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.
The P250 million National Petroleum Fund (NPF) saga that has been before court since 2017 seems to be losing its momentum with a high possibility of it being thrown out as defence lawyers unmask incompetency on the part of the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP).
The Gaborone High Court this week ruled that the decision by the State to prosecute Justice Zein Kebonang and his twin brother, Sadique Kebonang has been reviewed and set aside. The two brothers have now been cleared of the charges that where laid against them three years ago.
The United States (US) will on the 3rd of November 2020 chose between incumbent Donald Trump of the Republicans and former Vice President Joe Biden of the Democrats amid the coronavirus pandemics, which has affected how voting is conducted in the world’s biggest economy.
Trump (74) seeks re-election after trouncing Hillary Clinton in 2016, while Biden (77) is going for his first shot as Democratic nominee after previous unsuccessful spells.
US Presidents mostly succeed in their re-election bid, but there have been nine individuals who failed to garner a second term mandate, the latest being George W H. Bush, a Republican who served as the 41st US President between 1989 and 1993.
Dr Mark Rozell, a Dean of the School of Policy and Government at George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia describes the complex US electoral system that will deliver the winner at the 3rd November elections.
“The founders of our Republic de-centralised authority significantly in creating our constitutional system, which means that they gave an enormous amount of independent power and authority to State and local governments,” Dr Rozell told international media on Elections 2020 Virtual Reporting Tour.
Unlike parliamentary democracies, like Botswana the United States does not have all of the national government elected in one year. They do not have what is commonly called mandate elections where the entire federal government is elected all in one election cycle giving a “mandate” to a particular political party to lead, and instead US have what are called staggered elections, elections over time.
The two house Congress, members of the House of Representatives have two-year long terms of office. Every two years the entire House of Representatives is up for re-election, but senators serve for six years and one third of the Senate is elected every two years.
For this election cycle, US citizens will be electing the President and Vice
President, the entire House of Representatives and one third of the open or contested seats in the Senate, whereas two thirds are still fulfilling the remainder of their terms beyond this year.
An important facet of US electoral system to understand given the federalism nature of the republic, the US elect presidents State by State, therefore they do not have a national popular vote for the presidency.
“We have a national popular vote total that says that Hillary Clinton got three million more votes than Donald Trump or in Year 2000 that Al Gore got a half million more votes than George W. Bush, but we have what is called a State by State winner takes all system where each State is assigned a number of electors to our Electoral College and the candidate who wins the popular vote within each State takes 100 percent of the electors to the Electoral College,” explained Dr Rozell.
“And that is why mathematically, it is possible for someone to win the popular vote but lose the presidency.”
Dr Rozell indicated that in 2016, Hillary Clinton won very large popular majorities in some big population States like California, but the system allows a candidate to only have to win a State by one vote to win a 100 percent of its electors, the margin does not matter.
“Donald Trump won many more States by smaller margins, hence he got an Electoral College majority.”
Another interesting features by the way of US constitutional system, according to Dr Rozell, but extremely rare, is what is called the faithless elector.
“That’s the elector to the Electoral College who says, ‘I’m not going to vote the popular vote in my State, I think my State made a bad decision and I’m going to break with the popular vote,’’ Dr Rozell said.
“That’s constitutionally a very complicated matter in our federalism system because although the federal constitution says electors may exercise discretion, most States have passed State laws making it illegal for any elector to the Electoral College to break faith with the popular vote of that State, it is a criminal act that can be penalized if one is to do that. And we just had an important Supreme Court case that upheld the right of the states to impose and to enforce this restriction”
There are 538 electors at the Electoral College, 270 is the magic number, the candidate who gets 270 or more becomes President of the United States.
If however there are more candidates, and this happens extremely rarely, and a third candidate got some electors to the Electoral College denying the two major party candidates, either one getting a majority, nobody gets 270 or more, then the election goes to the House of Representatives and the House of Representatives votes among the top three vote getters as to who should be the next President.
“You’d have to go back to the early 19th century to have such a scenario, and that’s not going to happen this year unless there is a statistical oddity, which would be a perfect statistical tie of 269 to 269 which could happen but you can just imagine how incredibly unlikely that is,” stated Dr Rozell.
BLUE STATES vs RED STATES
Since the 2000 United States presidential election, red states and blue states have referred to states of the United States whose voters predominantly choose either the Republican Party (red) or Democratic Party (blue) presidential candidates.
Many states have populations that are so heavily concentrated in the Democratic party or the Republican party that there is really no competition in those states.
California is a heavily Democratic State, so is New York and Maryland. It is given that Joe Biden will win those states. Meanwhile Texas, Florida and Alabama are republicans. So, the candidates will spent no time campaigning in those states because it is already a given.
However there are swing states, where there is a competition between about five and 10 states total in each election cycle that make a difference, and that is where the candidates end up spending almost all of their time.
“So it ends up making a national contest for the presidency actually look like several state-wide contests with candidates spending a lot of time talking about State and local issues in those parts of the country,” said Dr Rozell.
High Commissioner of the Federal Government of Nigeria to Botswana, His Excellency Umar Zainab Salisu, has challenged President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi to move swiftly and lobby Africa’s richest man, Nigerian Billionaire, Aliko Dangote to invest in Botswana.
Speaking during a meeting with President Masisi at Office of President on Thursday Zainab Salisu said Dangote has expressed massive interest in setting up billion dollar industries in Botswana. “We have a lot of investors who wish to come and invest in Botswana , when we look at Botswana we don’t see Botswana itself , but we are lured by its geographic location , being in the centre of Southern Africa presents a good opportunity for strategic penetration into other markets of the region,” said Salisu.