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Girl-child prostitution – a disturbing trend (II)

KUNGWENGWE STAR CHARLES
In the previous epistle this writer explored the following issues as causing the above problem: girl-child trafficking, globalizationcapitalismAmericanizationwesternization, disintegration of the extended family system network, poverty, peer influence, the law itself, child headed families and abuse of the girl-child by men. We now pick the discussion from there.


 In this period, and as indicated in the previous article, some sexually-greedy jelly daddies are further fueling problems as they purport to marry the girl just to boost their ego and then ditch her in no time in search of more fresh children .And with no jobs in sight to mitigate her ordeal, the only logical escape route, to her, is prostitution!. Young prostitutes are a favorite hunting ground for old people as that tends to inflate their ego—the latter would feel young.

 

Old men tend to dog the girls, whose semi nakedness appears to be beckoning all men,   to a point where nothing short of the riot police armed to teeth with button-sticks, tear-gas and fierce bull-dogs could stop long and meandering queues of males as they python their way all the way to the girls’ places of residence.  For the avoidance of over-repetition, this writer will not reiterate the fact that sugar-daddies and mummies mainly came into being as a direct result of the death of the extended families.


Various forms of abuse of women by men, on their own: physical, emotional, mental, etc, usually result in the girl child developing lack of trust or having a negative interest towards serious relationships with men and the end result is prostitution. This abuse expresses itself in various forms. We have already encountered rape elsewhere in this piece of work but there are many other examples as well. In the past sex was regarded a sacred act that could only be enjoyed within the confines of the bedroom and by spouses while one’s private anatomy was treasured.

 

Such values have, partly due to Western influence, been trivialized in recent years and one can just render her private treasure to anyone and joining prostitution, against that background, would not come as a surprise. These are suicidal tendencies indeed. Lose of trust in men is even worse among girls who have been cheateddisappointed in serious relationships and then develop irreparable scars of emotional damage  


Linked to the above problem is parent-child neglect, lack of parental guidance during the formative years of the child’s personality and or parental abuse. When parents have withdrawn affection from the child, and worse still, not sending her to school, due to gender related problems, the latter may seek solace in promiscuous relationships, and then prostitution if jobs do not come by. After all, just being loved, on its own, and having a sense of belonging occupy a very strategic position on Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and the girl-child is no exception.

This is a classic example of emotional abuse.
The problem of domestic violence also worsens the situation AND WE ARE FULLY AWARE OF THE SATANIC NATURE OF STEP MOTHERS!. When parents are always fighting in full view of their children, the latter, particularly the girl-child, tend to lose interest in a married life and this disinterest could lead them to the bar


 Most parents rent houses but due to poverty they cannot afford rooms which are (many) enough to accommodate their usually many children. Against that background ,it is not uncommon to come across parents sharing the same bedroom with their children and these observant youngsters ,as we have said before, would want to experiment what they see happening at night  ,that is, the sheets politics.

In most cases one room serves as the kitchen ,bedroom and dining room ,all rolled into one .Some promiscuous parents, and prostitutes alike ,even have the guts to make love in full view of these youngsters and what will be the possible result?—child sexual adventurism, something that could lead them to the pub. Hardly surprising ,then, that most children of prostitutes also graduate into prostitutes  at a very tender age.

Still on that note, some  of their extremely  immoral clients have an uncanny propensity of clandestinely and Necodemously making love to both the mother and  the child      
How about genetics or the case of a chip of the old block? Could it be scientifically proven that one can inherit genes of criminality or deviance from one’s fore-bearers? .What does the voice of psychology and Criminology say? Or is this behavior sociologically determined? —-The nature –nurture controversy, it seems!. Sociological factors revolve around the environment one finds herself in.

For example, prostitution is very rife in these days of economic hardships and children learn by imitating what they see. By the same token, I need to repeat, chances are that a child of a prostitute would also herself become one and that family may end up in a perpetual web of this evil. As we have already seen, poverty can easily mislead one .This comment also holds true for children of child prostitutes who have been forced to join this profession by desperation.

It is incorrect to say money is the root of all evils but appropriate to blame the lack of money. The Reformative Rehabilitative Theory of Punishment is premised on the idea that every person is a potential criminal depending upon circumstances confronting one. Which is why this theory tends to sympathize with criminals who are portrayed as victims-not of the web of their own making, but of harsh circumstances confronting them.  


Could we also rightly put blame on evil spiritsmamhepo on the part of children of the rich who choose to become whores?. How about the genetically modified food which we eat today which can ,for example ,increase her sexual appetite(kkk) or portray a 10 year old girl like a fully grown up  lady?. Is this not a contributory factor?. Let us allow our imagination to wonder.


The law enforcement agents, most of whom are males and hence potential perpetrators, tend to handle the like-minded with kid gloves. Though the Criminal laws of most countries is silent about this development plans are currently underway to align this piece of legislation with their Constitutions by elevating the girl‘s consenting age   to 18, the legal age of majority (see section 78:1 of the Zimbabwean Constitution). This is heart-warming news indeed!. But we can only put permanent smiles on our faces when our Criminal Laws have been amended accordingly.

According to the Principle of Legality where there is no legal provision there is no crime (the ius acceptum rule) though certain conduct may be highly immoral. Unlike the Botswana Criminal Law that has totally parted ways with the Roman-Dutch Common Law (section 3:1), its Zimbabwean counterpart still retains that link and section 3:1 -2 of the Criminal Reform and Codification Act  Cap 9:23 reads:


‘Roman-Dutch Criminal Law no longer applies to the extent that this code expressly or impliedly enacts ,reenacts, amends, modifies or repeals that law.’ It further states that there is nothing that would stop the court, when interpreting this code, from obtaining guidance from judicial decisions and legal writings on relevant aspects of this Roman –Dutch Law or the legal systems of other countries”  


Lest we forget ,it must be mentioned that girl-child marriages frequently lead  them to the streets ,especially if that marriage  came into being through deviant means or was forcibly initiated eg as payment to appease  the avenging spirits or as a form of atonement to the raped girl. Not only that ,usually upon the attainment of majority age, the child may run away from her husband after having  realized that she was taken advantage of. If survival skills are not available the girl may join the above vice. The most logical conclusion that could be drawn is that the divorce of the young girl may lead to prostitution. Remember the issue of dependent and independent variables  


Other factors include drug abuse which has the potential of clouding one’s sense of judgment to a point where one can easily become a humble slave to her own conscience or objectivity. Consider ,for example ,how the biblical Noah ,who after having had one ,too many ,striped himself nude naked and unashamed in full view of his own children(Genesis 9:20-27).Likewise , Lot, another biblical character,  had the guts to not only share the forbidden fruit  with have carnal knowledge of his own blood  daughters but even procreated children with them while in a drunken stupor(Genesis 19:31-38).


The concluding remark is that the environment, more than heredity, plays a crucial role in cases of girl-child prostitution and this problem needs to be addressed urgently before it condemns all girls to virtual extinction. Apart from sexual exploitation ,in say, receiving Mickey mouse payment  for the services she rendered or not getting any  payment at all ,the girl-child risks getting beaten up, maimed or even killed in this risky dog-eat-dog occupation by either clients or other competitors ,who are older, given her competitive advantage.

Other risks include contracting STDs, HIVAIDS, becoming sterile, impotent, death due to premature pregnancies, being stigmatized and ostracized by members of the mainstream society et cetra. Some people become prostitutes because they are shunned and or ostracized by society while others are stigmatized and ostracized because they are prostitutes. The reader must have noted that the discussed causes are dovetailed and should not be treated as watertight compartments.

 

For example, poverty could lead to the death of the extended families as they are expensive to sustain and, in a similar manner, the death of such family networks enhances more poverty on the part of those who derive their livelihood out of them. Furthermore, Westernization is blamed for having caused this breakdown of such structures. Again, poverty often leads to drug abuse and then prostitution.  What then is the way forward?. Buy a copy of this paper next week and evaluate the suggested solutions to this problem.

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Opinions

Internal party-democracy under pressure

21st June 2022

British novelist, W. Somerset Maugham once opined: “If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that too.”

The truism in these words cannot be underestimated, especially when contextualizing against the political developments in Botswana. We have become a nation that does not value democracy, yet nothing represent freedom more than democracy. In fact, we desire, and value winning power or clinging to power more than anything else, even if it harms the democratic credentials of our political institutions. This is happening across political parties — ruling and opposition.

As far as democracy is concerned, we are regressing. We are becoming worse-off than we were in the past. If not arrested, Botswana will lose its status as among few democratic nations in the Africa. Ironically, Botswana was the first country in Africa to embrace democracy, and has held elections every five years without fail since independence.

We were once viewed as the shining example of Africa. Those accolades are not worth it any more. Young democracies such as South Africa, with strong institutions, deserves to be exalted. Botswana has lost faith in democracy, and we will pay a price for it. It is a slippery slope to dictatorship, which will bring among other excess, assault on civil liberties and human rights violations.

Former President, Festus Mogae once stated that Botswana’s democracy will only become authentic, when a different party, other than the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) wins elections, and when the President of such party is not from Serowe.

Although many may not publicly care to admit, Mogae’s assertion is true. BDP has over the years projected itself as a dyed-in-the-wool proponent of democracy, but the moment its stay in power became threatened and uncertain, it started behaving in a manner that is at variance with democratic values.  This has been happening over the years now, and the situation is getting worse by the day.

Recently, the BDP party leadership has been preaching compromise and consensus candidates for 2024 general elections. Essentially, the leadership has lost faith in the Bulela Ditswe dispensation, which has been used to selected party candidates for council and parliament since 2003. The leadership is discouraging democracy because they believe primary elections threaten party unity. It is a strange assertion indeed.

Bulela Ditswe was an enrichment of internal party democracy in the sense that it replaced the previous method of selection of candidates known as Committee of 18, in which a branch committee made of 18 people endorsed the representatives. While it is true that political contest can divide, the ruling party should be investing in political education and strengthening in its primary elections processes. Democracy does not come cheap or easy, but it is valuable.

Any unity that we desire so much at the expense of democracy is not true unity. Like W. Somerset Maugham said, democracy would be lost in the process, and ultimately, even the unity that was desired would eventually be lost too. Any solution that sacrifice democracy would not bring any results in the long run, except misery.

We have seen that also in opposition ranks. The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) recently indicated that its incumbent Members of Parliament (MPs) should not be challenged for their seats. While BDP is sacrificing democracy to stay in power, UDC is sacrificing democracy to win power. It is a scary reality given the fact that both parties – ruling and opposition — have embraced this position and believe democracy is the hindrance to their political ambitions.

These current reality points to one thing; our political parties have lost faith in democracy. They desire power more than, the purpose of power itself. It is also a crisis of leadership across the political divide, where we have seen dissenting views being met with persecution. We have seen perverting of political process endorsed by those in echelons of power to manipulate political outcomes in their favour.

Democracy should not be optional, it should be mandatory. Any leader proposing curtailing of democracy should be viewed with suspicion, and his adventures should be rejected before it is too late. Members of political parties, as subscribers of democracy, should collectively rise to the occasion to save their democracy from self-interest that is becoming prevalent among Botswana political parties.

The so-called compromise candidates, only benefits the leadership because it creates comforts for them. But for members, and for the nation, it is causing damage by reversing the gains that have been made over the years. We should reject leaders who only preach democracy in word, but are hesitant to practice it.

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Opinions

The Big Deal About Piracy

21st June 2022
piracy

Piracy of all kinds continues to have a massive impact on the global creative industry and the economies of the countries where it thrives.

One of the biggest misconceptions around piracy is that an individual consumer’s piracy activities, especially in a market the size of Botswana’s, is only a drop in the pool of potential losses to the different sectors of the economy piracy affects.

When someone sitting in Gaborone, Botswana logs onto an illegal site to download King Richard online, they don’t imagine that their one download will do anything to the production house’s pocket or make a dent in the actors’ net worth. At best, the sensitivity towards this illegal pirating activity likely only exists when contemplating going about pirating a local musician’s music or a short film produced locally.

The ripple effects of piracy at whatever scale reach far beyond what the average consumer could ever imagine. Figures released by software security and media technology company, Irdeto, show that users in five major African territories made approximately 17,4 million total visits to the top 10 identified piracy sites on the internet.

The economic impact of this on the creative industry alone soars to between 40 and 97.1 billion dollars, according a 2022 Dataprot study. In addition, they estimate that “illegally streamed copyrighted content consumes 24% of global bandwidth”.

As Botswana’s creative industry remains relatively slight on the scale of comparison to industries such as Nollywood and Nilewood where the creative industry contributes a huge proportion to West and East Africa’s respective GDPs, that does not imply that piracy activities in Botswana do not have a similar impact on our economy and the ability of our creative industry to grow.

When individuals make decisions to illegally consume content via internet streaming sites they believe they are saving money for themselves in the name of enjoying content they desire to consume. Although this is a personal choice that remains the prerogative of the consumer, looking beyond the fact that streaming on illegal content sites is piracy, the ripple effect of this decision also has an endless trail of impact where funds which could be used to grow the local creative industry through increased consumption, and revenue which would otherwise be fed back into Botswana’s economy are being diverted.

“Why can’t our local creative industry grow?” “Why don’t we see more home-grown films and shows in Botswana?” are questions constantly posed by those who consume television content in Botswana. The answer to this lies largely in the fact that Botswana’s local content needs an audience in order for it to grow. It needs support from government and entities which are in a position to fund and help the industry scale greater heights.

Any organisational body willing to support and grow the local creative industry needs to exist and operate in an economy which can support its mandates. Content piracy is a cycle that can only be alleviated when consumers make wiser decisions around what they consume and how.

This goes beyond eradicating piracy activities in so far as television content is concerned. This extends to the importation and trade in counterfeit goods, resale of goods and services not intended for resale across the border, outside its jurisdiction, and more. All of these activities stunt the growth of an economy and make it nearly impossible for industries and sectors to propel themselves to places where they can positively impact society and reinvest into the country’s economy.

So what can be done to turn the tide here in Botswana in order to see our local production houses gain the momentum required to produce more, license more and expand their horizons? While those who enforce the law continue to work towards minimizing piracy activities, it’s imperative that as consumers we work to make their efforts easier by being mindful of how our individual actions play a role in preventing the success of our local creative networks and our economy’s growth.

Whether you are pirating a Hollywood Blockbuster, illegally streaming a popular Motswana artist’s music, or smuggling in an illegal decoder to view content restricted to South Africa only, your actions have an impact on how we as a nation will make our mark on the global landscape with local creative productions. Thembi Legwaila is Corporate Affairs Manager, MultiChoice Botswana

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Opinions

Our Strength is our Unity

18th March 2022
Craig-Cloud

Putin Chose War.  We Remain United with Ukraine.

U.S. Ambassador Craig L. Cloud

This is a dangerous moment for Europe and for freedom-loving people around the world.  By launching his brutal assault on the people of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin has also committed an assault on the principles that uphold global peace and democracy.  But the people of Ukraine are resilient.

They’ve had a democracy for decades, and their bravery is inspiring the world.  The United States, together with our Allies and partners across the globe, will continue to support the Ukrainian people as they defend their country.  By choosing to pay for a war instead of investing in the needs of Russians, Putin’s invasion of Ukraine will be a strategic failure for the Kremlin and ravage the future of the Russian people.

When the history of this era is written, it will show that Putin’s choice to launch an unprovoked, unjust, and premeditated attack left the West more unified and Russia exponentially weaker.

United in Our Response

This will not end well for Vladimir Putin.  Together, the United States and our Allies and partners are taking action to hold Russia accountable.  As a result of unprecedented global sanctions coordination, the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Japan, and Canada have removed selected Russian banks from the SWIFT messaging system and imposed restrictive measures on the Russian Central Bank.

President Biden announced sweeping financial sanctions and stringent export controls that will damage Russia’s economy, financial system, and access to cutting-edge technology.  After Putin began his invasion, the ruble hit its weakest point in history, and the Russian stock market plunged.

Along with the United Kingdom and European Union, the United States imposed sanctions on the architects of this war, including Putin himself.

By moving in close coordination with a powerful coalition of Allies and partners representing more than half of the global economy, we have magnified the impact of our actions to impose maximum costs on Putin and his regime.  In response to Putin’s war of choice, we will limit Russia’s ability to do business in U.S. dollars.

We will stunt Russia’s ability to finance and grow its military.  We will impair Russia’s ability to compete in the global economy.  And we are prepared to do more.

In addition to economic penalties, this week President Biden authorized an additional $1 billion over the $350 million of security assistance he recently approved, and a $650 million in 2021, to immediately help Ukraine defend itself, bringing America’s total security assistance to Ukraine over the past year to $2 billion.

We also stand ready to defend our NATO Allies.  President Biden has coordinated with Allied governments to position thousands of additional forces in Germany and Poland as part of our commitment to NATO’s collective defense.

He authorized the deployment of ground and air forces already stationed in Europe to NATO’s eastern and southeastern flanks:  Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Romania.  Our Allies have also added their own forces and capabilities to ensure our collective defense.  There should be no doubt about the readiness of the greatest military Alliance in the history of the world:  NATO is more united than ever.

The United States has also coordinated with major oil-producing and consuming countries to underscore our common interest in securing global energy supplies.  We are working with energy companies to surge their capacity to supply energy to the market, particularly as prices increase.

Putin’s Unprovoked and Premeditated War

This was an attack that Vladimir Putin has planned for a long time.  He methodically moved more than 150,000 troops and military equipment to Ukraine’s border.  He moved blood supplies into position and built field hospitals, demonstrating his intentions all along.

He rejected every good-faith effort by the United States and our Allies and partners to address his fabricated security concerns and to avoid needless conflict and human suffering by engaging in diplomacy and dialogue.

Putin executed his playbook exactly as we had warned he would do.  We saw Russia’s proxies increase their shelling in the Donbas.  We saw the Russian government launch cyber-operations against Ukraine.  We saw staged political theater in Moscow and heard outlandish and baseless claims made about Ukraine in an attempt to justify Russia’s aggression.

Russia continues to justify its military aggression by falsely claiming the need to stop “genocide” in Ukraine – despite there being no evidence that genocide was occurring there.  We saw Russia use these tactics before when they invaded Ukraine in 2014 and Georgia in 2008.

And then, at almost the very same moment the United Nations Security Council was meeting to stand up for Ukraine’s sovereignty and forestall disaster, Putin launched his invasion in violation of international law.  Missiles began to rain down, striking historic cities across Ukraine.  Then came air raids, columns of tanks, and battalions of troops, all riding a renewed wave of disinformation and outright lies.

We have been transparent with the world.  We declassified our intelligence about Russia’s plans so there could be no confusion and no cover up.  Putin is the aggressor.  Putin chose this war.  And now his people will bear the consequences of his decision to invest in war rather than in them.

Transatlantic Unity and Resolve Stronger Than Ever

Putin’s goal of dividing the West has failed.  In the face of one of the most significant challenges to European security and democratic ideals since World War II, the United States and our Allies and partners have joined together in solidarity.  We have united, coordinating intensively to engage as one with Russia and Ukraine, provided assistance to Ukraine, developed a broad response, and reaffirmed our commitment to NATO.

Putin has failed to divide us.  Putin has failed to undermine our shared belief in the fundamental right of sovereign nations to choose their destiny and their allies.  And Putin will fail to erase the proud nation of Ukraine.

The next few days, weeks, and months will be incredibly difficult for the people of Ukraine.  Putin has unleashed great suffering on them.  But the Ukrainian people have known 30 years of independence, and they have repeatedly shown they will not tolerate anyone who tries to take their country backwards.

The world is watching this conflict closely, and if Russian forces commit atrocities, we will explore all international mechanisms that could be used to bring those responsible – whether members of the military or their civilian leadership – to account.

Putin’s aggression against Ukraine will cost Russia profoundly, both economically and strategically.  The Russian people deserve better from their government than the immense cost to their future that this invasion has precipitated.

Liberty, democracy, and human dignity are forces far more powerful than fear and oppression.  In the contest between democracy and autocracy, between sovereignty and subjugation, make no mistake:  Freedom will prevail.

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