Republic of Botswana (10/9/05)

TAUTONA TIMES no 32 of 2005
The Weekly Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President


A. Our land, our laws
B. Press Schedule
C. The week that was
D. Statements by:

1) H.E. the President at the Pass Out Parade of BDF Recruits of Intake 56 at Pandamatenga (9/9/05)
2) H.E. the President at the handover of a Youth Recreation Centre at Mababe (10/9/05)
3) The Hon. Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration Officially opening the new Magistrates Court at Molepolole (5/9/05)
4) The Hon. Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration on the occasion of the Libyan National Day (9/9/05)

E. Press Office Forwarding:

1) Responses to Survival International allegations (5-6/9/05)
2) Letter to the Editor: OP Challenges Mmegi (6/9/05).
3) Letter to the Editor of the Guardian (6/9/05)
4) Botswana 2005 Awards recipients (8/9/05)
5) Re: Botswana Honours awards lists for 2005 and 2006 (9/9/05)
6) Re: Business and Economic Advisory Council (9/9/05)
7) Botswana still Africa's leader in Economic Freedom (9/9/05)
8) Further redeployments in the Senior Civil Service (9/9/05)
9) Presidential Messages to a) H.E. Hu Jintao, President of the Peoples Republic of China; b) H.E. Kim Jong-Il, Supreme Leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea; and c) H.E. George W. Bush, President of the United States of America (5-10/9/05).
10) Additional notes and forwarding.

A. Wildlife and Park regulations are for everybody

Welcome to this week's edition, due to travel our next circular will only appear in two weeks time.

This Office is aware that there are media workers from outside this country who believe that they can ignore our laws, perhaps because of their profession, passport, and/or low melanin. Thus it is that some have been entering, filming within and/or carrying out other activities within our Game Parks and Reserves without seeking appropriate authorisation. In recent months culprits have included paparazzi targeting a certain celebrity, as well as those entering into the Central Kgalagadi Game Reserve (CKGR).

With respect to the latter, while a section of the CKGR is now temporarily closed, do to an outbreak of animal disease [E 1], in the past this Government has not denied journalists entry into the Reserve. Neither have we been unduly restrictive about filming by news crews. One therefore wonders why there are journalists, mostly associated with U.K. based media, who have filed reports about the CKGR, but have never applied for any permits or otherwise paid any park fees etc. While we suspect that in many cases this is simply because some have been publishing eyewitness reports about a place that they have never actually seen, there are certainly others who apparently believe that they are somehow above our law.

Our message, which applies equally to all without fear or favour, is straightforward: If you wish to enter any of our restricted areas you need to apply for the necessary permits and pay your fees like everybody else. Otherwise, if caught, you should be prepared to face the legal consequences. After all if visiting members of British royal family can obey our rules, which they do, why should not BBC?

Visiting international media are further advised accredit themselves on arrival in Botswana with the Department of Information Services. This has always been a routine procedure, which is designed to facilitate rather than hinder your work.

- Dr. Jeff Ramsay, Press Secretary to the President (10/9/05)

Contacts: Office Telephone: (267) 3975154 & Facsimile: (267) 3902795.
Cell: (267) 71318598. E-mail:

B. Press Schedule:

As always the events listed below, which represent only those parts of H.E. the President's schedule open in whole or part to press coverage, are subject to change. When possible and necessary, updates will be forwarded. Members of the Press are also encouraged to contact the sponsors of the various events listed below for further programme details and possible updates.

Sunday (11/9/05): In the afternoon, at 16:00, H.E. the President is scheduled to depart from SSKI Airport for New York, where he will take part in the United Nations High Level Plenary Meetings of the 60th General Assembly, as well as address the Assembly. He is also, among other things, expected to join the former US President Bill Clinton in the launching of the Clinton Global Initiative and take part in a Millennium Dialogue Programme among African Leaders. The President will be accompanied by the Hon. Ministers of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Lt. Gen. Mompati Merafhe, and Health, Prof. Sheila Tlou, as well as other senior officials. The Press Secretary will also be part of the delegation and should be reachable by cell phone (267) 71318598 (country code still only necessary for those calling from outside Botswana) or via the alternative e-mail address:

Tuesday (20/9/05): H.E. the President is expected to return to Botswana in the morning at 10:00, landing at Francistown rather than Gaborone, where he will officially open the National HIV Prevention Conference at the Tati River Lodge in the afternoon. Members of the Press may wish to contact the National Aids Coordinating Agency (NACA) at (267) 3710314 for further details.

Wednesday (21/9/05): In the afternoon, at 15:00, H.E. the President will receive a take leave call from the Ambassador designate to the United Nations, Mr. Sam Outlule.

Thursday (22/9/05): During the day, from 11:00 am, H.E. the President will visit the Teemane Manufacturing Factory in Serowe.

Monday (26/9/05): In the morning, at 9:00, H.E. the President is scheduled to give an exclusive interview to Mr. Pavel Myltsev, Regional Chief of ITAR-TASS Russian Information Agency, who will be accompanied by Mr. Vladimir Lebedev of the Russian Gazette newspaper, at the Office of the President.

Tuesday (27/9/05): An event is anticipated for the afternoon, confirmation and details to follow.

Wednesday (28/9/05): In the afternoon, from 14:00, H.E. the President will attend and give the Keynote Address at the University of Botswana/Friedrich Ebert Foundation Symposium on 40 Years of Democracy in Botswana, to be held at the GICC.

Thursday (29/9/05): In the morning, at 10:00 am, H.E. the President will give an exclusive interview for a special programme on Botswana being produced for Austrian National Television. In the evening, from 19:30, H.E. the President will take part in the annual Independence Eve programme at the National Stadium.

Friday (30/9/05): Botswana Day, In the morning, from 9:00 am, H.E. the President will take part in the activities at the National Stadium, including the conferring of Presidential Honours [E4].

C. OP Press opportunities for the week ending 10/9/05:

Monday (5/9/05): In the morning H.E. the President took part in a high level public - private sector meeting whose agenda included endorsing the establishment of a non-statutory Business and Economic Advisory Council [E6]. In the afternoon, at the Office of the President, H.E. the President received the following individuals: 1) H.E. the High Commissioner of Kenya, Mr. James Binsai Chepsongol (farewell call); 2) H.E. the High Commissioner of the United Kingdom, Mr. David Merry (farewell call); 3) The Executive Secretary of SADC, Mr. Tomas Augusto Salomao; and 4) The UNDP Resident Representative, Mr. Bjorn Forde (farewell call).

Thursday (8/9/05): After an all day meeting of the Economic Committee of Cabinet, H.E. the President joined others in the evening for a special screening of the international hit film "Roar of the Lions of the Kalahari"

Friday (9/9/05): During the day, H.E. the President, as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, presided over the Botswana Defence Force Recruit Intake 56 Pass Out Parade at Pandamatenga Training Camp [D1].

Saturday (10/9/05): During the day, H.E. the President travelled to Mababe to take part in the handover of a Youth Recreation Centre [D2].



Commander of the Botswana Defence Force, Lt. General Matshwenyego Fisher, BDF Commanders present, Commandant Force Training Establishment, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen

1. Today marks the end of a long and rigorous training which commenced on the 21st March 2005. I am very pleased to have been accorded this opportunity to officiate at this special occasion of the passing out parade for the recruits' intake 56 of 2005.

2. Let me remind all of you, grandaunts, that you have chosen a highly demanding profession. As the French leader, General Charles De Gaulle once observed:

"Men who adopt the profession of arms, submit of their own free will to a law of perpetual constraint of their own accord, they reject the right to live where they choose, to say what they think and to dress as they like. On the word of command they must rise, march, run and endure bad weather. Go without sleep or food, be isolated in some distant post, and work till they drop. They have ceased to be master to their fate. If they drop in their tracks, if their ashes are scattered to the four winds, that's all part and parcel of their job."

3. I am informed that your school mainly focuses on skills development of trainees to meet professional military requirements. Your training has therefore prepared you for combat and other skills. In addition, you were continuously taken through basic theoretical and practical lessons that have introduced you to the military profession.

4. Gentlemen, you must know that training in the army is endless. You will from time to time, as you steadily progress through the BDF rank structure, be enrolled for various specialised training in advanced courses. These are military training courses which are designed to impart knowledge to the in-service members of the force.

5. Let me emphasise that, the BDF is part of the modern world that has adopted modern warfare tactics. Progressive change in military technology and expertise are yet other characteristics of today's army. Your continuous training will, therefore, keep you abreast with the ever changing military technology and indeed improve your combat readiness. It will prepare you both physically and psychologically for the harsh conditions of the battle field. The American General George S. Patton one said: "Practice those things in peacetime that you intend to do in war."

6. These sentiments, gentlemen, were similarly expressed by one of the great military philosophers Carl von Clausewitz who observed:

"During an operation, decisions have usually been made at once: there may be no time to review the situation or even to think it through...if the mind is to emerge unscathed from this relentless struggle with the unforeseen, two qualities are indispensable: first, an intellect that, even in the darkest hour retains some glimmering of inner light which leads to the truth: and the second, the courage to follow this fate light wherever it may lead."

You can only attain such high standards of performance through rigorous and regular training. I am confident that your instructors have left no stone unturned in that regard.

7. Let me remind you that you are joining the BDF at a time when there is improvement of the security situation in our region. This development might, therefore, call for a change in military responsibilities. The BDF's primary task is to safeguard national sovereignty and to protect the lives and property of Batswana. Tasks such as prevention of civil disobedience, anti-poaching, rescue operations and recently, control of illegal immigrants into Botswana, and combating the escalating crime including armed robbery, have also become an essential part of your military operations. I have no doubt that you will perform these additional responsibilities with diligence and commitment.

8. Gentlemen, the government is aware of the existing shortage of accommodation in the entire BDF. Let me assure you that we are doing our best to improve the situation. Currently a number of 100-men blocks are being built in various camps. However, some of you will be accommodated in tents or temporary structures until the situation improves. I urge you to accept the situation, and to ensure that the problem does not discourage you from carrying out your duties diligently. Something is being done to afford you better accommodation.

9. Your training schedule did not allow you to freely mix with the civil society. Before you rejoin the society, gentlemen, I would like to remind you that we are faced with a serious problem of HIV/AIDS in this country. Make sure that you take all the necessary precaution against HIV/AIDS. People are dying in large numbers because of this pandemic, and most of the victims are young and able bodied people like you. You have had many lessons on this dreadful disease. I therefore have no doubt that you have taken the message seriously and that you will abstain from unsafe practices. Avoid engaging in unsafe habits that will diminish your sense of responsibility. Remember that excessive consumption of alcohol is one of the major hurdles in our fight against HIV/AIDS.

10. Let me also caution that, besides HIV/AIDS, road accidents have become a major national problem. Many lives of Batswana have been lost and still continue to be lost because of road accidents. There is no doubt that most of these accidents are due to drunken driving. As most of you will be going to your home villages to visit your parents and relatives, I urge all of you to be extra careful. Do not drink and drive, and use public transport whenever possible.

11. Gentlemen, I have had time to read through the BDF values and they are outlined as follows:

"We recognize our duty to perform with competence and to strive for excellence at all times. We accept our responsibilities and the consequences of our actions and we place duty before private or individual aspirations. We vow our respect and support to the lawful authority established under the laws of Botswana. We bear true allegiance to the country and constitutionally elected government of the day."

12. Observance of these values calls for strict discipline. Let me caution you that, discipline in the force cannot be over emphasized. Discipline is the hallmark of the military service. A disciplined soldier maintains a sense of duty, self control and obeys orders. I therefore urge you to strive to remain disciplined in order to make it in this organization. A disciplined soldier will always maintain loyalty to his profession. An undisciplined force on the other hand, cannot function to the expectation of its nation.

13. Another important requirement of the military profession is team work. Team work will be the key to success in all your missions. Unity is yet another source of your strength and power. You must therefore unreservedly commit yourselves to work as a team, remain united, and support each other at all times.

14. You have been entrusted with the enormous responsibility of protecting the people of this country. Your fellow citizens, Batswana support you and are proud of you. If you give them respect, you will receive it in turn. Remember at all times that you are the servants of the nation.

15. Once again I wish to extend my personal congratulations to you recruits, for successfully completing your basic military training course. I also take this opportunity to welcome you into the ranks of the BDF and wish you a very rewarding and successful career in the BDF.

16. I am very much aware that instruction in the military is not an easy task. You will always be required to lead and direct trainees, regardless of how rigorous the lessons or conditions are. Maintain your reputed high morale. You have joined an organisation that is constantly under public scrutiny. Each one of you must therefore remain both a good soldier and a good citizen.

17. Lastly let me congratulate the BDF Command, the Commandant Force Training Establishment and his staff for the successful conduct of the course. Thank you, good luck and God bless you.


Master of Ceremonies, Capt. S.M. Moshagane, Member of Parliament for Chobe and Assistant Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Mr. Duncan Mlazie, Senior Commander of the Botswana Defence Force, Lt. General Matshwenyego Fisher, along with other senior officers here present, Kgosi Sentshe Tebalo, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen:

1. Let me begin by saying that I have been looking forward to this event for sometime. My anticipation in this respect has been motivated by two factors.

2. My first, primary, reason for wishing to be here today has been a desire to personally pay tribute to the good works that have been, are being, and, I am confident, will continue to be done by members of the Botswana Defence Force in communities such as this. The fruits of these efforts are to be found not only here, but throughout our country.

3. In addition, it is also a special pleasure for me to have been given an opportunity to visit Mababe.

4. Compared to some of the structures I have dedicated, the building being handed over today may appear modest. But, appearances can be deceptive. I am aware that this Youth Recreational Centre involved a major effort on the part of the Recruits of Intake 56.

5. What I also know is that this edifice was both a labour of love and an expression of civic commitment. In this respect the recruits of intake 56 have become part of a Botswana Defence Force tradition of community service outreach. Throughout the country one can find similar examples of the good works of our citizen soldiers.

6. The involvement of the BDF in such projects echoes deeper traditions of community self-help and mobilization. Before independence the provision of public works commonly involved the contribution of the mephato or age regiments.

7. While societies inevitably evolve with time, they ought to maintain, and be sustained by certain values. One of these is the voluntary pulling together of individuals and institutions for local projects such as this. The activities of the mephato in the past, or for that matter such later innovations as the builder's brigades, reflected a collective willingness on the part of people to pull themselves up.

8. Unfortunately, the spirit of ipelegeng that once helped bind our society together has been eroded over time, as people have become increasingly dependent on Government to provide for them.

9. Left unchecked, over-dependency on others, including the state, will ultimately undermine a community's own sense of being as well as the self-esteem of its members. The true character of any nation is best measured by the extent to which its members are prepared to work together for the common good. In the now famous words American President John F. Kennedy: "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country"

10. Community service is also known to build the character of those who participate in it. This is why it is particularly heartening that this project is the product of our new BDF intake. Where there is charity there is seldom fear. Where there is collective effort there is also discipline and team spirit. Clearly these are some of the attributes we wish to see in our uniformed services.

11. Ladies and Gentlemen, the BDF trainees have also here provided us with tangible evidence of their commitment to building a more compassionate, just and caring nation. This too is a positive reflection on themselves and their leadership.

12. This project is also consistent with the BDF's modern mission. Whereas in the past armies existed for the sole purpose of providing security against external aggression, nowadays they can play a wider role of the life of their communities.

13. Ladies and gentlemen, it is common knowledge that our country lacks sufficient recreational facilities for our youth. I am therefore pleased to note that this hall has been well equipped to provide the young people of Mababe with wholesome activities and entertainment. This should serve to discourage antisocial behaviour.

14. In conclusion, I wish to thank the Commander BDF for giving me this opportunity to commend the Recruits intake 56 of 2005 for their generous contribution to the development of Mababe. An educator once said

"The ability to think straight, some knowledge of the past, some vision of the future, some urge to fit that service into the well-being of the community - these are the most vital things that education must try to produce"
12. Master of Ceremonies, this Youth Recreation Hall is another testament to the sound training of Intake 56. I thank you.


The Honourable the Chief Justice; Kgosi Kgari III and Deputy Chairman of the House of Chiefs; Hon. D. K. Kwelagobe MP, Molepolole South Hon. GUS Matlhabaphiri MP, Molepolole North Your Excellencies Members of the Diplomatic Corps; The Honourable Judges of the High Court; Your Worships the Magistrates; Distinguished Guests; Ladies and Gentlemen;

1. I feel deeply honoured and privileged to have been invited to attend this ceremony. I also feel even more privileged to be invited to officiate at the opening of a modern magistrates' court of the Kweneng District in the village of Molepolole.

2. Your Lordship, The Chief Justice, allow me to speak on behalf of my fellow guests as well as on my own behalf in expressing our heartfelt gratitude at the warm and delightful welcome extended to us by Your Lordship and your officers this morning.

Community Values and National Development

3. I am particularly delighted to learn that the pomp and ambiance that characterize this occasion is actually a culmination of joint efforts between the AOJ and the community in and around the village of Molepolole. I therefore wish to add my voice to what has already been stated this morning in appreciating all the superb preparations and individual contributions to this memorable function. I believe we should all acknowledge these efforts as a rejuvenation of our long cherished traditional values and beliefs in community spirit and team-work.

4. At the level of national development, I also wish to congratulate the Paramount Chief of the Bakwena tribe and the residents of Molepolole, in both the public and private sector, at your admirable achievement in striving to transform the village into one of the fastest growing community centres in Botswana. As one approaches the outskirts of the village through the main road from Gaborone, one is pleasantly greeted by an array of well designed shops and seemingly busy commercial units. And yet, across the undulating gentle slopes that cradle several wards of Molepolole, one will still notice the traditional social orderliness, the splendour and serenity of a typical African village. A village that stands proud and vigilant in its strain and struggle for social development, eager to catch up with the developed world. In the context of our culture and tradition, this setting is an enduring inspiration for leaders who struggle for socio-economic development from a background of cultural values we strongly wish to retain.

5. A little over 32 years ago when I first came here as a prosecutor the road was dusty and corrugated, Molepolole was a big village but nothing like what you see today. It was then typically Phowa Lerole with hardly any place to eat. We had to look for Manyunyumane and some tinned stuff (fish or Bullbrand) and bread. And we used to sweat in a small court room and despite the dust you had to open the windows for air-conditioning. Despite all these there was one thing Molepolole had a plenty and that was both exuding from a proud people.

6. Today, we gather to celebrate the opening of a magistrate's court in a spirit that equally signifies our anxiety to provide modern court facilities to the people of Botswana but in a manner that should be consistent with the social values and aspirations of the community the courts are intended to serve. Modernity, no matter how technical and fascinating it might be, must still serve the interests of society and its community values.

7. In this respect, I wish to mention that the completion of this magnificent court building is more than just another landmark attraction on the village landscape.

8. To my ministry, the central government and people of this nation, the physical structure is perceived as concrete evidence of the commendable endeavour by the Chief Justice and the management of the Judiciary to provide rural residents in the country with easy access to justice. But since access to and delivery of justice is the targeted achievement by a judicial institution struggling to develop itself, I wish to say a little more about the whole concept of access to justice.

Access to Justice

9. Access to justice is not just a function of distance in the physical sense. Access to justice means more to our people than just the physical ease with which litigants are able to travel to a court of law.

10. Access to justice relates to fundamental principles of the rule of law and good governance which are hallmarks of modern democratic governments. Functionally, the concept of access to justice is associated with modernized justice delivery mechanisms, user-friendly legal environments and efficient methods by which individuals are enabled to obtain legal information, legal services and have their disputes resolved or at least decided timeously. In other words, Access to Justice is aimed at effective delivery of high quality justice in a manner that is deliberately designed to distribute such services equally to all citizens and residents of a country.

11. Your Lordships, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen. Of all the numerous factors that impede access to justice, I wish to mention only four, which are of paramount importance to the ordinary person in this country. Not only the people in Francistown East, whom I represent as MP, but also the people in the whole country whom I serve as a Cabinet Minister. I will mention these four factors; and not necessarily in their order of importance.

(i) Cost of Litigation

12. The first one is the cost of litigation, especially in relation to legal fees we pay to private attorneys. The legal profession in Botswana continues to price itself out of reach of the average income earner; let alone the poor, unemployed and sometimes a totally illiterate citizen.

13. In this regard, I wish to take this opportunity, as I have done on a few other occasions in the past, to challenge the Law Society to address and find possible options and solutions to this problem.

(ii) The Language of the Court

14. The second factor is the language used in court. Whilst it must be conceded that the English language will continue for a long time as a commercial language at national and regional level, as a medium of instruction in most educational institutions, and as the language of the magistrates' courts and higher courts, in the same vein it must also be conceded that as long as we conduct court proceedings in English, spiced with Latin words and phrases, we shall be constantly tasked to answer this pertinent question from concerned members of the public; that is, whether the quality of justice in our courts is not seriously undermined by the use of a language that is foreign to the parties to a case. I know that we do translate all proceedings especially the evidence and the judgments but more often than not litigants will thereafter ask to be told what exactly the judge or magistrate has said. The same problem hardly arises in the traditional courts i.e. in customary courts. The issue has got its pros and cons and is not capable of a short answer. However, I think that a compromise is possible. In fact, the management of the Administration of Justice (AOJ) has found a way to at least start the reform process by tasking a rules committee to suggest ways of simplifying the language used in court.

(iii) Complex Procedures

15. The third factor is the complexity of the rules and the court procedures. In principle, Rules of court are intended to practically facilitate desirable and necessary processes from the time a case is registered to the time it is finally decided. But some of our rules of procedure, especially in civil litigation, serve to delay rather than expedite justice delivery. In some instances, they mask and mystify issues in a dispute rather than provide clarity. The technicality on procedure enhances the form and obscures the substance of justice with the frustrating consequences that justice is either delayed unduly or utterly denied. Rules must be understood not just by the judges, magistrates and lawyers but they must also make sense to the ordinary litigant.

16. As stated earlier, the nation has been made aware of the Chief Justice's initiative in appointing a Rules Committee which shall investigate and recommend necessary amendments to the current rules of the court with a view to promoting timeliness and expedition in the trial of cases. And to this effort I may add that the Law Reforms Committee will be taking up this challenge at even a wider scope under the auspices of the Attorney General's office.

(iv) Access to Information

17. The fourth factor is the need for access to legal information. The public need information on the status of their pending cases. The court administration needs information on cases to produce management reports and statistics for planning purposes and schedule trials in a systematic manner. The judicial officers and lawyers need research on precedents and the latest development on various subjects in law.

18. In this respect, I must pay special tribute to the AOJ for conceiving a case management computer system which will automate most of the court processes electronically and enable AOJ officers as well as other stakeholders to share information promptly on the status of cases. I am informed that this system is specially developed for case management and has a wide spectrum of functions. In this respect, I must express the hope that it will be used effectively to foster visible change in the way we process cases and introduce world standards in managing all business areas of the courts in Botswana. And the unfortunate habit whereby lawyers would blame the Registrar for delays and fooling clients will hopefully come to and end.

The Way Forward on Access to Justice

19. While outlining, as I have done, the critical impediments to accessing justice, I must acknowledge the initiatives that the AOJ has taken to address the outlined issues.

20. Government is aware of the Department's Strategic Plan which is aligned to the National Vision 2016 and pledges to facilitate its implementation. In my view, the overall strategy for overcoming barriers to justice should not be left to the AOJ alone. All agencies in the legal framework of the nation should singularly examine the impact of their own services to the public and then jointly with all stakeholders, explore ways and means of improving the delivery of and access to justice. Global best practices should offer considerable guidance in this regard.

21. Regarding the building before us, whilst I cannot say please make use of it very regularly, I hope that the comfort it will bring to all those who will use it will enhance productivity in the dispensation of justice. Let us use it in a manner that the people will see a difference in the way we have been serving them.

22. Your Lordship, The Chief Justice, Your Lordships, Your Excellencies, ladies and Gentlemen, with these remarks it gives me great pleasure to declare the new magistrates court of Molepolole officially open. PULA!


Your Excellency, Mr. Mohamed Salim Ali Abuharba, Charge d'Affaires of the Peoples Bureau of the Great Socialist Peoples Libyan Arab Jamahiriya; Cabinet Ministers here present; Your Excellencies, Heads of Diplomatic Missions and International Organisations; Honourable Members of Parliament here present; Your Worship the Mayor of Gaborone Mr. Nelson Ramaotwana; Distinguished Guests, Ladies and gentlemen,

1. It is an honour and a privilege to be amongst you this evening to celebrate this auspicious occasion marking the 36th anniversary of the Great Al-Fateh Revolution.

2. Your Excellency, let me take this opportunity, on behalf of the Government and people of Botswana and indeed on my own behalf, to convey through you to the Government and people of the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya our warm congratulations on this momentous occasion in the lives of the Libyan people.

3. The Great Al Fateh Revolution of 1969 has no doubt brought about significant transformations which have changed the lives of Libyan peoples for the better.

4. Your Excellency, since the Revolution, Libya has made great strides in many fields of human endeavour including health, education and agriculture which have not only significantly contributed to her development, but also helped to diversify her economy from oil.

5. Botswana is equally striving to diversify her own economy and could, in that regard, benefit from the Libyan experience.

6. One other area where our two countries can share experiences is in the area of arable agriculture. Despite her harsh desert conditions, Libyan has, through the Green Revolution, been able to harness her huge water resources for irrigated agriculture, significantly improving food production and alleviating poverty among her rural populations. The Great Manmade River Project will indeed remain in the annals of history as one of the greatest achievements by humankind.

7. We pay tribute to the Brother Leader for his continued selfless commitment to securing a better future for the peoples of Libya.
His visionary leadership has certainly paid dividends as today the people of Libya are better off than they were thirty-six years ago.

8. Libya boasts a GDP per capita of US$6700-00 and enjoyed a GDP real growth rate of 4.9% in 2004.

9. Botswana is equally pleased with Libya's efforts at rapprochement with the West which has resulted in a reduction of tensions and has opened up opportunities for the Government and people of Libya to interact with the international community and to secure her interests.

10. We are particularly gratified that sanctions against Libya have been lifted and that your country's economy is now thriving more than ever before, bringing benefits not only to the Libyan people, but to foreign investors as well. Since the lifting of sanctions, Libya has received an influx of investors from all corners of the world, a clear demonstration of the confidence that they have on her potential as an investment destination.

11. Your Excellency, as this is your first official function since your arrival in Botswana, let me take this opportunity to welcome you to Botswana and to assure you of the positive disposition of my Ministry in your efforts to further cement our already existing good relations.

12. It is my sincere hope that during your tenure in Botswana as the representative of the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, you will endeavour to take our relations to even greater heights.

13. I would like to encourage you to travel the length and breadth of our country and to interact with Batswana both at the private and official level and explore the opportunities as they present themselves with the view to enhancing our cooperation. Our Ambassador accredited to Libya will equally play his part to ensure that our relations are enhanced for the mutual benefit of our peoples.

14. Your Excellency, let me take this opportunity to convey Botswana's gratitude to Libya for hosting the Fifth Ordinary Summit of the African Union in Sirte in July this year and for the warm hospitality extended to our President.

15. Botswana pays tribute to Libya and indeed to the Brother Leader for his visionary leadership, his passion and unwavering commitment to securing a better future for the continent of Africa. Libya has indeed been a true champion of Africa and continues to play a leading role in defining the vision and roadmap for our continental organization, the African Union. We continue to derive inspiration from the Brother Leader's boundless energy and devotion to the causes that unite Africa and have no doubt that the African Union will continue to be strengthened and meet the expectations of the people.

16. Your Excellency; Distinguished Guests; Ladies and Gentlemen; with these few remarks, may I now ask you to join me in a toast:

* To the continued good health of His Excellency, Colonel Muammar Al-Qadhafi, Leader of the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya;
* To the continued friendship, solidarity and cooperation between the Governments and peoples of Libya and Botswana; and
* To international peace and security. P U L A!!!

E. OP Press Office Forwarding:

E 1) 5-6/9/05: Responses to enquiries about Survival International propaganda:

a) 5/9/05: Re: "Botswana: Court in Chaos - Government Lawyer 'Arrested' - Bushman Reserve Sealed Off"

1. With respect to last Thursday's events at the High Court, to my knowledge Mr. Pilane attempted to appeal for a stay of the finding of contempt, lost and therefore has already served his sentence. The Government of Botswana is otherwise not in a position to comment on the matter as it is a legal dispute that is before the Court. The State of course fully respects the authority of Court. It should, at least, be clear that the so-called "chaos" is in fact a dispute over a contempt ruling. Such disputes can and do occur in courts around the world. The incident should also serve to underscore the fact that our judiciary is independent.

2. Also on Thursday, the Department of Wildlife and National Parks closed a portion of the CKGR as a result of an outbreak of an animal disease that had been introduced into the Reserve due to the illegal movement of livestock, in this case sheep and goats, into the Reserve. The inevitable need to respond to this veterinary crisis would appear to be the sole basis of Survival International's spurious claims of a "crack down".

The illegal presence of domestic animals in the Reserve is apparently further confirmed in the BBC2 television report that S.I cite. The extent to which the BBC crew, who apparently entered the Reserve without a permit, although they were assured that they could obtain one, and agents of S.I. may have themselves contributed to this situation by encouraging people to play to their cameras, is for us an open question.

I personally find odd that a nation that has gone to the extent of banning fox hunting in its own territory has a public broadcaster that has gone out of its way to openly champion the cause of poaching gangs in one of our Game Reserves.

Copied below are the two of our Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) statements on the closure of a portion of the Reserve that were issued last week. The first merely notifies the public of the Reserve's partial closure, while the second, heretofore ignored by S.I. elaborates on the reasons why the quarantine measures are currently being undertaken.

DWNP Press Release no. 1: "Closure of Part of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve."

Gaborone - The Department of Wildlife and National Parks wishes to inform the public that the central and southern parts of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) will be closed for administrative reasons as from 1st of September 2005 until further notice as provided for in sub regulation 4 (9) of the National Parks and Game Reserves regulations.

In practice this means that the entrance gate at Old Xade will be closed for public access. Moreover, no public access will be permitted south of Piper Pan in the northern part of the CKGR and north of Khanke Pan in the southern CKGR. Any members of the public that intended to travel into or through the closed area in the central/southern part of the CKGR are advised to make alternative travel arrangements.

DWNP Press Release no. 2: "Disease Outbreak in Domestic Animals threatens Wildlife in Central Kalahari Game Reserve"

Gaborone - A highly contagious disease outbreak has been identified among multiple herds of domestic goats and sheep brought into the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) after people had relocated from the Reserve in 2002. Since then, several people and their domestic animals have moved back into the CKGR in contravention of their relocation to adjacent wildlife management areas and acceptance of compensation. Introduction of domestic animal disease into the Reserve was identified by officials from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) and Department of Animal Health and Production (DAHP) when carcasses of goats were seen around the settlement of Molapo. Diagnostic evaluations identified the outbreak to be associated with a highly contagious disease known as sarcoptic mange. Sarcoptic mange is quickly spread through populations of animals and causes high levels of death. Susceptible wildlife in the Reserve is at risk of contracting this highly fatal disease and there is concern that spread of the disease into wildlife population may have devastating effects. This is a matter of grave concern to the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, especially since there has already been a drastic decline of the springbok population in the Reserve over the last 10 years. A full disease control program is currently being conducted by both DWNP and DAHP.

It is important that all movement in and out of the reserve in the outbreak area be restricted in order to minimize spread of the disease to other populations of animals until authorities can confirm that the infection has been fully contained. Consequently, the southern and central parts of the Central Kalahari Reserve have been closed temporarily.

Further information may be obtained from the Parks and Reserves Reservations Office which can be reached on 3180774 (telephone) or 3180775 (fax)."

Department of Wildlife and National Parks, PO Box 131 Gaborone, BOTSWANA * E-mail: * Tel: (267) 3971405 * Fax: (267) 3912354

3. Re: the late Mr. Selelo Tshiamo. The individual is reported to have been briefly detained on suspicion of poaching back in May, but to our knowledge he was not abused in any way. In this respect I have received the following report in the context of the S.I. accusation:

"There is no record whatsoever in the customary court in Kaudwane on him ever reporting ill treatment by wildlife officials.

"Information from health officials in Kaudwane is that he has been having problems of coughing and suffocation for a long time. At one point he was visited by a social worker, but he never reported any ill treatment by investigating offices. Tshiamo's family is one of those that have moved to the outskirts of the settlement, distancing themselves from social services.

"It is said that in July, one health official accompanied by the clinic driver, found Selelo home complaining of chest pains and suffocation. He was transported to Salajwe clinic for medical attention. It is said that his sputum was bloodstained (suspicion of TB). He was given tablets to use while he was waiting for his chest X-ray booking date for diagnosis. It is said that during the waiting period, while he was on pills, his condition improved dramatically. When the day for his X-ray diagnosis arrived, he declined to go to Molepolole stating that he was not prepared for the journey. From then on his health deteriorated while health officials watched helplessly. Earlier this month, Selelo died before he could be diagnosed."

4. In their racist contempt for our country and our people's future well being, as well as the truth, S.I. have been calling for the boycott of our tourism and diamonds for quite some time. There is therefore nothing new on this one. But then what more can one expect from a London based organisation that at this late date see it as their mission to promote the cause of tribalism in our country?

b) 6/9/05: Response to follow up enquiry by same correspondent with reference to Survival International Statement: "Botswana: Reserve Sealed Off, Bushmen Threatened at Gunpoint"

Just more distortions and lies from the racist Survival International organization. It would appear to me that what I sent you yesterday pretty much covers most of this. There is a serious outbreak of animal disease in the Reserve that has resulted in a section of the Reserve being closed off.

Nobody is being forced out of the Reserve at gunpoint. Our wildlife officers on the other hand will continue to enforce the law against armed and dangerous poachers without apology.

If you want to get more information I would suggest that you contact the Department of Wildlife and National Parks directly. Their numbers are on the releases previously forwarded as are the contacts for Mr. Maribe at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, who I have referred you to in the past.

NB: This Office uses the term "armed and dangerous poachers" advisedly as Department of Wildlife and National Parks Staff and others have on occasion been violently assaulted by poaching suspects, one ranger having been recently hospitalised after such an incident.

Journalists seeking official information and comment on the circumstances surrounding the voluntary resettlement of Botswana citizen outside of the Central Kgalagadi Game Reserve (CKGR) are once more advised in the first instance to contact the Director of the Public Relations, Research and Information Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Cliff Maribe, at Tel: (267) 3600763 or e-mail:

E 2) 6/9/05: Letter to Editor: OP challenges Mmegi to substantiate its false allegations:

With reference to the front-page article entitled "By-elections set for October 15?", which was published in the 1/9/05 edition of your newspaper, this Office has noted with the utmost concern the appearance of the unsubstantiated allegation that H.E. the President "tipped some party members on when the by-elections were going to be held."

The above allegation is false and clearly intended to be injurious not only to the good name of H.E. the President, but also to the integrity of the electoral process.

Further to the above, we note that your writer claims to have based the above false allegation on an unnamed "source in the party".

Insofar as the discussion of the election date had been between H.E. the President and the Independent Election Committee, in accordance with established administrative procedures, we seriously doubt that any such source exists. In the interest of clarity we therefore take this opportunity to challenge Mmegi to shed light on the matter by naming him or her.

Further to the above we also note the unqualified allegation contained in paragraph one of the same article that:

"While some other political parties are anxiously waiting for the announcement of the election date, some BDP members are in the know."

Given the sweeping and totally unqualified nature of the above unsubstantiated allegation, we are of the view that your newspaper has a clear obligation to inform the public of any and all BDP members, outside of the Office of the President, who you know to have been aware of the said by-election date prior to the evening of the 31st of August.

We further note, for the record, that it was this Office, in response to your reporter's after hours (18:54) telephone call, which was able to state that a timetable had now been set for the by-election in mid-October and that we would only be in a position to confirm its exact dates the following morning.

We further note that your reporter only contacted this Office on the matter of the election date after we had already communicated, at 18:48, the same message to a reporter working for Mmegi's sister publication, the Guardian.

Given the widespread and damaging circulation of the article in question via online distribution networks we reiterate our call on Mmegi to either substantiate or publicly withdraw its allegations against H.E. the President. In the absence of any such steps, we shall assume that Mmegi bears sole responsibility for the said false allegations.

[We note that the Mmegi has still failed to substantiate its unqualified, unbalanced, and sweeping accusations. This further suggests that the accusations are themselves are based on nothing more than politically motivated fabrications.]

E 3) 6/9/05: Letter to the Editor of the Botswana Guardian newspaper:

With reference to the front-page article entitled "By-election in October", which was published in the 1/9/05 edition of your newspaper, this Office wishes to express its disappointment that your correspondent should state that: "the Office of the President is at best evasive and at worst mum on when the election will be held".

We view this, along with similar misleading statements in the said same article, to be deliberately dishonest.

Further to the above, it is not uncommon for certain journalists when facing deadlines to call around Government offices fishing for copy. Thus it was that, at 16:03 on 31/8/05, I was first contacted by your correspondent, who asked why the date for the Gaborone West North by-election had not as yet been announced and when it would be, further implying that it was being delayed.

At that point, all I could do is promise to look into the matter, while noting that on the basis of the procedures laid down in the Electoral Act and past precedent the announcement need not be seen as having been delayed, more so as the next sitting of Parliament was not scheduled until November.

I then proceeded to an internal briefing where, among other things, it was confirmed that H.E. the President had now agreed to a timetable for the election.

After the meeting, I was thus able to communicate to your reporter, at 18:48, that an election date had indeed been set for mid-October. Although at the same briefing I had also been verbally informed of the election date, the 15th of October, I cautioned that I could not be certain of it as it was now after hours and I would first want to confirm the full election schedule with the relevant officers in the morning. This was the basis for this Office's Press Release of 1/9/05.

In the above context, that is having actually gone out of my way to assist your journalist with what was then breaking news, I was disappointed, though frankly not surprised, to see your front page of the next morning still speaking of "closely guarded secret at OP" etc.

Various other statements attributed to me as presented in the story are similarly dishonest. If this was a matter of miscommunication I would not be bothered, but the plain fact of the matter is that your correspondent simply chose to be misleading.

This Government is currently in the process of trying to increase its capacity to communicate more effectively with the public through press. But, in the end there is little point in public servants endeavouring to be more open to the media in the absence of reciprocal respect, much less in the face of blatant misrepresentation.

E 4) 8/9/05: Botswana Presidential Honours Awards Recipients for 2005:

Members of the press are hereby reminded that on the 30th of September 2005 His Excellency the President will be awarding Presidential Order of Honour (PH), Presidential Order of Meritorious Service (PMS), and Presidential Certificate of Honour (PCH) to twenty-six outstanding women and men for their varied contributions to the nation.

Each of the three above named Botswana Honours is provided for in terms of the Botswana Honours Act of 1967 (Chap. 03:06).

In the Act the Presidential Order of Honour is defined as "an honour awarded for efficient and devoted service to the Republic of Botswana."

The same Act defines the Presidential Order of Meritorious Service as "an honour awarded to any persons for actions or services benefiting Botswana or any community organisation therein in any particular field or sphere and for any acts of courage or devotion to duty."

The Act further defines the Presidential Certificate of Honour as "a certificate awarded for long and faithful service to Botswana."

Each of the above Honours is awarded by H.E. the President, acting with the advice of Cabinet. To further facilitate selection of candidates an inter-sectoral Selection Committee has been established.

In accordance with established procedure the 2006 awardees will also be announced on Botswana Day 2005 Botswana Presidential Order of Honour awardees:

For 2005 the Presidential Order of Honour is to be bestowed upon four individuals: Mr. Xukuru Blockman, Lt. Gen. Matshwenyego Louis Fisher, Mr. Moremi Kgopo and Dr. Nolwandle Nozipo Mashalaba.

1) Mr. Xukuru Blockman is being recognized for his varied contributions over the years as a community activist, as well as the elected District Councillor for the Remote Area Settlement of Qabo, towards the realization of the principals of National Unity, Democracy, Self-Reliance and Development through Community Participation.

Mr. Blockman has, in particular, worked tirelessly in mobilizing his fellow citizens of Barsarwa (Khoisan) ethnic origin to take advantage of public programmes and policies designed to mainstream Remote Areas Dwellers into Botswana society. He has been particularly active in the establishment and development of Qabo settlement itself, which now has a school, health post and other social services.

Besides facilitating the roll out of public services and drought relief to Qabo and other Remote Areas Communities of the Ghanzi District, Mr. Blockman has also been active in the promotion of various self-help community projects, such as the construction of the Kuke- Qabo and Ghanzi- Qabo roads.

Other contributions to the District and nation by Mr. Blockman include his active service on the Balopi Commission, which was established to render certain sections of the Botswana Constitution tribally neutral. It is expected that a bill to achieve the Commission's recommendations in this respect, will be re-submitted in the next session of Parliament for final approval.

2) Lt. Gen. Matshwenyego Louis Fisher is the current Commander of the Botswana Defence Force (BDF). He joined the BDF in May 1978, shortly after its establishment. Before his 1998 promotion to Commander, he has served as an Adjutant and Brigade Commander.

Lt. General Fisher's previous awards include the Distinguished Service Medal. Members of the press are advised to source further background material through the BDF Public Affairs Office.

3) Mr. Moremi Kgopo served as a teacher from 1943 until his retirement in 1992. During the course of this five decade career he was the Headteacher of a number of primary schools. Since his retirement he has continued to serve as the chairperson of the Board of governors for Mathiba Community Junior Secondary School. He is also well known for his participation in the community affairs of Kanye. He is a respected senior advisor to Bogosi jwa Gangwaketse.

4) Dr. Nolwandle Nozipo Mashalaba has contributed extensively to the development of Medical Services in Botswana over the past four decades. Among her most notable contributions is her pioneering effort in the 1960s to introduce Family Planning Services in Botswana. She subsequently took the lead in the establishment of the Family Health Division, which incorporated units for Nutrition, Health Education, Maternal Child Care and Family Planning

In the 1980s she forged links between the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education, which culminated in the integration of family Life Education concepts into the schools curriculum. She also helped initiate the training of a cadre of community health workers known as Family Welfare Educators. Since her retirement, she has remained active in various community services, most notably the Botswana Family Welfare association.

The Presidential Order of Meritorious Service awardees: The Presidential Order of Meritorious Service is to be awarded to: Mrs. Sylvia Muzila, Mrs. Sboifeng Tina Matlhabaphiri, Mr. Vicent Mogakolodi Mogwe, Mrs. Keolebogile Moletsane, Mrs. Garetswe Tshwaro, Mr. Molemane Mokgosi Kebopetswe Molefe and Mr. Matthews Ofentse Sekgororoane. Below are brief profiles, further details available on request.

5) Mrs. Sylvia Muzila began her 32 years of Public Service as a Police Constable, when she was one of the first women police officers in the country. She subsequently rose through the ranks of the Police Service and Civil Service. During the last eight years she has served with distinction as a District Commissioner.

6) Mrs. Sboifeng Tina Matlhabaphiri is best known for her contributions to the Nursing profession and Nursing education over many decades, which has included her leadership role as President of the Nurses Association of Botswana. Her community development contributions include support for the Anna Stein School for the Disabled.

7) Mr. Vicent Mogakolodi Mogwe, from his recommendation:

"Mr. Mogwe's contribution to the development of Technical and Vocational Education and Training in Botswana cannot be overestimated. Over a period of 32 years, he played a pivotal role in the development of the TVET sector."

8) Mrs. Keolebogile Moletsane: A teacher for thirty-three years, Mrs. Moletsane stands out as an untiring and dedicated community worker, who continues to invest her retirement years in active volunteerism. She currently serves as the Secretary of the Mabutsane Village Home Based Care Committee and as a member of the Southern District Multi-Sectoral AIDS Committee.

9) Mrs. Garetswe Tshwaro has for four decades been a community leader at Kokong Village. She served on the Village Development committee from 1968-98, and is currently involved in Home Based Care delivery. Her recommendation notes:

"Her modest formal education has not deterred her from standing out and being counted amongst those who are at the forefront of our national principal of Ipelegeng (Self-Reliance) when it comes to addressing problems in her community."

10) Mr. Molemane Mokgosi Kebopetswe Molefe's varied career includes serving as a teacher and Headteacher 1949-66, Serving as a Senior Teacher and Boarding Master of Gaborone secondary School (1967-72), Programme announcer and Training Officer Radio Botswana (1973-81), District Officer, later District Commissioner (1981-88), Principal Administration Officer of the Department of Elections (1988-92), Board member of Phuthadikgobo museum (1992-2000), Member, form 2003 Chairperson, of the Prisons Visiting Committee (2002- ).

11) Mr. Matthews Ofentse Sekgororoane has worked tirelessly in the Department, later Ministry, of Health 1948-88 as a nurse and later Chief Dispenser. After further training he worked in the Ministry in the field of Health Promotion for many years. Coordinated Botswana participation in the International Year of the Child.

The Presidential Certificate of Honour is to be awarded to the following 15 individuals (further details available): 1) Mr. Maduo Surman Maoto; 2) Mr. Maud G. Ralesatsi, 3) Mr. Masego Hendick Phori, 4) Mrs. Felicitas Sebitlo Radise, 5) Mr. Tjzika Tjihonge, 6) Mr. Setshidi M. Leshiba, 7) Mrs. Nosiat Mathumo, 8) Mr. Samuel Zacharia, 9) Ms. Agnes Polokwane Masoloko, 10) Mrs. Iris Kedireng Bagai, 11) Mr. Damien Alakanani Thapa, 12) Mrs. Elizabeth Georginah Moroka, 13) Mrs. Ruth Makepe, 14) Mrs. Ludo Margaret Mosojane, 15) Mr. Mokue Malau

E 5) 9/9/05: Botswana 2005 & 2006 Honours Awards lists

With reference to the above, yesterday members of the Press should have received a statement from this Office [E4] reminding them of the names of those who are scheduled to receive Presidential Honours at the National Stadium during Independence day this year. The release also gives some further background information about those receiving the PH and PMS.

As is customary also on Independence Day the names of the 2006 Awards recipients will be formally announced over Radio Botswana. In accordance with standing procedure these names have already been gazetted.

Further to the above, and so as to avoid potential confusion, members of the press may wish to note that the Honours list that was published on page 11 of yesterday's Daily News was for those is for those who are now scheduled to receive their awards during 2006. Thus those now scheduled to receive the Presidential Order of Honour, Presidential Order of Meritorious Service, and Presidential Certificate of Honour in 2006 are:

Presidential Order of Honour (PH)

1. Dr. Ian Kennedy
2. Ontefetse Kenneth Matambo
3. Kgeledi George Kgoroba
4. Ishmael Bhamjee

Presidential Order of Meritorius Service (PMS)

1. Boometswe Mokgothu
2. Bogadi Judith Sefhako
3. Mortega H. Abkenari
4. Marianne Igrid Nganunu
5. Ashford Mamelodi
6. Manhar B. Mooney
7. Modiri J. Mbaakanyi

Presidential Certificate of Honour (PCH)

1. Oarabile Aaron Dingalo
2. Agnes Mmadiane Ncaagae
3. Seno Fane Mokhondo
4. Gilbert Ntuka Mpolokeng
5. Thekiso Magetse
6. Boitshoko Elisha Gezanan Sithole
7. Mashiakgomo Makana Gaborone
8. Victor M. Leshona
9. Lente Paledi
10. Mbuzini Parrete Churchill Dlodlo
11. Bangwe Mokgolodi Kebadireng
12. Otaata Habee Shashane
13. Ruth Ketlhapile Motsete
14. Tshotlego Morama
15. Lechedzani "Master" Luza

E 6) 9/9/05: Re: Business and Economic Advisory Council

The responses below were initially drafted in response to a questionnaire forwarded by the Botswana Guardian newspaper, which was received by our Development Division on Wednesday afternoon. As there then proved to be insufficient time to ensure that it could be submitted before the said weekly's Wednesday deadline, and in response to further enquiries, this Office finds it reasonable to publicly circulate the document more widely as background information.

Members of the Press may wish to further note that the Business and Economic Advisory Council outlined below does not have statutory status. It is, as its name implies, rather an advisory body whose members, including those from outside Botswana, are serving without any remuneration from Government.

The Council is a further reflection of ongoing collective efforts on the part of Government and the Private Sector, in this case through BOCCIM, to work together as smart partners for national development. This is a process which continues to be further anchored in the regular sectoral and full meetings of the High Level Consultative Council (HLCC).

The questions originally received from the Guardian newspaper and OP responses:

1. Could you explain whether this is a committee or commission?

Response: This is a Business and Economic Advisory Council.

2. Who are its members, and what criteria was used to select them?

Response: Its members are Mr. Serwalo S.G. Tumelo, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Development Planning; Mrs Banny K. Molosiwa, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Trade and Industry; Ms Linah Mohohlo, Governor, Bank of Botswana; Mr. Iqbal Ibrahim, President, BOCCIM; Mr. Elias Dewah, Executive Director, BOCCIM; Dr. Greg Mills and Professor Jeffrey Herbst of the Brenthurst Foundation; Mr. Nico Czypionka, BOCCIM Consultant; and Mr. Joannes Ter Haar, Former civil servant in Botswana who has experience with the economic transformation of former USSR states.

Members were selected based on their professional background, relevance of present position to the task of the Council, experience and ability to contribute to the deliberations of the Council. The Council will engage with national and other stakeholders in the conduct of its work. The work of Council is advisory.

3. What motivated the setting up of the commission/committee?

Response: The formation of the Council was motivated by the need for Botswana to pull together suggestions made to Government to improve the investment climate and accelerate economic growth from various stakeholders. These include local and international business people, Batswana in general, independent analysts and others.

4. What is its mandate?

Response: Its mandate is to advise Government on a sustainable long term development strategy.

5. What are its terms of reference?

Response: The Terms of Reference are broadly to advise Government on policies and programmes for sustainable long term economic diversification and growth, employment generation, attraction of significant levels of Foreign Direct Investment and reduction in poverty.

6. When is it expected to hand over its findings?

Response: The Council will provide on-going advice as and when it deems appropriate.

7. Who will it be reporting to?

Response: The Council will be reporting to Government through the Office of the President.

8. Who chairs the committee/commission?

Response: The Council is chaired by Mr. Joannes Ter Haar.

9. On other Issues: Please note that the Council has been established by His Excellency the President and will consult with national and other stakeholders in its work.

E 7) 9/9/05: Botswana once again ranked as Africa's leader in Economic Freedom

The 2005 Economic Freedom of the World report and index was released today, once more ranking Botswana no. 1 in Africa and tied with Japan and Spain in the overall global ranking of 127 nations.

The Annual report is produced by the Fraser Institute of Canada in conjunction with the Cato Institute of the United States and sixty other leading research institutes from across the globe including (from Africa) the:

* Research Centre for Public Policy and Market Process (Kenya),
* Free Market foundation of Southern Africa (South Africa),
* Institute of Public Policy Analysis (Nigeria),
* Institute of Economic Affairs (Ghana), and
* Bureau d'Analyse d'Ingenierie et de Logiciels (Cote D'Ivoire)

According to the report's Executive Summary the global index measures the degree to which the policies and institutions of countries are supportive of economic freedom; the cornerstones of economic freedom being understood as: personal choice, voluntary exchange, freedom to compete, and security of privately owned property.

As with last years report, a total of thirty-eight components and sub-components are used to construct a summary index and to measure the degree of economic freedom in five areas: (1) size of government; (2) legal structure and protection of property rights; (3) access to sound money; (4) international exchange; and (5) regulation.

According to this years report Hong Kong retains the highest rating overall rating for economic freedom, 8.7 of 10, followed by Singapore at 8.2. Botswana's overall rating this year was 7.2, ahead of Mauritius, 7.0, South Africa, 6.9, and Namibia, 6.8, in the Africa rankings.

While most African states did poorly in the survey, the continent's top performers also did relatively well when, for example, benchmarked to the G8 economies:

USA (8.2)
UK (8.1)
Canada (8.0)
Germany (7.5)
Botswana (7.2)
Japan (7.2)
Mauritius (7.0)
South Africa (6.9)
France (6.9)
Namibia (6.8)
Italy (6.6)
Russia (5.1)

The report's findings consistent with previously released findings of the World Economic Forum and the Freedom House Survey, which for the past five year's has also ranked Botswana as number one in Africa, and a global leader in terms of economic freedom and competitiveness.

E 8) 9/9/05: Further redeployments in the Senior Civil Service:

This is to inform the public of the following redeployments within the senior Civil Service:

1. Mr. Andrew Sesinyi has been appointed as Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology. Mr. Sesinyi has previously served in Government in various senior capacities, and brings to his new posting a wealth of experience in the field of communications at both the national and international level.

2. Mr. Lucky Moahi has been appointed as the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs with responsibility for Labour, Immigration and Prisons. He was previously serving as the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology.

3. Mrs. Grace Muzila has been appointed as the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Development Division of the Office of the President. She was previously serving as the Director of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning.

E 9) 5-10/9/05: Presidential Messages to a) H.E. Hu Jintao, President of the Peoples Republic of China; b) H.E. Kim Jong-Il, Supreme Leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea; and c) H.E. George W. Bush, President of the United States of America.

The following are public messages to Heads of State by H.E. the President for the week ending 10/9/05. They include H.E. the President's expression of sympathy to the America people in the aftermath of Hurrican Katrina. In a follow up, Botswana has further pledged to ongoing relief efforts.

a) Message to His Excellency Hu Jintao, President of the People's Republic of China on the occasion of the 56th Anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic.

Your Excellency, On behalf of the Government and people of Botswana and indeed on my own behalf, it gives me great pleasure to extend to you and through you to the Government and people of the Peoples' Republic of China, my warmest congratulations on the occasion of the 56th Anniversary of your country's national day.

Your Excellency, our two countries have over the years enjoyed cordial relations underpinned by our shared commitment to overcome the challenges of development. We are confident that the strong bonds of friendship that exist between our people will continue to grow from strength to strength.

Allow me, Your Excellency, to reaffirm Botswana's resolve to strengthen bilateral relations and enhance cooperation between our two countries and peoples.

Please accept, Your Excellency, my best wishes for your continued personal good health and prosperity for the people of China.

b) Message to His Excellency Kim Jong-Il, Supreme Leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, on the occasion of the 57th Anniversary of the founding of the Democratic Peoples Republic.

Your Excellency, On behalf of the government and people of the Republic of Botswana, I wish to convey to you our heartfelt congratulations on the occasion of you country's 57th Anniversary of the founding of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea.

Allow me, Your Excellency, to reaffirm Botswana's commitment to strengthening the bilateral relations between our two countries and peoples.

Your Excellency, as Botswana attempts to overcome the challenges of development she remains indebted to your great country for the selfless support and friendship rendered to her.

Please accept my best wishes for your continued personal good health and prosperity for the people of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

c) Message to H.E. President George W. Bush, forwarded in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

Mr. President, Like others around the world we in Botswana have followed the terrible news about the devastation that was unleashed by Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf coast region, more especially on the states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

The power of nature to humble all of us before its awesome might is a reminder of our human frailty and thus need to reach out to one another in the face of such adversity.

On behalf of the Government and the people of Botswana and indeed on my own behalf, allow me to therefore express to you and through you to the American people, our heartfelt condolences for those who lost their loved ones and solidarity with those who are struggling to survive this tragedy.

We shall continue to pray for the success of the ongoing relief and rescue efforts as well as the reconstruction of the affected communities.

E 10) Additional notices and forwarding from 4-10/9/05:

* 6/9/05: Press Schedules notices from State House
* 9/9/05: World Economic Freedom Report released
* 9/9/05: "Oz overtakes SA in Botswana diamond rush"