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Mma Atsile: Return to the crossroads



Botswana will join the rest of the world on November 25th to launch the 16 days of activism against Gender based violence (GBV).

This year, the national launch will be held on a bigger scale and will take place at the National Stadium. The event will start with a march from the four cardinal points of Gaborone, which will end at the National Stadium where the main activities will take place.

Speaking at the GaMalete main kgotla where the National Gender Commission Chairperson, Kgosi Mosadi Seboko was hosting the First Lady, Neo Masisi, the Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs, Dorcas Makgato called on churches and civil society to become (GBV) activists. “What are you doing with that pain and anger,” she asked.

In order to scale up the fight against GBV, Makgato says the nation has to move from 16 days to 365 days of national action. She said there is need to also adopt multi-sectoral and multi-pronged approach to ending violence against women.

Makgato implored the nation to attend the event in large numbers. The nation is still reeling in shock following the events that saw a young woman, Bonolo Kerekang being buried without her head earlier this year. Kerekang was allegedly beheaded by her boyfriend, Simon Kgowe.

Her body was dumped at Maratanang Ward in Tlokweng. Makgato never imagined that such a gruesome thing could happen in Botswana. “I never thought that a person could be buried without a head in Botswana. Everyone must stand up and be counted,” she said.

She said government recognises that though significant progress has been made since independence, a lot still needs to be done to achieve gender parity. “Gender Based Violence is still a pain that needs intense strategies if we are to eradicate it. To this end, my ministry concluded the piloting of the Gender Based Violence Referral System in 2017 through the support of the United Nations Joint Gender Programme and the American government. This has provided indicative information on improving management of GBV cases,” said the minister.

First Lady Mma Atsile said that (GBV) issues were of great concern. She advised the nation to familiarise itself with policies such as SADC Gender Protocol, and the National Policy on Gender and Development. “Let us study them, and know their contents. And also identify areas where we can make contributions,” she said.

She said that it was high time that the nation went back to the drawing board to try and establish where things went wrong. “Where did we go wrong as a nation,” asked Masisi, who added that GBV should be a taboo.

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Yvonne Mooka



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



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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