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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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Gov’t shy to shame failing ministers

22nd February 2021
Morwaeng

Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Kabo Morwaeng together with Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Elias Magosi, this week refused to name and shame the worst performing Ministries and to disclose the best performing Ministries since beginning of 12th parliament including the main reasons for underperformance.

Of late there have been a litany of complaints from both ends of the aisle with cabinet members accused of providing parliament with unsatisfactory responses to the questions posed. In fact for some Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) backbenchers a meeting with the ministers and party leadership is overdue to address their complaints. Jwaneng-Mabutsane MP, Mephato Reatile is also not happy with ministers’ performance.

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Bokamoso, Gov’t in P10M womb removal suit

22nd February 2021
Bokamoso

Bokamoso Private Hospital is battling a P10 million legal suit for a botched fibroids operation which resulted in a woman losing an entire womb and her prospects of bearing children left at zero.

The same suit has also befallen the Attorney General of Botswana who is representing the Ministry of Health and Wellness for their contributory negligence of having the unlawful removal of a patient, Goitsemang Magetse’s womb.

According to the court papers, Magetse says that sometimes in November 2019, she was diagnosed with fibroids at Marina Hospital where upon she was referred to Bokamoso Private Hospital to schedule an appointment for an operation to remove the fibroids, which she did.

Magetse continues that at the instance of one Dr Li Wang, the surgeon who performed the operation, and unknown to her, an operation to remove her whole womb was conducted instead.
According to Magetse, it was only through a Marina Hospital regular check-up that she got to learn that her whole womb has been removed.

“At the while she was under the belief that only her fibroids have been removed. By doing so, the hospital has subjected itself to some serious delictual liability in that it performed a serious and life changing operation on patient who was under the belief that she was doing a completely different operation altogether. It thus came as a shock when our client learnt that her womb had been removed, without her consent,” said Magetse’s legal representatives, Kanjabanga and Associates in their summons.

The letter further says, “this is an infringement of our client‘s rights and this infringement has dire consequences on her to the extent that she can never bear children again”. ‘It is our instruction therefore, to claim as we hereby do, damages in the sum of BWP 10,000,000 (ten million Pula) for unlawful removal of client’s womb,” reads Kanjabanga Attorneys’ papers. The defendants are yet to respond to the plaintiff’s papers.

What are fibroids?

Fibroids are tumors made of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue. They develop in the uterus. It is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of women will develop fibroids in their lifetime — however, not everyone will develop symptoms or require treatment.

The most important characteristic of fibroids is that they’re almost always benign, or noncancerous. That said, some fibroids begin as cancer — but benign fibroids can’t become cancer. Cancerous fibroids are very rare. Because of this fact, it’s reasonable for women without symptoms to opt for observation rather than treatment.

Studies show that fibroids grow at different rates, even when a woman has more than one. They can range from the size of a pea to (occasionally) the size of a watermelon. Even if fibroids grow that large, we offer timely and effective treatment to provide relief.

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Masisi warned against a sinking Botswana

22nd February 2021
Ndaba GAolatlhe

The Alliance for Progressives (AP) President Ndaba Gaolathe has said that despite major accolades that Botswana continues to receive internationally with regard to the state of economy, the prospects for the future are imperilled.

Delivering his party Annual Policy Statement on Thursday, Gaolathe indicated that Botswana is in a state of do or die, and that the country’s economy is on a sick bed. With a major concern for poverty, Gaolathe pointed out that almost half of Botswana’s people are ravaged by or are about to sink into poverty.  “Our young people have lost the fire to dream about what they could become,” he said.

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