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Kgosi Keloneilwe speaks

Yvonne Mooka



Kgosi Molaakwena Keloneilwe of Goo Kodisa settlement is unsettled by the evil creature that has been tormenting his cousins, who also happen to be his neighbours.

“I saw everything and heard everything. I know what happened when it started last year and what is currently happening,” he tells The Midweek Sun. He says that he called his cousins (Bana ba ga rangwane) into his yard and asked them why they were looking comfortable whilst being tormented by the evil creature. He was mostly worried about the children not going to school for a whole year. “They told me they were fighting the creature with their Fire church and I left them alone,” he says.

He adds that after the Fire church prayers, the torment stopped for a few weeks. But again, he realised that it only stopped because schools were closed. When schools re-opened, the creature was back at it, and more aggressive, according to the tribal leader. He says it tore their school uniforms into pieces.

Several churches such as Eagle Nest and Eloyi were called to assist. He says that he was the one that called Eloyi because it has a reputation for fighting evil creatures. “I took the children in my car to Eloyi. On our way back we just saw half a brick hurled from nowhere at the car. Shockingly, the car was not dented. It continued hurling stones at my car until we arrived at Goo Kodisa. On our way, I heard a strange voice saying ‘Sorry’ five times,” he says.

He says the whole week was better as children went back to school in peace. However, things went out of hand when the mothers took the children to a Fire church the following Sunday, according to the chief. “When I released my car for the children to be taken to school, it threw stones at them and the car,” he says, adding that the creature burns the family’s clothing and insults them. “In my 73 years, I know we grew up being told stories about magic and how someone can bewitch you and make you give birth to an egg.

This reminds me of such times,” he says. His brother Kgosi Edward Keloneilwe says that the evil creature does not want to see the children eat meat, explaining that it throws their plates in the air.

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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



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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