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Couple tormented by mysterious fire

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A Francistown couple Tanyala Motswakae (51) and Boy Motswakae (71) residing in Monarch has vowed never to abandon its yard despite a mysterious fire which has left it destitute.

The mysterious fire is allegedly triggered by any household furniture or clothes that are heaped together. A visit to the yard revealed a heap of burnt clothes; blankets and metal remains of a tent. The family woes started on August 23, 2014 when Tanyala had gone to compete at the annual President’s Music competitions.

When she left for the competitions she had sewn 16 school uniforms to deliver to Monarch primary school the next day. On the fateful day of the first fire, she arrived home at 6pm and after preparing supper for her children, asked for an empty box from her neighbour.

“In less than two minutes upon entering the neighbour’s yard my children were screaming that our house was fire. When I retraced my steps back home, I discovered that the fire had consumed everything within the blink of an eye.” As for the cause, the family suspected it could’ve been one of the children but hade no proof.

Francistown City Council social workers helped the family by providing them with food and clothes. On August 22, 2015 during the President’s Music competitions which she did not attend, the mysterious fires were back once again leaving her destitute for the second time.

During that attack, she had gone to a school where she has volunteered to help children living with disabilities. She heard the siren of a fire fighting vehicle as it sped to the fire but could not link it with her house, but suddenly her sixth sense told her to go home and on the way learnt from her neighbour that her house had caught fire. She fainted only to later regain consciousness at Jubilee Clinic.

Her husband, Boy, a security guard says he lost the new furniture he had just bought to replace the old one during that fire. “I thought of abandoning the yard then but was discouraged by my wife who vowed never to relent,” he says.

Once again, the social workers came to the family’s rescue by providing food and clothes. On the 25th of October 2015, Tanyala went to Gerald estates for a piece work only to find her house once again consumed by fire for the third time, Nothing was salvaged from the inferno. As usual, the social workers came to the family’s rescue with provisions such as food clothing and a shelter in the form of a tent.

Again on the 19th of January 2016 the fire returned with a vengeance consuming the donated tent and everything inside within seconds and a tree next to the tent. Currently, the couple has nothing but two blankets, one pot and two rusty plates which they salvaged from the fire. As for the children, they have temporarily taken refuge with other relatives since they don’t have a place to sleep.

“Our relatives have advised us to sell the property but we have vowed to stay put in the yard since we believe that God will see us through.” The couple is appealing to any man of God to help them.

Tanyala laments that she suspects that this is the work of a petty thief who once threatened the family with witchcraft after he was caught stealing the family’s electronics, but is handicapped by the fact that Botswana’s law does not recognise witchcraft.

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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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