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SADC suspends Leefa Martin

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The SADC Executive Secretary, Dr Stergomena Lawrence- Tax has suspended the Secretariat head of Public Relations, Head of Public Relations at SADC Secretariat, Leefa Penehupifo Martin, was last Thursday suspended for three months.

Martin, a native of Namibia, who has been heading the Secretariat’s communication department for close to a decade, confirmed her suspension to this publication on Tuesday. “I confirm that I have been suspended with effect from November 19, 2015 for a period of three months,” she said.

Martin suspects that her suspension has something to do with a “written submission” that she made to Chairman of SADC Council of Ministers, also Botswana’s Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Kenneth Matambo.

SADC is an intergovernmental organisation owned by Member States. It has employees across many of its institutions with varied levels of responsibilities, obligations and perks. “It is the owners of SADC who fund the SADC budget; determine the Terms and Conditions of service of all the employees of their institutions of whatever rank and file. They determine the perks and remuneration grades, the structures/positions as well as approve the rules, policies; procedures and most importantly, they are responsible for the oversight of their implementation,” said Martin.

Private secretary to Matambo, Elias Moatlhodi confirmed that the minister has received a letter from Leefa Martin and that the “Minister is giving it attention and will respond accordingly soon”. SADC’s Human Resources director, Russell Mufaya could not be drawn to discuss the matter. “Our internal processes and in terms of our rules and regulations prohibit us from sharing information with the third and, or external forces,” he said.

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FREE AT LAST: LGBTI persons celebrate

Yvonne Mooka

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CELEBRATION TIME: The LGBT community celebrated the historic ruling on same sex romance this Tuesday

Thapelo Matshameko, a transgender woman who last year was attacked at Trekkers night club in Gaborone is over the moon about the High Court ruling that overturned a law that criminalised same sex relations.

A trans-woman is a woman who was assigned male at birth. In response to the ruling, she told The Midweek Sun that even though she has had it tough before with people calling her ‘Brazen’ and to stop behaving like a woman, she is now happy that the law recognises that they exist. She said that Batswana are now becoming tolerant towards Lesbians Gays Bisexual Transgender and Intersex persons.

“Recently I went out for dinner with my bae, and I came all the way from my house wearing a dress. People that know me loved it and my boyfriend loved it even more,” she says, adding that the verdict will also help other LGBTI persons that are in the closet to come out.

In a previous interview Metshameko pleaded for assistance from members of the public to help her do a surgery that would make her a complete woman. For Motswakgakala Sithole also known as Motswafere in music circles, the ruling shows that Botswana is one step closer to gay marriages.

“Thank you to all the visible gay people. We take punches for those hiding and those shaming us for being visible and exercising our rights. You guys attended court cases with pride and you have carried us to freedom,” he said.

He also thanked Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO), lawyers in the case, the media, and friends of the LGBTI community for their support. Phio Kenosi who identifies as trans non-binary asexual woma-romantic, (romantically attracted to the feminine essence), was also ecstatic.

“It is obviously showing that we are moving in a new direction that is positive and inclusive towards sexual and gender minority,” he said.

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Wame – a little einstein in the making

Irene Shone

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LITTLE EISTEIN: Wame Kangumbe

Wame Petit Kangumbe, 12, is an Optometrist in the making.

Kangumbe envisions taking Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) to the next level by inventing something scientific in the future.The standard 7 pupil at Ratsie Setlhako Primary School in Palapye impressed everyone during the BIUST 5th STEM Festival and Research and Innovation Symposium with her sharp answers during the fest.

The little Scientist believes that the entire country should embrace science and do more experiments, to find out more about our physical environment and shed dependency on foreign countries in terms of Science and Engineering.

Her secret to relating with different topics so well, is research and more research. “I like researching. We have Wi-Fi at home, and so I often use my mother’s phone to type different topics and interact with how everything is related. I always prepare for the next lesson through researching,” she said.

She said the poverty in Africa can only be eliminated through STEM. “If everyone could take interest in STEM, we would go further in terms of uplifting the status of our economies as African countries,” she said.

She urged her peers to believe in themselves and be serious about their education. “When you write down your notes in class, make an application of what you want out of them. Everyone’s life is in their own hands,” she advised.

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