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“We are not witches”

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A member of the Dingaka tsa Setso Association Monica Madiba is not happy with Prophetess Kebelaele Ditsebe’s utterances that God wants traditional doctors to repent and renounce their practice because it is sinful.

The leader of Solution House By Jesus Christ in Pilane said on Sunday during a service that people should refrain from visiting traditional doctors and asked the congregants to bring forward mediums such as muti that they were given by traditional doctors. In response, Madiba from Metsimotlhabe said that people are free to follow their own religious and cultural beliefs. She explained that God is not angry at traditional doctors.

“As traditional doctors, we cure the flesh. The Bible heals the souls, so we shouldn’t despise each other,” she said. Narrating how she became a traditional healer, the 33 year-old woman said she started seeing her dead relatives in her dreams from a young age. She said they would even recommend traditional medicine for her to go and uproot in the bush whenever she was sick.

“I work mostly with pregnant women by using water and mixed herbs,” she said. Madiba said however that she is yet to go to school for her practice. Another traditional doctor Molefi Seragwane said Christians who are against traditional doctors are not really born again. “They don’t know God. They should know that Moses was a traditional doctor and several times bones were used in the Bible to predict people’s lives,” he said, saying he believes it was God who gave him the gift of being a traditional doctor.

He stated that he helps people against joblessness, no promotion at work, torments by thokolosi, car accidents and thunder, among others. “Witches in Kgatleng know me. They call me Molf,” he said. A man in his late 50s said that it is ignorance to believe traditional doctors are not called by God. “Every one of us was called by God to do something. For me, he called me to help people from their persecutions and afflictions by witches. This is Africa! Witchcraft is real. Even your sibling can bewitch you. Churches and pastors won’t tell you what we tell you,” he said.

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Botswana urged to sign Maputo

Keletso Thobega

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Botswana is one of the five countries that have been advised to sign the Maputo Protocol. Botswana, Egypt and Morocco are the only three African countries that have not signed this Protocol. Adopted in 2003 and implemented in 2005, the Maputo Protocol is a ground-breaking protocol on women and girls’ human rights, both within Africa and beyond.

It compensates for the shortcomings in the 1981 African Charter with respect to women and girls rights. It includes 32 articles on women and girls’ rights, and also provides an explicit definition of discrimination against women, which was missing in the African Charter.

The Maputo Protocol defines discrimination as “any distinction, exclusion or restriction or any differential treatment based on sex and whose objectives or effects compromise or destroy the recognition, enjoyment or the exercise by women, regardless of their marital status, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in all spheres of life.”

The State of African Women Report 2018 stipulates that more still needs to be done to implement laws and commitments to the rights of women and girls in African societies. While there has been significant improvements in addressing issues affecting women and girls over the years, the report notes that commitment to girls and women’s right is still lagging behind.

The report highlights that:
“Three in five countries in Africa do not criminalise rape, young women aged 15-24 in sub-Saharan Africa are 2.5 times more likely to be infected by HIV in comparison to men in the same age group, more than half of maternal deaths worldwide occur in sub-Saharan Africa and that gender based violence and sexual assault still affects women more”.

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Mama Rampa, the Good

Yvonne Mooka

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NOBLE CALLING: Martha Rampa on a mission to rescue the underprivileged

Martha Rampa, project manager at AAP Home Based Care and Family Life Programme quit her nursing job over ten years ago to attend to the needs of orphans, poor and sick.

AAP has 3119 orphans and underprivileged children from South East, Kweneng, Kanye and Kgalagadi districts. The Non-Governmental Organisation aims at supporting, providing food, clothing, shelter, education, nursing care, counselling and supporting destitute, terminally ill patients and orphaned children.

According to Rampa, the thrust of the practice is the link between the patient and the clinical management services. “It is a person-centred approach, which ensures that patients receive the appropriate service in a supportive and effective manner. Destitute and orphaned children have over time become integral part AAP programmes,” she said.

Last Saturday, she organised an appreciation dinner for donors. It was a colourful event where beneficiaries had also come to testify about the way their lives have changed since they were enrolled.

One of the young girls said that she had given up on life as she was from a poor family. The under 15 girl said that through AAP, she managed to continue and is exceling at school. A young man under 20 said that he was moved from a settlement where he could not focus on his studies because of his family background.

AAP put him through a different school that has boarding. “At AAP, we call her mama Rampa. She is our mother and we are so blessed to have her,” he said at the event in Gaborone.

The primary aim of AAP is to rehabilitate and develop children in difficult circumstances such as orphaned children, street children, economically poor and socially oppressed children and work for the eradication of child labour and child exploitation.

Rampa said the vision is to help and give many more children a real and loving home which helps them to live and grow up to be free, healthy and independent individuals; to influence behavioural change of individuals, especially those in the realm of sex and family life and to introduce a change that will bring a transformation, which alleviates the impact of HIV/Aids infection and stops the spread of the virus within the community.

She said there were local companies that had committed themselves to giving the children food after every two weeks. Through her gift of counselling, she also assists with providing emotional and spiritual support including counselling to orphans, destitute, terminally ill and the poor. She also prays for them.

She said that since the project started in 2000, the focus was on the care of HIV/AIDS patients. Volunteers were trained to take care of terminally ill patients in their homes. “Due to lack of funds in supporting the volunteers, for three years only 45 were full time serving in the project with great results.

“A networking relationship was established with Ministry of Health/AIDS department and Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs as well as other NGOs like BOCAIP, Clinics around Gaborone and Church leaders. We effectively communicated our mission to our leaders like Counsellors, Members of Parliament and diKgosi in the areas where we are operating,” she said.

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