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Couple struck by lightning at a cattle ranch

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Herdsman Keenetse Rakala (42) and the mother of his children Mphoyaone Gaanabeng (40) were struck by lightning this past week at a cattle ranch in Molapowabasadi settlement. Rakala was injured on the head while Gaanabeng has visible scars on her chest and back. The Midweek Sun team caught up with the visibly shocked couple this past weekend in Ralekgetho village where they reside. Rakala says on that fateful afternoon, him and his girlfriend together with their five-year old son were at the kraal preparing to go home.

“The lightning suddenly flashed and I felt like something was lifting me up the sky, in a split second, I landed on the ground on my stomach and my head was in severe pain. “When I searched for Gaanabeng I found her motionless in the centre of the kraal. My son appeared terrified and was hiding at the far end of the kraal.” Rakala said he had to man up despite the pain he was in, he was forced to go and seek help to get his girlfriend to the hospital.

Fortunately the neighbours came to the rescue. The couple was rushed to a clinic in Moshupa where they say they were given medication and sent back home after consultation. “All I know is that I was ready to go home and that is all I can recall, the next thing I woke up in a hospital bed and was told I was struck by lightning earlier,” Gaanabeng said. Showing off her fresh burn wounds, Gabaaneng said her body does not allow her to move around and she spends most of her time sleeping. She cannot perform household chores, but luckily she has six children to take care of that on a daily basis.

“I have abandoned all the duties to their father, he is not coping but I am just sitting here helpless,” she said sadly. Pointing at her small house made of tree branches, Gaanabeng said the situation was made worse by the fact that she sleeps on the floor together with her six children and their father. “I blame witchcraft, people are jealous, they want to kill me because I am a hardworking herdsman using my hands for a living,” Rakala chipped in. He said that his boss, Mmutlanyane as he called him, only checked them once after the incident but had to go back to Maun where he works.

His heart bled when he told The Midweek Sun that he expected some form of support from just anybody, be it MPs, Kgosi or even his boss,“Everybody knows the tragedy that befell me around here but I am all alone, my son appears traumatised because since the incident he wakes up in the middle of the night and speak in panic about rain. The boy keeps telling us that he saw us being attacked by a large bird that day,” Rakala said. Reached for comment, Mmutlanyane said he was in Maun and not living in Ralekgetho. He later changed his mind about commenting on the issue after asking if this reporter was a social worker of some sort and the phone disconnected. Repeated attempts to reach him again proved futile and he later sent a text to say his name was Modisakoma and not Mmutlanyane.

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BMC secures beef market in Seychelles

Dikarabo Ramadubu

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Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) will soon start to sell its beef to the Island of Seychelles. Not only will they sell frozen raw meat, but will also send corned beef for trial in the Island.

All this is thanks to last week’s visit by President Mokgweetsi Masisi who included in his delegation executive management of the BMC, led by Chief Executive Officer, Dr Akolang Tombale.
The agreement signed between BMC and two leading Seychelles companies, will see BMC exporting at least 48 tonnes of raw beef to the island possibly from October. The names of the two companies that BMC signed an agreement with are Seychelles Trading Company which is a quasi-government organisation, and Rosebelle Company which is privately owned.

Although both have agreed to trade with each other, BMC cannot start immediately, as they have to wait for the green light from Seychelles companies who still have to apply for import permits in accordance with the law of their republic.

Speaking to The Midweek Sun, Tombale expressed gratitude that they managed to get good business in Seychelles through the assistance of President Masisi. “We are ready to export any time from now. As you know Seychelles is an island surrounded by mountains and cannot produce much if not anything. “They therefore depend much on imports even from as far as Brazil and Europe. Their economy is driven by tourism and they do not differ much with the European market in terms of the demand for beef as most tourists come from Europe and United States.”

Dr. Tombale said they agreed with the two companies that since “we are not sure about the logistics we will start by selling 24tonnes to each company per month, meaning we will be supplying the Island with a total of 48 tonnes per month. The idea is to start small and grow bigger as the people get used to our beef.” BMC has also negotiated to sell small stock meat to Seychelles and successfully negotiated for local chicken farmers to start selling their range chicken to Seychelles as well.

According to Tombale, he negotiated the deal after being approached by local chicken farmers amongst them Kgosi Mosadi Seboko of Balete, who requested that “we should try to find a market for chicken farmers as we go around the world searching for the beef market.” Tombale revealed that for a start both range chickens and small stock will not be supplied in tonnes or large quantities as they will be sold on a trial basis.

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G-west community reunion-walk a resounding success

Keletso Thobega

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Multitudes turned up for the Mosengwaketsi community walk and braai session this past Saturday in Gaborone West. The walk was held in the morning and was preceded by football games and a braai session that went on until late in the evening.

According to the event director Tshenolo Palai, the aim of the community day event was to revive community spirit and address crime and social ills. “The Mosengwaketsi community reunion will be held not only to create a platform to build unity but also address the social ill of passion killings,” he said.

Palai said that they had also invited health stakeholders for a wellness segment because they had realised that there are many health related conditions that affect the quality of people’s lives hence they had joined forces with religious organisations, the business community, neighbourhood outreach policing and other stakeholders in the area to encourage a culture of unity and create dialogue between all the parties.

He noted that they had wanted to create a relaxed environment conducive for different people to engage and strengthen their networks. He said they were also concerned with the high rate of crimes of passion in Botswana and also wanted to create a platform for both men and women to open up on issues that affect them because most people tend to be more relaxed in a social setting.

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