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Beware: Rapists on the prowl

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There was a sigh of relief in Tlokweng last week when news broke out that two Zimbabwean nationals Progressive Ndlovu and Nfakazi Ndlovu were arrested.

This followed a spate of rape and robbery incidents that had bedeviled the village for some time, with the rape incidents following a similar pattern. Initially, they were three; but their fellow Zimbabwean friend only known as Lloyd, managed to escape from the police through an ungazetted area near Tlokweng border where they were caught around 12 noon.

Police say Lloyd is very dangerous, and along with Nfakazi, 30, he has a record of rape and robbery cases dating back to 2016. The trio were caught with money and stolen goods all valued at P22, 000. According to Police Assistant Commissioner Spokesperson, Dipheko Motube, the police received reports last week Wednesday from their victims in the morning. They had broken into a house and raped two women in front of their mother. They would later make away with their laptops, watches and cellphones among other valuables.

At the CID offices

Crime Intelligence boss, Senior Assistant Commissioner Nunu Lesetedi and his team had their work cut out, move from one place to the other in their quest to help the rape victims. Lesetedi explained that the trio entered the house of their victims around 3am, tied them up, raped them, took their bank cards and went to cash their money at a nearby ATM machine. Various people that said they had been raped and robbed by the duo before, were also there to identify them and their missing goods. It was a tense moment.

Nfakazi could not come for mention at Extension II Magistrate court at 3pm, as he was said to be ill and had been taken to Princess Marina hospital to see a doctor. A woman and her partner arrived in a classy Mercedes Benz, and from her overflowing tears, one could see she was one of the victims from previous incidents. CID officers gathered around the couple and after a while, the couple went to a car surrounded by other CID officers. There, inside, was Progressive, and the emotional woman identified him as the perpetrator of her heart-rending incident.

The broken woman was raped in front of her man, with the perpetrators throwing shades at the man regarding their good sex skills. “They asked him how he felt watching them having sex with his woman and used demeaning language to hurt him,” said Lesetedi. Progressive, 31, appeared for mention before Magistrate Batho Kgerethwa and was taken to prison. However, he said he wanted to go and inform his family back home as they could maybe hire a lawyer for him. Nfakazi appeared the next day on Thursday.

The two will appear for mention on April 24. On the same date, Nfakazi will be sentenced for his previous crimes. “He escaped prison at the time of sentencing,” said Assistant Commissioner Motube. It was also stated that the accused had nowhere to stay in Botswana, and lives in Hillbrow, South Africa. Information reaching this publication is that they live with a Nigerian in South Africa, who is equally a criminal involved in drugs and money peddling.

How they break into houses and attack

A man whose two helpers were raped by the trio in January told The Midweek Sun that they went through his neighbour’s yard and cut his electric fence. It was around 2am when he got the shock of his life. “They came dragging our two maids from downstairs, and went and tied them up with iron cables, then they used my suit ties and ensured that both my legs and hands were tied up.

They also tied my wife,” he said, adding that they threatened them with knives. Another victim said that she was shocked as to how the accused men managed to enter their electric-fenced yard, which even has an alarm and burglar bars around and main doors. “They threatened me with knives and axes and raped me, demanded my bank cards and PINs, and went and cashed close to P20 000,” she said, adding that her neighbour had also become a victim recently. Motube says that criminals break into a house and do not care whether the security is tight or not. “They always know how to enter into people’s yards and houses. They are not even afraid of dogs. Actually, in other countries, they can even attack armed soldiers,” he said.

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Healthcare system to improve

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The Health ministry has developed a seven-point programme to guide the country in improving the healthcare system, says Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Alfred Rabashemi Madigele.

“The seven priority areas will serve as a roadmap and a guardian angel towards improving the overall healthcare system and increasing access to health care while fighting the burden of disease that confronts us,” said Madigele at Masa Square Hotel on Tuesday.

The focal areas include decentralisation; Universal Health Coverage, Tertiary Care, Strategic leveraging on the Private sector; Supply Chain; Research as well as Staff welfare and accountability.
Point-one of the seven priority areas according to Dr Madigele is about empowering the District Health Management Teams (DHMTs) and transforming them into fully fledged Regional Health Authorities.

“In this case, they will be rationalised from 27 to 18 and have the authority to hire A and B Scales, promote up to C1 and manage micro procurement,” he said. Point two is about improving the quality of healthcare services. “The main causes of mortality and their risk factors in Botswana are Primary Health Care issues,” Dr Madigele said.

He added that “Our efforts for the attainment of Universal Health Coverage should thus focus on: Prevention; Comprehensive screening; Early treatment; and Surveillance at the community.”
This he said, would require revamped grassroots efforts in which adequate numbers of community health workers through partnerships with the non-governmental sector will be deployed as necessary.

According to Dr Madigele, the top five causes of death in Botswana in 2017 were HIV/AIDS, Ischemic heart disease, stroke, lower respiratory infections and Diabetes. He said compared to 2007, NCDs among these had increased in burden by an average of 34%. The top five risk factors related to these causes of mortality were unsafe sex; poor diet; high blood pressure; alcohol abuse and tobacco use.

Improving the quality of care, Madigele said will also include the safety and security of patients; attitudes of staff as experienced by patients; time taken in queues either before seeing a health worker or receiving medication and the availability of drugs.

Meanwhile, the health minister revealed that the commissioning of Sir Ketumile Masire Teaching Hospital (SKMTH) is ongoing with the facility scheduled for opening on April 24th. “This will be a phased approach commencing with some services including paediatric oncology, internal medicine, rheumatology and endocrinology, diagnostic radiology, laboratory services and pharmacy”.

A phased commissioning of SKMTH will reduce overdependence on South Africa for referrals, reduce costs and also institutionalise provision of super specialist services within Botswana.

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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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