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Gay community gradually finding acceptance among Batswana



In recent years the Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender (LGBT) community is becoming more visible and accepted by Botswana’s population. This was said by organisers of the annual Batho Ba Lorato film festival in an interview with The Midweek Sun. The festival, now on its sixth year, is aimed at informing, educating and celebrating sexual and gender diversity. The festival was hosted by the Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGAGIBO), the advocacy organisation at the forefront of promoting awareness and acceptance of LGBTI community, with the support of the German, Goeth Institite, that supports cultural exchanges. According to one of the organisers of the film festival and communication officer for LEGAGIBO Bradley Fortuin, the reception has been positive.

He indicated that Batswana were warming up to homosexuals and were becoming comfortable with accepting them and engaging in dialogue on homosexuality in the society. He pointed out that the film festival had grown in leaps and bounds due to the public interest and willingness to engage the community in the society. “When we started out we held it at University of Botswana but we have now moved to New Capitol Cinema, a move that marks growth. We are getting a lot of support and we are seeing many people being open about their sexuality, and trying to understand the struggles that homosexuals deal with.” The film festival, which is free to the public, included discussion on different topics related to the gay community and most prominently, featured films such as Inxeba:

The Wound, which has been banned in mainstream cinemas across neighbouring South Africa. Fortuin said they had been in touch with the producers of the controversial film who helped them bring it here. “We screened the film since it has not been banned in Botswana,” he said. He added that it was sometimes important to engage the public on “uncomfortable” issues that go against the grain. Fortuin said that unlike before, there were now several platforms for homosexuals and their families to get support. “We are seeing many people coming out of the closet and expressing their sexual identity,” he said. Fortuin insisted that although homosexuality was still taboo in some aspects of society, it was nothing new but it was only now that people were beginning to come out and express their sexual identity freely.

Botswana is one of the countries that do not recognise homosexuality, however, unlike in other African countries there have not been cases of violence and killings of homosexuals. Homosexuality is still considered taboo and unnatural in “conservative and traditional” Botswana. According to Botswana law, same-gender sexual activities are illegal. However, in recent years there have been hallmark changes, including the court ruling in 2016 that ordered that the LGBT community be allowed to register their organisation. Last year, the courts ruled that at least two transgender individuals be allowed to change their gender markers.

One of them, Ricki Kgositau, who waged a landmark case against government, got married to her Congolese partner in Cape Town, South Africa, last year. Kgositau was born male but fully transitioned into a woman two years ago. Homosexuals in Botswana also faced wrath in 2016 when US based Faithful Word Baptist Church controversial leader Pastor Steven Anderson, who had come to Botswana on a visit, insulted gays and referred to them as cockroaches. He was subsequently kicked out of the country. In a separate incident, opposition politician Haskins Nkaigwa came under fire after he allegedly said that “homosexuals took all the plum corporate jobs in Botswana,” implying that economic homosexuality was the order of the day in the country. In both cases, LEGAGIBO issued strongly worded statements to criticise the continued attack on homosexuals. A

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VACANCY: President of the UDC



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



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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