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‘I am gay to the core’

Yvonne Mooka

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SAYING IT OUT: Caine Youngman is openly gay and has no fear

Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO) advocacy manager says he discovered that he was gay while in primary school.Then he did not know there was a term for his sexual orientation. Nonetheless, he was different from the other boys. “When I was with gents, they would be busy checking out girls and saying how beautiful they were, and I’d be busy checking them (the gents) out and thinking they’re too hot,” he says.

Youngman is openly gay and has no fear. He never had problems with coming out of the closet or being freely gay because he treats people with respect. However, revealing his sexual orientation was a bit of a process as he had to come out to himself first. “I had to make peace with myself first, and then tell my family, individually. I did that but it escalated when I started appearing in newspapers talking about LEGABIBO. I was still a student,” he says.

Born and raised in Francistown, Youngman says that he has been fortunate to be gay and free. He says that members of the Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgender and Intersex community were faced with rejection from families and workplaces. “My family has always been supportive. They have never made me feel like an outcast,” he says. In his many years of advocacy, Youngman says that he has seen LGBTI persons discriminated and made to feel inhumane. He says that most families do not want to deal with their children’s sexuality. “We have had instances where some of our members wanted to kill themselves,” he says. He says that there is a lot of blackmail and extortion against gays by heterosexuals. Citing examples, he says that they have dealt with cases where one of their members was involved.

“When someone has not come out that he is gay, someone can threaten that he is going to do something, for example, tell his employer or family, that he is gay if he does not do something that he wants or give him whatever he wants. We have been forced to engage lawyers to represent our members before,” he states. He states that gay people have been threatened with rape by members of the society, wanting to benefit something from them. Some, he says, create false Facebook pages to ridicule LGBTI persons. Others have been assaulted for being gay.

Between February and September last year, Youngman says they have dealt with 12 cases of violence against LGBTI persons. “Only two reported the violence. The rest said they feared being rejected by their families, friends and employers. “When heterosexuals see that you’re still hiding, they use it against you,” he says, advising gays LGBTI persons to come out when they are ready. He says that they should know the environment that they are living in and be mentally ready for what comes with being openly gay.

He however says LGBTI discrimination is not worse compared to other countries. Youngman thanked the Ministry of Health and Wellness for making it its own mandate to include LGBTI persons in their National Strategic Framework. He says that LEGABIBO was actively involved in its draft.

We’re all human
Asked what people need to understand about the LGBTI community, Youngman says that just like everyone else, they need a peace of mind. He says that they face severe challenges and could do with a conducive environment. “Many of us face a lot of mental issues because families do not want our relationships. We are made to choose between our partners and our families. As a result, relationships do not work,” he says.

Fortunately, Youngman says his family has been supportive of his relationship of four years. Dishing out a little about his partner, he says that he is caring, has his best interest at heart and is supportive of his advocacy role. He says that his partner took care of him when he was sick last year, and also helped with LEGABIBO conference this year that attracted the southern advocacy region. “We have met each other’s families, and our families have also met,” he says.

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VACANCY: President of the UDC

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Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) President, Advocate Sidney Pilane says Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) does not have a President.

He revealed this week that UDC leader, Advocate Duma Boko was given the leadership of the coalition on a temporary arrangement. Advocate Pilane who was addressing the media this week, following the expulsion of his party from the UDC stated that in the buildup to 2014 general elections it was agreed that Advocate Boko should be presidential candidate for UDC, an arrangement that ended at the time when the UDC lost the 2014 general elections.

“It was decided that Botswana National Front (BNF) should be given the presidency so that Advocate Boko could be our presidential candidate. The late Gomolemo Motswaledi of BMD was to be his running mate. We made this arrangement in preparation to taking over state power.

So, all that has passed, we contested and lost so it is all in the past,” said the BMD leader. He stated that constitutionally, the UDC has no president because the president has to be elected during the UDC elective congress. Advocate Pilane pointed out that UDC according to the Constitution should hold its congress every three (3) years.

He stated that even all the members of UDC National Executive Committee have to be elected at the congress and as it stands, “there is no president or Vice Presidents because they were not voted into those positions.”

Advocate Pilane said instead of building the UDC brand their colleagues at Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and Botswana National Front have resorted to petty issues. He told the media that the leadership of the two parties have taught their members to insult BMD leadership and its members on social media and any other forum.

He had no kind words for the BCP, calling the party a divisive party that thrives on insults and divisive tendencies. He said the BCP leadership had encouraged its foot soldiers to use social media to insult him and members of the BMD.

According to Advocate Pilane, these are some of the things that have made the two parties remain in opposition for far too long without even coming close to toppling the ruling party. He described them as dishonest people who will plunge the country into chaos and that is why Batswana do not want to give them power.

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VIDEO: A Gaborone hotel Prophet caught in the act

Yvonne Mooka

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In a matter that closely resembles that of a South African Cabinet Minister, Melusi Gigaba’s masturbating video clip, a visiting Zimbabwean Prophet, Ronald El Melchizedek of Altar of Grace this week denied that he has been sending nudes to church sisters and demanding same from them.

In fact, the ‘man of God’ has earned himself the name, ‘Botswana’s Omotoso’ by girls that allege he has sexually exploited them. Pastor Timothy Omotoso is a Nigerian clergyman accused of sexually exploiting over 30 young girls from his church in South Africa.

“He is an Omotoso and even though they hide it at his church, some of us have received messages from him asking for our nudes. Actually, he has asked for my nudes several times,” says one church sister.

The Midweek Sun has gotten hold of a 34 seconds video clip of the youthful prophet playing with his manhood. Looking like he is in a hotel room, the man stands fully naked in a muted video that, depicts him speaking and teasing the recipient. In a standing position, he starts off by caressing his manhood, giving it a close up and ends up lying on the bed, facing up.

At least three young women say they received the video from the prophet and that he usually asks for nudes from them. One of them actually says he has been pestering her, demanding to have sex with her. “He likes to send me messages of how horny he is for me. But again, he likes asking for nudes from women.

Even married women at his church have fallen victims of his sexual harassment. I left the church because he disgusted me by doing such things yet calling himself a man of God,” she says.

The woman however says that Melchizedek, a Zimbabwean who holds services at Gaborone Hotel when he is in the country, is a man of accurate prophecies. “He moves mightily in the prophetic but he likes harassing church sisters. It is known in his church. He is married but controlled by the spirit of lust,” she says.

The Prophet responds
Melchidezek told The Midweek Sun that he was aware of the video of him doing the rounds through WhatsApp, but was quick to label the whole thing a scam.“Yes we are aware. Those are scammers from Benin who hacked into my wife’s Facebook account and phone and stole our videos and pictures. So they wanted to blackmail us and we refused, that is why they are doing that.

It is just an effort to harm the work of God but God is in control,” he told The Midweek Sun. He would not be drawn into responding to, or even discussing the allegations levelled against him by church sisters, but instead gave this reporter a mobile number of a person he said was his wife.

The said woman confirmed that the video was posted by scammers. “That was done by scammers. We have reported them to Benin police,” she said. She however would not give the name of the police station nor go into further details.

This incident follows on last week’s revelations reported by this publication, where several girls spoke anonymously about pastors, prophets and ‘men of God’who were using them sexually in church. Many were uncomfortable to reveal their names, forcing this paper to also conceal the identies of the accused churches and pastors involved in the dirty acts in the name of God.

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