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young Batswana win Japanese scholarships

The MidweekSun Admin



OFF TO JAPAN: The new MEXT students who are leaving for Japan in April - Leeme Arthur Baruti flanked by Onameditse Lulu Seaba on the left and Boitumelo Mokoka on the right

Three young Batswana – two females and a male – leave for Japan April 1, 2019 on an educational scholarship to further their studies in their chosen fields.

The three, Boitumelo Mokoka, 23, of Phalane ward in Molepolole; Onameditse Lulu Seaba, 24, from Moremi in Tswapong and Leeme Arthur Baruti, 30, of Serowe – were unveiled by Japanese Ambassador to Botswana Kozo Takeda last Friday during a ‘Friends of Japan’ reception at his residence in Gaborone’s Extension 11 surburb.

In an interview with The Midweek Sun, the three expressed extreme gratiude to the Government of Japan and its Ministry of Education for having selected them for the opportunity to study for Masters at Japanese Universities.

Boitumelo, who did her first Degree in International MBA at the University of Botswana, is going to do her Masters at Waseda University in Tokyo whilst Onameditse, who completed her first Degree at the Palapye-based Botswana International University of Science and Technology, will do her Masters at Kyushu University in the Sukuoka Prefecture.

The only male – Leeme, completed his Bachelors of Science in Environmentsal Health at University of Botswana and will do his Masters at Sophia University in Tokyo. The three told The Midweek Sun that funds and circumstances permitting, they would like to go up to PhD level.

They all promised to assert themselves diligently during their two and half years of study in Japan and to return to their home country upon completion to contribute towards the nation’s economic development.

In a separate interview, Ambassador Takeda said he will work vigorously to increase the number of students being sent to Japan every year. The reception was held in honour of Japanese student alumni and was graced by among other dignitaries, Masiela Mandoze, the Deputy Town Clerk at Jwaneng Town Council.

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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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