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BOPEU’s possible return to BOFEPUSU

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The newly appointed President of Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU), Masego Mogwera will not make any promises about the union affiliating to its former mother-body, Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU).

Addressing members of the media this week at union head office in Gaborone, Mogwera said that decision rests with BOPEU members if they make a resolution to go back to the federation. The marriage fell apart in 2015 when union members resolved to dissociate from the mother-body at the Palapye elective congress.

“I am guided by the resolution and I will follow what is proper for BOPEU. I will comply with the constitution. BOPEU can only go back to BOFEPUSU if there is a resolution saying that. We are not a one man show,” said Mogwera.Mogwera ascended to BOPEU’s highest position after former leader, Andrew Motsamai resigned from the post.

He is now employed as Executive Chairman of Babereki Investments. “In November 2016 Cde Motsamai wrote a letter to Babereki Investments tendering his resignation as Board Chairman.

The Union Board of Trustees brought this matter to the attention of the Babereki Investments Board at a special meeting convened early in December 2016,” said Mogwera. She added, “When the special Board meeting assessed the abrupt departure of Motsamai as Board chairperson in December 2016, against the business interests and transition that Babereki was going through, it was then resolved by the board that an appointment to the position of Executive Chairman be made immediately,” explained Mogwera.

Motsamai assumes his new post today (Wednesday). He has been BOPEU President for the last ten years.  He was elected to the Presidency of the then Botswana Civil Service Association (BCSA) in 2006, and transitioned it into BOPEU in 2007.

He was re-elected in 2009, 2012 and 2015 respectively, a position that he left by resignation on 28th January and  making him the longest serving president of the organisation. Martin Gabobake was appointed the 1st Deputy President, a position that was held by Mogwera before. 

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I BUY NO POWERS

Yvonne Mooka

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Many will remember Apostle Joel Keitumele as Ntsoro the comedian who would leave people in stitches with his rib-cracking jokes.

Now an apostle who leads Heavenly International Soul church with his wife Amo Keitumele, he confided in The Midweek Sun that he has never bought powers to make himself and his church powerful as it is often alleged by members of the public.

Two years ago, there were allegations that he had lost his mind after he failed to honour an agreement with a seller of powers in Ghana. “They were saying I was mentally disturbed and that I was being tormented by a snake because I dishonoured an agreement from a seller of powers in Ghana. I have never been to Ghana and the rumours were baseless,” he said, adding that someone even lied that his aunt works at Sbrana Psychiatric Hospital and had seen Keitumele at the hospital.

He also recalled the time he was invited at Btv with now born again Shumba Ratshega. He was wearing two rings. “One was my wedding ring and the other on my right hand was a Versace. A caller asked why I was wearing the other one and there were talks that it’s for powers.” He said he took it off and gave it to the presenter to wear and that nothing happened to him.

Lately, there are allegations that he wears an eagle belt, known in street lingo as ‘Prophetic belt’and purpoted to have powers to increase miracles in church and to attract more people. It is won by several other pastors and prophets among them, Shepherd Bushiri, Alph Lukau, Passion Java and Eubert Angel. He confirmed that he has it. He however said there is nothing like a prophetic belt or prophetic shoes.

“Of recent, God released a cloud of young prophets and these like their older mentors or spiritual fathers are stylish and they like fashion. “We have tapped into that. So most of us have Versace shoes, Eagle belts because we like looking good. People refer to them as ‘Prophetic this and that’ but there is nothing prophetic about them.

It’s just that we like them but we don’t need them for powers,” he said. Keitumele confirmed that he sells the trending shoes and belts at his store in Gaborone. “We just like our belts. Nothing more. The power is in the price. Monna ke monna ka setlhako le lebante,” he said.

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LEGABIBO challenges same sex criminalisation in court tomorrow

Keletso Thobega

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The Gaborone High Court will tomorrow (Thursday) hear a case on the decriminalisation of homosexuality. Advocacy group, Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals in Botswana, with the support of the Southern Africa Litigation Centre is challenging Botswana laws on homosexuality. Judges Dube, Leburu, and Tafa will hear this matter from the bench. LEGAGIBO is admitted as a friend of the court.

In May last year, a gay man only identified as ‘LM’ filed a petition with the High Court, arguing that the anti-homosexual laws in Botswana are unconstitutional. In the papers, he argued that decriminalising homosexuality is a human right and is important for everyone to feel safe and welcomed.

“Decriminalising homosexuality is about people’s lives, freedom and their right to live the life they want to and deserve. It is not only about the choice to choose who to love and sleep with but it is also about social security.” A media statement from the two parties indicates that LEGAGIBO seeks to advance submissions before the full bench of the High Court on the practical effect and social impact that sections 164 (a), 164 (c) and 167 of the Penal Code have on the daily lives and experiences of LGBT persons.

“Particularly, the submission illustrates how the criminalisation of same-sex sexual conduct limits LGBT person’s ability to access basic social services, increases their chances to discrimination and infringes on their basic human rights,” it reads.

It further states that “Botswana is a diverse society and the Constitution protects the freedom and dignity of all persons in the country, regardless of whether you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex.” The press release notes that “Over the past three years, the Botswana courts have shown themselves to be champions of jurisprudence which acknowledges the rights of LGBT persons and their rights to equal protection before the law.”

Section 164 of Botswana’s Penal Code stipulates in part that, ‘carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature is outlawed.’ Those convicted are liable to imprisonment of up to seven years.

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