional integration,” stated Trudi Hartzenberg, director of the Trade Law Centre of Southern Africa (Tralac). The non-profit Tralac provides capacity-building support to governments.

The economic partnership agreement (EPA) negotiations with [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
DIRANG LEKUNTWANE
Correspondent

PALAPYE – The government stopped the use of the Botswana Railways (BR) passenger train because it posed a danger to the lives of passengers.

But moves to re-introduce the passenger service could be considered by government in the near future. Minister of Transport and Communication Frank Ramsden said this yesterday at the two-day Road Transport Pitso 2010.”We stopped the use of the passenger train because it could bring dire consequences for passengers” he said.

The theme of the conference is “Effective and Efficient Transport System Stakeholders Involvement – A key Driver To Economic Growth”. Addressing attendees, Ramsden said both rail and road networking were essential locally and for [continue reading]

source: SW Radio Africa
By Alex Bell
21 September 2010

A top secret deal between Robert Mugabe and China’s ‘Red Army’ is reportedly keeping the regime in power, in an ‘arms-for-diamonds’ arrangement that is driving the plunder of the Chiadzwa diamond fields.

The UK’s Daily Mail reported over the weekend how the deal made by Mugabe’s loyal security forces and the equally notorious Chinese People’s Liberation Army, has resulted in millions of dollars worth of industrial diamonds being mined and airlifted to China. The stones, which are not pure enough for commercial sale, are flown directly out of Chiadzwa where an airstrip was built last year. And in return, Zimbabwe’s military is given weapons to keep propping up Mugabe’s regime.

The Mail reports that the company given the rights to the diamond fields, Mbada Mining, is fronted by Mugabe’s trusted former personal helicopter pilot, with Chinese military officials as silent partners. According to documents in the Mail’s possession, the pilot, Robert Mhlanga, was personally appointed by Mugabe, with Chinese partners named as Deng Hongyan, Zhang Shibin, Zhang Hui, Jiang Zhaoyao and Cheng Qins.

“With military camps set up around the perimeter, and three separate fences erected to keep out smugglers and spies, local villagers told me appalling stories of [continue reading]