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Pastors express shock at being denied essential service permit

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VICE PRESIDENT: Tsogwane

 “MPS visited us for general election prayers”-Prophet Moseki 

Ministers of Religion have expressed frustration and disappointed at parliament’s decision to reject a motion that sought to have them recognised as essential services providers on Wednesday last week.

The motion, which was brought by Member of Parliament for Francistown South, and Leader of Minority, Wynter Mmolotsi called for Ministers of Religion to be included in the list of essential service providers like journalists and lawyers among others. 

Mmolotsi argued that during trying times like the COVID-19 days, some people believe in their pastors more than anything else and therefore there was a need for pastors to be given exceptional travel permits so that they can carry out their holy duties during the Extreme Social distancing period.

“Just like lawyers who are given permits to be able to assist their clients in times of emergency, pastors too should be given the same opportunity to obtain permits that would allow them to visit their members for counselling and consultation.

Some people do need counseling and prayers during such hard times because they may be depressed or even grieving,” said the vice president of Alliance for Progressives.(AP)

Supporting Mmolotsi was MP for Mahalapye East, Yandani Boko of Umbrella for Democratic Change who told the house that during his mandatory 14 days quarantine last month, there was a time he felt the need for a pastor to pray for him. Boko’s plea for pastors however fell on deaf ears as the Leader of the House, Slumber Tsogwane dismissed his argument and put the motion to the vote for the ruling party MPS to shoot it down.

Responding to the rejection, some pastors expressed shock and disappointment at how lightly the legislators regarded pastoral services.

Prophet Luda Moseki of Graced Family Church said that he couldn’t believe that some of the MPs that visited him for prayers to win the general elections were the same ones who voted against the motion.
“Why are they turning their back on us when in fact we helped them?” Asked the perplexed prophet.
Prophet Moseki went on to explain that although he does live services through social media, it was not enough as some of his members needed one-on-one consultation in person.

Moseki’s words were echoed by Prophet Juda Angeles of PCG Church who too was disappointed by the rejection of the motion. Angelos said that they were shocked by the decision. “It’s shocking because we are of less importance now yet during big events like inauguration of the President we got recognition, we go to hospitals to pray for patients but now we are said to be unnecessary. It’s a total shock and it’s hypocritical,” he said.

The Serowe based Prophet said that if they were allowed to obtain essential service permit, they wouldn’t risk their lives and go into wards with COVID 19 patients and they would observe all the prescribed corona virus prevention protocols.


Celebrated Pastor Thuso Tiego of Bethel Transfiguration Church also weighed in on the matter , saying it had exposed the MPS opportunistic relationship with Christianity.
” Politicians only value Christianity and pastors when it suits them. Towards elections, all MPs were Christians and they visited our churches for prayers and now they say we are not essential. This decision should be a wake up call for churches to unite and speak with one strong voice instead of being fragmented through many associations,” he said. 

The Chairperson of the Organisation of African Instituted Churches, Tebogo Motlhagodi also agreed with his colleagues in the ministry and slammed the MPs for excluding church ministers from essential service providers.
” We had communicated to the office of the president prior to the parliament seating to put in a consideration for church leaders only and we were rejected. From now on we should know who values us and who don’t,” he said and went on to highlight that,“Government needs pastors to handle national issues and work as a link between God and the people.”

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. jayson Luh

    May 11, 2020 at 1:39 pm

    For whatever reason not known to me as a christian, the prophets and the pastors want to take the place of Jesus Christ in their congregations.It is wrong of any man of God to think that being denied the permit to move around mean that politicians are not Christians, it is this kind of church leadership which has behaved as though they are holding the keys for one to be a Christian or get to heaven one day. As a Christian and also a church leader, I do believe that people must have valid reason for them to be regarded as essential services. Over this period, I have been engaging with the congregants over the phone and praying with them over this same platform. I believe it is not me but Jesus who is in me and every other Christian who has the power to heal the sick.

  2. Fantaaman

    May 11, 2020 at 2:44 pm

    I find this to be a good joke to make us laugh during the lockdown. These pastors and other religious person like them who want to challenge our government on the issue of lockdown are really showing themselves to be more interested in preying on the poor and ignorant instead of praying for them. They do not pay taxes or service charges and want everything from the government.

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SADC Executive Secretary disturbed by obstacles in movement of goods

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The Executive Secretary of SADC, Dr Stegomena Lawrence Tax, has cautioned member states that any lack of cooperation among then during the COVID19 era has potential to reverse the gains made in the last decades.

Addressing a virtual SADC Council of Ministers meeting this week, Lawrence Tax said that the regional ministers approved Guidelines on Harmonization and Facilitation of Movement of Essential Goods and Services across borders early April. 

She said that whilst the guidelines have played a critical role in facilitation of movement of essential goods, there are notable obstacles that have been noted by the Secretariat.

The obstacles include non-compliance/non recognition of regional legal frameworks; uncoordinated operations at the port of entry among border agencies; lack of harmonization and synchronization of policies and procedures among, and between member states; unilateral decisions outside agreed framework; as well as different approaches to deal with epidemiological challenges,” she said. 

She added that; “all these are resulting in increased cost of doing business, and negatively affecting the implementation of national and regional programmes”.

She advised that there is need to have measures, and coordinated approach in place since the region is in a post lockdown period since the transportation of non-essential goods and services will be resuming.

Lawrence Tax added that COVID19 is a global pandemic and that the SADC regional approach should expand to COMESA-EAC-SADC tripartite and eventually to other continental blocs.

“The Secretariat is already working with COMESA and EAC, specifically, in terms of harmonizing and synchronizing regulations and procedures for movement of goods and services under the Tripartite arrangement. We need to move in unison and avoid unilateral decisions, specifically with regards to cross border movement of goods and services,” she said.

According to the Executive Secretary, the regional office has already conducted a socio-economic impact analysis of COVID19 on the region and the results have shown that the pandemic will impact negatively across many socio and economic sectors.

“The decline in the global economy is projected to lead to a decline in commodity prices, increase in debt and significant contraction of the SADC economies in 2020. This will reverse the gains on industrial development and trade that the region has made in the last couple of years,” Lawrence Tax said.

On the flip side,  the region’s International Cooperating Partners have made pledges to mitigate the impact of COVID19 pandemic on its economy. 

“To date, the Secretariat has secured Euro 7.3 million from the German Government; Euro3.6million from European Union, Euro 190,000.00 under the GIZ/Africa Union Commission, whereas the African Development Bank (AfDB)  has considered a support UA 7 million. Engagements with the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) are also at an advanced stage,” the Executive Secretary said.

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Guma Moyo returns

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*Controversial politician headed for BPF *BURS owes me P6 million and I am waiting for reimbursement- Moyo

Self-exiled former legislator, Guma Moyo, is reportedly headed back home from South Africa to rejoin local politics after applying for Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) membership.

The flamboyant businessman and former Member of Parliament for Tati-East has been missing in action after he left the country under a dark cloud of controversy claiming that he was fearing for his life.

It also turned out during his sojourn in South Africa that Moyo had also been under the taxman’s radar, with allegations of tax evasion further fueling the confusion over his decision to flee.

The outspoken politician fell off with his party, Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) in a factional war that saw him lead a campaign that endorsed Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi against President Mokgweetsi Masisi for the party presidency.

Although he was expected to support Venson Moitoi, Moyo did not attend the Kang Congress leading to his dismissal from the party.

In an interview with The Voice this week, Moyo confirmed having applied for the BPF membership.

“I have applied for BPF membership. They are my friends and I think that’s where I am welcome.”

He dismissed allegations that he was joining BPF to challenge Biggie Butale for the party presidency.

“They have a leader and I am not joining to lead but to be part of the collective of the party. I believe in them.”

When asked how he was going to work with the party patron, former President Ian Khama, who he didn’t have a good working relationship during his tenure as President, Moyo said, “My relationship with Khama is unquestionable, politics or no politics we are inseparable…Yes we had differences at some point but he apologised for having been misled by some government officials to take decisions that he took and I accepted the apology. That chapter is closed. ” he added.

In May 2015, Moyo says he had the shock of his life when he learnt from one of the banks that they had been instructed to freeze his accounts on graft allegations.

Investigators in the matter questioned the over P25 million which was paid into Moyo’s business account and they suspected that the invoices that Moyo produced had been fabricated.

Before that, the then President Khama hasd launched a scathing attack on Moyo, saying he did not have the interests of the electorates at heart after he was dropped from cabinet.

He said Moyo was only looking for power and self enrichment.

Moyo mentioned that despite having been fired by the BDP, he was grateful to the party for making him what he is today. “I have accepted the move and will not go back.”

BPF Secretary General, Roseline Panzirah Matshome confirmed having received Moyo’s application.

Meanwhile, Moyo has made shocking remarks that Botswana Unified Revenue Service owes him P6 million after he was initially alleged to be owing the tax collector.

The politician who is on self imposed exile in South Africa, says he is waiting for BURS to reimburse him.

“My accounts were frozen and after an audit was done it transpired that it was actually them that owed me, they must refund me,” he said and added: “Let’s not discuss it further because it is politics and it will catch up with them.”

However the BURS General Manager of Communications, Mable Bolele declined to comment on the allegations.

“We are unable to assist you since we do not discuss individual taxpayer issues with the third party as guided by Income Tax Act, Secrecy- under Section 5 Sub-section 1.”

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