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Rammidi spoils UDC victory bash

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BY PETER MADIYA The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) victory celebrations after walloping Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) in a by-election in Mochudi East this past weekend were abruptly cut short when Botswana Congress Party (BCP) Secretary General Kentse ‘Nchi’ Rammidi quit opposition ranks for the ruling party this week. Hardly 24 hours after the Mochudi East results were announced on Sunday, Rammidi on Monday dropped a bombshell, handing in his resignation before being welcomed by BDP President Mokgweetsi Masisi on Tuesday. BCP is a key partner in the UDC as their president Dumelang Saleshando also doubles as the Vice President of the Umbrella coalition. UDC Secretary General, Moeti Mohwasa declined to comment on the impact of Rammidi’s sudden resignation from a coalition partner, saying the man did not hold any important position in the UDC but at BCP.

“At this present moment, we cannot comment but BCP can since he was their member,” Mohwasa said. BCP president, Saleshando confirmed Rammidi’s resignation saying the latter only cited personal reasons as opposed to any wrongdoing on the side of his party. Immediately after he was welcomed at the BDP, there was talk of Rammidi having had financial problems assumed to have led to him seeking possible assistance from either the ruling party itself, or from a moneyed member of the ruling party who might have offered help only if the politician returned to the party. Social media posts yesterday suggested with ‘In the matter between’ cuttings that he was owing the National Development Bank (NDB) and his land was thus being auctioned away to recover the money.

The narrative thus pointed to him going cap in hand to the party that made him, moreso that in the opposition, no one seemed to care about his personal predicament. Rammidi is also believed to have lost patience with the leadership of the UDC that failed to allow for fair selection and election of candidates to represent the coalition. Rammidi has several times expressed sentiments seeking that primary elections be held by the UDC, a matter the party did not entertain. That way, Rammidi was left with a situation where he would have no parliamentary seat to contest for since his Kanye North constituency he represented as BCP candidate in 2014, was given to the BNF.

Nchi as he is affectionately known by his hordes of supporters debuted his political career at BDP in the Southern District where he once held the position of Chairperson for two terms before successfully trying his luck as Member of Parliament. He would later land himself an assistant ministerial position in the ministry of local government and lands in 2011. Rammidi was not only a Secretary General at BCP but a very important figure within the UDC who is well experienced as a politician, having earned his stripes through hard work and devotion to the struggle of political movements. When he joined BCP as their Secretary General, he had made it clear that if the party did not match his ambition for growth and win-win partnerships, he would not take long to make his mind to quit. Those close to him say a divided opposition does not make sense at all for him since it cannot topple the ruling party from power in the 2019 general elections.

He wanted the UDC member parties to disband and a form just one solid party where positions would be contested for. His desire to be a future leader of a party whilst at BDP was shown when he chose to resign as assistant minister to run for the position of Secretary General. Barely a month after being elected as Secretary General he resigned from BDP accusing former president Ian Khama of running the party like a one-man show following the 2011 industrial strike which left a good number of public servants jobless. He joined the BNF, but before long defected to the BCP. His sudden departure comes at a time when some disgruntled members of the UDC want the recent constitutional congress resolutions resolved as quickly as possible. He was welcomed to the BDP along with hordes of other BCP members, among them Phagenyane Phage, Councilor Elijah Motsamai, Ernest Nthobelang and University of Botswana academic Professor Thapelo Otlogetswe.

 

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Maun woman tells of how she ‘lost’ her camp business

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Eunice Hadour is living in distress after she and her husband were conned of their tented camp business in Maun.

The two claim to have lost the four-hectare plot situated on an island in NG12 to a South African Afrikaner businessman who pretended to be buying a 60 percent stake in the company. Hadour is an indigenous Motswana from Shakawe while her husband is a naturalised Motswana who is originally British.

Hadour said that the man had approached her and her husband and expressed interest in buying a stake in the company. “The agreement was that we would give him a 60 percent stake,” she said. She said after the agreement, the man told them that he had an offshore account and to access the funds to pay them their stake, he had to have the share certificate so that the funds could be released.

The man has apparently changed all documentation. Asked how he got his hands on the title deed, Hadour explained that there was one occasion when they wanted to travel to Palapye to change the title deed status and he had volunteered to drop it off on their behalf.

“He smooth talked us and said it would be an unnecessary expense for us to travel just to take a document.” Hadour said that they noticed that something was amiss when the man’s father-in-law told some of their customers that they would soon be taking over the camp. Realising what had happened, the couple lodged a case against the man. Hadour noted that in court the man used fraudulent statements and witnesses as well as financial transactions. The case was heard at the Lobatse High Court over the years.

Hadour said that in the initial stages the incident had put such a strain on her that she had to be hospitalised as she was pregnant at the time. “I was admitted to a South African hospital for almost two months and my baby had developed a heart condition. Meanwhile, back home, these people had taken over the camp,” she said with a quivering voice. Hadour said that the most painful part was that she had not even received a single Thebe from this. She said they suspected corruption as no one took them seriously. “There are some people we heard they had bought off with cheap cars and tuckshops.”

After a court case that started four years ago, and knocking from door to door asking for help in their case, they are now on the verge of losing hope. She said that the man implicated in the matter has threatened to sue them should they mention his name in the media. “We recently received a letter from his lawyer stipulating that legal action would be taken against us if we mentioned his name,” she said. Hadour said their standard of living had detoriorated as they had no source of income and were now struggling to make ends meet. “We both studied tourism and that is all we know. This man seems to have closed doors for us because people want nothing to do with us.

They are all friends and the way I see it, they have spoken about us and are in this together – no one even listens to us,” she said. She added that they would have to settle for anything, even maid jobs to make ends meet because the situation has become bleak, their last money having been milked by legal and medical fees. She said they were also forced to move their children from private schools to government schools because of their changed economic status.

Hadour said the man often boasted that they had heard that some Batswana sold their land in exchange for bags of maize meal and clothes. “They said they told their friends in South Africa that there is land galore in Botswana especially in the North. Some of them trick locals. They can buy a plot for a mere P5000. Some of them claim to be leasing and ask the locals to sign documents while others forge their signatures. They don’t explain anything to them or intentionally trick them.”

Hadour cautioned Batswana to be cautious on issues of land and businessmen who claimed to want to buy their businesses, property and land. “There are crooks out there. I never imagined that something like this could happen to me.” She told The Midweek Sun that she had been to the Ministry of Tourism and even DCEC to try and seek help with no success. “We once even met Minister Tshekedi Khama who seemed sympathetic but advised us to wait for the court process to take its course. We now want to go back to him and see if there is nothing we can do to help us,” she said.

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Murdered boyfriend was a ‘prisoner in his own prison house’-friend

Yvonne Mooka

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Social media went into frenzy this week when news broke out that a woman from Serowe, Kefilwe Annastacia Motladiile, aged between 23 and 29, had stabbed her boyfriend, Moses Setabi to death last Sunday.

Reacting to the incident, some women opined that it is a result of the abuse that women are suffering at the hands of men while their male counterparts countered that Motladiile could have been an abusive and controlling girlfriend.

“She acted like someone who had had enough of being mistreated. Or she wanted to defend herself that day,” said one. A friend of Motlaadile told The Midweek Sun that Motladiile and her boyfriend, Moses Setabi used to fight over his baby-mama. She said that even though the deceased was in love with Motladiile, he had a habit of flirting with the mother of his child, something that always hurt Motladiile. “He loved Motladiile but was secretly entertaining his ex-girlfriend,” she said.

Setabi’s colleagues describe him as humble, neat and warm. One of his co-Prison officers said Motladiile never wanted him to go out without her. “He was in prison in his own prison house,” he said, adding however that the couple wore a united and happy face when seen together.

According to a psychologist student at University of Botswana Doreen Tsimako, the Serowe murder is an indication that women can no longer take the abuse from men. She said women have been enduring painful acts of abuse at the hands of men including sexual abuse, emotional abuse and being killed. “No one is willing to protect them and they have been harbouring anger and pain far too long. They are fighting back,” she said. She stated that women are most deadly when abused.

“A woman can keep quiet about inner pain for a long time. When she finally decides to leave, she leaves. And when she forgives, she forgives. But now, the ongoing ‘passion killings’ are making them go into an aggressive self-defence mode,” she said. She however said this should speak to policy makers to prioritise what needs to be done to prevent crimes of passion.
Alleged murderer in police custody

Serowe Police are holding Motladiile in custody in connection with the stabbing of her boyfriend. She is suspected to have caused the death of her boyfriend by stabbing him with a knife. Serowe Police Station Commander Superintendent Molefhe Molefhe told The Midweek Sun that the incident was reported to them on Sunday between 6pm and 7pm.
He confirmed that Setabi, who hails from the North East of Botswana, was a prison officer at Serowe Prisons and resided in the Prison’s quarters. He is between the ages of 31 and 35. The woman is from Rakgomo ward in Serowe.

“They were staying together at Prison’s quarters and they had a misunderstanding that Sunday evening. Their neighbor informed us of the incident upon seeing the man running from the house bleeding and screaming.

He was holding his stomach,” said Superintendent. Molefhe, adding that Setabi was certified dead upon arrival at Sekgoma Memorial Hospital. Motladiile is said to have run away after stabbing her boyfriend, but was arrested that same night. She is expected to appear at Serowe Magistrate Court today (Wednesday). Molefhe advised couples to seek third party intervention when having challenges in their relationships.

“Relationships are full of ups and downs, but when the pressure is unbearable, talk to your friends, social workers, parents or pastors instead of keeping pain and anger inside,” he said.

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