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Government to charge Ian Khama

* I’ll wait and see – Khama
* BPF will join UDC to challenge elections outcome- Khama

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The state has revealed in court that it is only a matter of time before they slap Former President Ian Khama with criminal charges related to looting government coffers.

State prosecutor Priscilla Israel said this when answering to a question from defence lawyer, Unoda Mack on why they have charged a Directorate of Intelligence Services( DIS) spy agent Welhemina Mphoeng Maswabi with aiding terrorism and not the former president and former Directorate of Intelligent Serivices Isaac Kgosi who are heavily implicated in the matter.

“Let’s deal with the accused now (Maswabi) we will deal and charge those you talk of later. They will answer to the state when their time comes, we are dealing with her (Maswabi) now,” Israel said in open court.

She further stressed; “Isaac Kgosi and Sir Seretse Khama are implicated in this case of stealing money from Government.” Maswabi who apperared in court on Tuesday was allegedly found with P420 billion in her offshore accounts.

Meanwhile on Friday president Ian Khama had said in an interview that he was aware that government was working around the clock to concoct criminal charges against him.

Asked if he had any fears of possible criminal charges that could be laid against him now that the election period was over, Khama said, “It is not a fear, it is a fact, even prior to elections I was reliably informed that after elections, they will come up with some trumped up charges against me.”

Khama further revealed that last week Friday a mutual friend phoned Masisi to congratulate him, and in the conversation Masisi talked about how he was going to fix him (Khama).

Asked what illegal activity he would be charged for, the former President declined to comment. “I know it is coming; Masisi knows I know so I wait and see.”

The Voice further asked Khama if he will ever send a congratulatory message to President Masisi following the BDP win and he said, “Let’s wait and see if that will happen. Ask me that question after we have heard what the courts would say.”

The former president went on to confirm that the Umbrella For Democratic Change and the Botswana Patriotic Front, which he is a patron of, would take the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to court.

“As you are aware there are court cases which are being brought to challenge the election result, because those issues are coming to court that will certainly reveal whether the elections were free and fair. We have never seen that degree of irregularities, no election will not have a few hitches, there will always been something here or there that would have been a genuine mistake, with these there is so much going on leading to these court cases,” he stated.

Asked what they meant by irregularities he said, “I could not mention because I have a list of those but I won’t want to say for now because they are going to court.”

The former president campaigned heavily before the October 23rd elections, especially in the central region where he addressed about five to six rallies per day in a bid to sway voters away from the ruling party to the opposition and to his new party, The Botswana Patriotic Front.

Commenting on his campaign, which yielded three MPS and 22 councillors in the central district, Khama said, “Well, but the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) at one point had no problem with me being their chief campaigner, oh, so now that I am with the opposition it’s a problem? It is an open republic; I am a citizen of this country.”

Quizzed further on how he would be spending his time now that election season was over, Khama said, “I was associated a lot with political campaigning, but I have still been up to my conservation, my farming, my charity work of course there are other things I was doing which Masisi took away from me, so I will continue with the charitable work and also my association with the tribe as the chief.”

FORMER PRESIDENT: Khama

Providing clarity on what he meant by ” association with Bangwato”, he said, “Having been in office and taking up another government paid job is something which has its question marks, I don’t have to be in the office performing matters of tribal administration, I don’t have to be there I can just be the figure head but we will wait and see.”

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. PJC

    November 5, 2019 at 10:20 pm

    It’s a shame that the prosecution is being led by a person who has no respect for the rights of the accused and a human rights abuser. The woman is cruel and will lie in court and manipulate facts and the presiding officer. Israel, over the years, has destroyed the rule of law in Botswana and all lawyers know this. She is no prosecutor but persecutor. Let not the case be tainted and to achieve a fair trial she must not be allowed to represent the state and she is not legally sound in any case.

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An Eye for What?

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Sunday. Almost noon in Gaborone. From the pulpit, Pastor Godwill’s beady eyes follow his most-trusted foot soldiers lug bags of tithes behind a curtain where the money counting takes place.

With such a generous flock, he will move the church out of the tent into a proper building before Easter.

He will buy a house, then a jet. He raises his hands and sways to the rhythm of the closing hymn.

The church goers dissect the homily and sing the pastor’s praises as they file into the sunlight: “Oh, God! Daddy was on point today.” “May he stay blessed.” “Halleluja, Pastor.” “Amen, Pastor.”

No one notices a young man who has been skulking around the parking lot. He sidles up to a gleaming, new, black SUV.

Big lettering on the side proclaims ‘The Church of New Life’.

It belongs to the pastor—a Christmas gift from a recently-born again member.

He peers inside. Bibles, prayer books. More Bibles. The big money briefcase is not there.

He continues to pad, cat-like, around the bumper-to-bonnet filled parking lot. In another car he spies a woman’s handbag lodged under the driver’s seat. A purse peeps out.

The young man steals a quick look around him but sees someone approaching, so he moves on to another car.

He tests the driver’s door. It is locked, but the cellphone in the storage compartment tempts him, and his time is running out.

He picks up a brick and hurls it at window, shattering the glass.

As the alarm rings, he slides his arm inside and pulls out the cellphone.

Weaving between the cars, he makes for the main gate. Someone shouts. “Legodu!” Again. “Legoooodu!” Louder the second time.
It’s like a siren screaming. The able-bodied give chase. Men, women and children emerge from their makeshift shops, from houses to join in.

“Legodu!”Dogs bark the word. Cats meow the word. Cows moo it. Goats bleat it.

The whole neighbourhood emerges to bear witness.

The young man flies towards the main road. If he can cross the highway, he will melt into the bush and then he will be out of reach, but cars and trucks speed up and down the road. He cannot get across, so he off-loads his loot.

But it is too late for him. A man with biceps the size of the thief’s calves grabs him by his waistband and slams him to pavement. The swelling crowd, cheers.

A slap, a kick, a pinch. Another man fetches a sjambok from his boot.

It whistles as it slices the air, cracks as it lands on the thieves back. Once. Twice. Again. Once more.

A woman who was walking to the Kombi stop cannot resist.

She tucks her Bible into her bag and tugs off her stilettoes. She whacks the thief. Punctuates her words with blow: “You.” Rap. “Little.” Rap. “Bastard.” Rap! Rap! Rap! “That’s for the one who stole my purse.” She stands back and gives way for a man to land his punch.

The cheers grow louder.

A woman driving past slows down to see what is happening. She cannot bear to watch.

She pulls off the road to speak into her phone. “They are going to beat him to death,” she reports.

“Please hurry.” Tears roll down her face.

By the time the police arrive, the young man is soaked in a red sea.

The men in blue-grey uniforms leap from their vehicle.

One of them charges through the crowd that refuses to part.

When he finally reaches the young man, it is to confirm that his life has been stolen.

And still, the crowd cheers.

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Deaf beauty queen calls for Setswana sign language

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The reigning Miss Deaf International Queen has called for the introduction of Setswana Sign Language in schools.

The 31-year-old Serowe-born beauty, Kemmonye Keraetswe brought the crown home last July after emerging victorious in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Keraetswe is adamant that introducing Setswana will help improve the academic performance of deaf students, which at the moment she admits is ‘dismal’.

“There is a need for Setswana Sign Language in schools. Right now we are only taught in American Sign Language and this hinders the communication between us and our parents,” she notes, communicating with Okavango Voice via Whatsapp.

“I am a Motswana but I can’t read or write in Setswana. My parents can only try to give me signs but sometimes they don’t understand when I use the sign language that I learnt in school because it is a bit complex,” continues the brainy beauty queen, who is currently employed at Maun Senior Secondary School as a Teaching Assistant for deaf students.

Keraetswe’s dream is to go to university but she keeps failing the entrance exam as American Sign Language has proved too complicated.

“It is rare for deaf students to pass Form Five. I am even lucky to be working,” adds the trail-blazing queen, who is no stranger to international success having been crowned 2nd Princess Miss Deaf Africa in 2016.

HONOR: Miss Deaf International award

As for her journey as Miss Deaf International, Keraetswe claims that locally she has not been given the same recognition or received as much support as other beauty queens.

“There are so many events happening in Maun but I have never been invited to any of them! I feel like they are discriminating against me but I am just like any of them, the only challenge is that I am hearing impaired,” she blasts.

Additionally, Keraetswe says organisers often refuse to let her take part in pageantries on account of her disability.

“Sometimes they don’t accept me but I am capable just like any other woman!”

To compound her feelings of isolation, she is also having problems with the Botswana Deaf Organisation.

As is the norm with beauty queens, part of Keraetswe’s reign includes overseeing a project.

She wants this to be an independent project as she strives to inspire the death community.

However, the Deaf Organisation insist they should be involved.

“We don’t have any independence. They want us to do everything collectively even business,” she laments.

In conclusion, Keraetswe urged the government to promote equality and work with the deaf community to improve their rights.

She further called for the creation of Non-Government Organisations that will advocate for the rights of the deaf.

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Bouncing back from disability to thrive

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WHEELCHAIR-BOUND WOMAN LAUNCHES FASHION LINE

At the age of 33, Mavis Mtonga is fast making a mark in the fashion world despite a car accident that left her paralysed in her lower body in 2013.

Re-living the traumatic moment, which nearly cut her life short, Mtonga, who hails from Zambia but has been living in Botswana for the past 18 years said she was on her way to Zambia when her family got involved in a car accident that drastically altered her life forever.

“I was with my father and aunt, taking my grandmother to Zambia when the accident occured 10 kilometres away from Nata. It all happened so fast yet it seemed like it was in slow motion. Our car had a tyre burst and overturned three times.”

she said as her voice trailed off, giving way to a deep breath followed by a long pause.

“And then I realized I could not feel the other part of my body just below the waist. I saw people surrounding us but I could not make up their faces, people were asking questions but at the time I could not understand what was really happening,” she said.

She was flown to Princess Marina Hospital and later with the assistance of Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund they were transferred to Bokamoso Private Hospital where they underwent surgeries.

HARDWORKING: Mtonga

Her aunt died from heavy loss of blood. “I was devastated.” She said.

However, the hardest thing for Mtonga was to accept that she was not going to be able to walk again.

“It was really difficult to accept that I was going to live the rest of my life on a wheelchair. I was trained on how to be independent on a wheel chair and miraculously I learned the skill in two weeks while others took more than that,” she said with a teary voice.

Before the accident Mtonga had already applied to study Fashion and Design at Arthur Portland School and her application was approved in 2016 so she started school in 2017.

“When I first came to class, the lecturers were apprehensive about my ability to cope in an environment full of sewing machines of different sizes but with their help I had to figure out a way to use those machines. I opted to use the small ones, which had a footer but I had to find a way to improvise by using my hands instead because my feet don’t work,” she explained.

To date, Mtonga has not only survived the car accident but she has also gone on to thrive in the fashion industry pushing her own brand in her own backyard.

“I have a year now in this industry and things are looking up for me. I have a few loyal clients who usually rock my designs and keep on coming back, which suggests that I am doing something right. I hope to grow and my vision is take my work overseas one day and live my dream of being a high flying fashion designer,” quipped the determined young woman.

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