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What the people say

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Elsewhere in this edition, we chronicle reactions to the new cabinet appointed by President Mokgweetsi Masisi, where people speculated on why Advocate Sadique Kebonang and Edwin Batshu were left out. Here we look at what ordinary people said about some appointments of other ministers. This is what Batswana told The Midweek Sun.

Nonofo Molefhi Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration minister Those he served at the infrastructure ministry were evidently devastated to lose him. Employees there viewed him as the best thing that ever happened to them and were uncomfortable about his replacement, Unity Dow. This is because they feel she failed at the education ministry and are not convinced she will manage as minister of infrastructure and housing development. Known for his humility across the political divide, there are some Batswana who feel Molefhi should have been the Vice President. After losing Botswana Democratic Party’s chairmanship to Masisi last year, he swore to work with him. He never spoke ill of him and when Masisi retained him in cabinet, many were excited. This after an impression had been created that Masisi would drop him. Molefhi always maintained that he was only exercising his constitutional right with no elusive intents or hard feelings. He said in one of the press conferences that holding different views is democratic but said it must be done with respect and dignity. “It is a pity when leaders are the ones sowing seeds of discord among fellow democrats. Do not forget people on the ground on your way up because you need them to support the ladder for you when you go down,” he said. He continues to receive accolades from people. “I salute him with all my heart. Great man. Thanks to HE for keeping him close. He will advise him well and even greater,” said Daniel Simola, a local pastor. Young people took to Facebook to express their admiration of him.

Dorcas Makgato Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs minister She is known to be a spirit that calls a spade a spade, and not a big spoon. Her admirers in the health sectors feel she was taken away too soon and has unfinished business in her previous role as the Minister of Health and Wellness. “I still wanted her at the Ministry of Health. She had a clear working plan that was now beginning to show results. I think HE removed her prematurely,” said one Cafen Galapi, a health worker. While some feel she would take time to understand her new ministry, there are some who are unfazed, saying she is result-oriented. “She has been around for long and is not easily intimidated. She is an achiever at heart,” said one Lesang Mmereki. Nevertheless, there are some that feel that HE Masisi should have kept Batshu in this ministry as he was doing exceptionally well.

Dr. Alfred Madigele Minister of Health and Wellness He was appointed Assistant Minister of Health in October 2014. He studied for his degree in Medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology in Ireland where he also worked before coming to serve at Princess Marina. He would later join private practice. He ran Health Synergy – a company that specialises in health consultancy and corporate medicine for over 10 years. He was appointed Director of Motor Vehicle Fund–MVA Botswana in 2009. He has won the hearts of Batswana in his partnership with the media where he had a column and also a slot in one of the local radio stations. In his previous role as minister of Tertiary Education, Research and Technology, Dr. Madigele spoke fondly about the importance of research and innovation in helping to unlock potential in the economy to create jobs. Batswana feel he brings expertise and wide knowledge to the health sector. “He is a visionary who is very passionate about transformative leadership and proper governance,” said one small business owner Mpho Kelosiwang.

Bogolo Kenewendo Investment, Trade and Industry minister She is seen as a first step into women empowerment in the country. Young people are excited about her promotion with some saying her new role is a move in the right direction. “This is the Botswana I have always envisaged, where young people are represented and where women are visible in high offices,” said Neo Maleka on Facebook.

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JUST PROPAGANDA

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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.

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ARRESTED FOR RECKLESS DRIVING

Yvonne Mooka

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IN GOOD TIMES: The late Matlhogonolo with Simba in good times

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.

Murder
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.

Serial killer
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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