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Tsamaya village white elephant finds tenant

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A rehabilitation centre in Tsamaya village dating back 21 years will finally be leased out to potential tenants if information reaching The Midweek Sun from North East District council is anything to go by.

The centre which was constructed in 1994 during the late Chapson Jabavu Butale’s era as area Member of Parliament (MP) has never been used since its construction. It has been a source of frustration for villagers who had expected it to help them rehabilitate the mentally challenged residents.

The rehabilitation centre was meant to assimilate physically challenged people from villages such as Tsamaya, Siviya, Mabidzane, Jackalas No. 2, Themashanga and Tshesebe.

Caiphus Gabana the chief public relations officer at North East District Council (NEDC) admitted in an interview with The Midweek Sun that the 21 year old white elephant was advertised for rental after it was noticed that its initial intended purpose will never be realised. “I can confirm that after our advertisement a tenant has been sourced to utilise the facility but I cannot reveal his identity at this juncture,” Gabana explained.

Power kuswani a former Village Development Committee member in Tsamaya village is lost for words following the decision by the NEDC to lease out the facility to private companies. “The sad part about this facility is that it has never benefited us as it has never been operational since its construction in 1994. Just two years back when I was still a member of the VDC, we made a proposal for the house inside the facility to be given to public servants in the village who had problems with accommodation. The two public servants included a pharmacist and a nurse,” he explained.

He revealed that following their request from the council, the dwelling house was then renovated only for it to remain in that condition until today. Kuswani is wondering why the council has taken the decision to lease out the facility without informing villagers who were expecting a lot from the facility. “As we speak, we have over ten people living with disability in Tsamaya village alone and these are only those I have personally seen with my eyes.

If our village has more than ten then it means that other surrounding villagers have overwhelming numbers of people living with disability. The plot the facility is seating on is roughly more than four hectares a clear sign that it has gobbled land which could have benefited other villagers who are in need of land. Moreover, there is danger inside the facility as it has big snakes which poses danger to villagers,” Kuswani warned.

He added that since its construction, millions of taxpayers’ money has been spent on security fees as various security companies have changed hands each year even though there is nothing of value to be stolen from the facility. Meanwhile, a security guard manning the building reiterated Kuswani’s claim of very big snakes inside the facility which might pose danger to those who will be given the building for rental.

This publication can also confirm the presence of large snakes which were spotted during the photographing of the building. The new chief of Tsamaya village Zenzo Letsholathebe is in the dark about the building. He was not aware of it and even its location as he was not familiarised with the village when he took over power from his late father last year. “The chief has never been familiarised with the village and he is not in a position to comment,” Kuswani revealed.

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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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