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Basarwa in Boteti demand their ancestral land back

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Basarwa in the Boteti area are disgruntled that they have been kicked off their ancestral land without any consultation or compensation.  Since December 2017 there have been land displacements that have not only confused the residents but also taken them further away from basic resources, plunging them into further poverty and struggle.

The Spokesperson of Botswana Khwedom Council Banyatsi Salutu fumed in an interview with The Midweek Sun that the landboard does not acknowledge the importance of ancestral land nor uphold the rights of Basarwa. “They make decisions and implement them without consulting us. Basarwa are entitled to their land and should not be kicked out like that. It violates their human rights,” he said.

Salutu said that they had proposed that local government conduct a commission on the ancestral land but nothing had transpired to date. “They told us that they’d meet and discuss the matter but they did not get back to us.When we reach out to them they tell us that they are still busy because there have been changes in the minsitry since Tsogwane (VP Slumber Tsogwane) changed office.” Salutu said that the Botswana Khwedom Council should be engaged on the matter because they understand better the issues related to Basarwa and other indigenous tribes and also represent their ideals. He noted that affirmative action was not implemented and that remote areas Acts such as the RADP did not benefit the Basarwa. He said that the Land policy doesn’t intricately make amends for ancestral land. “Instead, the policy discriminates and violates the rights of the Basarwa,” he said.

Salutu pointed out that in 2014 former president Ian Khama visited them and they aired their grievances about the land to him. “He instructed that the Basarwa in the area be allocated their land. However, this has not happened.” He added that they were instead told that the land belonged to Bakhurutshe bo rra Sekwe.

“This has now created tribal tensions,” he said. He noted that all they wanted was to be given back their land or moved to an area that is closer to basic amenities and resources.” Ancestral land in Botswana is a longstanding issue centred on land historically occupied by the Basarwa and other indigenous tribes. Botswana government has over the years come under fire for relocating the Basarwa from their ancestral land to make way for farms and mining.

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Church distances itself from Pastor who livestreamed his suicide

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Head Pastor at Metsimotlhabe Holiness Union Church France Koosimile has distanced his church from Phenyo Godfrey who committed suicide live on social media a week ago. Speaking to this publication this week, Koosimile said Godfrey was never a Pastor at Holiness church as assumed by many.

Godfrey, who goes by the name Bishop P Godfrey on social media, allegedly shot a video of himself committing suicide on Sunday evening. According to a few friends and those close to Godfrey, the deceased was from Molepolole and has been identified as a pastor at Holiness Union Church in Metsimotlhabe.

On the evening  of Sunday last week, he went live on Facebook and proceeded to put a rope around his neck. He was seen in the short video hanging by the neck until he took his last breath. TO READ THE FULL STORY, BUY THIS WEEK’S (11 August 2021)  PRINT EDITION OF THE MIDWEEK SUN AT A STORE NEAR YOU.

 

 

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Women challenged to step-up food production

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National Development Bank CEO, Lorato Morapedi has challenged women to take up more agribusiness ventures to cut down on the country’s food import bill.
With an annual P7 billion food import bill hanging over the country, Morapedi said women can significantly trim it down. “We need to get out of our comfort zones, let’s open our eyes and seize the opportunities,” said Morapedi, adding that women need to work in groups.
She emphasized that women should leverage on collective expertise found in clusters to grow the country’s food production sector.
“Grab the opportunities that exist with the food value chain,” she said, citing that women have been hard-hit by COVID-19 in their endeavors to put food on the table.
She further implored women not to shy away from finance development institutions (FDIs) to finance their projects. Morapedi bemoaned that a handful people are willing to go into food production despite the high import food bill that the country faces.
Very few people are doing food production; people are lazy to go into food production,” said Morapedi. She also highlighted that the country’s major supplier, South Africa is also not coping as COVID-19 challenges unravel.
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