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Refugee students removed from schools, ARV’s

The government of Botswana through Minister of Defense, Justice and Security, Shaw Kgathi has taken a hardline and uncompromising stance to chase at least 100 Caprivi refugee students from schools few days before they could sit for National Examinations.

Furthermore this publication has it in good authority that all the Caprivians who have been receiving the antiretroviral (ARV) treatment through the US government’s President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), will be deported without any medical records to continue with the therapy once they touch down in Namibia. Since 2004 up to date, PEPFAR has invested $954,838,751 (about P10.3 billion), with a total sum of $70,239,250 (about P746 million) budgeted for last year alone.

For students, WeekendPost can safely reveal that 11 students who were to sit for their Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE), have been kicked out of various primary schools they were enrolled at and will not sit for the examinations. This has caused stir and rage within the Refugee camp located 10 kilometers away from Dukwi village.

“I nearly cried when I saw these Caprivian kids from Nata Senior hitchhiking with big trucks to Dukwi. Some without transport money they were made to drop out of school, some who are supposed to write their examinations will miss this chance,” a very gloomy Caprivi refugee parent who preferred anonymity told this publication on Wednesday.

Not only are there PSLE students, but there are also 10 students who were to sit for their Junior Certificate Examinations (JCE). For Botswana General Certificate Secondary Examinations (BGCSE), nine students have been kicked out of Nata Senior where they were about to sit for the examination next month. These, according to reports from the refugee camp are not the only ones as there are others in lower grades who have been removed from schools.

However what is concerning the refugees and human rights activists is the fact that these students will go to Namibia without their academic reports and transfers. “Initially when we offered them a voluntary repatriation there were plans not to endanger their lives. There are issues of health, education and housing which are very essential in repatriation. We compiled their academic records last year so that there will be smooth coordination when they get there. But this time there won’t be such a thing as they are no longer refugees but rather illegal immigrants,” a source dealing with the Caprivians at Dukwi refugee camp shared.   

A source with the right knowledge continued to add; “Others are in medication and we were supposed to give our Namibians counterparts statistics as to how many need Anti-retroviral Therapy or any other medical assistance so that we do not deny anyone the basic rights, but just like with education there will not be any of those because they are now illegal immigrants.”

“These children have to be withdrawn from school to join their parents who are scheduled to leave Botswana on deportation. There has not been any forceful removal of former Namibian refugee students from school by any member of Special Support Group (SSG),” a statement from Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of defence Pearl Ramokoka said.

For their part United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), Head of Mission Arvin Gupta, said they are no longer part of the process. “There is no repatriation. It is now deportation because those Caprivians have been declared illegal immigrants,” he highlighted. “We are now not involved because when we initially offered voluntary repatriation they refused and now it is the government’s immigration laws,” he added.

This now means the Caprivians who were to get repatriation packages will go home empty handed. “As is they are not eligible for the repatriation packages which included basic building materials and food rations and P3000 among others,” an informant in Dukwi.
Fresh information however say there is a team of delegation from Namibia to Botswana, on a mission to persuade Caprivians in Botswana (center of illegal immigrants), to go back to Namibia. “The delegation includes family members of those in the camp or center and former Dukwi refugees who were repatriated in previous years,” another refugee with relevant information revealed.

More than 800 refugees and children who have never lived in Namibia, have been given up to next week to be deported back to their indigenous country. The refugees are currently crying for assistance from local and international Human rights organizations to assist them.
The Namibians fled here in October 1998 with 100 being the armed Caprivi Liberation Army and 2500 civilians. Their leadership of Mishake Muyongo and Chief Boniface Mamili was long resettled to Denmark in the early 2000s.


DITSHWANELO ALSO SUPPORTS CAPRIVIANS

The center of human rights stands in solidarity with the Namibians from the Caprivi Strip and wishes to express its concern about how the government of Botswana is dealing with Caprivians, including their children. The organization says it has written letters on issues of concern which included children’s rights and their education and the use of excessive force in moving the Caprivians from the camp. Ditshwanelo says is also aware that the method of removal of students from Nata Senior reflect a disturbing violation of the access to education of students who risk being denied sitting for their end of year examination.

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BDP decides Balopi’s fate

22nd November 2021
Balopi

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Central Committee (CC) meeting, chaired by President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi late last month, resolved that the party’s next Secretary-General (SG) should be a full-time employee based at Tsholetsa House and not active in politics.

The resolution by the CC, which Masisi proposed, is viewed as a ploy to deflate the incumbent, Mpho Balopi’s political ambitions and send him into political obscurity. The two have not been on good terms since the 2019 elections, and the fallout has been widening despite attempts to reconcile them. In essence, the BDP says that Balopi, who is currently a Member of Parliament, Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development, and a businessman, is overwhelmed by the role.

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BDF-Namibians shootings autopsy report revealed

22nd November 2021
BDF

The Botswana Defence Force (BDF)-Namibians fatal shooting tragedy Inquest has revealed through autopsy report that the BDF carried over 800 bullets for the mission, 32 of which were discharged towards the targets, and 19 of which hit the targets.

This would mean that 13 bullets missed the targets-in what would be a 60 percent precision rate for the BDF operation target shooting. The Autopsy report shows that Martin Nchindo was shot with five (4) bullets, Ernst Nchindo five (5) bullets, Tommy Nchindo five (5) bullets and Sinvula Munyeme five (5) bullets. From the seven (7) BDF soldiers that left the BDF camp in two boats, four (4) fired the shots that killed the Namibians.

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Gov’t confused over Moitoi’s UN job application

22nd November 2021
VENSON MOITOI

The former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi’s decision to apply for the positions of United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and their deputies (DSRSG), has left the government confused over whether to lend her support or not, WeekendPost has established.

Moitoi’s application follows the Secretary-General’s launch of the third edition of the Global Call for Heads and Deputy Heads of United Nations Field Missions, which aims to expand the pool of candidates for the positions of SRSG) and their deputies to advance gender parity and geographical diversity at the most senior leadership level in the field. These mission leadership positions are graded at the Under-Secretary-General and Assistant Secretary-General levels.

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