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No sex, no condoms for kids – Church leaders

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Church leaders have described as irresponsible and unlawful calls for government to avail condoms in learning institutions saying that gesture will encourage students to engage in sexual activities.

Reverend Gabriel Tsoaneng of Botswana Council of Churches and Dr Kenaope Kenaope of the Seventh Day Adventist Church said this at a media conference organized by the National AIDS and Health Promotion Agency (NAHPA) and Embassy of United States of America.

“The law says a child cannot engage in sex before they attain the age of 18 years, and therefore as the church, we cannot support something that goes against the law of this country and the Christian religion. Why should I give condoms to my 1- year-old son or daughter? We should equip our children with knowledge,” said Tsoaneng.

Dr Kenaope shared sentiments with Tsoaneng adding that SDA-owned institutions of learning do not allow for sexual relations at any stage, including student nurses in Kanye amongst others.

“You don’t even have to talk condoms for primary schools, you go to the nursing college in Kanye where I work, we do not distribute condoms to our students. By the time those young adults leave school they are no longer interested in sex before marriage because we emphasize behavior change,” Kenaope said.

National Coordinator Richard Matlhare said that NAHPA is going to engage other stakeholder sooner to map the way forward on the issue of condom distribution in schools. “This is a matter that needs more engagement and resolution by all stakeholders,” he said.

NAHPA and the US Embassy will be launching an initiative on February 16th, in Mahalapye, to engage faith based organizations and traditional healers to encourage men and children to test for HIV and enroll on AntiRetroviral Theraphy.

US Ambassador Craig Cloud said that the initiative targets faith based organizations because these organization meet face to face with the people almost on daily basis and have power to change their mindset.

“We want to change the messaging that has been coming out – from HIV Kills to messages of hope. HIV does not have to kill. We want to target men, and young men and women to get tested and tackle the problem of violence against children. We believe that working with faith-based organizations and traditional healers is the best way to do it,” Cloud said.

Matlhare added that if properly executed, the initiative will bring positive results and reduce new infections.

It has emerged that men do not test in large numbers and those who have tested HIV Positive do not adhere to the drugs.

Others, it was said, prefer to approach traditional healers than going to health facilities when they are not well.

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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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