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Crime has become sophisticated



The level of crime in Botswana has escalated with years while the perpetrators are also becoming too advanced and smart for the local community. Of recent, many Batswana have been left reeling in sho ck after being robbed by men dressed in fancy suits and driving exquisite modern cars. 

Thieves no longer run like headless chickens after stealing but rather arm themselves with guns and own getaway cars. A few years ago, it was too complicated to be real and was only common across borders; however currently, it is real and happening, there have been several cases of bag and phone snatching all done in this new trend. Investigations conducted by this publication reveal that the likes of Honda Fit, Runx, Ipsum, and Vitz are the most common types of cars used for robbery nowadays.

These cars are probably popular in the robbery crime because of their high speed which helps culprits speed off within the blink of an eye. Another contributing factor might be their low market price hence increasing affordability for criminals looking to deceive their victims. When Mogomotsi Thupane and Aldophius Legae were alleged to have robbed Choppies Supermarket in Block 8 a few months ago, they were using a Honda Fit for getaway, and in the process walked away with over P150 000.

“We are in trouble, just last week when I was returning from work and busy unlocking my house in Mogoditshane, a white Runx appeared from nowhere and they snatched all the valuables that were in my car and sped off. I had left my doors open and was just about to go back to the car,” said one Mogoditshane resident Lentle Sego. In a recent hijacking incident in Kanye, criminals driving a Honda Fit attacked a motorist and made away with his mini-bus.

The criminals who last week attacked and killed a police officer in Block 8 were using a Honda Fit to get away. Several women have reported being attacked at taxi stops by criminals driving a Honda Fit.

According to Broadhurst Station Commander Senior Superintendent BonosiMolapisi, the robbery where cars, especially the Honda Fit, are used to speed off after the crime, is very common in his area, “We do have such cases here and it is very disturbing. It is only unfortunate that we do not have exact statistics based on the type of cars used because majority of them usually fall under robbery section,” he said.

Meanwhile, Botswana Police spokesperson Dipheko Motube said at national level, they had yet to make a conclusion on which car makes are commonly used for crimes where people are either attacked or have their property snatched, but speculated that the cheaply available cars were making it easy for criminals to own them. Although cagey on verifying which car types are involved more in crimes, he admitted to the sophistication of modern trends of stealing, saying criminals every day invent different ways to ensure that their operations are successful. Motube added that what complicates things is that the cars are very common locally and many of them are being used as public transport, which makes it difficult for patrons to know if criminals could be pretending to be taxi operators. In the meantime, innocent people have found themselves being driven into the bushes where they have either been beaten and raped, or had their belongings stolen when they had actually thought they were getting into a cab or taxi.

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The MidweekSun Admin



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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