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Defilers be warned!

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TRIBAL CHIEFS LAUNCH ‘DIKGOSI DI XADILE’

With teenage pregnancies in both Maun and Ngamiland District on the rise, tribal leaders in the tourist town have vowed to take a stand against the defilement of underage girls.

The leaders warned defilers such cases will no longer be treated as internal family matters.

Instead they will refer incidents to social workers, who in turn will report perpetrators to the police for prosecution.

Highlighting the extent of the problem, Kgosi Prince Shashe of Shashe ward said, “In my ward we have 10 to 13 year olds who are mothers. Some of them were preyed upon by married men, but their cases were dealt with at home because the men would have promised to care for them and the baby.”

Kgosi Shashe noted that due to poverty, which he admitted is rampant in his ward, desperate parents agree to keep silent so they can benefit financially from the ‘wrong doing’, albeit out of ignorance of the law.

“Some times parents just blame the child for allowing herself to get pregnant and they are not even aware that the older man has in fact committed a crime. And those that are aware reason that if the man goes to prison, there will be no one to support both the young mother and the baby,” continued the chief.

He added that as tribal leaders they intend to visit local schools and hold talks with both boys and girls on matters of sexuality, behaviour and rights.

Another leader, Kgosi Elizabeth Sekeseke of Wenela ward noted that the issue of teenage pregnancy goes beyond poverty.

TAKING LESSONS: Maun Senior School Students

She cited a recent example involving a teenager who had done well in her Junior Secondary School examinations and was set to proceed to Gantsi Senior Secondary School.

“The girl fell pregnant and said a local nurse was responsible for the pregnancy. When the nurse was called, he did not deny having unprotected carnal knowledge of the girl but demanded DNA tests as he accused her of having slept with many other men. ‘We took turns with her,’ that is what he said!” seethed Sekeseke.

“These issues are more complicated than we may think. That is why we need to go to schools and engage our children in these matters. Maybe then we may reduce the numbers of pregnancies and save the future of our girls. They are the mothers of the next generation therefore good morals have to be instilled now if we are to bring about change and a better tomorrow,” she stressed.

In the last quarter of 2019, Maun accounted for 74 of the 102 teenage pregnancies recorded in the district.

It is against this backdrop that dikgosi came together under one roof at The Village Church to map a way forward.

At the end of the workshop, organised by a local non-government organisation, Queen Esther, they formed a campaign team #Dikgosi di xadile to lead the initiative.

With the motto ‘Chencha M’nyana’ they will soon be visiting schools in and around Maun to start the talks.

“As you have heard from the previous report, most of the pregnancies occur during school holidays, so the gap is at home. That is why we are engaging the community and the leaders to step in and help our children,” stated Queen Esther’s director, Vehae Tjiriange, adding some children have stated they learn sexual activities from home.

ACTIVIST: Vehae Tjiriange

“They have witnessed ‘live porn’ when parents are doing it at night when they think the children are sleeping. Sharing a room with children in our area is very common. Additionally, some have stated that they have seen the sex moves from parents’ mobile phones and television hence it is important to guide our children especially the girl child to be more responsible about their bodies. They should know that poverty is a passing phase and that education is what will liberate them hence the need to invest their time in getting the best education!”

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Police discourage withdrawal of GBV cases

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Botswana Police Service has adopted a policy that discourages withdrawal of Gender Based Violence (GBV) related cases after they have been reported.

 Raising concern during the GBV Pitso ya Borre campaign official launch on Valentine’s Day held at Molepolole bus rank, Commissioner of Police Keabetswe Makgophe, said it seemed the police are now being used by some women who report cases only to withdraw them at a later stage.

 He said suspects get incarcerated and later on they face challenges of some intending to sue them for that, also that they have reports of victims being murdered following withdrawal of cases which the public end up blaming them.

“The choice of venue for this launch was mostly influenced by the fact that in the recent past Kweneng District experienced a surge of GBV related cases, mostly murder, rape and assault. The frequency at which murder cases were reported was alarming and brought fear to the residents and shocked the entire country,” said Makgophe at the well attended event.

According to the national statistics on GBV crimes, there were 1208 recorded cases of defilement in 2019 compared to 769 in 2018; indicating a 57 percent increase which is 439.

In her keynote address, the First Lady Neo Jane Masisi, appealed to the chiefs, churches, health practitioners, civil society organisations and the public to help GBV committees and the police in fighting GBV.

She encouraged the police to continue spreading the message across the country

Masisi also promised to continue with her mission in supporting GBV campaigns and also to seek assistance from outside the country.

 Pitso ya Borre campaign kick-started on February 8th, 2020 with educational campaigns targeting churches, schools, cattle posts, various organisations and wider male population.

The BPS took advantage of the mood of the day and distributed the roses to the men to present to their loved ones.

Held under the theme ‘Ending Gender Based Violence Starts With Me # emisakgokgontsho,’ the attendees included Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Kabo Morwaeng, Minister of Defence, Justice and Security Thomas Kagiso Mmusi and other officials.   

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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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