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THOKOLOSHE’S TERRITORIAL BATTLE

Yvonne Mooka

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The Keloneilwe family at Goo Kodisa, a small settlement between Thamaga and Moshupa, does not know peace because of an evil creature that has stopped their children from going to school for a year now.

Kgosi Molaakwena Keloneilwe, who is cousins with the affected family, says that the creature has said before church people and diviners that it is not a thokoloshe. Basadibotlhe Keloneilwe, who spoke on behalf of the family, also confirmed this, saying the creature can appear in the form of a snake, a baboon, a strong wind or a doll. However, this is revealed by their children as they are the only ones that can see the creature with their eyes. The three mothers and guests only see its manifestations.

“We tried to look for help from churches and traditional healers, to no avail. This creatures pees on our food, mixes our food with glass particles and soil. It is so rude and beats us at night,” she says. Keloneilwe tells The Midweek Sun that it all started last year April when her school-going children and those of her two sisters, who live next to each other, complained that something was throwing stones at them on their way to school.

They attend school in Thamaga and have since stopped going to school because all their uniforms have been torn to pieces, allegedly by the unknown creature. “They told us that it also chokes them and harasses them on their way to school. It appears to them as a doll or monkey or snake. Sometimes it has the head of monkey and the body of a snake,” says Keloneilwe. During the interview, a woman arrived saying she was a tailor, announcing that the new school uniforms were ready. However, it was agreed that she should keep them at her factory since the creature would tear them again if they are to be brought to the family. As a result, the three children did not write their school exams because of the torment.

House burnt
According to Keloneilwe, the creature started burning items in their house last year August. She says that it then burnt their house two weeks back when they were at church.
“We were called by our neighbours that our house was on fire. And we found the cylinder in front of the house,” she says, adding that the three sisters have since moved in together.
Inside the house were remains of burnt items such as blankets and food. Keloneilwe states that when Eagle Nest Church came, the creature turned into a doll and went into a pot.

She says that when Eloyi church people came, they removed what looked like horns and flywhisks (diditse) from the house. She says close to 10 churches have come to assist but to no avail.
The family is surviving by donations of food items from individuals and some corporations. She says that the creature has a habit of destroying their food. “Sometimes we find the food with soil inside or water or glass particles,” she says.

What is this creature?
An elder Kgosiitsile Leepo, who was there during the interview, says that the creature is a combination of many evil spirits. “That is why we can’t touch it,” he says. For Keloneilwe, the creature can speak, but they cannot see it, except the children. She reveals that the creature has warned them that ‘if they don’t move from its territory, they are going to remain miserable.’

She refused to be photographed, saying the creature was going to beat her if she does so. She said that it gets terrible after 11pm as it beats them with a stick and breaks their candles into pieces.
Another sister Neelo Keloneilwe says that the creature can grab their children with its force and throw them inside the nearby bush. “We would just hear them crying at once and when we look for them, we will find them inside the bush crying. There are times when it throws them into empty water tanks,” she says.

Children speak
A 14-year old girl says that she was supposed to go into Form 2 this year but could not because of being tormented by the creature. “It started when we were going to school last year with my sister. I thought she was throwing stones at me and she thought I was doing the same to her. “We were shocked and when we told our mothers, they said we were crazy until they saw it live. It started throwing stones at everyone in our yard,” she says.

She says that the creature once threw a bag of cement at her, adding however that she escaped it. She says she wants to be a teacher. Other children said they want to be soldiers, police officers and nurses. The family pleads with the Office of the President to move them from their place of hell. “Our lives are in danger and this creature has said that until we move, it is going to keep tormenting us,” says Neelo.

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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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