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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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Police blast man with fire extinguisher

The MidweekSun Admin

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Life has not been easy for Rakhuna man, Gaitsiwe Moroka since a police officer blast a fire extinguisher in his face at a roadblock near Pitsane this year on April 25.

The police were on duty and as a norm, they were checking for among others, the presence of a functional fire extinguisher in a kombi which Moroka and other five other passengers and their driver were using. When The Midweek Sun interviewed him on Monday, pain was written all over his face.
His is a clear sign of depression.

“My life changed drastically this year after the incident. I was on my way from signing an agreement for a tender with Botswana Defence Force camp when the police stopped our kombi at a road block in Pitsane. There was a long debate between the two police officers and our driver about the functionality of the fire extinguisher.
All of a sudden, one of the officers sprayed the fire extinguisher without checking if it was functional or not, and he directed the nozzle inside the kombi,” he said, adding that he was on his way to Lobatse where he stays.

High Court papers dated August 30, 2018 show that Mfosi Legal Attorneys are handling the case in which the victim is suing the BPS for an amount of P2.84 million.
He says although there other passengers in the kombi, he was the one most affected. The High Court documents state that the police officer did not even bother to check on the health of the commuters nor apologise for his extremely dangerous negligent act.

The kombi would then leave for Lobatse and just before it arrived, the plaintiff’s claim notes that it was apparent that the powder had affected his sight and he started regurgitating unabated, lost consciousness and woke up at Athlone Hospital with an oxygen mask strapped to his face and intravenous drip in his arm.

“To date, Moroka, 40, has a constant whooping cough and has been informed by doctors that it will take several years for the noxious elements used in the fire extinguisher to completely be flushed from his body,” says the summons, further stating that doctors had also detected likelihood of asthma.

It says that due to the gross negligence of the police, Moroka is currently unable to work, let alone work around dust. This, it says, has caused a great financial burden on him due to the fact that he is a builder by profession, and is not able to take care of his two minor children. Moroka, according to the sheet, has developed a very itchy rash all over his skin since the incident.
“What is more disconcerting is that the police have never bothered to check on the health of the plaintiff or even issued an official apology. Thus his compensation demands include gross negligence at P1 million, pain and suffering at P1 million, loss of income at P84. 200.00 and cost of the suit
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‘I feel weak’ For Moroka, the incident has left him helpless. He has given up on life and wishes himself dead. “I’m always thinking about killing myself but I always think about my two children. If I die anytime, Batswana must know that government killed me. I have no food, no income but I am a man. I believe in using my hands and legs but now my health does not permit me to walk in the sun. I’m supposed to be resting but I’m now giving up on life,” he said.

He won the children’s custody after his divorce three years ago. He is now afraid that he would lose the children because he cannot afford to take care of them. “My life is stuck. I’m sad and empty, and in deep pain. My lungs are weak. Police do not care about me after what they did to me and I’m now on my own. Government clinics do not have all the medication and my sprays, and I have to travel to Molepolole at times. My bones are always in pain and I am now on a special diet which I can’t afford,” he said.

His comprehensive report card shows a dysfunction in the heart, lungs, bones, skin and eye and makes an expert advice which is basically expensive diet and resting most of the time. Several times he had fainted while walking and at one time it happened while he was in Mafikeng, visiting a relative. He was admitted at a local clinic.
Doctors that have been attending to him since the dreadful incident that shows a common denominator of Carbon dioxide inhalation that affected his skin, sight and respiratory system. He has started counselling at SBRANA Psychiatric Hospital.

He said that efforts to seek help from BPS Commissioner KeabetsweMakgophe were futile. “I’m always told he is away,” he said. BPS Assistant Commissioner Dipheko Motube could not respond to questions sent by this reporter by press time.

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Botswana Creative Business Cup winner, Mmono joins global comp. in Denmark

Keletso Thobega

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Botswana Creative Business Cup Nicolette Chinomona says that government should channel funding and business support among youth towards the creative industry instead of focusing on traditional sectors.

This year’s winner of the cup is Lebogang Mmono of Just Ginger Beverages. Chinomona told The Midweek Sun that she applied for the license of the international entrepreneurship competition because she noticed that local entrepreneurs, particularly youth, were not getting the necessary support.

“I wanted to help develop the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the country by generating attention for startups that aren’t traditional, that are in the creative space and think out of the box; because there isn’t enough risk appetite for supporting those kinds of startups”, she said.

Chinomona said that government has been quite deliberate in helping businesses start-ups, but the key challenge is that the government has to use the resources it has to fund business models that it feels can succeed and become a core part of the economy.

“A lot of potential sponsors and funders are intimidated at the prospect of putting money into a local enterprise.”Chinomona said that it was only entrepreneurship that could change the economic dynamics of Batswana’s lives. “As a society we need to change the narrative around entrepreneurship, we need to begin to acknowledge that while entrepreneurial paths are fraught with risks and challenges, that entrepreneurship is also a huge part of developing a sustainable economy.

“We need to be realistic, not everyone can have a conventional white-coller career. Someone has to produce the goods that people with careers want to spend their money on and entrepreneurs can make an excellent living and even thrive on that. I believe that changing the conversation around this means pushing back on the idea that failures become entrepreneurs.”

Chinomona said since working with young entrepreneurs, she had noticed that one of the key things that they say they need is mentorship. “A lot of them have the raw skill but they don’t have the business skills to be able to sell what they can easily make.

“And also they are hungry for community and collaboration, because being an entrepreneur can be isolating and discouraging.” Meanwhile, Mmono is preparing to take part in the global competition in Copenhagen, Denmark next month. She said she hoped to network and find ways to break into the global business sector by selling her uniquely Botswana products and partnering with other entrepreneurs.

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