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“Report marital rape”- Women’s Shelter



For seven years, *Gosego Molemi has been in an abusive marriage, which she describes as her worst pain ever. In an interview with The Midweek Sun, Molemi says even though her marriage of 10 years had lost the spark, her husband always forced himself onto her.

It all started one weekend when he told her that he was going on a work trip outside the country and switched off his phones. She says upon returning  home, her husband and father of three children would not want to be drawn into any discussion on why his mobile phones were off.

A part of her told her he was having an affair. And this she says was fuelled by the fact that he always switched his phones on silent mode at home or he would run outside to answer when it rang. “That night, I made a decision not to have sex without a condom,” she says, adding, however that her husband turned the tables on her and told her that he had paid cows to marry her.

“He told me that only prostitutes deserve sex with condoms because they are for every man out there, and that I am his wife. That’s when he forced himself inside of me,” she says. She has since found refuge at the Women’s Shelter in Gaborone.

A lot of times, according to the director of Women’s Shelter, Lorato Moalosi-Sakufiwa, women do not report marital rape. It is only when they come to the Shelter to report their marriage problems that marital rape comes out dominant. Sakufiwa states that it is a serious issue that is often accompanied by other forms of violence.

“When someone abuses you emotionally, physically, or financially, intimacy dies. Unfortunately, other spouses choose to forcefully have sex,” she says. Narrating further experiences from the Shelter, she says there are instances where a husband is cheating, but would refuse to use a condom when the wife insists. There are also cases where the husband is HIV positive but would refuse to use a condom to protect the wife from contacting it.

“The perpetrator is usually the one with too much power in the marriage,” she says calling on women to report marital rape. Pastor Benjamin Moeng of Worship Centre in Gaborone says that even though the Bible counsels spouses to give themselves and their bodies to their better halves, it does not mean it should be done forcefully.

“God honours sex as a beautiful act within marriage, and He would not be glorified where it’s violent or forceful,” he says. In response, Botswana Police Service spokesperson Chris Mbulawa says marital rape is classified as rape and that women should report it.

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The MidweekSun Admin



University of Botswana students are bracing themselves for the Student Representative Council (SRC) elections. Contenders are fighting tooth and nail to appease the electorate. Three camps are in contention to fill the 13 council positions.

Umbrella for Democratic Change’s (UDC) Moono-wa-Baithuti has the onerous task of defending all the 13 seats which they hauled at the last elections of 2018. “As Moono wa Baithuti, we have lots of achievements. We are on the verge of getting the student bar open, so we need to go back and fix what we started,” said UDC’s Tumelo Legase who is vying for the position of Vice President.

He said they have advocated for student empowerment policies and are also proposing a third arm of student representation. “We have the SRC and the Judiciary, what we need is the student Parliament so that we have a large number of leaders who can independently attend to problems across the university.” The dark horse in this race is the University of Botswana’s Alliance for Progressive (AP) which will take another leap of faith despite their loss in the previous election.

They are rejuvenated and redefined. Candidate for Vice President Karabo Bokwe said central to their mandate is making the welfare of the student community a priority. “We want to help eradicate school policies that border on oppression, and through new polices call for initiatives that come with enterprenuership benefits to students.”

AP candidate for Information and Publicity, a first year Criminal Justice student Gracious Selelo said they are more united than other parties even at national level. “We don’t have internal squabbles within our party, we are more focused and can deliver our mandate easily,” she noted.

However the ruling party’s BDP GS-26 will come with all guns blazing after an embarrassing defeat in the previous elections. Preparations have been made and the GS-26 is looking to take the elections by storm.

According to their Presidential Candidate Boniface Seane, they come with the message of hope that addresses the current status quo at the University.“The university is not functioning so we drew three policies that embrace inclusiveness. We want to lead collectively with the students, through the student body meetings which the previous SRCs have failed to do. “We will consult with the students with no discrimination.”

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Healthcare system to improve



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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