Republic of Botswana (12/3/05)

TAUTONA TIMES no 9 of 2005
The Weekly Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President


A. Of Credible Credentials and Incredible Secrets
B. March Press Schedule
C. The OP Press Week That Was
D. H.E. the President's Statements at:

1) The Opening of Official Talks with H.E. the President of Zambia, Mr. Levy Mwanawasa, S.C. (8/3/05)
2) A State Banquet in Honour of H.E. the President of Zambia, Mr. Levy Mwanawasa, S.C. (8/3/05)

E. OP Press Office Forwarding:

1) SADC Ministers of Defence to meet (7/3/05)
2) Letter sent to Mr. Peter Fabricius of The Star (Johannesburg), which was published in today's edition of the said newspaper (8/3/05)
3) Botswana moves up in global network readiness (9/3/05)
4) Re: AP Report on Elephants (10/3/05)
5) Joint Communiqué on the State Visit to Botswana by His Excellency the President of Zambia (10/3/05)
6) Redeployments in the Senior Civil Service (10/3/05)
7) Correspondence with Communications & Public Affairs Officer, Infectious Diseases Society of America (10/3/05)
8) Additional notes and forwarding

OPENING: Credible Credentials and Incredible Secrets

This author has been somewhat perplexed in recent weeks by the odd claim, most recently appearing in The Star (Johannesburg) newspaper, that H.H. the Vice President's, Lt. Gen. S.K.I. Khama's: " credentials are seemingly a secret."

As many, if not most, mature Batswana at least know, H.H. the Vice President did his tertiary education in the United Kingdom, at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Why this should be considered a secret by anybody given that it was at the time covered by local media and appears (along with other details) in prominent publications about the first First Family is a mystery.

The Royal Military Academy was most recently in the global headlines due to H.R.H. Prince Harry's admission (apparently there has been some tabloid controversy over whether he qualified). Since its founding in 1741 Sandhurst has, in fact, often served as an academic home not only for British but indeed other royalty, such as the late King Hussein of Jordan along with his son, the current King, Abdullah.

But, the Academy is better known for the commoners who have numbered among its graduates. Perhaps the most illustrious of these was Sir Winston Churchill, who tried and failed on three occasions to gain admission, before finally succeeding in 1893.

Besides famous military leaders, such as Lord Montgomery, the Academy's alumni also include individuals who made their mark in civilian life, such as the actor/comedian David Niven and novelist Ian Fleming.

H.H. the Vice President was still enrolled at Sandhurst when another distinguished graduate, The Rt. Hon. Lord Carrington, stated:

"Sandhurst produces one half of the future leaders of the Third World and the London School of Economics the other half, although I think the former does a better job."

The British statesman, known locally for his role in the 1979 negotiations to bring an end to the racist Rhodesia Front regime, was of course an exaggerating (he forgot Oxford and Sussex!).

- Dr. Jeff Ramsay, Press Secretary to the President (12/3/05)

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.

Tuesday (15/3/05): In the afternoon, at 15:00, H.E. the President will receive a Special Envoy from H.E. the President of Rwanda, at the Office of the President (further details to follow).

Wednesday (16/3/05): In the afternoon, at 14:30, H.E. the President will attend the annual Botswana Defence Force (BDF) Medals Parade at the Sir Seretse Khama Barracks, Mogoditshane.

Saturday (19/3/05): In the morning H.E. the President will attend the annual BDF Day Activities at the National Stadium in Gaborone. In the evening he is also expected to attend the BDF Mess Night.

Sunday (20/3/05): In the afternoon, at 14:30, H.E. the President will depart for Namibia to attend the 15th Independence Anniversary and the Inauguration of the Second President of the Republic. He is expected to return on Tuesday morning (22/3/05)

C. OP Press Coverage Highlights

Tuesday: In the morning, H.E. the President went to SSK International Airport to greet the arrival H.E. the President of the Republic of Zambia, Levy Mwanawasa. In the afternoon the two, joined by Ministers and senior officials, held bilateral talks at the Office of the President [D 1]. In the evening H.E. the President and the First Lady Barbara Mogae hosted a State Banquet in honour of the visiting President [D 2].

Thursday: In the morning H.E. the President was interviewed as part of a forthcoming promotional video being produced by BEDIA. Later in the morning he was also interviewed by a local production company as part of a forthcoming video profile of the veteran local opposition political leader Dr. Kenneth Koma. The press highlight of the day, however, was the mid-morning joint Press Conference with the visiting President of Zambia, which followed the signing of a communiqué [E 5]. During the conference both Presidents were asked questions about a wide range of topics from cooperation in the control of livestock diseases, to governance in Zambia, to forthcoming election in Zimbabwe, to H.E. the President's thoughts on the visit of a prominent religious figure.

The conference also provided an opportunity for H.E. the President to gently set the record straight with regard to a misleading front page story which had appeared in the Midweek Sun newspaper (9/3/05), falsely claiming of the Hon. Minister of Communications, Science and Technology - "Venson gags govt press"

Under an equally misleading headline "Don't embarrass the President" the article reported among other things that:

"Government reporters have been reminded of who 'butters their bread' with a warning to stop asking President Festus Mogae pointed questions..."

The story, which certainly took this Office by surprise, has turned out to be a misinterpretation of what was in fact departmental advice to public service media about how to better prepare, as well as address, questions to VISITING Heads of State. The advice arose from a routine internal post mortem of information services and broadcasting personnel, which we are informed had been held to assess the previous week's press conference involving H.E. President Sam Nujoma (in which H.E. President Mogae was, in fact, not even asked a single question!)

NB: Contrary to what was reported in the Weekly Mail and Guardian (Johannesburg) newspaper this week, in an analysis by the same two authors who also found H.H. the Vice President's educational background a "seemingly a secret" in The Star, neither Information Services nor Broadcasting Services, the two autonomous departments responsible for public media, fall under the Office of the President. For some time now they have been the responsibility of the Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology.

D. H.E. the President's Statements at:

1) The Opening of Official Talks with H.E. the President of Zambia, Mr. Levy Mwanawasa, S.C. (8/3/05)
2)  A State Banquet in Honour of H.E. the President of Zambia, Mr. Levy Mwanawasa, S.C. (8/3/05)


"Mr. President,

1.      Let me once again welcome you and your delegation to Botswana.

2.    I am indeed delighted and honoured that you have availed time in your busy schedule to pay us a visit.  I hope that the programme prepared for you meets with your expectations and that you will enjoy your stay.

3.    My Government and the people of Botswana, and indeed the entire region, hold Zambia in high regard.

4.    Relations between our two countries are excellent and have been characterized by regular exchanges at all levels including the public and private sector.  In this respect, it is important that we expedite the construction of a bridge across the Zambezi River at Kazungula. I commend the Government of Zimbabwe for agreeing to the construction of the bridge which will not only promote intra-SADC trade but will also facilitate the movement of people and services.  The Kazungula bridge is therefore a SADC Project which should be given top priority.

5.     Relations between our people go a long way.  Our people are united by common values and traditions and a shared vision.  This has fostered the strong bonds of friendship and solidarity between our Governments and peoples.

6.    At Government level, our two countries are collaborating on a wide range of areas including transport, health, tourism, HIV and AIDS, education and security. At people to people level I am informed that there is a lot happening and that informal trade is thriving.

7.    Indeed Botswana has benefited immensely from this collaboration, for instance in areas such as human resources development. Botswana is pleased to be host to a large number of Zambian nationals who work in various sectors of the public sector.  These nationals are making a significant contribution to the economy of Botswana.  I wish to seize this opportunity to express our deep gratitude to members of the Zambian community for their hard work, commitment and professionalism in discharging their duties.

8.    In the same spirit, let me extend our gratitude and commendation to Zimbabweans who are lawfully resident in Botswana.  I would like them to know that as law-abiding residents, they are more than welcome.  They have and continue to contribute to the social and economic advancement of Botswana, and as a nation we owe them a debt of gratitude.  It is unfortunate, however, that the excellent work that these law-abiding Zimbabwean citizens are doing in Botswana has often been over shadowed by irresponsible media coverage of the issue of illegal immigrants.

9.    Mr. President, in the region your country, Zambia, has made immense sacrifices for the liberation of many of our countries. We applaud the foresight of the people of Zambia in realizing that their own country would not be truly independent when its neighbours were still under the shackles of oppressive regimes.  Zambia was not only a founding member of the Frontline States but also of Southern African Development Community (SADC).  Your country also played a very important role in charting the socio-economic agenda of our continent and indeed developing countries as a whole.


"...Ladies and Gentlemen,

1.    The Government and people of Botswana join me in extending to you, Mr. President, the First Lady and your delegation a most warm welcome to our country.  We are indeed delighted that you have been able to find time within your busy schedule to visit us.  The visit offers us an opportunity to exchange notes on ways through which we can strengthen relations between our two countries.  Whilst our relations are excellent, there is always room for improvement.

2.    This high level visit is a clear testimony of your own commitment towards the enhancement of the cordial relations which so happily subsist between our two countries.  It is my hope, Your Excellency, that you will feel at home and that you will enjoy your stay in our country.

3.    Mr. President, ours is a relationship founded on a solid foundation of mutual friendship and respect.  Our peoples share common historical roots, Commonwealth heritage and above all are united by a shared vision to secure a better future for themselves.  We also share common aspirations to promote a democratic culture that has for centuries characterised our societies, enhance good and accountable governance and promote respect for human and especially women's rights.

4.    At the advent of her independence, Botswana faced many challenges ranging from lack of infrastructure, to lack of skilled manpower. Batswana constantly remind themselves of the solidarity and immense support Zambia extended to them at the time.  The support included training a large number of Batswana in various skills which were vital to building capacity in the governance of the country.  It is correct, therefore, to state that Zambia played a crucial role in assisting Botswana to develop its national institutions and to establish a firm foundation for socio-economic development.

5.    Botswana also counted on the strong political and diplomatic support of Zambia in the face of aggression and acts of terror perpetrated by oppressive and racist minority regimes in neighbouring states.  To us in Botswana, such magnanimity and selflessness on the part of your country makes Zambia an all weather friend, a true friend indeed. It is gratifying, therefore, that our countries have progressively worked to deepen these relations both at Government and people to people levels.

6.    Mr. President, at Government level, these relations have been sustained through, among other things, the framework of the Joint Permanent Commission of Co-operation.  Today our co-operation covers a wide range of areas including agriculture, education, culture, health, tourism, transport, wildlife and security.  Botswana is particularly grateful to you, Mr. President, that you opened your doors of training institutions to our people. Eight of our laboratory personnel received training on cholera laboratory diagnosis at the University of Zambia Teaching Hospital.  When Botswana identified a case of wild poliovirus transmission in February 2004, three Zambians were among the experts and field officers brought to Botswana by the World Health Organisation to provide technical assistance in the national campaign.

7.    Whilst it is worthwhile to commend ourselves for the milestones we have achieved so far, it is equally important to continually review these arrangements with a view to enhancing our cooperation.  It is through visits such as this one, Your Excellency that we are afforded the opportunity to take stock of what has been done and be able to chart the way forward.

8.    Mr. President, you will be pleased to know that a number of your nationals currently reside in Botswana and are engaged in various sectors of our economy.  Some work in the Public Service, whilst others are either in business or work for the private sector.  I commend members of the Zambian community for their hard work and professionalism.  We deeply appreciate the services they provide to Batswana in the teaching, medical, legal and nursing professions to mention but a few. They are making an immense contribution to the development of Botswana.  I am sure their presence in Botswana does in turn contribute to the economy of Zambia and greater mutual understanding between our peoples.

9.    Let me hasten to point out distinguished ladies and gentlemen that Botswana is host to a great many citizens of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Member States.  In the same spirit therefore I extend our gratitude and commendation to the many Zimbabweans who lawfully work and live in Botswana.  They should know that they are most welcome to live happily amongst their brothers and sisters in Botswana. Their contribution to the development of Botswana is an essential part of the overall objective of building a more prosperous Southern Africa.

10.    Mr. President, given these excellent relations between our two countries, some of our immediate challenges should include the improvement of communications infrastructure, such as road transport and telecommunications. In this regard it is important that we construct a bridge across the Zambezi River at Kazungula as a matter of urgency.  The Kazungula Bridge is a regional project.  The route already carries merchandise traffic from South Africa, the largest and most industrialized country in the region, to your own country, and through your country to Malawi, Tanzania, DRC, Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda. I am pleased that work is going on between our two countries to improve our road and telecommunications services.  This should enhance co-operation in the areas of tourism, trade and facilitate contacts at official and private levels.

11.     The Kazungula Bridge is therefore an important artery and link of the infrastructure necessary for intensified intra SADC trade and the rest of Africa. In this respect I wish to express our deep gratitude to the Government of Zimbabwe for agreeing that the construction of the bridge should proceed.  This is a clear demonstration of what we have stated in the past and reaffirm today that as the people of Southern Africa we have a common history and a shared future.  We must do all we can to promote the development of a Southern Africa that is economically prosperous for the benefit of our peoples.

12.      Mr. President we have been following developments in Zambia with keen interest, especially those relating to governance. Botswana commends you personally for the courage you have shown in your efforts to combat corruption.  It is my Government's standing policy to fight corruption in all its manifestations, and to take this fight to all sectors of our economy. Corruption is a vice that would undermine development efforts and must never be condoned.

13.    We have also noted the political debates ensuing in your country.  What is pleasing is that, the people of Zambia have not allowed these issues to polarize them.  They can pride themselves in being exemplary in the mature way in which they conduct political discourse.

14.    The writing of the history of our region would not be complete without mention of Zambia's huge contribution to the liberation of Africa. The great sacrifices which your country made at the height of the liberation struggle can never be equalled let alone surpassed. That selfless disposition still defines your great nation as you continually play the pivotal role of engendering peace within our sub-continent and elsewhere in Africa.  Under the auspices of the United Nations, Zambia has contributed military observers, civilian police and troops to no less than nine peacekeeping missions across the world since its independence.  Zambia continues to be host to a great number of refugees, at great economic and environmental cost to her own people.

15.    Your involvement with the peace process in Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Great Lakes Region, to name but a few, compels admiration.  Fortunately, Mr. President, the sacrifices and efforts of your country have not been in vain.  We have reason to have hope and to be optimistic.  Peace and stability has been restored in Angola.  And we hope that durable peace will be established in the DRC. All these developments should open up opportunities for Zambia and indeed the region to concentrate on matters which will advance the welfare of our countries.

16.     Allow me in conclusion, Your Excellency, to express my gratitude once again to you personally, your First Lady, Maureen, and delegation for having honoured Batswana with your visit.  Please enjoy your stay with us.  You are amongst brothers and sisters and I have no doubt that they will go out of their way to ensure that your stay is enjoyable and memorable.

17.    On that note distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, may I now ask you to rise, and join me in drinking a toast to:

* the continued good health and happiness of His Excellency President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, State Counsel, and First Lady Mrs. Maureen Mwanawasa;

* to the continued strengthening of the friendly relations and co-operation between our two countries and peoples, and

* for the prosperity of the people of Zambia


E. OP Press Office Forwarding:

1) SADC Ministers of Defence to meet (7/3/05)
2) Letter sent to Mr. Peter Fabricius of The Star (Johannesburg), which was published in today's edition of the said newspaper (8/3/05)
3) Botswana moves up in global network readiness (9/3/05)
4) Re: AP Report on Elephants (10/3/05)
5) Joint Communiqué On the State Visit to Botswana by His Excellency the President of Zambia (10/3/05)
6) Redeployments in the Senior Civil Service (10/3/05)
7) Correspondence with Communications & Public Affairs Officer, Infectious Diseases Society of America (10/3/05)
8) Additional notes and forwarding

E 1) 7/3/05: SADC Ministers of Defence to meet.

The Minister of Labour and Home Affairs, Honourable Major General Moeng Pheto, will leave for Cape Town, South Africa this afternoon to attend the meeting of the SADC Ministers of Defence. (In this capacity he will be acting for the Honourable Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, who is engaged in other duties.)

Minister Pheto will be accompanied by the Commander of the Botswana Defence Force, Lieutenant General Louis Matshwenyego Fisher, the Permanent Secretary for Political Affairs in the Office of the President, Mrs. Tuelonyana Oliphant, and Major General Mokgware. The SADC meeting will, among other issues, discuss new and ongoing developments on Defence and Security matters in the region. The Minister and his delegation are expected to return home on 10th March 2005.

E 2) 8/3/05: Electronic Text of letter sent to Mr. Peter Fabricius of the 'The Star' newspaper, which was published in today's edition of the newspaper as a letter to the editor (also reproduced below are attachments to the letter, not published)

Re: Your analysis in the Star newspaper of 4/3/05 entitled: "Will Botswana democracy cave under pressure?"

With respect to the above, as you should already be aware, I am not at this point in a position to comment on the matter of Kenneth Good's deportation as it remains before our High Court, and is thus sub judice. The most I can and have said is that the common suggestion that his deportation order was brought about by a (in my own honest opinion completely unoriginal) seminar paper is presumptuous.

With respect to some of your other conclusions, however, I thought I should endeavour to correct a few seeming misconceptions with respect to our Constitution as it relates to our Vice President's likely succession to the Presidency in 2008:

1)     Under our Westminster style Constitution it is Parliament that is elected for a period not exceeding five years, not the President. The life of a Parliament may be shorter if either a) the Executive (President) decides to dissolve Parliament, in order to call for earlier elections, or b) Parliament itself passes a vote of no confidence in the Executive.

2)     That Botswana has held elections at regular (though by no means precise) five year intervals since 1965 is a reflection of the stability, hereto, of successive governments. There is no guarantee that this will always remain the case. It is possible that in the future we could end up having an unstable coalition government, which could in turn result in early elections.

3)     Both the President and the Vice President owe their election to Parliament. In the case of the President, Parliamentary candidates affiliated with political parties are usually pledged to their party's Presidential candidate. Thus in last year's election all of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) candidates were pledged to the re-election of President Mogae. If candidates pledged to a particular Presidential candidate win a majority of the seats in Parliament, the Chief Justice of the High Court, as the returning officer, will declare him or her President-elect. If, however, no Presidential candidate ends up being so elected, the matter would have to be resolved by a vote(s) within Parliament itself.

4)     The appointment of Vice President can only take effect if it is endorsed by Parliament. Thus, it was Parliament that first elected Khama as the Vice President in July 1998, following his nomination by President Mogae. This occurred shortly after Khama was first elected to Parliament in a by-election (see attached SAPA report of 13/7/98).  Subsequently Khama has been re-elected to Parliament, and re-endorsed by Parliament as Vice President, in the context of the general elections of 1999 and 2004.

5)     Under the present Constitution no President of Botswana can serve for more than ten years. Mogae was inaugurated as President on 1/4/98 so by law he must step down by 31/3/08. He has repeatedly denied any intention of not serving out his full ten years.

6)     The BDP vote percentage has, in fact, changed very little since the 1994 election when it was 54%. It is, moreover, likely that the BDP percentage in 2004 was marginally affected by the failure of any opposition candidate to contest in one BDP stronghold, as well as vote splitting.

7)     Given all of the above it is incorrect to suggest that Mogae is suddenly manoeuvring (much less violating the Constitution) to hand over power to Khama. He has already won two general elections with Khama as his running mate! Barring the unforeseen, Khama is now inline to become the fourth President of the Republic at the end of March 2008. Thereafter he will have up to the end of 2009 to seek a fresh mandate by calling a general election.

8)     Like at least 61 of the 90 nations listed by Freedom House as being "Free" (as opposed to "Partly Free" and "Not Free") in November 2004, Botswana has been and remains a Parliamentary Democracy in which the Head of Government (President Mogae) is ultimately elected by and responsible to Parliament, of which he or she is also a member. If this makes our democracy less than perfect in the eyes of some, at least we seem to be in relatively good company (see attached list).

I hope the above has shed some light on our current Constitutional arrangements, which of course can be amended if a consensus for change were to emerge. As the Vice President, himself, observed in a recent newspaper interview (part of his response to the interviewer's question "Don't you support the direct election of the President?"):

"My own belief is that the current system has served us well and that there should be compelling reasons for change. False arguments that it is the democratic norm, when in fact it is more of the exception, are not in themselves sufficient. I would further note that where President's are directly elected (or as in America indirectly elected by an electoral college that is separate from Parliament) it is common for them to appoint their own Cabinet from outside Parliament. There might be merit in such a reform, but any radical departure from the constitutional status quo should be carefully considered and would have to reflect a clear national consensus."

Yours faithfully, Jeff Ramsay


Lieutenant-General Ian Khama, was on Monday afternoon sworn in as Botswana's vice-president a few minutes after taking his seat as member of the National Assembly.

Khama, the eldest son of Botswana's founding president, Sir Seretse Khama, gave up his job as commander of the Botswana Defence Force to join politics. He was appointed minister in President Festus Mogae's government soon after the resignation of President Ketumile Masire.

On July 4 he won a by-election for the Serowe North Constituency - headquarters of his Bamangwato clan. His election to the country's vice-presidency - by a majority of 40 of the 50 member assembly - was widely hailed by political analysts and observers who regard him as the man likely to bring Mogae's administration into line.

The National Assembly public gallery was filled to capacity as people jostled for seats to witness the swearing in of the Paramount Chief of the Bamangwato tribe - Botswana's largest and most influential.

As Khama entered the chamber, the crowd broke into spontaneous ululation. Applause and more ululating greeted the announcement of the vice-presidential poll.

Mogae, who does not usually attend house sittings, was present to witness Khama's swearing in. The house adjourned soon after the ceremony.

An elated Khama said after the swearing in that he had been thinking about moving to politic for the past two years.

"I allowed myself to be persuaded," he said. "There were a number of people who had been on my back for the last couple of years to go into politics."

Attachment 2: Countries listed as "Free" by Freedom House at the end of 2004 with Parliamentary systems similar to Botswana, would include (list is not exhaustive):

1. Caribbean Commonwealth member states
2. Virtually all Pacific nations
3. Australia
4. Austria
5. Belgium
6. Canada
7. Denmark
8. Estonia
9. Finland
10. Germany
11. Greece
12. Hungary
13. Iceland
14. India
15. Ireland
16. Italy
17. Japan
18. Latvia
19. Lesotho
20. Luxembourg
21. Malta
22. Mauritius
23. Namibia
24. Netherlands
25. New Zealand
26. Norway
27. Portugal
28. Slovakia
29. Slovenia
30. South Africa
31. Spain
32. Suriname
33. Sweden
34. Switzerland
35. Thailand
36. United Kingdom

E 3) 8/3/05: Office of the President response to letter of concern received from the Chairperson, Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) - Botswana, along with subsequent statements circulated by Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) - Windhoek (Regional Headquarters) and the World Press Freedom Committee Media

Re: "Deportation of Professor Kenneth Good on P.I. Status"

With reference to your letter to the Permanent Secretary to the President, dated 21st of February 2005, on the above, which we note by the morning of the 22nd of February 2005 had been widely published by your office via the internet, and with further reference to the MISA (Windhoek) Communiqué dated 1/3/05, which has also been widely published via the internet, as well as the almost identical statement issued by the "World Press Freedom Committee", which was widely published on the internet by 28/2/05, we wish to observe the following:

1) H.E. the President has declared Kenneth Good, who is an Australian national, to be a Prohibited Immigrant under Section 7 (f) of the Immigration Act. The matter has since been referred to the High Court, which has yet to rule on it. It would therefore inappropriate for the Permanent Secretary or any other member of the civil service to comment on the declaration in accordance with the sub judice rule. Inevitably and understandably, official inability to speak to the issue has given rise to popular speculation. But, as a Government operating within a legal framework we are bound to withhold comment.

2) In the above context the published assumption by MISA (Windhoek) that "the serving of the order on Professor Good did not achieve its aim of preventing the publication of his critique of presidential and vice presidential conduct" is predicated on mere speculation, which this Government has since dismissed.

3) The further published presumption by both MISA and the "World Press Freedom Committee" that "the president was acting in accordance with Section 93 of the Penal Code" is blatantly dishonest. In this respect we would respectfully remind you and your colleagues that when, in November of 2003, H.E. the President agreed on very short notice to meet with an international delegation claiming to represent a joint campaign of the World Press Freedom Committee (WPFC), The International Press Institute (IPI), The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA), Article 19, and The International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) on the subject of so-called insult laws, it was pointed out and confirmed that Section 93 of Botswana's Penal Code clearly excludes publications. Section 93's application is, in fact, specifically and narrowly limited to utterances at certain public gatherings. Any violation of Section 93 may, furthermore, result in a fine not exceeding P 400 (about US $ 80). We can therefore only assume that your regional organisation's attempt to falsely link Kenneth Good's deportation order with the above section of the Penal Code is the product of ulterior motive.

4) Finally we note that the same November 2003 meeting also provided H.E. the President with a chance to express his deep concern about some of the then unbalanced accusations that had been levelled against not just the Government but also the people of Botswana over the internet by various international media advocacy NGOs in recent years. In this context he urged the assembled media advocacy organizations in future to avail themselves of Government's position on any matter of concern prior to publication and further promised that his Government would no longer be complacent in responding to exaggerated, false and/or unbalanced allegations levelled at it and/or the citizens of Botswana over the internet.

E 3) 9/3/05: Botswana moves up in global network readiness

Botswana has climbed to 50th position out of 104 countries surveyed in the World Economic Forum's Global Information Technology Report 2004/2005, which was released today. This represents an improvement from the previous 55th position in last year's, 2003/2004, report.

In 34th position, South Africa remains the undisputed leader among the 23 African countries surveyed, followed by Tunisia, Mauritius and Botswana

After a three-year reign at the top, the US has dropped to number 5 and ceded top billing in the latest index to Singapore.

Nordic countries have also continued to build up an impressive track record in the ICT area, with Iceland, Finland, Denmark and Sweden in the second, third, fourth and sixth places respectively while Norway came in at number 13.

To the east, Hong Kong and Japan came in at seventh and eighth respectively with Australia, Taiwan, New Zealand, Korea and Malaysia taking 11, 15, 21, 24 and 27 respectively.

India and China also significantly improved their positions climbing to number 39 and 41, compared to 45 and 51 in 2003, respectively.

The highest-ranking South American country is Chile at 35, well ahead of Brazil, which was ranked 46, and Argentina at 76.

E 4) 10/3/05: Re: AP Report on Elephants

Re: Associated Press Report alleging that: "Botswana's president is seeking support from neighbouring Zambia for a proposal that would allow it to cull elephants and sell their ivory"

With reference to the above report that has been circulating since yesterday and which goes on to allege that:

"President Festus Mogae is expected to ask visiting Zambian President Levi Mwanawasa for support to downgrade the status of elephants under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species...."

In the interest of accuracy this Office wishes to simply note for the record that the issue of elephant population management was not raised during H.E. the President's talks with H.E. President Mwanawasa of Zambia.

It is also not anticipated that the issue will be raised prior to H.E. the President of Zambia's departure this afternoon.

[NB. Subsequent information received was that 1) a Botswana official had suggested to members of the press that the issue of elephants might arise during H.E. President Mwanawasa's originally scheduled, but later cancelled, visit to a local Game Reserve (which would not have involved H.E. President Mogae) and that 2) the wire service had, in fact, endeavoured to withdraw the story prior to its publication.]

E 5) Joint Communiqué on the State Visit to Botswana by His Excellency the President Mr. Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, From 08 - 10, 2005

1.     At the invitation of His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Botswana, Mr. Festus Gontebanye Mogae, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia Mr. Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, paid a three day State Visit to Botswana from the 8th to the 10th March 2005.  He was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Rev. Lt. Gen. R. Shikapwasha, the Minister of Agriculture and Cooperation, the Hon. Mundia Sikatana, MP, the Deputy Minister - State House, the Hon. W. Chipili, MP and Senior Government Officials.

2.     On the evening of the 8th of March, His Excellency President and Mrs Barbara Mogae hosted a State Banquet in honour of His Excellency, Levy Patrick Mwanawasa and the First Lady, Mrs Maureen K. Mwanawasa.

3.     During the visit, the two Presidents held official discussions on a wide-ranging number of bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest.
4.     The two leaders noted that there were close political and social ties between the two countries at various levels.  They, however, regretted the low volume of economic cooperation between Zambia and Botswana, particularly in strategic areas such as trade, and directed the relevant officials from both sides to intensify their efforts in identifying potential areas of increased economic cooperation between the two countries.  The Joint Permanent Commission on Cooperation (JPCC) was identified as the most viable platform for realizing this.

5.     The two Presidents commended the role that the JPCC was playing to enhance cooperation between the two countries.  They noted that the JPCC had met twelve times since its inception and had deliberated on a number of issues of mutual interest or concern to both countries such as health, education, human resource development, tourism, agriculture, transport and communications, energy and trade.

6.     His Excellency President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, and His Excellency President Festus Mogae noted with satisfaction the growing technical ties between the two countries especially in the development of common infrastructure.  In this regard, they expressed support for plans to build a bridge across the Zambezi River at Kazungula on a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis which would, among other things, enhance bilateral and intra SADC trade and benefit countries beyond our region.

7.     During his stay, President Mwanawasa visited the Botswana Meat Commission in Lobatse, Jwaneng Diamond Mine and the Botswana Vaccine Institute.

8.     The talks were held in a warm and cordial atmosphere and the two leaders pledged to work together for the further strengthening of mutually beneficial relations subsisting between their two countries.

9.     His Excellency President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, conveyed his appreciation to His Excellency President Festus Mogae, the Government and people of Botswana for the warm and friendly hospitality accorded to him and his delegation during the visit.  He invited His Excellency President Festus Mogae and the First Lady Mrs Barbara Mogae to pay a reciprocal visit to Zambia on dates to be mutually agreed upon through the usual diplomatic channels.  His Excellency, the President accepted the invitation.

DONE in Gaborone, this 10th Day of March, 2005

[Signed by Hon. Rev. Lt. Gen. R. Shikapwasha, MP, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Zambia, and Hon. Mr. Daniel Moraka, MP, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Botswana, in the presence of their Excellencies the two Presidents, with other officials and members of the media also present.]

E 6) 10/3/05: Redeployments and Promotions in the Senior Civil Service

This is to inform the public that the Permanent Secretary to the President, Mr. Eric Molale, is pleased to announce the following redeployments and promotions within the senior Civil Service:

1. Mrs. Segakweng Tsiane is to become the Administrative Secretary (PS Administration) within the Office of the President. Mrs. Tsiane had been previously serving as the Deputy Administrative Secretary.

2. Mr. Molebeledi Oagile, who had been serving as the Administrative Secretary has been appointed as the new Director of Public Service Management (DPSM). Mr. Oagile had previously served in DPSM as Deputy Director.

These appointments are with immediate effect.

Members of the Press are further reminded that the former Director of DPSM, Mrs. Batatu Tafa, has been appointed as the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health.

E 7) 10/3/05: Correspondence with Mr. Steve Baragona, Communications & Public Affairs Officer, Infectious Diseases Society of America:

To: Mr. Steve Baragona, Infectious Diseases Society of America

Dear Mr. Baragona,

Your article "Lessons Learned at Africa's First Public Antiretroviral Treatment Clinic", posted this morning on various medical news web sites, is noted with appreciation. I have encouraged some of our local media here to look at it.

While this Office is not inclined to drawn into debates about infection rates, I would, nonetheless note that the statistic quoted in paragraph three of the article should be qualified to refer to young adult age cohorts (34%, with higher rates among women). Our overall national infection rate (i.e. including children and elderly) by 2004 year stood at 17%. This is based on Government- Partner survey, which involved a scientific sample of over 14,000. In this respect, given such challenges as mother to child transmission and intergenerational sex the statistics for all age groups within our population are relevant and a cause for concern.

Jeff Ramsay, Press Secretary to the President

Dear Mr. Ramsay-

Thank you very much for pointing out this oversight.  We will issue a correction promptly.

Sincerely, Steve Baragona

The original article "Lessons Learned at Africa's First Public Antiretroviral Treatment Clinic, Study", which has been well circulated on various medical news websites, can be found at:

E) Additional notices and forwarding for the week ending on 12/3/05:
* 7/3/05: OP Events, which are open to Press Coverage, related to the forthcoming State Visit by H.E. the President of the Republic of Zambia
* 7/3/05: BBC News - "Botswana: Africa's Success Story?"
* 8/3/05: Alterations in the Schedule of H.E. President Mwanawasa's State Visit.
* 10/3/05: "Lessons learned at Africa's First Public Anti-retroviral Treatment Clinic"

* 10/3/05: The Washington Times - "AIDS orphanage scripts success" (on Dula Sentle Centre in Otse)
* 10/3/05: "India's IFK Technologies to set up subsidiary in Botswana"
* 11/3/05: Times of Zambia - "Visit by President to Botswana Timely"
* 11/3/05: "Peermont expands into Botswana"
* 11/3/05: Boston Globe - "Former Botswana President at BU"