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Tlokweng isn’t burning, says Police boss



Tlokweng Station Commander Robson Maleka has dismissed reports that Tlokweng village is slowly turning into a haven for criminal activity. Maleka was speaking to The Midweek Sun to shed light in the aftermath of a rape wave that recently rocked the village. “I cannot deny that there are criminal activities happening in Tlokweng. However, they are not as scary as people paint them to be, if that was the case we would be having records to prove it but we have none,” he said. His official records show that seven women were raped from November 2017 to April 2018.

The crimes were allegedly committed by people of Zimbabwean origin but residing in South Africa, who have since been arrested and are awaiting trial. Maleka is certain that the Zimbabwean men were not residing in Botswana saying this explains why it took them long to catch them. Had the men been in the country, Maleka said it would have been easy to arrest them before they do any further harm to the society. Maleka cautioned people against blowing the recent events in the village out of proportion. He said that before the incidents hit Tlokweng last year, the village was relatively peaceful. Meanwhile an elder Moses Thabakgetsi (52) said criminals normally target secluded areas like Metlhabeng and Maratanang. “Those are the areas where people are normally robbed, their valuables and the police need to keep their eyes open. I fear visiting such places because

I do not want to become a victim,” he said. But Maleka was once more in defensive mode maintaining that police are always on patrol and close down illegal sheebens, which they sometimes find operating at odd hours. Another resident of Sotoma ward Keolebogile Kgofa (32) said their place is always noisy because of the loud music being played at night. She said such environment is conducive for criminals to rob and assault the people.

The situation she said is made worse by the many depots surrounding her place saying they are on most days forced to sleep late because they deal with drunkards, chasing them out of their home. The deputy paramount chief of Batlokwa Michael Spokes Gaborone said the only major concern the village is facing is the illegal sand mining by Zimbabweans. Gaborone said it is sad that these foreigners mine sand and sell it to the local community. He appealed to Tlokweng residents to help in dealing away with the problem because the police cannot manage alone. They are also disturbed by loud music played at night in bars. Besides this, he said Tlokweng is a clean village that they intend to ensure that it is safe for all residents especially the girl child.

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University of Botswana students are bracing themselves for the Student Representative Council (SRC) elections. Contenders are fighting tooth and nail to appease the electorate. Three camps are in contention to fill the 13 council positions.

Umbrella for Democratic Change’s (UDC) Moono-wa-Baithuti has the onerous task of defending all the 13 seats which they hauled at the last elections of 2018. “As Moono wa Baithuti, we have lots of achievements. We are on the verge of getting the student bar open, so we need to go back and fix what we started,” said UDC’s Tumelo Legase who is vying for the position of Vice President.

He said they have advocated for student empowerment policies and are also proposing a third arm of student representation. “We have the SRC and the Judiciary, what we need is the student Parliament so that we have a large number of leaders who can independently attend to problems across the university.” The dark horse in this race is the University of Botswana’s Alliance for Progressive (AP) which will take another leap of faith despite their loss in the previous election.

They are rejuvenated and redefined. Candidate for Vice President Karabo Bokwe said central to their mandate is making the welfare of the student community a priority. “We want to help eradicate school policies that border on oppression, and through new polices call for initiatives that come with enterprenuership benefits to students.”

AP candidate for Information and Publicity, a first year Criminal Justice student Gracious Selelo said they are more united than other parties even at national level. “We don’t have internal squabbles within our party, we are more focused and can deliver our mandate easily,” she noted.

However the ruling party’s BDP GS-26 will come with all guns blazing after an embarrassing defeat in the previous elections. Preparations have been made and the GS-26 is looking to take the elections by storm.

According to their Presidential Candidate Boniface Seane, they come with the message of hope that addresses the current status quo at the University.“The university is not functioning so we drew three policies that embrace inclusiveness. We want to lead collectively with the students, through the student body meetings which the previous SRCs have failed to do. “We will consult with the students with no discrimination.”

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Healthcare system to improve



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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