Connect with us

News

Sex trafficking hits home in Botswana

Published

on

Imagine being excited about getting married to a prince charming that stays outside your country and invites you, only to come and be turned into a sex slave! That is exactly how the world has become.

According to Kagisano Women’s Shelter director Lorato Moalosi-Sakufiwa, young women have become targets of sex maniacs who promise them jobs, scholarships and even marriage. In the past two years, the Shelter has dealt with two sex trafficking cases, involving two minors from outside Botswana. These are young girls under the age of 18. One was from a neighbouring country and was brought into Botswana by a non-citizen couple that promised to take her to school in Botswana.

The other from the northern part of the continent and promised by another couple from her home country residing in Botswana, that they had found a job for her in Botswana. Upon their arrival, the young girls were exploited by their hosts by being turned into sex objects in return for money. “Various men slept with them for money and their hosts took the money,” said Sakufiwa. After some tip-offs, the girls were taken to the shelter for security and they have since been taken to back to their home countries. The perpetrators got arrested. She explained that even though sex trafficking is subtle in Botswana, it can grow anytime like in other countries.

“They take advantage of the women and girls’ vulnerability. For example, a non-citizen can promise a young girl from his home country marriage, and call her to Botswana, only for her to turn into a sex slave,” she said. As for other cases, she said it is possible for a perpetrator to take his victim from a remote area in Botswana and make her a sex slave in Gaborone. Understanding Sex trafficking Sex trafficking is a crime when women, men or children are forcefully involved in commercial sex acts. It is a form of human trafficking. The Directorate of Public Prosecution announced last year that they were in the process of prosecuting 15 cases of human trafficking involving Batswana and foreign nationals. Speaking at the Botswana judicial colloquium on anti-human trafficking, the Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, Shaw Kgathi said  Botswana Police Service (BPS) and Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) have arrested and prosecuted a number of perpetrators involved in human trafficking or transiting of victims to neighbouring countries.

“Although the inclination in such cases is towards the victim, our known legal systems remain important in that every suspect should be subjected to the normal processes of investigation and prosecution within the provisions of Botswana laws in particular the anti-human trafficking Act of 2014, the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act,” he said. He emphasised that Botswana has intensified its efforts and interventions against human trafficking through public education, capacity building and training workshops for different role players. Botswana, he said, has a long term strategy in the form of an anti-human trafficking national action plan 2017-2020. Last year, the US State Department included Botswana in its ‘Tier 2’ list of countries, the US accuses of not fully meeting the minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking.

The report released on 30 September, however said Botswana is making significant efforts to do so. It shows that government demonstrated increasing efforts compared to the previous reporting period hence, Botswana remained on Tier 2. “The government demonstrated increasing efforts by investigating and prosecuting more trafficking cases than in the previous reporting period and obtaining its first trafficking conviction under the 2014 Anti-Human Trafficking Act,” it says. It says the government also identified more victims of trafficking, established a specialised anti-trafficking unit, and appointed two officials, trained on human trafficking, to monitor the investigation and prosecution of trafficking cases.

However, the report says, the government did not meet the minimum standards in several key areas, including failure to amend the 2009 Children’s Act to include in the definition of child trafficking, the commercial sexual exploitation of children without requiring the means of force, coercion, or movement. It also says that government’s efforts to protect victims were uneven. “In the government’s first trafficking conviction, the trafficker served only eight months of an 18-month sentence in prison, although the government’s appeal of that sentence was pending at the end of the reporting period,” the report says. The report recommended that Botswana should formalise the system to refer victims to social services and ensure all victims receive protective services.

The country should also amend the anti-trafficking laws to ensure penalties are sufficiently stringent by eliminating fines in lieu of prison time and disallow suspended sentences when sentencing convicted traffickers. The US also urged Botswana to increase efforts to investigate, prosecute, and convict traffickers; continue to encourage victims to participate in the investigation and prosecution of traffickers through formal procedures. The government investigated 12 trafficking cases and prosecuted 18 defendants under the 2014 Act, compared with five investigations and seven prosecutions in the previous reporting period.

Continue Reading
Comments

News

BMC secures beef market in Seychelles

Dikarabo Ramadubu

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

News

G-west community reunion-walk a resounding success

Keletso Thobega

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

Trending