Bishop Eric Mosimanegape
The leader of the Mercy City Church based in Molepolole disclaims from the onset that he prefers not to comment on another man of God. He emphasises that it is important for his fellow workers in the vineyard to focus the people on the word of God.
He agrees that indeed miracles can happen, but it is important to know the word of God. His concern is that the gospel has been diverted to focus on individuals and the church as compared to the word of God and the bible.
He emphasises that churches should go back to the concept of bible studies so people can know God and his teachings so they are able to repent and go back to Christ.
Apostle Bagwasi Bagwasi
Bagwasi is the leader of the Victory Fellowship World Outreach Centre based in Gaborone. He concurs with Mosimanegape and admits that the image of the church has changed from what it used to be. According to him, the change is due to the loss of the core message that used to be there.
Bagwasi observes that when the message changes people also change. The bible is not against prosperity, however prosperity does not only refer to tangible things and prosperity of wealth is not the core message. If you preach ‘prosperity’ things that attract people chances are you will miss out on the core message of the bible which is the ‘Cross of Jesus’.
There is life after death, heaven and hell. That is why Jesus preached repentance. You need to change your ways and your life and your perception of God. If Jesus was to walk into a church he would ask, do you have an eternal life? Are you saved? That is the core issue.
His other concern is the escalating use of ‘water and oils’ together with the prophecies which do not relate to eternity. Traditional doctors no longer have roles in society.
Bishop Oreeditse Kgotla
The head of the Highway of Holiness Embassy in Kanye says the change of the image of the church has been caused by various reasons; people no longer seek God.
People don’t seek spiritual things; they want material things. People are looking for immediate gratification. For us to be strong as people we need to be strong in faith.
There is nothing wrong with praying and waiting for God to respond. People call themselves Baruti but they are merely cashing in on the desperation of other people. The church is no longer taken as the bible dictates.
Go nna moruti ke kgwebo. People are going to church to buy and sell. People are going to church every day but they are not born again.
Bishop Percival Mtetwa
He is the author of a book titled, ‘Money issues and the church’. He starts by asking when we say ‘church’ is that the definition of the Lord? A church is not only an organisation registered at home affairs.
Church refers to the followers of the Lord. Jesus has said it before why call me Lord, when you do not do what I tell you? You need to grow spiritually so you can have a relationship with God. There is a ‘false’ church which is visible everywhere. It goes back to leadership, using manmade approaches to issues. Believe and trust God to heal you.
At the same time some people God never heals and we have to come to that maturity as the church. We are no longer able to differentiate between what is of God, and what is not of God. We are very gullible as Batswana, due to poverty and illnesses.
People are desperate. ‘Your mother is a woman. Yes, man of God’. People want anyone who says I have something for you. But that is the bait to lure you into the trap. How can you pay to receive prayer and healing or deliverance that is not biblical? So many gimmicks are being used.
We have nothing against young pastors, we are not jealous. And yes, some of them are truly anointed by God.
Reverend Dr. John Philip
Philip runs the Botswana Bible Training Institution. He states that the biblical standard as set by the bible is that Christ is the head of the church. He who wants to be great amongst you must be your servant. Every church leader knows that Christ was a man who performed miracles, who could walk on water, yet Christ was able to ride a donkey. That is the standard.
When is a gift a gift from God? There are gifts that are not from God. The church should not be taken to be beyond the life of an ordinary person. Any moruti wanting to live lavishly, how is he going to reach the poor and ordinary?
Being a moruti is a servant-hood that cannot be changed into anything else. The lavish lifestyle is out. It is in contradiction with the scripture.
U=U campaign packaging a headache for BHP, Ministry
While there is no denying the proven science that an HIV positive person whose HIV viral load cannot be detected cannot transmit it to an HIV negative person, it is how that message is packaged and delivered to the public that is proving to be a difficulty.
This is according to the Chief Executive Officer of the Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership (BHP) Dr Joseph Makhema.Internationally, the Undetectable equals Untransmittable (U=U) campaign, has gained ground as scientific consensus has united around the concept that being undetectable means being unable to transmit HIV. The campaign has been endorsed by more than 350 HIV organisations from 34 countries, including leading scientific and medical organisations such as the International AIDS Society (IAS), UNAIDS, and the British HIV Association (BHIVA).
By taking HIV treatment consistently and on time, the HIV virus in the blood (also known as viral load) and other bodily fluids gets to undetectable levels. The drugs work by controlling the replication of HIV in the body by reducing the virus’ ability to make copies of itself.
“The drugs slow down the damage that the virus does to the immune system and allow people to live long, productive lives like everyone else without succumbing to the disease. These drugs are tremendously valuable in giving an excellent quality of life and preventing HIV transmission. There is absolutely no doubt that HIV treatment has revolutionised AIDS,” Dr Makhema explained.
However, he said for now BHP and the Health Ministry are still looking at the context and messaging of U=U and how to package it for the public. This, he explained is because, there are situations whether of illness, for example if someone has flu, they can get an exacerbation of viral rebound.
Or somebody gets a gastro intestinal disorder and they have diarrhoea or vomiting, they cannot keep the medication in their system. This would mean they are not fully able to keep the virus fully supressed and they can rebound.
“So we really don’t know at this point in time, we really need to have research done so that we are able to know how we are going to package and share the U=U messaging with the general public,” stated Dr Makhema.
According to Dr Makhema, the only time he would ever give anyone the go ahead to have unprotected sex is only if there was a test where before each sexual act, a person can check their viral load.
Until then he insists on condom use even with the other HIV prevention tools currently available like Safe Male Circumcision and more recently, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP).
“While we have got the tools to not only end the fear of HIV, but to end it as an epidemic, it’s important how we package that information so that our people really understand how they work,” Dr Makhema said.
Citing the condom as an example, Dr Makhema said that new infections are still high even though condoms are cheap, readily available and have been proven to be over 99 percent effective if used correctly at not only preventing HIV infection but also other sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies.
Overall, Dr Makhema said there was need for clear guidance on how individuals should be advised on using “treatment as prevention” as a safer sex option and this should be combined with renewed efforts to encourage condom use.
BNF’s prodigal son, Koosaletse is back
As 2019 is a year of the country’s General Elections, Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) aspiring parliamentary candidate for Kanye North Constituency, Otlaadisa Koosaletse advises Batswana to be serious with their votes and vote legislators who will represent them well.
Koosaletse will be contesting for the area with the Botswana Democratic Party candidate, Thapelo Letsholo. The Midweek Sun reporter, Onneile Setlalekgosi interviewed the UDC candidate.
Q. Good Day Rre Koosaletse. Kindly share your political background.
A. I started politics at a very young age around the1970’s. I became instrumental in forming Botswana National Front (BNF) youth chapter which was called Botswana Youth Federation in 1976-1977 in Lobatse.
My breakthrough in politics was in 1994, when there were problems within the BNF. I ran for position of area MP under the opposition ticket and won comfortably. When BNF split in 1998 I left with others to form Botswana Congress Party. In 2001 I was elected second president of the BCP, which I led for four years.
Q. Why did you decide to stand for Kanye North Constituency?
A. One of the reasons I stood for the constituency is that I have a general belief that the whole area has been neglected by the ruling party for a long period. The culture of side-lining developments has triggered me to stand for the constituency.
Q. You are contesting to be a legislator representing Kanye North. In your view what are the duties of an area MP and what should your constituents expect from your representation?
A. Duties of the area MP involve being able to live closer to the constituents so that you are able to address their problems. There is an issue of developments and distribution of services, it is sad that there’s special economic zones and there is none in the area I am representing.
Special economic zones can foster and nurture developments which can create jobs. I will ensure that the area gets a fair share budget of the developments. Kanye North has no access roads, Moshana, Lekgoloboto, Ntlhantlhe and other surrounding areas are not connected to the clinics or schools, and the role of the area MP is to fully represent constituents in all aspects.
Q. What are the national priority issues you would want to take to parliament?
A.Issue of corruption, if we do not fight corruption in this country, we will end up being like any other republic that were once rich but now poor. I believe in the levelling of the playing field in politics, I think it is time that Botswana joins other 14 SADC countries which have political party funding.
It is sad that Botswana with its economy and Zambia are the only two countries in SADC without political party funding and that deprives people of good representation from their MPs because of financial instability if it does not happen, it will end up in whoever being financially stable going to parliament even when they are not right candidates.
The other priority is agro-based, that is our produce from the field. I do not believe in food security, I believe in food self-sufficiency, Batswana should be able to produce their own food.
Q. There has been an outcry from the Kanye community that they need a hospital. Do you think Kanye needs a hospital and if so why?
A. Yes, Kanye needs a new hospital. The old hospital (Kanye Adventist Day Hospital) has no room for expansion and it cannot accommodate the growing Kanye population anymore.
Even if the government can pump money into the hospital, there is no way it can ever expand due to many buildings near it. My contention is to fight for a district hospital if it happens that I win during the upcoming elections.
Q. What is your view on corruption and institutions put in place to fight it?
A. Corruption has been rampant in the country. Agencies put in place to fight corruption are now after petty issues such as arresting people for similar vehicle number plates, than focusing on fighting bigger issues of corruption such as economic crime.
Q. There has been a general problem of youth unemployment, how are you prepared to address it?
A. Unemployment is a very serious issue, but our economy is a jobless economy. The way to fight youth unemployment is not a way to throw a carrot at the youths and say they can all do tenders. I do not think enough has been done to help the youth. Even the shopping complexes are not youth friendly as they are expensive to rent.
Things have to be changed first. The economy does not cater for the youth. There are many graduates and skilled people and Botswana is not fully known in exporting skilled labour to other countries. Youth are exploited in such a way that at times multitudes of the youths compete for one tender job, which only generates revenue for the government by buying the tenders. But I am going to address it seriously if I get to parliament.
Q. Education results have been declining throughout the country, how are you going to address the low pass rate in your area?
A. It is very serious that at this time we still have declining standards in Education results, by now the country should have learnt from the past mistakes which I believe will bring good results in Education.
I will ensure Education is taken seriously within the village, parents should be able to understand academic strength of children and make sure they offer them support where possible.
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