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Breaking barriers

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*Young UDC Councillor makes history in Marapong

The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) suffered a crushing defeat in the just ended general elections. 

While the coalition movement licks its wounds and comes to terms with its disappointment- including UDC leader, Duma Boko losing his parliamentary seat – there are, however, some notable success stories to lift the blues.

One such triumph is Marapong ward’s new councillor, 26-year-old Gofaone Mabutho.

It is the first time since Independence that an opposition councillor has triumphed in the village, located in Shashe West constituency some 70km north of Francistown.

Mabutho secured victory by an impressive margin of 150 votes, garnering 675 votes while Botswana Democratic Party and Alliance for Progressivesmanaged 525 and 480 respectively.

Speaking to The Voice on Monday, five days after her historic feat, Mabutho appeared calm and composed.

She revealed her political journey started in 2014 as part of MothaleemangMoalosi’s campaign team – a campaign that was doomed to failure.

“Moalsois was contesting the constituency under the Botswana Congress Party ticket. In the same year I was Secretary General (SG) of team ‘Tshelathupa’ and we successfully helped TumisoRakgare to win the BCP Youth League elections.” 

Following BCP’s dismal performance in the 2014 general elections, Mabutho focused her energies on building structures for the party as the SG for Francistown South, also doubling as the BCPYL Treasurer.

Her political path took an unexpected turn at the start of 2019.

“Early this year BCP members approached me and asked my to stand in Marobela. It was not an easy decision because some in the Francistown South constituency had hoped I’d stay and maybe stand in 2024,” explainedMabutho.

“In the end I decided to stand in my home village and help build the party there – and,as they say, the rest is history!” grinnedMabutho, glancing apologetically at her phone for the umpteenth time. 

The young woman’s cellphone has been blurring non-stop since the start of the interview as people from all walks of life called to congratulate her.

“It is a sweet victory made even more special by the fact that it’s history made by a woman!” she added proudly.Looking to the future, Mabutho said she intends to ‘hit the ground running’ in addressing the challenges faced by her constituents.

“The first challenge is lack of water. The situation in Marapong needs urgent attention. People have suffered for far too long and no one has come up with solutions. I’ll be the voice that will remind the current government of the plight of our people,” she declared, her hunger to bring about change reflected in her clenched fists.

Mabutho noted that her ward includes a number of remote areas, including Mmapatse, Mosu and Shoorojena cattle posts, whose residents all use the small clinic in Marapong.

“The clinic doesn’t have a maternity ward, and mothers in labour have to travel as far as Francistown or Tutume to deliver. This is unacceptable because Marapong is such a big ward deserving of a better health facility,” charged Mabutho, displaying the fire and passion that saw her make history.

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Block 8 nurse challenges Covid-19 test results

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A nurse who allegedly tested positive of Covid-19 during the emergency parliament session has given the Ministry of Health and Wellness up to next week Tuesday to respond to his legal demands as he believes that the test results were fake.

The victim, Morobi Dinao, a nurse at Block 8 Gaborone has made demands that the ministry give him signed results by the person who carried out the laboratory tests.

Dinao was diagnosed at a special parliament sitting in April, his supposed positive results leading to all MPs and those who attended the session to undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine.

According to legal documents from Ndadi law firm, the 37-year-old nurse was admitted at Sir Ketumile Masire Teaching Hospital on the 9th of April after he was told he tested positive.

On the 13th he demanded to see his results but was sent from pillar to post and the hospital could not give him the results.

He kept on demanding his results and on the 19th of April he was shown the results through his glass door from outside by one Dr Feledi.

Dinao allegedly asked for a copy of the results but the Doctor said he would revert to him after consulting with his superiors.

He was given his results when he was discharged on the 24th of April.

There was no explanation of the results and the document was also not signed hence the suspicion that they were not authentic.

Some of the things that made him suspicious, he says, are that the specimen submission form that carries his results is markedly from the one he completed on the day of tests.

He says the form does not have the laboratory personnel signature portion yet the one he duly completed had it.

The demands are that MOH should give an account of the delay of initial results.

Dinao’s lawyer, Uyapo Ndadi, told The Voice Online that they are awaiting response to their client’s demands before they can take the next step.

“I do not understand how a doctor can seek for his superior’s permission to give a patient his own results. How do you get admitted without seeing your results and told we are following the instructions to admit you? A lot is questionable in the whole scenario,” said Ndadi.

Ndadi further said he’ll await his client’s instruction before considering any court action.

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No water supply in Maun this weekend

*Main water pipe raptured at Nxaraga

*70% water supply shut down for maintenance work

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Most parts of Maun and surrounding areas are expected to experience a dry spell this weekend as the Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) cuts water supply for the next two days.

The department’s head of business, Thabo Ndadi, explained that seventy percent supply of water in and around Maun will be shut down to allow for maintenance of main water pipe to the area.

“This week we discovered that our main water pipe that brings in water from Kunyere boreholes has raptured and thus unable to adequately supply water,” explained Ndadi.

Ndadi further confirmed that they started noticing the leak last month but avoided tempering with it as it was during the lockdown and when the country had just reported first cases of the killer Covid-19 disease.

“Our hope and prayer was that the leak would not become so bad before the end of the COVID-19 state of emergency, but the water pressure has gone down and therefore we have to fix the problem and we cannot do it without temporarily cutting the flow,” added Ndadi.

Seventy percent of water supply in Maun is from boreholes along Kunyere river in Nxaraga area, while the other two boreholes in Shashe and Sexaxa make up the remaining thirty percent.

“This effectively means Maun will be running with a seventy percent water shortage and we are pleading with members of the community to use water with extra care,” Ndadi added.

In fact some areas will go dry for over 24 hours and WUC has advised people to store water for weekend use today because from tomorrow, taps will be completely dry. “Many other homes will get water way beyond the 24 hours, because after maintenance the water has to make a long journey to reach the taps, for some it will take 48 hours or so. In fact the whole recovery process takes seven days so, it may be practically impossible to complete the recovery within 24 hours.”

Meanwhile Thamalakane river has started to fill up, but the WUC water treatment plant in Borolong is yet to start pumping water from the river as they have to wait for at least a month for the water “to be of better quality to be processed for consumption. Right now the water volume is still low for such an exercise but the plant is ready to start operations. Already we have begun testing the water for quality and it not yet where we want it to be,” Ndadi said.

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