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Mma V’s retreat is strategic

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Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Presidential aspirant Dr Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi is playing her cards close to her chest to ease tension between President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi and herself ahead of the BDP’s elective congress that has the presidential election as part of its agenda.

This was evident at the BDP National Retreat in Palapye this past weekend when Dr Venson-Moitoi, who is a former cabinet member, made a U-turn on her earlier statement that Dr Masisi had promised her the position of Vice President.

Dr Venson-Moitoi had a week before the retreat told Mmegi in an interview that she had a legitimate expectation as Dr Masisi had promised her the vice presidency. According to sources close to the former longest serving minister, Dr Venson-Moitoi made the U-turn at the Palapye International Convention Centre (PICC) so as to ease tension between the president and herself to avoid a further deterioration in their relationship.

The sources pointed out that as the president seems to be going all out to punish and frustrate those who are against him, Dr Venson-Moitoi would not want to have her campaign for the high position compromised.

Dr Venson-Moitoi revealed at the retreat that she did have a conversation with the president on what she would want to do or to be under Masisi. She however told the delegates that she never said Dr Masisi promised her the VP position. “I told him that now that I would be retiring, I would like to be his vice president. He said he would look into it but never promised me the position,” she said acknowledging Dr Masisi’s choice – Slumber Tsogwane.

Dr Venson-Moitoi’s statement came after a backlash from Dr Masisi who told the democrats that he never promised anyone the position of Vice President. The president said he never did that and would never do that even in future.

He revealed that he appointed Tsogwane his deputy ten (10) minutes before the BDP Parliamentary Caucus. “Of course some people came to me requesting that I make them my vice president. I listened because I am a good listener. So, when adults do talk to me, I listen and will continue to listen but I never promised anyone anything.

“If there is someone here who knows for a fact that I did make that promise, I challenge them to come here and say when, where and how such a promise was made. Even beyond 2019 I have not promised anyone anything. When you choose your deputy, you must choose a good reliable deputy,” the president stated.

For the first time in its history, the BDP will go for presidential elections this year a few months before the national polls. Traditionally, the party would converge at an extraordinary congress where the president would be endorsed as the party’s presidential candidate for General Elections.

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I BUY NO POWERS

Yvonne Mooka

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Many will remember Apostle Joel Keitumele as Ntsoro the comedian who would leave people in stitches with his rib-cracking jokes.

Now an apostle who leads Heavenly International Soul church with his wife Amo Keitumele, he confided in The Midweek Sun that he has never bought powers to make himself and his church powerful as it is often alleged by members of the public.

Two years ago, there were allegations that he had lost his mind after he failed to honour an agreement with a seller of powers in Ghana. “They were saying I was mentally disturbed and that I was being tormented by a snake because I dishonoured an agreement from a seller of powers in Ghana. I have never been to Ghana and the rumours were baseless,” he said, adding that someone even lied that his aunt works at Sbrana Psychiatric Hospital and had seen Keitumele at the hospital.

He also recalled the time he was invited at Btv with now born again Shumba Ratshega. He was wearing two rings. “One was my wedding ring and the other on my right hand was a Versace. A caller asked why I was wearing the other one and there were talks that it’s for powers.” He said he took it off and gave it to the presenter to wear and that nothing happened to him.

Lately, there are allegations that he wears an eagle belt, known in street lingo as ‘Prophetic belt’and purpoted to have powers to increase miracles in church and to attract more people. It is won by several other pastors and prophets among them, Shepherd Bushiri, Alph Lukau, Passion Java and Eubert Angel. He confirmed that he has it. He however said there is nothing like a prophetic belt or prophetic shoes.

“Of recent, God released a cloud of young prophets and these like their older mentors or spiritual fathers are stylish and they like fashion. “We have tapped into that. So most of us have Versace shoes, Eagle belts because we like looking good. People refer to them as ‘Prophetic this and that’ but there is nothing prophetic about them.

It’s just that we like them but we don’t need them for powers,” he said. Keitumele confirmed that he sells the trending shoes and belts at his store in Gaborone. “We just like our belts. Nothing more. The power is in the price. Monna ke monna ka setlhako le lebante,” he said.

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LEGABIBO challenges same sex criminalisation in court tomorrow

Keletso Thobega

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The Gaborone High Court will tomorrow (Thursday) hear a case on the decriminalisation of homosexuality. Advocacy group, Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals in Botswana, with the support of the Southern Africa Litigation Centre is challenging Botswana laws on homosexuality. Judges Dube, Leburu, and Tafa will hear this matter from the bench. LEGAGIBO is admitted as a friend of the court.

In May last year, a gay man only identified as ‘LM’ filed a petition with the High Court, arguing that the anti-homosexual laws in Botswana are unconstitutional. In the papers, he argued that decriminalising homosexuality is a human right and is important for everyone to feel safe and welcomed.

“Decriminalising homosexuality is about people’s lives, freedom and their right to live the life they want to and deserve. It is not only about the choice to choose who to love and sleep with but it is also about social security.” A media statement from the two parties indicates that LEGAGIBO seeks to advance submissions before the full bench of the High Court on the practical effect and social impact that sections 164 (a), 164 (c) and 167 of the Penal Code have on the daily lives and experiences of LGBT persons.

“Particularly, the submission illustrates how the criminalisation of same-sex sexual conduct limits LGBT person’s ability to access basic social services, increases their chances to discrimination and infringes on their basic human rights,” it reads.

It further states that “Botswana is a diverse society and the Constitution protects the freedom and dignity of all persons in the country, regardless of whether you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex.” The press release notes that “Over the past three years, the Botswana courts have shown themselves to be champions of jurisprudence which acknowledges the rights of LGBT persons and their rights to equal protection before the law.”

Section 164 of Botswana’s Penal Code stipulates in part that, ‘carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature is outlawed.’ Those convicted are liable to imprisonment of up to seven years.

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