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It’s a hard knock life

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The above poster caught my attention as I queued patiently for fuel early on Tuesday morning.

I had woken up at 5am because more sleep could have resulted in being at the tail of the queue and failing to get diesel.

Being an early bird paid off as I only found five cars waiting.

So I sat and waited for a good two hours as the filling station only opened at 7am.

While we are used to such a life of queuing for fuel, it is never a pleasant activity as it is one of the many signs of a failed economy.

Fuel in Zimbabwe is expensive compared to our neighbouring countries as the current price is almost equivalent to P14 a litre and is constantly going up and thus one would expect improved supplies, but is it completely the opposite.

Anyway back to the poster. It actually did not surprise me that suicide cases are on the rise as the bleak situation here can really drive people into depression.

According to the story, 1, 641 took their lives in 2018 while 142 had already committed suicide in the first three months of 2019.

We have had to drastically adjust our lives as the cost of living continues to go up while incomes get eroded on a daily basis.

As I have written in previous columns, so many of us no longer have the luxury of three meals a day. We now have brunch and supper, drink water and go to bed.

For some, this and other challenges we are faced with can be a recipe for depression and disaster.

One of my aunts, who is a civil servant and a single parent, almost broke down when schools opened in January as ends refused to meet.

Fees at government secondary schools and universities are now more than salaries of most civil servants and for those with two or three school going children like my aunt, it means digging deep into pockets which are already empty.

Where does one get ZWL$5, 500 (about P2, 300) for school fees excluding other additional costs when they earn less than that?

These are scenarios that can drive people into hopelessness because here I am talking of school fees and not other costs such as rentals and utility bills.

When schools opened, it was reported that some teachers in areas where there were mopane worms were nowhere to be seen in class as they had joined those harvesting the worms for selling.

And honestly, who can blame them – desperate times call for desperate measures!

On a different note, cracks seem to be widening in the ruling Zanu PF Party.

On Monday, youth league leaders called for a presser where they accused one of Vice President Constatino Chiwenga’s allies, Kudakwashe Tagwirei of corruption and looting state resources.

The man has a vast business empire and literally controls the fuel sector.

This was seen as an indirect attack on the VP and in our local politics is a clear indication that all is not well at the top.

Let their fights begin!

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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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