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Basarwa back in court

Basarwa demand restoration of services

The high court would on Monday next week begin the trial on the demand by a group of Ranyane residents who would want the government to restore services it used to provide to them prior to the forced relocation of some residents to the neighbouring Bere settlement.

The demanded services include, free clean water, Ipelegeng and the mobile clinic which were cut out from the settlement shortly after the residents successfully stopped the relocation exercise through the high court last year.

The tribesmen of the Kgalagadi dessert in the Gantsi Administration who include Basarwa and Bakgalagadi would appear before Justice Terrence Rannowane of the Gaborone High court to register their grievances, their legal representative, Onalethata Kambai of Kambai Attorneys has confirmed.

The Ranyane residents who most of them live in abject poverty would have to travel hundreds of kilometres to Gaborone ahead of the Christmas holidays with the hope that they would have free clean water reopened for them very soon.

Most of the residents of Ranyane seldom bath their bodies and wash their clothes due to the limited fresh water from the borehole. The residents buy diesel to keep the borehole engine running from the little monies they get from working in the neighbouring farms. The government has stopped the draught relieve and poverty eradication programmes (Ipelegeng) from Ranyane and has taken away the engine borehole.

The desperate residents had to sell their livestock and bought the borehole engine and to date the unemployed people contribute every month to buy 2000 litres of diesel for the engine. The village itself has no fuel station and therefore they have to travel a long distance to buy the diesel from another village every month.

According to some of Ranyane residents, the people were left “hungry, dirty, ill, penniless and secluded. Even the destitute programmes are far from our reach and the elderly are not getting their pensions.”

Since the mobile clinic stopped coming to the settlement the residents have no access to contraceptives and say they are often left to have unprotected sex and exposed to unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases including HIV and AIDS.

They would then have to travel some forty kilometres and some time by foot to the nearby Metsimantsho settlement to get health care.

Some of the residents claim that they eat wild roots everyday such that they are getting depleted. The government has denied these people hunting licences and in the absence of food they depend on wild roots and berries.

 Kashe Gadisele one of the plaintiffs in the matter added that he is certain that the government is denying his people rights to enjoy their share of the country’s economy because they have refused to be moved from the ancestral land.

Last year Ranyane residents who refused to be forcefully moved from the wildlife reserve area to the Bere settlement took government to court and won the case. However the government never restored the services and the people are of the view that it is because the decision makers have not accepted defeat and would do anything to frustrate the victors in the case.

The Metsimantsho ward that also houses Ranyane, has voted against the ruling party in the just ended general elections and it is yet to be seen whether their ballot would help their case in any way.

The high profile case which has already attracted the attention of local and international human rights groups is set. 

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Gov’t shy to shame failing ministers

22nd February 2021

Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Kabo Morwaeng together with Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Elias Magosi, this week refused to name and shame the worst performing Ministries and to disclose the best performing Ministries since beginning of 12th parliament including the main reasons for underperformance.

Of late there have been a litany of complaints from both ends of the aisle with cabinet members accused of providing parliament with unsatisfactory responses to the questions posed. In fact for some Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) backbenchers a meeting with the ministers and party leadership is overdue to address their complaints. Jwaneng-Mabutsane MP, Mephato Reatile is also not happy with ministers’ performance.

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Bokamoso, Gov’t in P10M womb removal suit

22nd February 2021

Bokamoso Private Hospital is battling a P10 million legal suit for a botched fibroids operation which resulted in a woman losing an entire womb and her prospects of bearing children left at zero.

The same suit has also befallen the Attorney General of Botswana who is representing the Ministry of Health and Wellness for their contributory negligence of having the unlawful removal of a patient, Goitsemang Magetse’s womb.

According to the court papers, Magetse says that sometimes in November 2019, she was diagnosed with fibroids at Marina Hospital where upon she was referred to Bokamoso Private Hospital to schedule an appointment for an operation to remove the fibroids, which she did.

Magetse continues that at the instance of one Dr Li Wang, the surgeon who performed the operation, and unknown to her, an operation to remove her whole womb was conducted instead.
According to Magetse, it was only through a Marina Hospital regular check-up that she got to learn that her whole womb has been removed.

“At the while she was under the belief that only her fibroids have been removed. By doing so, the hospital has subjected itself to some serious delictual liability in that it performed a serious and life changing operation on patient who was under the belief that she was doing a completely different operation altogether. It thus came as a shock when our client learnt that her womb had been removed, without her consent,” said Magetse’s legal representatives, Kanjabanga and Associates in their summons.

The letter further says, “this is an infringement of our client‘s rights and this infringement has dire consequences on her to the extent that she can never bear children again”. ‘It is our instruction therefore, to claim as we hereby do, damages in the sum of BWP 10,000,000 (ten million Pula) for unlawful removal of client’s womb,” reads Kanjabanga Attorneys’ papers. The defendants are yet to respond to the plaintiff’s papers.

What are fibroids?

Fibroids are tumors made of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue. They develop in the uterus. It is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of women will develop fibroids in their lifetime — however, not everyone will develop symptoms or require treatment.

The most important characteristic of fibroids is that they’re almost always benign, or noncancerous. That said, some fibroids begin as cancer — but benign fibroids can’t become cancer. Cancerous fibroids are very rare. Because of this fact, it’s reasonable for women without symptoms to opt for observation rather than treatment.

Studies show that fibroids grow at different rates, even when a woman has more than one. They can range from the size of a pea to (occasionally) the size of a watermelon. Even if fibroids grow that large, we offer timely and effective treatment to provide relief.

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Masisi warned against a sinking Botswana

22nd February 2021
Ndaba GAolatlhe

The Alliance for Progressives (AP) President Ndaba Gaolathe has said that despite major accolades that Botswana continues to receive internationally with regard to the state of economy, the prospects for the future are imperilled.

Delivering his party Annual Policy Statement on Thursday, Gaolathe indicated that Botswana is in a state of do or die, and that the country’s economy is on a sick bed. With a major concern for poverty, Gaolathe pointed out that almost half of Botswana’s people are ravaged by or are about to sink into poverty.  “Our young people have lost the fire to dream about what they could become,” he said.

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