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Hope in Borolong/Chadibe saga



Kgosi Mpatane evokes spirit of Khama III

The embattled royal of Shongwechena/Mpatane ward in Borolong, Kgosi Keletso Mpatane received overwhelming support in a Tuesday meeting convened by Kgosi Bokamoso Radipitse of Tonota.

The aftermath is that, after a nine-year wait, she could soon be sworn in as a chief.

Mpatane’s ascendancy to the throne has been scampered by a spirited challenge from the neighbouring village of Chadibe, who insist the ward belongs to them.

The two villages have been tussling over the ward for a decade, with Chadibe claiming the ward they call Dikgatho is theirs, and its rightful heir Kgosi Wina Namakando.

Mpatane is the daughter of a former Tax Collector Modisaotsile Mpatane and his Tonota-born wife, Garebatho Badubi (MmaKobe). The couple were the first to settle in the ward back in 1951.

At a packed kgotla meeting on a cloudy Tuesday morning, residents of Shongwechena threw their weight behind their tribal leader in front of Kgosi Radipitse. They made it clear that they want her name ratified as the rightful heir of the disputed ward.

Following an abandoned meeting a fortnight ago and an emergency strategic meeting by Barolong last Friday, sparks were expected to fly at the Tuesday gathering.

However, the predicted fireworks did not materialise.

Instead, Radipitse calmly laid out the agenda of the meeting.

The Tonota royal applauded the residents for their maturity in the way they’ve handled the matter thus far.

He further said he was indeed aware that Barolong long submitted the names of Keletso Mpatane as the rightful heir.

“Today I want to find out once again if indeed this is the name that you’ve submitted. I also want to know whether she’s an elected or a chief by birth right, and lastly whether she accepts the nomination,” said Radipitse.

Her uncles then took turns in relating the heir apparent and her family’s lineage.

According to an emotional uncle, Lewanika Mpatane, his niece became heir following the death of her elder brother Kobe Mpatane, who was born in 1956.

Lewanika revealed MmaKobe and her husband were entrepreneurs of note.

“They set up the first shop or ‘stall” as they were called back then, and vegetable gardens in the area. There’s no question about who should occupy this seat,” said the emotional elder.

In accepting the nomination, the visibly pleased Mpatane preached peace between Borolong and Chadibe villages.

She pleaded with Chadibe royals who were in attendance to respect the decisions and wish of Borolong people by accepting that Shongwechena is part of their village.

“My message is simple, I intend to live in peace with others. My message to you today is for you to remember that Khama III(1837-1923) has a grave because he was wise and humble, whereas Mzilikazi (1790-1868) does not have a grave because he was a war monger,” said Mpatane to a rousing applause.

Considered one of the most famous African warriors of all time, Mzilikazi was a King who founded the Mthwakazi Kingdom (modern day Matabeleland in Zimbabwe). He died on 5th September 1868.

Legend has it that the great King was buried with all his belongings in a cave.

However, his bones were reportedly reduced to ashes when his guards burnt high grass close to the cave.

The new King, Lobengula immediately ordered the execution of the guards, including their dogs and chickens.

Whatever the outcome, residents of both Chadibe and Borolong can at least be confident of escaping a similar fate!


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How Gov bluddered on first Corona virus death



*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



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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