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Govt blocks prisoners from medical care

The office of the Ombudsman is investigating a scandal in which the Prisons Service facilities are in the habit of denying inmates medical attention which they are entitled to.

Weekendpost has gathered that the issue escalated to the office of the Ombudsman following several difficulties and outright refusal by the Prisons authorites to allow inmates ot access medical care citing a litany of different flawed reasons.Inhumane treatment of prisoners and lack of adequate medical care have been attacked as inherently cruel methods of punishment in the correctional system.

The office of the Ombudsman confirmed to this Publication that they are inundated with correspondences from Prisoners across the country on the issue.Correspondences between the office of the Ombudsman and Prisoners are not censored by the Prisons Services as is the case with any other.

“We do receive quite a lot of complaints from prisoners incarcerated in all prisons across the country, these grievances are generally the same for both local and foreign prisoners. Our assessment shows that the Francistown branch Office receives the bulk of the prisoner’s complaints to this office.  Infact,  most of complaints from foreign inmates are received by our Francistown office,” reads a response from the Ombudsman’s office.

The office confirmed that they have recieved several complaints over delayed or denied access to medical attention.Asked on what action they have taken the office said, “We have made recommendations where applicable and have now determined that there is a need for a systematic investigation particularly in issues relating to denial or delayed access to medical attention. This would not be confined to the foreign prisoners only”.

On asking for medical assistance, many prisoners, a source at the office, said they are told to be patient and often accused of creating unnecesary trips. Inmates are completely dependent upon the Prisons authorities for medical attention.

An official from the Ombudsman who wanted to remain anonymous said the deprivation reports from the Prisoners range from delays and denials of care, failure to provide medication and medical devices, lack of timely emergency treatment and denial of specialty care and referrals among others. He added that inmates who are ill are still seen as prisoners first and patients last.

The Chairman of Botswana Institution of Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Offenders, BIRRO, Mothei Sejakgomo who is an ex-prisoner himself confirmed the challenges of access to medical attention saying the Prisons authorities cite security issues among others. Asked about whether it is true that inmates often make up stories to take leave from Prisons facilities, Sejakgomo said it is also common for inmates to concoct stories to go outside to unwind and have a temporary free time. “It is commonly known as Zwapo or Gotlhatswa matlho,” he responded.

BIRRO chairman advised that it is important to address all the inadequacies within Prisons health facilities before coming up with stringent policies or decisions. “Most of the clinics inside Prisons are not equipped and that forces inmates to access proper care outside,” he said.

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6th February 2023

After falling to close the gap on Arsenal by losing to a record breaking goal by Kane at the Tottenham stadium.Manchester City now find themselves being charged by the Premier League with more than 100 breaches of its financial rules following a four-year investigation.

According to BBC , it has referred the club to an independent commission over alleged rule breaches between 2009 and 2018 , and also that Man-city has not been co-operating since the investigation which started in 2018 .

BBC further states that The commission can impose punishment including a fine , points deduction and expelling the club from the Premier league.

The alleged breaches include ,  breaching rules for requiring full details of manager remuneration,from 2009-2010, to 2012-2013 seasons when Roberto Mancini was in charge . Also player remuneration between 2010-2011 and 2015-2016.

The Premier league stated that City breached rules related to UEFA regulations , including Financial Fair Play , from 2013-2014 to 2017-2018 ,as well as Premier League rules on profitability and sustainability from 2014-2016 to 2017-2018

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South Korean Embassy aids students living with disabilities

6th February 2023

South Korean Ambassador in South Africa has donated e-learning equipment through Botswana Red Cross Society (BRCS) to Tlamelong Rehabilitation Centre in Tlokweng recently, in a bid to fine tune the student’s textile skills.  

When talking at the handing over ceremony, Chull-Joo Park, said they agreed with BRCS to give out e-learning equipment to better the training skills of students living with disabilities.

“With the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equipment and job training skills, we will be able to help the students living with disabilities to do e-learning and to better their education and job training,” said Chull-Joo Park.

It was revealed that the South Korean Embassy approached BRCS with the intent to donate equipment and educational material that includes an embroidery machine, photo copier machine, tablets and interactive boards to be utilized by the trainees.

The industrial printer is a machine that works with embroidery machine to print designs for clothing and it will enable the learners to have more material available to them to facilitate learning.

Through this embroidery machine, students will be exposed to better technologies which ultimately improve the quality of materials they produce. It will also allow students to learn business skills and run profitable ventures.

Smart board gadgets will provide the students with an elevated learning process to be fostered by e-learning. The gadgets provide a more visual element to the learning process, which in turn improves learner mental retention.

Tlamelong Rehabilitation serves the marginalized and underserved less privileged persons living with disability in Botswana. The center offers boarding services, vocational training, social services, physiotherapy and rehabilitation services for young people living disabilities aged 18-35 from across the country over a period of two (2) years per cohort which has a maximum intake capacity of 35. BRCS through International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have managed to create great working synergy with the South Korean Embassy in Pretoria based in South Africa to support or augment the National Society’s Rehabilitation Centre’s learning challenges.

For his part, BRSC Secretary General Kutlwano Mokokomani said they are delighted to convey their gratitude as BRSC to the South Korean Embassy for donation and they look forward to an enduring partnership for such worthy causes.

“South Korean Embassy’s great gesture will enable trainees to thrive, to fulfil their dreams to become a reality as this equipments will go a long way in creating great impact in the lives of trainees and their families. We wish to convey our sincere gratitude to the South Korean Embassy for their noble gesture of donating the E-learning equipments.”

BRCS offers rehabilitation services spread across three (3) areas in Botswana being Sefhare Stimulation center in Sefhare, Tshimologo stimulation center in Francistown and Tlamelong rehabilitation center in Tlokweng.

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DIS alleges plot to kill Masisi hatched in South Africa

6th February 2023

A dispute is brewing between Botswana and South Africa intelligence agencies over alleged mercenary training camps discovered in South Africa by the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS). 

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