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The plight of Gathoka children

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Dikabelo Baganne of Gathoka settlement, a stone’s throw away from Molepolole would love to be a pilot, but the 12 year old girl’s dream seems far-fetched due to circumstances surrounding her family background.

The standard six pupil at Lephaleng Primary School is open about what she fears would make her dream not come true. “I’m suffering. I don’t have school uniform, I don’t have clothes and I depend on donations,” she told The Midweek Sun this week. The young girl has dropped from an A student to C over the years.

She has eight siblings, who have children of their own to take care of.  Her older sister Boitshwarelo Baganne says that she-Dikabelo, has since started performing unsatisfactorily in her studies. She explained that parents at Gathoka neglect their children for alcohol.

“Our parents drink too much. They neglect children and this frustrates them from a tender age,” she says. She narrates that children from Gathoka often start school from the age of 12 due to lack of parental care. Others quit school along the way. According to the older sister, young girls from the settlement resort to giving themselves to men, something she says has led to increasing teenage pregnancies in the area.

The 34 year-old mother of three had her first child at the age of 17. She survives by doing piece jobs in Molepolole. Her other young sister Boikhutso Baganne, 17, became a mother at the age of 16. She was doing Form three when she fell pregnant and had a promising future as a renowned soccer star at school.

Her dream, she says, is to become a nurse and that would only happen if a Good Samaritan could come to her rescue and connect her with social workers. “I love my baby but he is the reason I’m stuck here. None of my family members want to help me with him but I really want to go back to school,” she says.

A community activist from Molepolole Khumo Motsemme says she has visited Gathoka residents several times. She pointed out that children’s lives were unpleasant, citing being sexually molested by Zimbabweans as a leading problem. She states that more than 50 children do not go to school due to lack of parental care and support from their alcoholic parents.

Girls, from as young as 14 have become ‘sexually active’ and this she says, is driven by extreme poverty in their families. A lot of time, she adds, mothers go to shebeens with children which puts their lives at risks. Boys often leave school from as young as Standard two. “These people are a true epitome of poverty and children feel it the most,” she says.

A teacher from Lephaleng Primary School says pupils from Gathoka are generally known to be poor performers due to their circumstances. “They record a rising number of absentees and poor grades. Some come to school dirty and without uniforms,” she says.

Gathoka falls under Lekgwapheg ward in Molepolole. Social worker Goitse Barupi did not want to be drawn into an interview, and referred this reporter to Kweneng senior assistant council secretary Gofaone Kgabanyane, who was reported to be out of the country.

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VACANCY: President of the UDC

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Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) President, Advocate Sidney Pilane says Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) does not have a President.

He revealed this week that UDC leader, Advocate Duma Boko was given the leadership of the coalition on a temporary arrangement. Advocate Pilane who was addressing the media this week, following the expulsion of his party from the UDC stated that in the buildup to 2014 general elections it was agreed that Advocate Boko should be presidential candidate for UDC, an arrangement that ended at the time when the UDC lost the 2014 general elections.

“It was decided that Botswana National Front (BNF) should be given the presidency so that Advocate Boko could be our presidential candidate. The late Gomolemo Motswaledi of BMD was to be his running mate. We made this arrangement in preparation to taking over state power.

So, all that has passed, we contested and lost so it is all in the past,” said the BMD leader. He stated that constitutionally, the UDC has no president because the president has to be elected during the UDC elective congress. Advocate Pilane pointed out that UDC according to the Constitution should hold its congress every three (3) years.

He stated that even all the members of UDC National Executive Committee have to be elected at the congress and as it stands, “there is no president or Vice Presidents because they were not voted into those positions.”

Advocate Pilane said instead of building the UDC brand their colleagues at Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and Botswana National Front have resorted to petty issues. He told the media that the leadership of the two parties have taught their members to insult BMD leadership and its members on social media and any other forum.

He had no kind words for the BCP, calling the party a divisive party that thrives on insults and divisive tendencies. He said the BCP leadership had encouraged its foot soldiers to use social media to insult him and members of the BMD.

According to Advocate Pilane, these are some of the things that have made the two parties remain in opposition for far too long without even coming close to toppling the ruling party. He described them as dishonest people who will plunge the country into chaos and that is why Batswana do not want to give them power.

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VIDEO: A Gaborone hotel Prophet caught in the act

Yvonne Mooka

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In a matter that closely resembles that of a South African Cabinet Minister, Melusi Gigaba’s masturbating video clip, a visiting Zimbabwean Prophet, Ronald El Melchizedek of Altar of Grace this week denied that he has been sending nudes to church sisters and demanding same from them.

In fact, the ‘man of God’ has earned himself the name, ‘Botswana’s Omotoso’ by girls that allege he has sexually exploited them. Pastor Timothy Omotoso is a Nigerian clergyman accused of sexually exploiting over 30 young girls from his church in South Africa.

“He is an Omotoso and even though they hide it at his church, some of us have received messages from him asking for our nudes. Actually, he has asked for my nudes several times,” says one church sister.

The Midweek Sun has gotten hold of a 34 seconds video clip of the youthful prophet playing with his manhood. Looking like he is in a hotel room, the man stands fully naked in a muted video that, depicts him speaking and teasing the recipient. In a standing position, he starts off by caressing his manhood, giving it a close up and ends up lying on the bed, facing up.

At least three young women say they received the video from the prophet and that he usually asks for nudes from them. One of them actually says he has been pestering her, demanding to have sex with her. “He likes to send me messages of how horny he is for me. But again, he likes asking for nudes from women.

Even married women at his church have fallen victims of his sexual harassment. I left the church because he disgusted me by doing such things yet calling himself a man of God,” she says.

The woman however says that Melchizedek, a Zimbabwean who holds services at Gaborone Hotel when he is in the country, is a man of accurate prophecies. “He moves mightily in the prophetic but he likes harassing church sisters. It is known in his church. He is married but controlled by the spirit of lust,” she says.

The Prophet responds
Melchidezek told The Midweek Sun that he was aware of the video of him doing the rounds through WhatsApp, but was quick to label the whole thing a scam.“Yes we are aware. Those are scammers from Benin who hacked into my wife’s Facebook account and phone and stole our videos and pictures. So they wanted to blackmail us and we refused, that is why they are doing that.

It is just an effort to harm the work of God but God is in control,” he told The Midweek Sun. He would not be drawn into responding to, or even discussing the allegations levelled against him by church sisters, but instead gave this reporter a mobile number of a person he said was his wife.

The said woman confirmed that the video was posted by scammers. “That was done by scammers. We have reported them to Benin police,” she said. She however would not give the name of the police station nor go into further details.

This incident follows on last week’s revelations reported by this publication, where several girls spoke anonymously about pastors, prophets and ‘men of God’who were using them sexually in church. Many were uncomfortable to reveal their names, forcing this paper to also conceal the identies of the accused churches and pastors involved in the dirty acts in the name of God.

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