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What the law says about polygamy

Kgosi Kebinatshwene Mosielele of the Bahurutshe of Manyana’s call for polygamy to be legalized has raised eyebrows. According to him, with regard to the customary law, polygamy is legal in Botswana and dates back long back.


Mosielele described polygamy as a traditional system that solely exists to give a family some kind of backbone and protection. He added the system allowed for a man to marry up to four wives provided valid reasons are stated for the marriage to take place.

First the wife must willingly consent to the marriage, and thereafter the elders could carry an assessment to determine whether the man’s economic status allows him to provide for the family, he stated.


“This is one way of formalizing Bonyatsi,” Mosielele exclaimed. He pointed that extra marital relationships as addressed in the civil law have become worrisome. He explained that in often times women are caught on the wrong side of the law for being romantically involved with married men.

Mosielele further stated that he finds it disturbing that the women are the ones who face the vulnerability of being labeled home wreckers and being fined whereas no one tries to figure out what could have been the cause of the man seeking a concubine.

The adamant Mosielele said he believes more than 50% of men have concubines and because all of this is done in secrecy it is the cause of why modern marriages are faced with a lot of problems often leading to divorce.


Human Rights lawyer and Activist Tshiamo Rantao however opined that civil law disputes polygamy and guards it as a criminal offence. Rantao furthers highlighted that with regard to the customary law, marrying more than one wife is allowed provided there is consent from the first wife. “Such a system like polygamy in Botswana is unpopular and it is a very sensitive issue to the female counter parts,” Rantao said.


Nonetheless, Mosielele also admits that in the modern age it is a sensitive issue, more especially to women. But went on to caution women to face and accept the reality that there is no such thing as love. He remarked that women confuse love with security.

In his explanation, Mosielele indicated that it is normal for a woman to be fond of a man who provides for her, but it is also very important for women to be open minded and considerate on matters of polygamy as it is a system that dates back to our forefathers times, sighting that there are also Setswana proverbs with the likes of “Lelwapa le tiisiwa ke nyatsi” loosely translated as meaning a family is strengthened by a concubine.


“It is only a handful of men that have resources to securely provide for their women, and all the women fight for that 5%, that is why everything should be formalized to contain the spread of diseases like HIV/AIDS and discourage divorce,” the controversial chief quipped.


Mogolo Ramalebana, a young woman pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Chinese Studies at the University of Botswana said she was intrigued by the mention of polygamy. She said the topic in itself was unexpected and sensitive. She however said it was a personal choice if anyone wanted to be in a polygamous marriage or not.


“If the first wife does not dispute the arrangement then, it simply says a man has a go-ahead of taking another wife,” Ramalebana points that legal or not infidelity in between partners is not  an easy thing to curb therefore she believes that  polygamy will  help partners to avoid having affairs in secrecy and do it in the open. “I feel we should not lie to ourselves by trying to put some measures into place like campaigns which speaks against polygamy and just go with it,” she opined.

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Woman swindled out of P62 000 by fake CID officers

17th June 2021
Motube

Botswana Police Service (BPS) has indicated concern about the ongoing trend where the general public falls victim to criminals purporting to be police officers.

According to BPS Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, the criminals target individuals at shopping malls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) where upon approaching the unsuspecting individual the criminals would pretend to have picked a substantial amount of money and they would make a proposal to the victims that the money is counted and shared in an isolated place.

“On the way, as they stop at the isolated place, they would start to count and sharing of the money, a criminal syndicate claiming to be Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer investigating a case of stolen money will approach them,” said Motube in a statement.

The Commissioner indicated that the fake police officers would instruct the victims to hand over all the cash they have in their possession, including bank cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN), the perpetrators would then proceed to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.

Motube also revealed that they are also investigating a case in which a 69 year old Motswana woman from Molepolole- who is a victim of the scam- lost over P62 000 last week Friday to the said perpetrators.

“The Criminal syndicate introduced themselves as CID officers investigating a case of robbery where a man accompanying the woman was the suspect.’’

They subsequently went to the woman’s place and took cash amounting to over P12 000 and further swindled amount of P50 000 from the woman’s bank account under the pretext of the further investigations.

In addition, Motube said they are currently investigating the matter and therefore warned the public to be vigilant of such characters and further reminds the public that no police officer would ask for bank cards and PINs during the investigations.

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BCP walks out of UDC meeting

15th June 2021
Boko and Saleshando

Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leadership walked out of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this week on account of being targeted by other cooperating partners.

UDC meet for the first time since 2020 after previous futile attempts, but the meeting turned into a circus after other members of the executive pushed for BCP to explain its role in media statements that disparate either UDC and/or contracting parties.

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Katlholo wins against DPP

15th June 2021
DCEC DIRECTOR: Tymon Katlholo

The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo’s spirited fight against the contentious transfers of his management team has forced the Office of the President to rescind the controversial decision. However, some insiders suggest that the reversal of the transfers may have left some interested parties with bruised egos and nursing red wounds.

The transfers were seen by observers as a badly calculated move to emasculate the DCEC which is seen as defiant against certain objectionable objectives by certain law enforcement agencies – who are proven decisionists with very little regard for the law and principle.

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