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RETURN OF THE SPOOK

Yvonne Mooka

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HEARD NOTHING: Kgosi Michael Molefe says no one has come to officially report the matter

Amid raised alarm by some villagers that Sylviah – the female ghost who tormented Kopong residents in 2011 – has been spotted again in recent days, Kgosi Michael Molefe says no one has come to officially report the matter.

Villagers, speaking both in public transport vehicles going to and from Kopong as well as others posting on social media, have been claiming to have spotted what they described as a replica of the 2011 sightings that haunted the village. Speaking in an interview with The Midweek Sun last week, Kgosi Molefe said to the best of his knowledge, the village has been free from the torments of the ghost for the past eight years and that it would be a shocker to hear that Sylviah was back.

“Since that time, we haven’t heard anything. If Sylviah is back, they should come to us and report like they did last time,” he said, dismissing the reports as untrue. His uncle Kgosi Nkwe Molefhe added that Sylviah stopped harassing the villagers because numerous churches were brought into the village to pray.

He appealed to residents of Kopong to come forward if they indeed were being attacked by the ghost again, which is said to be in the form of a beautiful woman. Besides those heard talking in kombis, last week, some of the residents took to social media saying they were stopped by a pretty woman who disappeared from their eyes when the car stopped. And one of them said he was certain that Sylviah was back.

“Sylviah has come back to haunt us. She stopped me, wearing nice make up, blue jeans and pink top with black high heels. When I stopped, she was nowhere to be seen,” he said in his post.
Another user said he recently passed a woman wearing a black mini-skirt and red blouse with black stilettos. “When I stopped next to her, she disappeared into thin air. That was Sylviah,” he said.

Back in 2011 when The Midweek Sun covered the Sylviah saga, men were complaining that she was putting their lives at risks, especially at night on the roads. One of the men interviewed said he was shocked when he went with her to his place, only for her to vanish in the middle of the night inside a house that was locked at the time.

Another one said that he had vowed from first sight that he would marry Sylviah, whom he described as light in complexion, lean and beautiful. “I gave her a lift and we were talking and really planning the future together. Next minute she opened her eyes wide and stared at me for more than 10 minutes without blinking and just like that, disappeared,” he said at the time.

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BATTLE FOR MMADIKOLO

The MidweekSun Admin

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University of Botswana students are bracing themselves for the Student Representative Council (SRC) elections. Contenders are fighting tooth and nail to appease the electorate. Three camps are in contention to fill the 13 council positions.

Umbrella for Democratic Change’s (UDC) Moono-wa-Baithuti has the onerous task of defending all the 13 seats which they hauled at the last elections of 2018. “As Moono wa Baithuti, we have lots of achievements. We are on the verge of getting the student bar open, so we need to go back and fix what we started,” said UDC’s Tumelo Legase who is vying for the position of Vice President.

He said they have advocated for student empowerment policies and are also proposing a third arm of student representation. “We have the SRC and the Judiciary, what we need is the student Parliament so that we have a large number of leaders who can independently attend to problems across the university.” The dark horse in this race is the University of Botswana’s Alliance for Progressive (AP) which will take another leap of faith despite their loss in the previous election.

They are rejuvenated and redefined. Candidate for Vice President Karabo Bokwe said central to their mandate is making the welfare of the student community a priority. “We want to help eradicate school policies that border on oppression, and through new polices call for initiatives that come with enterprenuership benefits to students.”

AP candidate for Information and Publicity, a first year Criminal Justice student Gracious Selelo said they are more united than other parties even at national level. “We don’t have internal squabbles within our party, we are more focused and can deliver our mandate easily,” she noted.

However the ruling party’s BDP GS-26 will come with all guns blazing after an embarrassing defeat in the previous elections. Preparations have been made and the GS-26 is looking to take the elections by storm.

According to their Presidential Candidate Boniface Seane, they come with the message of hope that addresses the current status quo at the University.“The university is not functioning so we drew three policies that embrace inclusiveness. We want to lead collectively with the students, through the student body meetings which the previous SRCs have failed to do. “We will consult with the students with no discrimination.”

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Healthcare system to improve

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The Health ministry has developed a seven-point programme to guide the country in improving the healthcare system, says Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Alfred Rabashemi Madigele.

“The seven priority areas will serve as a roadmap and a guardian angel towards improving the overall healthcare system and increasing access to health care while fighting the burden of disease that confronts us,” said Madigele at Masa Square Hotel on Tuesday.

The focal areas include decentralisation; Universal Health Coverage, Tertiary Care, Strategic leveraging on the Private sector; Supply Chain; Research as well as Staff welfare and accountability.
Point-one of the seven priority areas according to Dr Madigele is about empowering the District Health Management Teams (DHMTs) and transforming them into fully fledged Regional Health Authorities.

“In this case, they will be rationalised from 27 to 18 and have the authority to hire A and B Scales, promote up to C1 and manage micro procurement,” he said. Point two is about improving the quality of healthcare services. “The main causes of mortality and their risk factors in Botswana are Primary Health Care issues,” Dr Madigele said.

He added that “Our efforts for the attainment of Universal Health Coverage should thus focus on: Prevention; Comprehensive screening; Early treatment; and Surveillance at the community.”
This he said, would require revamped grassroots efforts in which adequate numbers of community health workers through partnerships with the non-governmental sector will be deployed as necessary.

According to Dr Madigele, the top five causes of death in Botswana in 2017 were HIV/AIDS, Ischemic heart disease, stroke, lower respiratory infections and Diabetes. He said compared to 2007, NCDs among these had increased in burden by an average of 34%. The top five risk factors related to these causes of mortality were unsafe sex; poor diet; high blood pressure; alcohol abuse and tobacco use.

Improving the quality of care, Madigele said will also include the safety and security of patients; attitudes of staff as experienced by patients; time taken in queues either before seeing a health worker or receiving medication and the availability of drugs.

Meanwhile, the health minister revealed that the commissioning of Sir Ketumile Masire Teaching Hospital (SKMTH) is ongoing with the facility scheduled for opening on April 24th. “This will be a phased approach commencing with some services including paediatric oncology, internal medicine, rheumatology and endocrinology, diagnostic radiology, laboratory services and pharmacy”.

A phased commissioning of SKMTH will reduce overdependence on South Africa for referrals, reduce costs and also institutionalise provision of super specialist services within Botswana.

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