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SDA factional wars reach High Court

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The High Court has ordered warring factions of the Seventh Day Adventist Church to go back to the drawing table to discuss their differences and settle for the middle ground.

This came after the church withdrew an urgent application it brought against three of its pastors – Dr Boitirelo Kabo, Phemelo Seboka, and Othibetse Nelson Simankane.

In their papers, the church accuses the pastors of unlawfully extending their term in office at a conference held from November 25-27th which decision was later reversed by the church on December 4th.

“The respondents are hereby interdicted and restrained from executing any duties purportedly bestowed on them on the 25th and 27th November 2019 because they are not supposed to be in these positions by the reason of the fact that they were not duly and lawfully elected,” the church papers read in part.

Dr Kenaope Kenaope who is the president of the Botswana Union Executive Committee (BUC), a governing body of the SDA said that in 2018 the church engaged the services of Mazars Forensics to conduct audit of the South Botswana Conference an organ of the church.

The audit was conducted for the period of January 1, 2015 to December 2016.

“On the 25th June 2019, at the applicants Special Executive Committee Meeting, it was stated that the report revealed gross negligence and control lapses by the SBC Administration and Treasury Department,” said DrKenaope.

The meeting resolved to report the matter to the police who then responded that they would collect SBC accounting files but there was resistance from the respondents.

“On account of refusal by respondents to provide the necessary documentation, the Botswana Police Service approached the Magistrates Court seeking an order compelling the SBC to comply accordingly.

In response to the court order, the SBC instituted proceedings against Botswana Police Service to stay the decision of the Magistrates Court pending its review.

The basis of such application is at this point still not understood by the applicant,” Dr Kenaope said in the papers.

Dr Kenaope said that the SBC proceeded to hold meetings in November 2019 where they were elected to another term in office despite legal action instituted by the church.

The applicant as the mother body governing the SBC considered the outcome of this November 2019 Session as illegal and contrary to the SBC constitution and bylaws.

It was raised that the respondents had passed an unconstitutional decision to self-appoint themselves and extend their term in office.

However, in their replying affidavits, the pastors denied any wrongdoing. They further denied that the BUC is the highest decision making body of the church saying its mandate is to give direction and to ensure that the church’s standards are complied with.

“The applicant ought to have pointed out by way of clear averments why it thinks or believes it possesses highest decision-making powers,” they said.

The pastors say that the country is divided into two – South Botswana Conference and North Botswana Conference to ensure that they run the SDA Church in conformity with the ideals and beliefs of the church. They argue that the BUC is a separate entity.

The pastors further argue that BUC had no competence or jurisdiction to engage Mazars auditors and that the draft report and final report have not been presented to them or before the court.

“We as the executive committee of the SBC have always called upon the BUC to furnish a report of the audit being referred to and the BUC has consistently failed to produce same”.

The pastors argued that the SBC is an autonomous body with sufficient internal control and investigation capacity.

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Block 8 nurse challenges Covid-19 test results

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A nurse who allegedly tested positive of Covid-19 during the emergency parliament session has given the Ministry of Health and Wellness up to next week Tuesday to respond to his legal demands as he believes that the test results were fake.

The victim, Morobi Dinao, a nurse at Block 8 Gaborone has made demands that the ministry give him signed results by the person who carried out the laboratory tests.

Dinao was diagnosed at a special parliament sitting in April, his supposed positive results leading to all MPs and those who attended the session to undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine.

According to legal documents from Ndadi law firm, the 37-year-old nurse was admitted at Sir Ketumile Masire Teaching Hospital on the 9th of April after he was told he tested positive.

On the 13th he demanded to see his results but was sent from pillar to post and the hospital could not give him the results.

He kept on demanding his results and on the 19th of April he was shown the results through his glass door from outside by one Dr Feledi.

Dinao allegedly asked for a copy of the results but the Doctor said he would revert to him after consulting with his superiors.

He was given his results when he was discharged on the 24th of April.

There was no explanation of the results and the document was also not signed hence the suspicion that they were not authentic.

Some of the things that made him suspicious, he says, are that the specimen submission form that carries his results is markedly from the one he completed on the day of tests.

He says the form does not have the laboratory personnel signature portion yet the one he duly completed had it.

The demands are that MOH should give an account of the delay of initial results.

Dinao’s lawyer, Uyapo Ndadi, told The Voice Online that they are awaiting response to their client’s demands before they can take the next step.

“I do not understand how a doctor can seek for his superior’s permission to give a patient his own results. How do you get admitted without seeing your results and told we are following the instructions to admit you? A lot is questionable in the whole scenario,” said Ndadi.

Ndadi further said he’ll await his client’s instruction before considering any court action.

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No water supply in Maun this weekend

*Main water pipe raptured at Nxaraga

*70% water supply shut down for maintenance work

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Most parts of Maun and surrounding areas are expected to experience a dry spell this weekend as the Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) cuts water supply for the next two days.

The department’s head of business, Thabo Ndadi, explained that seventy percent supply of water in and around Maun will be shut down to allow for maintenance of main water pipe to the area.

“This week we discovered that our main water pipe that brings in water from Kunyere boreholes has raptured and thus unable to adequately supply water,” explained Ndadi.

Ndadi further confirmed that they started noticing the leak last month but avoided tempering with it as it was during the lockdown and when the country had just reported first cases of the killer Covid-19 disease.

“Our hope and prayer was that the leak would not become so bad before the end of the COVID-19 state of emergency, but the water pressure has gone down and therefore we have to fix the problem and we cannot do it without temporarily cutting the flow,” added Ndadi.

Seventy percent of water supply in Maun is from boreholes along Kunyere river in Nxaraga area, while the other two boreholes in Shashe and Sexaxa make up the remaining thirty percent.

“This effectively means Maun will be running with a seventy percent water shortage and we are pleading with members of the community to use water with extra care,” Ndadi added.

In fact some areas will go dry for over 24 hours and WUC has advised people to store water for weekend use today because from tomorrow, taps will be completely dry. “Many other homes will get water way beyond the 24 hours, because after maintenance the water has to make a long journey to reach the taps, for some it will take 48 hours or so. In fact the whole recovery process takes seven days so, it may be practically impossible to complete the recovery within 24 hours.”

Meanwhile Thamalakane river has started to fill up, but the WUC water treatment plant in Borolong is yet to start pumping water from the river as they have to wait for at least a month for the water “to be of better quality to be processed for consumption. Right now the water volume is still low for such an exercise but the plant is ready to start operations. Already we have begun testing the water for quality and it not yet where we want it to be,” Ndadi said.

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