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Deadly rabies outbreak rocks Ngamiland

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*Two dead after being bitten by dogs

Ngamiland and the North West District are facing a deadly outbreak of Rabies, with the disease believed to have claimed two lives since the start of the year.

As of last week, at least two people, an adult and minor child, passed away at Letsholathebe Memorial Hospital in Maun from suspected Rabies.

Briefing the media this week, the District Health Management Team (DHMT) confirmed the pair died after being bitten by dogs at different locations, one in Maun and another in Chanoga.

“Ngami DHMT is drawing the community to the ALERT status in human Rabies as of 23 January 2020. This follows the declared outbreak of Rabies in animals within the district as of December 2019. To date Ngami DHMT has two probable cases that have died following Rabies infected dog bites within the district,” declared the team’s Coordinator, Dr Malebogo Kebabonye.

Since the beginning of January, DHMT has registered a further 14 cases of people classified as exposed to rabies.

The identified individuals have since been vaccinated with the anti-rabies prophylaxis to prevent the virus from spreading in their bodies.

Goats, dogs and wild animals are said to be under attack from the deadly disease, which is easily transferable to humans through contact of body fluids.

The DHMT have warned that Rabies is highly fatal and has no cure once the virus develops into the disease.

“People should see their health care professional if they think they’ve been bitten or scratched by an animal and before symptoms occur. The virus is transmitted in the saliva of rabid animals and generally enters the body via infiltration of virus-laden saliva from a rabid animal into a wound (e.g. scratches), or by direct exposure of mucosal surfaces to saliva from an infected animal (e.g. bites),” explained Kebabonye.

The public were further warned to stop skinning dead goats suspected to have died from Rabies because if the dead animals’ fluids get into their eyes, they will get the infection.

“A person exposed to the Rabies virus can develop the disease on average within 7-21 days with latency of three months to one year. The virulence of the disease is dependent on the site and depth of the wound and viral load,” continued DR Kebabonye.

Clinical signs and symptoms often include fever, pain, unusual or unexplained tingling, pricking or a burning sensation at the wound site.

As for animals, the signs are similar to those in humans, including the release of excess saliva, hyper activity and signs of madness and irritability.

Dr Odirile Thololwane of Veterinary Services attributed the outbreak to the just ended drought, which saw wild animals including jackals interact with domestic animals in their search for water and food.

According to Thololwane, thousands of dogs have already been vaccinated throughout the district, with the process ongoing.

He further revealed the issue is being sensitised in schools, as children are at a higher risk of contracting the disease because they are more likely to interact with dogs.

Thololwane ended by advising the public to be wary of stray dogs.

The doctor’s advice on what to do once bitten

  1. Wash the wound immediately with soap and water and see a health care provider. Wash the wound for approximately 15 minutes with running water
  2. Do not cover the wound
  3. Visit the nearest health facility to be evaluated and receive the anti-rabies vaccine.
  4. Complete the course of the vaccine (five days)

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Son of BDP women’s wing SG accused of forging DIS boss signature

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Yes I was detained and questioned- Maruapula

A man rumoured to be romantically linked to the reigning Miss Botswana, Oweditse Phirinyane was this week allegedly nabbed and questioned for impersonating a Directorate Of Intelligence Services (DIS) agent.

The suspect, Mompati Maruapula is the son of Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) women’s wing secretary General, Neo Maruapula.

He reportedly attracted law enforcement officers’s attention by uttering a false document, complete with a forged signature of the Director General of the DIS Peter Magosi as ‘proof” that he was employee of the DIS when he was not.

He allegedly produced the fake proof of employment in an attempt to fraudulently purchase a BMW vehicle limited addition at one of the car dealers in Gaborone, an eyewitness has claimed.

“The car dealership phoned the DIS to confirm and that is when law enforcement agencies were alerted and a sting operation was set in motion to nab him,” the source further narrated.

He was then told to come back at 2Pm for the car only for him to find security agents waiting to catch him.

Asked to comment on the incident Maruapula explained that he was not charged but simply questioned.

“They (Police) said they would get back to me. I have not yet been charged with any crime. I was briefly detained and released yes. It is true,” he said in a brief interview.

The DIS when quizzed about the matter referred The Voice to The Botswana Police.

“I cannot confirm nor deny your questions. Please liase with the Police for a full brief,” DISS spokesperson Edward Robert said.

Miss Botswana also refused to comment saying she would like to keep her private life private and quickly handed the phone to the recently divorced Maruapula who was in her company at the time.

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Montshiwa’s murder trial yet to start

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Trial date for the late Fairground Holdings Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Michael Montshiwa’s murder case has been postponed as Judge Michael Mothobi is on sick leave.

The main suspect in this matter attorney David Modise and his co-accused- a traditional doctor Tumelo Tshukudu, today appeared at the Gaborone High Court for mention and confirmation of trial dates.

The 35-year-old lawyer is linked to the death of his client, Montshiwa, and he is facing another charge of stealing by agent.

He is currently out on bail awaiting trial.

Montshiwa was shot and killed on the 18th of October, 2015 at his house in Block 6 Gaborone.

It is said that Modise was the last person to communicate with Montshiwa just minutes before the CEO’s fatal shooting.

Police investigations revealed that between June 30 and October 17, 2015, Modise withdrew about P245 000 from Montshiwa’s Trust account.

The money according to the Investigating Officer Detective Senior Superintendent Sergeant Marapo, was entrusted to Modise for the purchase of a plot for Montshiwa in Mogoditshane.

It is alleged that when Montshiwa realised that the money was missing from the Trust account, he communicated with Modise demanding to see him at his house on the night he was killed.

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DPP resuscitates 15 year ‘cold’ murder case

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Nearly fifteen years after he allegedly hacked three people to death, the wheels of justice have started turning and the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) are reopening the files to bring murder suspect Mokolopi Mothusi to book.

The accused is facing a triple murder charge after he allegedly hacked to death a man, his wife, and their child with a tomahawk axe sometime in 2005 at Khonkhwa settlement near Jwaneng.

The matter appeared to have been forgotten for sometime, but on Monday the DPP reopened Mothusi’s files and he showed up in court walking with the aid of crutches.

Initially the matter was scheduled for trial for several dates in May but had to be postponed to December to allow the defense to locate witnesses.

“We are faced with a difficult matter here, so far the state had intended to call 20 witnesses, but we are informed that five of them have since died. We will also need time to locate our witnesses who are scattered somewhere in the desert,” said attorney Tengo Rubadiri who is defending Mothusi.

The matter was postponed and trial dates have been set for December 10th up to 15th 2020.

Meanwhile, in a separate matter, Kagiso Sejamabogo will have to wait a bit longer in prison before he is granted bail pending appeal of his 17-year prison sentence for various offences.

Although he has been in prison since 2012, Sejamabogo will have to wait until June before the High Court hears his appeal because a typist who was recording his case record at Molepolole Magistrates Court has been transferred to Mochudi.

Since 2018, Sejamabogo has been trying to get his case record from the court but the staff have been too busy with other engagements at the expense of his agonizing prison remand.

Justice Michael Leburu ordered the Molepolole Court Clerk to avail the record on the 29th of May and that the appellant will present his argument on June 22nd.

The appellant has had his prison term reduced to 11 years and has so far served eight years in prison.

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