Appearing for her mention, Gaofengwe Selaolo, who is accused of murdering the 11-year-old Clifford Mochocho, has claimed torture at the hands of investigating officers.
She told the Broadhurst Magistrate Court on Thursday that she sustained bruises as a result of torture by the police. She pleaded with Magistrate Merafhe Tladi to tell the officers to desist from doing that as she ended up saying things which were not true.
The Magistrate demanded to know from Selaolo what she did after being tortured, “I reported the matter to prison officers,” she claimed. However the prosecuting officer Sub Inspector Onkemetse Modukanele denied any knowledge of the matter, but promised to investigate the allegations. The magistrate advised the accused to open a case against the officers.
Sub inspector Modukanele asked the court to remand the accused in custody as the investigating officers have not yet received all exhibits used in the murder. The prosecutor also indicated that they are still waiting for a doctor’s report, adding they feared that the accused might interfere with witnesses. She also said remanding the accused in custody is for her own protection.
Magistrate Tladi told the prosecuting officer to help the accused to formally report the allegation of assault to the police. The accused was remanded in prison and will appear again on May 4.
The grisly murder of young Clifford is much like that of Nathaniel Bulayani 5 years ago – it has incensed many in society. When news broke out of the 11 year old’s body having been discovered near a hill in Mankgodi, with stepmother, Selaolo being prime suspect many could not believe it. Selaolo was initially arrested and accused of abducting the boy, however the prosecution later decided to elevate the charge to murder. Selaolo is a former lover to the slain boy’s father.
THE CURSE OF BLOCK 3
A string of bizarre murders have occurred in the Block 3 location of Gaborone lately. The gruesome discovery of the remains of 11 year old Clifford Mochocho who went missing from his block 3 home on March 2 is just another twist in the plot of the strange crimes that keep happening in the area.
Located somewhat in the heart of the city, the area appears on the surface to be among the safest in the metropolis. Unlike other areas where home invasions have been reported, gang attacks in the streets as well as rape activity, the area has not appeared much in crime reports. But in the underbelly of it all lay grisly acts of child burgeoning to death, double murders and children disappearing in mysterious circumstances.
In late 2011, the cold murder of another 11 year old boy, Nathaniel Bulayani by his mother and step father shocked the country. The callous couple was reported to have beaten the standard 7 pupil to death in front of his 9 year old sister, while they tied him to the rafters of their house, before dumping his lifeless body in a shallow grave, leaving it to be found by construction workers a few days later. The boy’s only crime was arriving late from school.
Just in December last year, two sisters were torched to death in their block 3 house during what appears to have been a lover’s jealous rage. When Caroline Gwamolumba discovered that Tuelo Mokgalo was pregnant with her soldier boyfriend’s baby, Gwamolumba is said to have, together with her friend, Bakang Godisang gone to Tuelo’s house where she (Tuelo) and sister Kgalalelo were asleep and torched the house. The sisters died at Princess Marina hospital but the baby reportedly survived the ordeal. The case continues and the duo was granted bail last month. Gwamulomba had previously missed hearing dates as she had to apparently undergo chemotherapy sessions at a South African hospital on dates she was set for mention.
Over 2,000 civil servants in the public sector have been interdicted for a variety of reasons, the majority of which are criminal in nature.
According to reports, some officers have been under interdiction for more than two years because such matters are still being investigated. Information reachingÂ WeekendPostÂ shows that local government, particularly councils, has the highest number of suspended officers.
In its annual report, the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) revealed that councils lead in corrupt activities throughout the country, and dozens of council employees are being investigated for alleged corrupt activities. It is also reported that disciplined forces, including the Botswana Defence Force (BDF), police, and prisons, and the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) have suspended a significant number of officers.
The Ministry of Education and Skills Development has also recorded a good number of teachers who have implicated in love relationships with students, while some are accused of impregnating students both in primary and secondary school. Regional education officers have been tasked to investigate such matters and are believed to be far from completion as some students are dragging their feet in assisting the investigations to be completed.
This year, Mmadinare Senior Secondary reportedly had the highest number of pregnancies, especially among form five students who were later forcibly expelled from school. Responding to this publicationâ€™s queries, Permanent Secretary to the Office of the President Emma Peloetletse said, â€śas you might be aware, I am currently addressing public servants across the length and breadth of our beautiful republic. Due to your detailed enquiry, I am not able to respond within your schedule,â€ť she said.
She said some of the issues raised need verification of facts, some are still under investigation while some are still before the courts of law.
Meanwhile, it is close to six months since the Police Commissioner Keabetwe Makgophe, Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) Tymon Katlholo and the Deputy Director of the DIS Tefo Kgothane were suspended from their official duties on various charges.
Efforts to solicit comment from trade unions were futile at the time of going to press.
Some suspended officers who opted for anonymity claimed that they have close to two years while on suspension. One stated that the investigations that led him to be suspended have not been completed.
â€śIt is heartbreaking that at this time the investigations have not been completed,â€ť he toldÂ WeekendPost, adding that â€śwhen a person is suspended, they get their salary fully without fail until the matter is resolvedâ€ť.
Makgophe, Katlholo and Kgothane are the three most high-ranking government officials that are under interdiction.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and some senior government officials are abuzz with reports that President Mokgweetsi Masisi has requested his Vice President, Slumber Tsogwane not to contest the next general elections in 2024.
The impacts of climate change are increasing in frequency and intensity every year and this is forecast to continue for the foreseeable future. African CEOs in the Global South are finally coming to the party on how to tackle the crisis.
Following the completion of COP27 in Egypt recently, CEOs of Africa DFIs converged in Botswana for the CEO Forum of the Association of African Development Finance Institutions. One of the key themes was on green financing and building partnerships for resource mobilization in financing SDGs in Africa
A report; “Weathering the storm; African Development Banks response to Covid-19” presented shocking findings during the seminar. Among them; African DFI’s have proven to be financially resilient, and they are fast shifting to a green transition and it’s financing.
COO, CEDA, James Moribame highlighted that; “Everyone needs food, shelter and all basic needs in general, but climate change is putting the achievement of this at bay. “It is expensive for businesses to do business, for instance; it is much challenging for the agricultural sector due to climate change, and the risks have gone up. If a famer plants crops, they should be ready for any potential natural disaster which will cost them their hard work.”
According to Moribame, Start-up businesses will forever require help if there is no change.
“There is no doubt that the Russia- Ukraine war disrupted supply chains. SMMEs have felt the most impact as some start-up businesses acquire their materials internationally, therefore as inflation peaks, this means the exchange rate rises which makes commodities expensive and challenging for SMMEs to progress. Basically, the cost of doing business has gone up. Governments are no longer able to support DFI’s.”
Moribame shared remedies to the situation, noting that; “What we need is leadership that will be able to address this. CEOs should ensure companies operate within a framework of responsible lending. They also ought to scout for opportunities that would be attractive to investors, this include investors who are willing to put money into green financing. Botswana is a prime spot for green financing due to the great opportunity that lies in solar projects. ”
Technology has been hailed as the economy of the future and thus needs to be embraced to drive operational efficiency both internally and externally.
Executive Director, bank of Industry Nigeria, Simon Aranou mentioned that for investors to pump money to climate financing in Africa, African states need to be in alignment with global standards.
“Do what meets world standards if you want money from international investors. Have a strong risk management system. Also be a good borrower, if you have a loan, honour the obligation of paying it back because this will ensure countries have a clean financial record which will then pave way for easier lending of money in the future. African states cannot just be demanding for mitigation from rich countries. Financing needs infrastructure to complement it, you cannot be seating on billions of dollars without the necessary support systems to make it work for you. Domestic resource mobilisation is key. Use public money to mobilise private money.” He said.
For his part, the Minster of Minister of Entrepreneurship, Karabo Gare enunciated that, over the past three years, governments across the world have had to readjust their priorities as the world dealt with the effects and impact of the COVID 19 pandemic both to human life and economic prosperity.
“The role of DFIs, during this tough period, which is to support governments through countercyclical measures, including funding of COVID-19 related development projects, has become more important than ever before. However, with the increasingly limited resources from governments, DFIs are now expected to mobilise resources to meet the fiscal gaps and continue to meet their developmental mandates across the various affected sectors of their economies.” Said Gare.