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HIV willful transmission on the rise – BONELA

Over the last two years, BONELA says it has observed a very disturbing and rising trend of issues related willful infection of sexual partners with HIV. Over the past two years the trend has increased and on a weekly basis an average of three cases is reported. This was revealed by BONELA’s Legal Advisor, Keikantse E. Phele.

“Willful transmission is the intentional and deliberate spreading of an infectious disease to another person. In this case HIV cases are rampant. The most common way of transmission is by engaging in unprotected sex. In many cases partners do not do couple testing and indulge in unprotected sex without insisting on knowing each other status.  On the other hand others mislead their partners that they are HIV negative,” said Phele.

‘This is a serious threat to achieving zero new infections by 2016; we therefore encourage people to insist on safer sex if they do not know the status of their partners. This is a worrying trend which projects a sad reality for our nation,’ advised Cindy Kelemi, BONELA Director.

Through consultations and mediation conducted by BONELA, the perpetrators expressed fear that disclosure of HIV positive status will result in stigmatization and or rejection.

The Legal Advisor further observed that although these cases are on the rise they are always difficult to prove since there is no evidence in most cases. “Most people we have assisted do not have a testing history which makes it difficult to proceed with legal assistance,” said Ms Phele.

Most victims of willful infection are women of ages 20-55 years old. Men have the least reported cases but for those reported they range from ages between 25-35 years old. Women are more vulnerable to such incidences therefore there is need to empower them to make informed decisions about safer sex.

Ms Phele, further advised that in order to make a valid legal claim of willful transmission, the complainant should provide the following:

Have a reasonable and or direct evidence that the perpetrator knew about their HIV status

Evidence of a consistent testing history

Report the matter to the nearest police at the earliest as it is a criminal offence to willfully infect another person with HIV.

One needs in all the above to have evidence so that it can be established that in all reasonable circumstances they have been willfully infected by the perpetrator.

“There is urgent need for stakeholders to raise public awareness about willful transmission while addressing issues relating to stigma and discrimination. We therefore appeal to the Government of Botswana to provide funding to NGO’s so that relevant stakeholders would raise awareness about these issues. There can never be justification for anyone to willingly infect others with HIV.”

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Khan: Boko, Masisi are fake politicians

18th January 2021
Masisi & Boko

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.

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Ookeditse rejects lobby for BPF top post

18th January 2021

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.

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BDP cancels MPs retreat

18th January 2021
President Masisi

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.

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