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Old, crawling and home alone



One of Botswana’s VISION 2016 pillars of a caring and a compassionate nation has eluded 76 year old Gaboutwelwe Nthomiwa of Sebina village as she finds herself crawling around her house and yard without anyone noticing her desperate situation.

Nthomiwa, who was affected by polio in both legs as a young girl, now desperately needs a wheelchair to help her get around her house. Her condition was compounded some two years ago when she fell after a misstep.

This paralysed her legs rendering them unable to carry her any more. Nthomiwa can only move from one place to another by way of crawling. This makes it close to impossible for her to sweep her house, bathe herself or wash her clothes.

As if that is not enough, her only son and child died some years back depriving her of a companion to care for her. “I grew up with my disability. It was however not a handicap as I walked around with the aid of crutches. I also ran a tailor business specialising in sewing school uniforms and different types of clothes for both men and women. My disability never gave me any problems until I accidentally tripped and fell two years ago, “she said.

Things have never been the same since that fateful fall. Her only source of income is the old age pension or tandabala. If she had a source of income, she would hire a maid. “It’s been some time since I last took a bath because to do that I need somebody around to fetch water for me. If only I had a wheelchair, things would be better as I would be able to move around and do my daily chores in the yard.

I am grateful though that the Sebina chief has shown a lot of concern and care for me because, time and again, he and his family send someone to give me food since cooking for myself has become difficult.”

Even fetching water from the tap inside the yard has become a burden for Nthomiwa. “As far as I am concerned, a wheelchair would definitely end my current woes,” she said.

An investigation by The Midweek Sun has established that the old woman is not getting the recently introduced disability allowance like any other disabled people. When asked to produce a food ration card for destitute people, Nthomiwa said that she does not have one. She revealed that only once did she get a bag of 12.5kg mealie meal and a chunk of meat from a local retailer shop.

“That piece of meat you see spread on my cooking stove is all that I have been given each month for the past two months,” said Nthomiwa who revealed that  all her close relatives live in Mafungo village.

Tutume Sub-district public relations officer Gaamogwe Nfila was in the dark about Nthomiwa’s desperation, saying she can only be aware of a case which has been registered with the council social workers. “I will make an official investigation and inquiry into her situation so that she can be assisted if she qualifies after a thorough assessment by our social workers,” she said.

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BMC secures beef market in Seychelles

Dikarabo Ramadubu



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.

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G-west community reunion-walk a resounding success

Keletso Thobega



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.

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