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BOCONGO demands protection for nurses

Botswana Council of Non-Governmental Organisation (BOCONGO) and other stakeholders have demanded that government prioritises nurses’ safety and ensures that security is tightened at all health facilities operating 24/7 across the country.

This follows a rape incident that occurred at extension II clinic in Gaborone on April 23. An on duty nurse was raped in the early hours of that day while on break, according to a statement from the Ministry of Health and Wellness. At a press conference on Thursday, BOCONGO also spoke out against gender based violence, which they say is being overlooked in the country.

Chief Executive Officer of Kagiso Society Women’s Shelter, Lorato Moalusi- Sakufiwa, explained that despite the increase of rape cases in Botswana, implementation of the laws against rape is still very weak and impunity for perpetrators continues. “There have been media reports in the recent past of people who commit crime on bail, and such reports include rape cases. We are calling on the government to lead the nation in exercising due diligence the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls,” she said.

She further suggested that preventative measures should be put in place. “Changing mindsets, eliminating risk factors, providing outreach and ending solutions, broadening the scope of VAW programmes, formulating comprehensive laws and constitutional guarantees and robust engagement and collaboration with Gender and Human Rights Organisations to collectively support the implementation of the National GBV strategy and the Referral System,” she advised.

Sakufiwa also advised that the government should ensure availability and accessibility to coordinated support services as well as ensuring availability to protection orders. “The government should hold perpetrators accountable, there should be certainty of punishment and they should broaden the available punishment regime beyond incarceration,” she added.

One of the members of Botswana Nurses Union, Layani Mandiwana- Malemane explained that they decided to come up with the slogan, #EnoughIsEnough because they were just overwhelmed by issues that keep happening to nurses, yet nothing being done.

“A nurse raped by a client. It was a horrific and a barbaric act. Nurses are there to help those who are sick and resuscitate a person who is supposed to die. We have always notified the Ministry of Health and the government that as nurses we are working under harsh conditions,” she said. She further cited that Nurses are attacked at home, at the streets and at work. “Work should be a place of security,” she lamented.

In an interview with WeekendPost, Publicity Secretary of Botswana Counselling Association, Keletso Tshekiso explained that there are diverse reasons as to why male counterparts commit rape. “There is what is called sadistic rape, where a person inflicts you with pain and that’s how they get aroused and gratified. Some people are just disrespectful whilst others could due to drugs and alcohol disorders and power raping is when a person feels they have power and feel the need to dominate and some rape because they just want to revenge,’” she explained.

Moreover, she added that people should be sensitized about sexual harassment and be taught about gestures that hint sexual harassment and that there should be behavioural change facilities and that people should be provided with rehabilitation when they are taken to prisons.

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Ministers key to Masisi presidency revealed

7th December 2021
President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi

President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi has identified at least 12 cabinet ministers who form part of his long-term plans owing to their loyalty and tenacity in delivering his vision. Masisi, who will see-off his term in 2028 — provided he wins re-election in 2024 — already knows key people who will help him govern until the end of his term, WeekendPost has learnt.

Despite negative criticism towards ministers from some quarters over a number of decisions and their somewhat cold deliberations and failure to articulate government programs, Masisi is said to be a number one cheer leader of his cabinet. He is said to have more confidence in his cabinet and believes going forward they will reach the aspired levels and silence the critics.

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Free at last: Ian Kirby Speaks Out

6th December 2021
Justice Ian Kirby

The outgoing President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ian Kirby, shares his thoughts with us as he leaves the Bench at the end of this year.

WeekendPost: Why did you move between the Attorney General and the Bench?

Ian Kirby: I was a member of the Attorney General’s Chambers three times- first in 1969 as Assistant State Counsel, then in 1990 as Deputy Attorney General (Civil), and finally in 2004 as Attorney General. I was invited in 2000 by the late Chief Justice Julian Nganunu to join the Bench. I was persuaded by former President Festus Mogae to be his Attorney General in 2004 as, he said, it was my duty to do so to serve the nation. I returned to the Judiciary as soon as I could – in May 2006, when there was a vacancy on the High Court Bench.

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Civil society could rescue Botswana’s flawed democracy’ 

6th December 2021
Parliament

Botswana’s civil society is one of the non-state actors that could save the country’s democracy from sliding into regression, a Germany based think tank has revealed.  This is according to a discussion paper by researchers at the German Development Institute who analysed the effects of e-government usage on political attitudes In Botswana.

In the paper titled “E-government and democracy in Botswana: Observational and experimental evidence on the effects of e-government usage on political attitudes,” the researchers offer a strongly worded commentary on Botswana’s ‘flawed democracy.’  The authors noted that with Botswana’s Parliament structurally – and in practice – feeble, the potential for checks and balances on executive power rests with the judiciary.

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