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Office of the President (OP)
Inside the Presidency-Issue No 24


Welcome to your weekly window into the Presidency. This morning His Excellency the President, Lt. Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama, will be in Jwaneng for the official launch of the Jwaneng Mine Cut 8 Project. 

The Cut 8 Project is divided into two parts: a construction phase and an operations or waste mining phase. The construction phase, which began in 2009 and is scheduled for completion at the end of 2011, will remove vast amounts waste and relocate infrastructure in order to make the mine wider and deeper. The resulting exposure of large quantities of diamond ore is expected to extend the surface life of mine to at least 2025.

The waste mining phase, which commenced earlier this year, will result in the further recovery of valuable ore.

The entire project involves an investment of P 24 billion over a sixteen year period and is considered to be one of the most ambitious mineral projects on the continent. It has already creating well over a thousand new jobs, about 90% of which are held by citizens.

The project is expected to further benefit the economy by drawing on the services of many small and medium sized local contractors, while spurring Jwaneng’s further growth.

This afternoon, His Excellency is expected to chair a meeting of the Lady Khama Charity trust, while this evening he is scheduled to attend the annual “President’s Concert” at the Matisong Centre

Tomorrow morning (Saturday) His Excellency will participate in a Charity Motor Bike Event to raise funds for various charitable organizations around the country. The event will begin at the Gaborone Sun at 0900 hours, with riders going to Phakalane and back.

The week that was

On Sunday the President authorized the issuing of a statement in which the Government of Botswana joined other members of the international community in congratulating Alassane Ouattara as the winner of the Presidential Elections of Cote d’Ivoire. The statement further called upon all political entities within the country to respect the decision of that country’s Independent Electoral Commission, which pronounced Mr. Ouattara as the rightful winner of the Presidential runoff election with over 54% of the vote.

Alluding to incumbent Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo, who has refused to accept the election result, the Government statement further pointed out that Botswana is deeply concerned about African leaders who reject election results that are not in their favour as such actions not only deny people the right to have leaders of their choice, but also thwart efforts to maintain peace and security on the African continent as a whole.

In a radio interview with the BBC World Service “Focus on Africa” programme on Monday, His Excellency further appealed to Mr. Gbagbo to “be a true statesman and step aside”.

Among the President’s other Monday activities was presiding over a meeting of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party’s Central Committee.

On Tuesday morning the President was briefed on the status of CIC Energy, the Canadian based company with interests in Mmamabula, which is reported to have been recently acquired by the Indian conglomerate JSW Energy. He further received a quarterly progress report from the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

In the afternoon, the President met with representative of the Botswana Teachers Union (BTU) and Botswana Secondary Teachers Union (BOSETU), who had requested an audience to present their grievances and share their perspectives in the context of their recent dispute with the Botswana Examinations Council (BEC) over the invigilation and marking of this year’s primary, junior and secondary leavers’ examinations. The meeting, which was also attended by the Minister of Education and Skill Development, the Hon. Pelonomi Venson-Motoi and others, concluded with all parties committed to resolving their differences amicably.

Following the morning’s Cabinet meeting, on Wednesday afternoon the President met with stakeholders in the campaign against alcohol abuse, which included the Ministries of Trade and Industry, Local Government, Health, Defence, Justice and Security and the Botswana Police Services. 

The meeting considered the Draft National Alcohol Policy and Traditional Beer Regulations. It was further noted that feedback from across the country indicates that Batswana remain concerned about alcohol abuse and supportive of Government’s efforts to curb it.
Yesterday, His Excellency toured the Boteti South Constituency, addressing the main Kgotla at Xhumo. He also met with villagers at Mmadikola, Kedia and Mokoboxane, while further attending an evening event at Mokoboxane.

No to HIV Stigma

Also during the week the National AIDS Coordinating Agency issued a statement reaffirming Government’s strong commitment to the elimination of stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV.
The statement further regretted that some people on ARV treatment continue to engage in unsafe behaviours, putting themselves and others at risk.

It was against this backdrop that His Honour the Vice President, Lt Gen Mompati Merafhe, recently commented on the need for individual’s to exercise responsibility in preventing new infections. It is thus unfortunate that the Vice President’s remarks have since been quoted out of context and otherwise misconstrued to imply that people living with HIV are not normal.


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