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Lovers’ tragic end tears families apart

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BY YVONNE MOOKA Residents of Molepolole are still reeling in shock following the murder, incident that happened in broad daylight last week. It is one that has left families bitter with each other as the woman, Mogomotsi Sadie Gofetolwang’s family denies knowing her killer, let alone, ever dating Ofentse Mosuagae, 27. On Monday April 16th, Ofentse slit Mogomotsi, 20, with a knife in a bushy area a stone’s throw away from her mother’s place, at around 3pm at Mokgopeetsana ward. The Midweek Sun learns that the two were lovers, but from the interviews with each of the two families involved, there seems to be a disagreement on their relationship status. According to Mogomotsi’s mother Kelesaletse Gofetolwang, her daughter left home for Gaborone the previous Saturday in the afternoon ostensibly to collect her clothes from her cousin.

She had been job-hunting in the city but to no avail. She came back to Molepolole on Monday and informed her family that she was going to apply for a new national Identity Card (Omang). “At around 2pm, her younger sister called her and she told her that she was on her way and that they would go and buy meat together,” says the mother. Then an hour later a neighbour was screaming her name telling her that Mogomotsi is dead. She immediately called her husband and informed him and rushed to the murder scene, where they met. She says that the man was hanging on a tree next to her daughter. “We don’t know him or his family. My daughter had a man and a two year-old daughter, and he comes here all the time,” she said in tears. Mogomotsi’s father Boikhutso Gofetolwang was angry that the family of his daughter’s killer had not set foot at their home even after the incident.

Ofentse’s older sister, Gorata Mosuagae however had a different story. She told The Midweek Sun that Mogomotsi and Ofentse were lovers and that everyone in the village knew about them. She however said that Mogomotsi was never honest with her brother as she hid her relationship with the man with whom she had a baby. What more, according to Gorata, Mogomotsi never told Ofentse that she was a mother. She said her brother found out after Mogomotsi’s mother had come to complain about their relationship at their place, that his beloved girl was a mother. “Her mother came with her here last year complaining that my brother was interfering in Mogomotsi’s relationship with the father of her child, and we were shocked to hear that because not only was he not aware that there was a child in the picture but he also told us she had a miscarriage with his baby a few weeks before,” she said, narrating that Mogomotsi had lied to Ofentse that she was five months pregnant with his child.

Just when Ofentse was over the moon about having a baby, Mogomotsi shocked him one day when she asked for money saying she had a miscarriage and was admitted at Princess Marina Hospital. “And then that same night, he found her at a bar drunk. Upon confronting her, she ran and jumped inside a car and went away,” she said, adding that her brother then decided to go and wait for her at her place, where Mogomotsi’s father chased him away with a belt. Her take is that Mogomotsi loved Ofentse for his money. He was working for a local security company. She said that her late brother had confided in friends and cousins that his girlfriend was materialistic. “Actually, she would break up with him and later send him call-me-backs every month end. Just last week, I heard him asking her to bring back his ATM card,” she said, adding that she had seen messages on her brother’s phone from Mogomotsi stating that she still loved him. “She told him that it was her parents that hate him and that she will always love him,” said the sister. She said that at one point, Ofentse borrowed P2000 from their mother under the pretext that he was going to apply for a driver’s license, only for him to confess later that it was Mogomotsi who needed the money to help her father fix his car. Mogomotsi’s friend confirmed that she was in a relationship with Ofentse. “He was in love with her but she never thought he’d be serious about her. But yes, she had a baby father,” she said, adding however, that Ofentse knew about the father and daughter. She stated that Ofentse was possessive.

The lovers were buried on Saturday and Sunday respectively. Molepolole Police Station Assistant Superintendent Bontse Segale confirmed the incident and said it was a passer-by that reported it. She said that the man was walking from Logonono ward when he saw the couple talking under a tree and upon return found the man and woman dead next to each other. “It looks like they were in a relationship. I’d like to encourage couples to seek help from friends, relatives and social workers when misunderstandings happen,” she 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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