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Pastor-cum-diviner condemns ritual murders as archaic

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The recent murder of an 18-year-old girl in the Kweneng district allegedly for ritual purposes, has once again put politicians, traditional leaders, businessmen and women as well as, tragically, church leaders on the spotlight.

Perhaps because of the sense of insecurity they feel due to the rather competitive atmosphere in which they work, politicians, businessmen, traditional doctors and church leaders are always fingered whenever there is a ritual murder.

Ritual murder is the killing of a human being whose body parts are then used to supposedly help the person using them either become rich, win an election or become influential.

The Member of Parliament for Francistown South, Wynter Mmolotsi does not understand why people, especially in this day and age, believe that charms can bring success to a person using them. The two-term opposition MP is an avowed Christian.

Mmolotsi first went to parliament under the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) ticket before co-founding the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BDP). He said in an interview that his success as a politician had to do with hard work and prayer.

“Killing somebody for whatever reason is inhuman. Besides, people are created in the image of God. Because human beings have got a soul, you can not just kill one of them and get away with it. God has not given anybody the right to kill others,” said Mmolotsi.

MP for Francistown East Buti Billy (BDP) said that it is unfortunate that community leaders including businessmen have been associated with ritual murder. “This is a source for concern. The menace is very prevalent and it is up to politicians to lead the campaign against the scourge,”said the businessman who feels that the law should also be reviewed to close any loopholes.  

An official of the Organisation of African Independent Churches (OAIC), Archbishop Brown Khupe said in an interview that charms from human parts probably worked in the past when people did not know God and worshipped ancestral spirits.

“Unfortunately, there are still people who believe in human sacrifices but they do not work any more. Besides, the laws of the country are clear: they do not condone murder,” said Archbishop Khupe who is also a traditional doctor and and official of Botswana Dingaka Association.

Declining to directly say whether a member of the Botswana Dingaka Association has ever been implicated in ritual murder, he explained that the association reserved the right to prevent such a member from attending to patients while at the same time rehabilitating him or her so that he may be re-admitted.

For his part, the President of the Evangelical Fellowship of Botswana (EFB), Master Matlhaope said that ritual murders do not only bring negative consequences to the perpetrators but to the whole nation as well.

“The spilling of human blood brings a curse to the nation as a whole. Instead of killing each other we must be each other’s keepers. We should be our brothers’ keepers. It is our duty as human beings to save life,” said Matlhaope adding that, when people pray for rain, good health and safety, it is hard for God to answer when some from the same nation are busy killing others.

Describing ritual murder as heartbreaking, he warned that even those who do not get apprehended by the police cannot escape God’s wrath.

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BRING IT ON Ignatius Moswaane ready to serve Francistown West again

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READY TO LEAD AGAIN: Francistown West MP Ignatius Moswaane

Ignatius Moswaane is a former Francistown City Mayor and he served as Monarch Councillor until he took over the reigns as Francistown West constituency in 2014. The constituency had been in the hands of the late Tshelang Masisi before Moswaane took over.

Now the outspoken MP is ready to defend it.
He lists the construction of an additional secondary school at Gerald Estate, the undertaking of a P36 million streetlights project and construction of a road network at Monarch among some of his achievements both as Councillor and later MP.

“The peripheral servicing of the planned Central Business District (CBD) at Gerald Estate has been completed.  “Over and above that we have used the P10 million community development money from government to build houses, some of which we are renting out to public servants.“We have divided the constituency into three (3) clusters and each will have a multi-purpose recreational hall,” said the Botswana Democratic (BDP) Member of Parliament (MP).

He added that Gerald Estates and Phase 6 in Monarch will soon have a local center each owned by the VDC which will lease the shopping area to business. Moswaane initiated Monarch Development Centre to help the youth access government economic projects by, among other things, doing business plans for them for free. His next phase is to push for industrialisation of Francistown by using local resources. “Besides, Francistown must become an industrial hub for the region where, instead of SADC countries going all the way to Johannesburg and Durban to collect their cargo, the cargo is brought to the Francistown airport from their source be it Asia, or where ever by plane for the owner to collect the cargo here.

Our airport is under-utilised at the moment,” he noted. Another way of creating employment is for government to increase its efforts of using ISPAAD to help small scale farmers next to Francistown to grow fruits and vegetables to the extent that we do not import anything. Moswaane regrets government’s slow pace on allocating plots at Gerald Estates. “Since 2012 some 2500 plots have been serviced yet a lot of people from as far back as 1990s are on the waiting list because government is yet to allocate the plots.

The Minister had promised that the process would commence in December last year but nothing has thus far happened. If elected, I will follow up on the matter,” pledged the MP. He is also of the view that more resources should be invested in Nyangabgwe to make it a health facility of choice. “It should be turned into a state of the art hospital where special medical care is provided to attract even people from outside the country. The residents of Francistown need a district hospital,” he observed.

If he returns to parliament, Moswaane will move that the Youth Development Fund (YDF) be increased from P120million to P1billion and the Gender Economic Empowerment Fund from P50 million to P1 billion as well. Moswaane believes the country should build more technical colleges and brigades to carter for the thousands of students who leave school every year without the necessary grade needed as the entry threshold to tertiary schools.

In 2014, Moswane garnered 5304 votes against second-placed Habaudi Hobona of the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) who was voted in by 3461 voters. UDC was represented by Shatiso Tambula who managed a paltry 950 votes. This year Moswaane will have to fend off competition from Dira Moalosi of the Alliance for Progressives (AP) and Mbaakanyi Lenyatso of the UDC.

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FREE AT LAST: LGBTI persons celebrate

Yvonne Mooka

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CELEBRATION TIME: The LGBT community celebrated the historic ruling on same sex romance this Tuesday

Thapelo Matshameko, a transgender woman who last year was attacked at Trekkers night club in Gaborone is over the moon about the High Court ruling that overturned a law that criminalised same sex relations.

A trans-woman is a woman who was assigned male at birth. In response to the ruling, she told The Midweek Sun that even though she has had it tough before with people calling her ‘Brazen’ and to stop behaving like a woman, she is now happy that the law recognises that they exist. She said that Batswana are now becoming tolerant towards Lesbians Gays Bisexual Transgender and Intersex persons.

“Recently I went out for dinner with my bae, and I came all the way from my house wearing a dress. People that know me loved it and my boyfriend loved it even more,” she says, adding that the verdict will also help other LGBTI persons that are in the closet to come out.

In a previous interview Metshameko pleaded for assistance from members of the public to help her do a surgery that would make her a complete woman. For Motswakgakala Sithole also known as Motswafere in music circles, the ruling shows that Botswana is one step closer to gay marriages.

“Thank you to all the visible gay people. We take punches for those hiding and those shaming us for being visible and exercising our rights. You guys attended court cases with pride and you have carried us to freedom,” he said.

He also thanked Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO), lawyers in the case, the media, and friends of the LGBTI community for their support. Phio Kenosi who identifies as trans non-binary asexual woma-romantic, (romantically attracted to the feminine essence), was also ecstatic.

“It is obviously showing that we are moving in a new direction that is positive and inclusive towards sexual and gender minority,” he said.

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