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“School from hell”

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Upon arrival in Molepolole, one is greeted by the fancy looking Blue Bows English Medium School. The outward façade gives the impression that this is an international school of repute, but for the employees, Blue Bows School is a walking nightmare. Undoubtedly, it is this perfect view that captures the attention of many when passing by the tarred road. The school has neatly-cut trees and well-painted tall buildings, no litter can be spotted around the school and the well-swept pavement going all the way to classrooms compliments the serene environment.

Yet teachers here are extremely unhappy and disgruntled. They cry of being exploited and abused daily by the school owners, Loveleen Nanuan and her mother Balbir, both of Indian origin.  Qualified secondary teachers say they are paid low salaries, with the highest paid employee said to be earning as little as P5 000 with no allowances or any benefits. The Midweek Sun is in possession of leaked confidential pay slips and bank statements that prove that a school headmaster can be paid below P5 000. This publication is also in possession of contracts between the employer and some of the teachers.

A holder of Bachelor of Science or Diploma in Physics or Mathematics earns below P4 000 at Blue Bows School. Some were even authorised by the government to teach. As evidence, they presented official letters signed by the late Director of Basic Education Lesego Morake. As if that is not enough, the teachers said that they are expected to teach all classes ranging from Pre-school, Primary, Junior and Secondary level. They are frustrated in that the school management has turned a blind eye to their cries and actually forces them to teach classes which they are not qualified for. They are even questioning the legal standing of the Pre-School. They allege that it is operating illegally. “At one point we were instructed to hide all Pre-School children during the Council inspection,” they revealed. The Kweneng District Council could not verify if the Pre-School is registered or not.

The Acting Council spokesperson Matlhogonolo Moremedi said they need a week or so to confirm the information by carrying out another inspection. The Midweek Sun team managed to get hold of several former Blue Bows teachers. They all described the school as a ‘living hell.’ “Anybody who did not obey instructions was scolded. Everyone who is there is expected to cover up for the school,” they claimed. “We did all the work, some of us were overqualified to be teaching certain classes but we were scared of getting on the wrong side of the school owner. They are not very friendly; some of us were sometimes instructed to sweep classrooms and clean toilets,” lamented one teacher. 

Asked why they never complained while living under such dreadful situations, they said, “We are hungry, the world is rough out there, we had to suffer hoping for a better tomorrow, we consoled ourselves that it was better than starving to death or sleeping on an empty stomach.” Further, they say they were forced to fake smiles and pretend all is well because they have families to feed. The high unemployment rate also forced them to swallow up the unpleasant working conditions and burn silently. Nanuan is said to be an abusive boss; she is said to have assaulted some of her employees at one point. A reliable insider revealed that she once slapped one teacher at the school and pushed the other off a chair. This publication spoke to the teachers who claim to have been assaulted by Nanuan in the past and they all confirmed that indeed they suffered abuse at the hands of Nanuan.

They are still waiting for action to be taken against her by the police. The case was reported at Molepolole Police Station but to this day, it is still pending. The Police could not confirm or deny if they have received such a case before going to print.   The school is also said to be operating without electricity and a solar system is used to power the computer lab. There is no water in the school and no working drainage either, despite using flushing toilets. In a recent phone conversation, Nanuan promised to give feedback on the allegations laid before her.

However, she never did only for her to rudely dismiss The Midweek Sun team during a visit to her hardware shop in Molepolole. She questioned why this publication was invading her personal space and led the team to a secluded place within the compound. She then revealed that she is not interested in commenting on the matter and will only comment after reading the published article. She said if teachers had a problem with her school, they should complain directly to her and not the media. During a visit to the school, students at the school revealed that there is always an overpowering stench coming from the toilets around lunch time. “There is no water and those toilets are not working but we just use them because we have no other option,” they said. They also lamented that they often find it hard to have their meals because they will be too disgusted to eat.

They complained of the unpalatable food being served there, “There is no balanced diet, we eat like beggars, today we were served spaghetti and soup for lunch and there is only one chef here cooking for the whole school,” they said. The newly-appointed headmaster of the school Thomas Tau feared for dear life and refused to comment on the pressing issues. Upon arrival at the school, this reporter found Nanuan in deep conversation with Tau. It soon became evident that she was briefing him about all the noise surrounding the school. She refused to give Tau room to speak, who later resorted to say, “I do not think I can speak anything about the school, I have one week here and I think she is better positioned to take your questions.” It was still at the school that this publication learnt that there might be unqualified teachers at Blue Bows.

Some teachers openly revealed that a student who finished schooling last year at Blue Bows School was this week introduced as a French teacher. The said individual is said to have failed all subjects but got an A in French. She is now a French teacher with the school and students admitted to have seen her being introduced as their teacher. She is alleged to be a teacher to all levels, from Primary to Secondary level. The school is said to have a total of about 100 children. Meanwhile, parents pour thousands of pula into the school per term. School fees range from approximately P3 000 Pre School, Primary P4 000 and P5 000 for Secondary level. One parent who had come to pick up their children at the school confirmed the school fees.

Botswana Sectors of Educators Trade Union (BOSETU) spokesperson Edwin Maitshoko said the issue of low salaries in private institutions is of great concern to them. “Normally foreigners are the ones who are highly exploited, the market is not lucrative and forces some teachers to settle for anything that can help put bread on the table,” Maitshoko said. He added that in other instances private schools hire unqualified personnel hence the low pay. He however assured that that they are working on a passing a teaching council Bill. He said they have already been in negotiations throughout the country and have also informed the employer (government).

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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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