HIV/AIDS activist and Founder of Thusang Bana Centre, Stanley Monageng, is set to go on a 500km charity walk on May 1, to raise funds for the establishment of structures for the upkeep of orphans under his care. Uncle Stan, as the beloved 72-year old is known, has been running the charity in Molepolole for over a year now, which helps children whose parents have died from HIV/AIDS. With a complementary staff of 25 volunteers, Thusang Bana currently supports around 30 children between the ages of a month to six years old and 16 young people.
As well as being a day care centre for vulnerable children, the centre provides tailoring training for unemployed youth, a gardening project whose produce is sold to raise funds and to feed children and the elderly of the community. Moreover, it conducts HIV and health education activities. “I strongly believe children have the right to live a free happy and healthy life with all opportunities availed to them,” he said. Monageng said he hopes to raise at least P400 000. With the money, he wants to buy porta cabins or caravans, which will be used as a kitchen for the children’s daily meals, a play area as well as for counseling services and space for providing life skills for the elderly. Currently the Centre is renting out a 2-bedroom house, which Monageng says is very small and limiting. “We want to have our own space as our beneficiaries have increased overtime and rental is also very expensive,” he stated.
The walk will be a return trip from Gaborone to Mahalapye, covering villages on the way including Hatsalatladi, Boatlaname, Shoshong, Lephephe, Palla-road, Artesia and Tobela amongst others. “Our main aim is to raise awareness about the treat all programme, which allows people to live longer and let children have a childhood, make it to school and grow up healthy and strong, rather than becoming orphans left to head households at a tender age,” he said. Monageng and his team will hold kgotla meetings in all the villages they will be passing through and provide HIV testing and counseling services and distribute condoms.
Monageng,who has been living with the HIV virus for the past 17 years said specific focus on HIV is vital because the infection rates are still far outpacing the number of people on treatment. “For every two people who started taking antiretroviral drugs, another five become infected, unless we take urgent steps to intensify HIV prevention we will fail to sustain the gains we have made as a country,” he stated. Botswana has the second highest HIV prevalence in the world with latest reports estimating it to be around 17.6 per cent for the general population and 24 per cent for 15 years and above age group.
Dr Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi has refuted claims that she is under the radar of the Financial Intelligence Agency. Dr Venson-Moitoi who pulled out of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) presidential race at the eleventh hour, was last week reported to have had her accounts frozen because she was being investigated by FIA.
It was alleged that the freezing of the accounts would have a negative bearing on her campaign as she could not access her funds. Responding to enquiries on the issue during a media briefing in Kang Village, Dr Venson-Moitoi said the allegations were far from the truth.
According to the former cabinet minister, all her accounts were clean and she was accessing her funds without any challenge. “The person who was saying all those things was lying. My accounts are clean as we speak. I was never confronted by FIA or anyone. As far as I know I am not under any investigations,” she said.
Linked to that, it had emerged that Dr Venson-Moitoi’s campaign was being funded from outside the country especially by the some rich families in South Africa. Reports then suggested that her source of funding was blocked through the intervention of FIA, and that even her accounts were frozen. She dismissed the reports as propaganda that was perhaps spread to soil her campaign.
“I am clean. This is why I am never mentioned in missing funds from National Petroleum Fund or those of Capital Management Botswana,” said the Serowe South Member of Parliament. Last month Dr Venson-Moitoi had reported to the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) Director General Peter Magosi that she was not happy that she is being followed around the country by security agents.
Magosi dismissed the claims on grounds that his organisation is not the only one that uses private motor vehicles.
ARRESTED FOR RECKLESS DRIVING
Simba Mooketsi Mampori, 31, of Mbalambi allegedly killed his girlfriend in Bontleng, Gaborone and used her blood to scribble a message on the wall.
The message read, ‘Ke lapisitswe ke maaka’- translated to mean ‘I am tired of lies.’ Matlhogonolo Moshashu’s body was found inside his sister’s rented house in Bontleng.Mampori and Moshashu, 34, had a two year-old child together. Mampori allegedly killed her in March 31 by stabbing her with a screw driver, which was found inside the house. In an interview with The Midweek Sun this week, Otilia Kholiya, one of the tenants in the yard, said that she arrived on that fateful Sunday to find a yellow tape surrounding the yard with the police all over the place.
She said that she was the one who helped with cleaning. “He used her blood and wrote ‘Ke lapile ke maaka.’ I washed all the blood in the house by myself. Although police officers suspect that he used the screw driver they found in the house to kill her, I beg to differ. “That blood was just too much, it must have been something bigger,” she said, adding that they found a new dress that the deceased was going to wear to Mampori’s sister’s baby shower.
Another tenant Nicah Mandefu said that the house belonged to Mampori’s sister and that she rarely slept there and preferred her parents’place in Gaborone. She stated that she saw Mampori with his girlfriend arrive on Saturday around 4pm. “I don’t know him much because the house belongs to his sister. He probably just needed it for the weekend to spend time with his girlfriend who was staying and working outside Gaborone.
“They just greeted me and another tenant as we were sitting in front of our house. They stayed for 30 minutes and left. They would come again around 7pm,” she said. Mandefu said it was the first time she saw the deceased.
Mandefu said that Mampori’s sister arrived on Sunday around 9am, found her house locked and asked about his whereabouts. “She then told me that the lady he was with was actually his girlfriend and mother of his child,” she said. After some time, the sister returned to tell them that she received a report to say Mampori was found in Mmankgodi where he had tried to hang himself on a tree after killing Mashashu.
Upon failing to kill himself, he drove off recklessly at high speed, thus catching the attention of the police who stopped and charged him with reckless driving. “The police then noticed that he was not well as he had bruises from trying to kill himself. He could not even speak to the police but wrote down his mother’s phone number and gave them the keys to the sister’s house.
“They then took him to Thamaga Primary Hospital to be attended for his wounds on the neck, and later the police called his family and finally drove together to Bontleng where they found his girlfriend dead inside the sister’s house,” the neighbour tenant narrated to The Midweek Sun.
According to Botswana Police Service Deputy Public Relations Senior Superintendent Near Bagali, Mampori is also linked to another murder that occurred on 26 March in Gaborone in which a 39-year old woman from Molepolole was found with stab wounds.
At the time of his arrest, Mampori was awaiting trial for two murder cases committed in Mahalapye and Gaborone in 2016 and 2017 respectively. The deceased were his girlfriends. He was arraigned before Extension 2 Magistrate Court last Wednesday. He is incarcerated and expected back in court on April 17.
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