LETLHAKANE: The newly appointed station commander of Letlhakane Police, Mr Michael Maphephu has hit the ground running and announced various interventions to mitigate against increasing levels of crime in Boteti and the wider region.
In an interview with this publication, the new police chief who arrived recently on transfer from Bobonong police station said rape statistics are high in Letlhakane and as such his first task has been to mobilise the community to march against rape “I have already met with dikgosi, office of the member of parliament and other community leaders and we have agreed to mobilise the community to embark on a procession against the high incidences of rape in the village”. He said in an interview.
He said incidences of rape are a concern as Letlhakane has recorded high numbers and as such they have concluded that a march in the village and involvement of the community could help raise awareness about the scourge as well as spark a discussion about the ways the community can assist in containing the escalating problem.
The march planned to be held next week, will comprise prison officials, village leadership, the police as well as the community of Letlhakane and Boteti in general.
Just this past week, a 20 year old man of Khwee cattle post near Letlhakane was arrested on allegations of raping a 15 year old girl, the accused is said to have followed the teenager to her house at night where he allegedly raped her.
In an earlier interview with this publication, Superintendent Albert Foda who was then acting station commander of Letlhakane police, revealed startling statistics of rape, murder and common theft in Letlhakane and its periphery. He said they had arrested more than 39 people in connection with 45 rape cases reported since January 2015.
According to Letlhakane police more than 48 rape cases have been reported at Letlhakane Police station since January 2015, 11 of those in the month of June alone. , in January 2015, 5 rape cases were reported, 4 in February 2015. This number has continued to increase with 10 cases being reported in March, 9 in May, 6 cases in April and a massive 11 cases in June 2015 alone.
The rise in numbers is shocking and a concern to the law enforcement officers. The police say the numbers could increase in the coming months. Maphephu is worried and has thus decided to involve the village leadership and community, where the idea of a march in the village was proposed and adopted by all stakeholders.
He has also revealed that a group of robbers visited the village last week Thursday and Friday in the dead of the night, stealing the amount of P3000 at a general dealer and P7600 at a local hardware store. He said the three culprits who he could not confirm their nationalities were male and used forceful entry into the two premises, they trio used what is suspected to be a toy gun to induce fear into their victims.
He said they then, tied the workers to chairs using a rope after robbing the stores they fled in a vehicle. He said they are still on the hunt for the suspects. Murder cases as well as murder-suicide incidences are also said to be on the rise in Boteti and various strategies and interventions are being mooted to contain a situation that is gradually becoming uncontrollable.
While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.
Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.
Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.
Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.
Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”
“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.
He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.
He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.
According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.
There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.
Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.
“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication. The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.