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Help me before i do something stupid!

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Help me before i do something stupid!

Road accident victim battles Government for compensation 12 years after horror crash

12 years after surviving a horrific road accident whilst on a school trip, Phineas Reakae remains a frustrated man, angry at the lack of support he has received from government.

He is battling to cope with life and the memory of the accident which killed four of his mates from Sedie Junior Secondary School as well as two teachers and the bus driver.

“It was 27th August 2007. We had just won the national school football competition finals in Gaborone and we were driving back when our minibus collided with a truck near Rakops. I watched helplessly as my teammates, teachers and driver burnt to death inside the vehicle. Even now I can still hear their screams,” the 31-year-old recalled, his voice little more than a whisper.

“I suffered leg injuries and am still going through physical pain and trauma.”

Back then he thought he was the lucky one to have survived the horror.

Today, as he struggles to get his life back on track, he wonders if he may not have been better off dead.

“I have a metal pin in my left thigh which causes it to ache whenever it is cold and when it rains. I can no longer play football. I am full of anger and hatred. I have too much emotional stress and I therefore rarely socialise. I cannot be with my family because I feel unworthy,” said the father of two.

Following the incident he says he did not receive any form of counselling.

“I performed poorly in my junior secondary school and my life has been miserable ever since. I would have done better if I hadn’t been in hospital for two months. When I was discharged I went straight to the exam room in October and I was not given a chance to repeat or proceed further with my education.”

From being an A grade student, Keakae ended up with an E grade at JC and blames government for his failure.

Following the injury he was compensated with around P35, 000.

Help me before i do something stupid!
Phineas showing scars on his left thigh

He used the money to buy a residential plot and build a house for himself.

Currently he is down and out and wants the government to give him at least P500, 000 so that he may kick start his life and earn a decent livelihood, something he is confident he could have created for himself had he not been injured.

As he continues his battle with government, Keakae came to The Voice’s Maun offices in the hope the publicity would spur the authorities into action before his frustrations lead him to do ‘something drastic’.

It has been five weeks since The Voice sent a questionnaire to the Ministry of Education. To date, the only response received from the public relation’s office is, “We are still gathering facts.”

Acting chief Public Relations Officer in the ministry, Onkarabile Phefo has promised a response ‘anytime now’.

12 years after the incident, it can’t come soon enough.

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How Gov bluddered on first Corona virus death

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*Hundreds exposed to the virus

Government secrecy and unreliable communication this week dealt a devastating blow to the fight against Corona virus, exposing hundreds of people to infection in Gaborone and surrounding areas.

As people reeled from the announcement of the first Corona Virus death in the country on Tuesday afternoon, it has emerged that government had known about the 79- year- old Ramotswa woman’s status since Thursday last week and concealed the information both to the family and mortuary that handled her body.

On Wednesday afternoon traumatised Babereki Ka Lorato Mortuary staff spoke of how they were unnecessarily exposed to the deadly virus.

Speaking in an interview with The Voice Newspaper on Wednesday, the concerned Chairman of the mortuary, Martin Gabokake said the woman was brought in a body bag on Friday.

“Our employees asked why someone who had died at Bamalete Lutheran hospital a day before was brought in a body bag and they were told she died of asthma, and so they let the body in and handled it in the manner they normaly handle all other bodies,” Gabobake explained.

He went on further to explain that it was only yesterday that to their shock and horror the staff was told of the true nature of the old woman’s passing.
“ Had we been told the truth to begin with, the body would have been handled in a safer way. The fact that they brought her in a body bag means they new something and they blatantly lied to us,” Gabobake said.

Her funeral was also not accorded the security screening associated with Covid-19 deaths, a source has revealed. Health officials have since asked villagers who had attended the old woman’s funeral to submit for testing as they to may have been exposed to the virus.

This was another terrible blunder by government. Had they disclosed that the old woman had died of COVID -19 or even told us that she was a suspected case, most of us would have kept away,” said the source.

Meanwhile government moved to quarantine 14 family members on Tuesday. All mortuary employees and close associates of the woman were also locked up for observation on Wednesday.

Colleagues of the deceased grandson, who works for a local hotel, have also been summoned for mandatory testing.

“Her grandson (name known to this publication) continued working with us and it was business as usual. He did not know his grandmother had the virus and died from it. They were very close. He is the one who took care of her and took her for hospital visits,” the worried colleague has revealed.

Efforts to get a comment from the grandson were futile at the time of going to press. In a telephone interview from quarantine he told The Voice that he wished for privacy.

Botswana has recorded one death as a result of the COVID-19 with three positive cases currently stable at the Sir Ketumile Teaching Hospital in Gaborone.

There are 189 negative results, 593 lab test performed and 1856 people currently on quarantine.

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Politicians clash over Covid-19 meeting

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The fight against Covid-19 stepped into the periphery of partisan politics this week as the absence of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) leaders sparked accusations and counter-accusations over their invitation to President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s closed meeting.

UDC President, Duma Boko and party vice president, Dumelang Saleshando, were not part of the delegation that attended the three-hour long meeting.

Although Masisi stated that Boko, like other party leaders was invited, the UDC has vehemently denied the claim.

In a press release that was issued last night the UDC said. “We have noted the events that have been evolving around the Covid-19 pandemic, its a serious matter that requires all of us to work genuinely. We value and encourage national dialogue on important matters such as the fight against Covid 19. The truth is that the UDC president has not received any invitation from Office of the President and we call OP to provide proof.”

However, when the UDC Spokesperson, Moeti Mohwasa was asked about calls made to him by OP, he said, ” I was asked about Boko’s whereabouts by Kaelo Molefe and I told him I was in Phikwe. I asked him to check him at his house. This morning I got another call from Professor Mpho Molomo who said he had Boko’s invitation to a meeting with President Masisi and I suggested that they go to his house, an address which is popular within the government enclave. I indicated to him that I had received a similar call from Kaelo Molefhe and he said he was with him. Kaelo knows where Boko stays having been his associate in the build-up to the 2014 General Elections. So quite frankly I doubt he would say he does not know Boko’s house. As regards Nick and Keorapetse I cannot comment on their behalf, ” explained Mohwasa last night.

Dithapelo Keorapetse too said that the OP was being playful. “Why would they contact me for DGB? They are aware of his PA, VP, Secretary General, Spokesperson and UDC NEC. These are the people from who to check him. Whoever wants the UDC President from me for official things is playing. The state has been to his house several times. How did they suddenly forget his place of abode? Even Kaelo knows Boko’s House from his UDC days, ” said Keorapetse.

The accusations did not go well with the BDP Chairman of Communications, Kagelelo Kentse, who expressed concern that the UDC was turning a pandemic into a political mudsling.

He said that all efforts including calls, text, WhatsApp messages to Boko, Moeti, Keorapetse and Boko’s bodyguard were made without any success. “There is a communication trail to prove this. UDC must know when to come to the table and be patriotic on issues on national interest such as COVID-19, its very disappointing for a party calling themselves an alternative government to behave in this manner but Batswana are watching and we know they will punish them for this.”

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