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Female drug addicts speak on prostitution and rape

Just like any other country in the world, Botswana is being faced with a similar problem of drug usage. Drug use continues to reach peak worldwide, with over 296 million people said to be using drugs. In 2021, 1 in every 17 people aged 15-64 in the world had used a drug.

Cannabis continues to be the most used drug, with an estimated 219 million users (4.3 per cent of the global adult population) in 2021. Use of the drug is increasing and although globally cannabis users are mostly men (about 70 per cent), the gender divide is reducing in some subregions; women account for 42 per cent of cannabis users in North America.

It is estimated that in 2021, 36 million people had used amphetamines, 22 million had used cocaine and 20 million had used “ecstasy”-type substances in the past year.

The proportion of female users is higher in the case of amphetamine-type stimulants (45 per cent of users are women) and non-medical use of pharmaceuticals (between 45 and 49 per cent of users are women), whereas the highest share of men is found in users of opiates (75 per cent) and cocaine (73 per cent).

Opioids continue to be the group of substances with the highest contribution to severe drug-related harm, including fatal overdoses. An estimated 60 million people engaged in non-medical opioid use in 2021, 31.5 million of whom used opiates (mainly heroin).

This week, one of the female drug addicts based in Gaborone shared her story, of how she started with drugs. She introduced herself as a drug addict, an alcoholic and a former sex worker. Tapedza Skelemani (41) said she started using drugs just for the fun of it, she was never influenced by anyone.

“I have suffered addiction from a very young age. It started before I actually taken a drink or a drug. If I look back and reflect on my behavior and the things I would do, I look at addiction at something that I failed to control. I could organize everything in life except for that one thing: addiction. I used addiction to hide from my day-to-day reality. I felt awkward, I felt not part of people and I never fit in regardless of where you are,” she said when opening up to the media about her drug addiction.

Skelemani further said she got into full blown addiction after finishing high school. Her drug of choice was cocaine, and obviously alcohol. She stressed that finding cocaine in Botswana is a walk in the park.

“Because of my addiction, I have done many things that I am not proud of. I lost lot of people who were very close to me, I have hurt my family, I stole, I robbed, and I did everything to get something to put down my nose and nothing mattered. If you’re an addict, you can say that you love your child, but if you are still addicted, you love your drug more. That’s the painful reality because as I speak, I am not longer with my son.”

She said this is because she was taken to court and her family sued her for custody of her child. “They did not trust me with him. Understandably, because they locked doors in their house for their child. I stole money, jewelry and I didn’t care. I woke up every day and I wanted to die.”

When sharing more of her dark story, Skelemani indicated that she went to Cape Town in South Africa for school. Unfortunately, she ended up in the streets.

“I was in the streets, selling myself (prostitution). This was done to feed my drug addiction. I did the same here in Botswana and a lot of young girls do it here. People who you wouldn’t think would do it are actually doing it. They are on drugs, or in some way, trading themselves. There are trap houses, one down the road, Extension 10, Extension 12, Gaborone West as far as Gaborone North. I have seen children as young as 12. They are selling themselves for drugs.”

When explaining further on how trap houses are designed, Skelemani said “you walk in, you don’t leave. Your life revolves around these four walls around the yard. You can come out after days and you don’t even know how-to walk-in public. You’re afraid, you can’t even look at the sun and you don’t know what to think. People abuse you. That becomes your life.”

“I have been left to die two or three different cities in South Africa. I was driven away with, raped and left in the middle of gang land in Cape Town by two people and kidnapped by Nigerians in Durban. I come from a very good family and these things happen to anyone, it doesn’t discriminate. We are all affected and we need these kinds of organizations because there has to be some kind of hope.”

Another victim, Tumelo Ncube (37) from Bokaa in Kgatleng, reiterated that drug usage has landed her in a dark corner, saying “we are not living, basically. Life is not great as it should be. I was raked from the streets and people still look at me in a way that is not pleasing. They see my appearance. I have three children and I don’t know what I want in life. I haven’t given up yet but drugs and everything that we do in between doesn’t give us peace.”

Ncube said at one point she disappeared for nine months and no one knew where she was. At some point, it was thought that she has passed on. When she returned, she landed in drugs again.

“I started socializing with the same people who are into drugs because I thought they were friends. I must say I was pressured by these people into drugs. There was no how they could be content and I wasn’t. We had to trade ourselves for P30.00 to get money for drugs.”

In a further upsetting confession, Ncube stressed that she can visit her children after years, similar to both of her parents. She however, said, it is not all lost emphasizing that life of drugs will never be kind.




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Boko, Khama lead UDC 2024 campaigns

25th September 2023

With almost a year left before the 2024 general elections, political parties are busy preparing themselves and in the process designing poster cards bearing faces of their lead or champion campaigners.

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Chinese, Masisi sisters deny ‘hijacking’ P500 million tender

25th September 2023

The merry-go-round is never ending in the dispute between Joseph Pilane and family. Of late, the Chinese contractor implicated in the case, Huashi Li and President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s sisters, Phadi Mmutle Masisi and Tshidi Masisi Hlanze have denied any links to the President’s nephew, Pilane.

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The Fields Mall dragged to court over GCET Show

25th September 2023

A legal battle between Interlink Communications (Proprietary) Limited and the newly built Fields Mall over the much anticipated technology show schedules for the 22nd of this month has begun.

Davies Tamali , the owner of Interlink Communication has filed papers before High Court Judge Dr Godfrey Radijeng  where he seek an urgent interdiction of the Gaborone Consumer Electronics & Technology (GCET) show pending the final determination of the ownership of intellectual property rights over the event and damages based on misappropriation of intellectual property rights.

According to Tamali, GCET is the brainchild which was originally called “Tech Expo Botswana” as he ideated, conceptualised, organised and delivered the event details on behalf of Interlink Communications to the management of the fields Mall.

His papers further insist that the concept was introduced to the respondents through a proposal document sent by emails and Whatsapp on Monday the 8th of May 2023 as a request for venue usage and pricing.

According to Tamali, the respondents unlawfully and maliciously got hold of his proposal, took it unbeknown to him and presented themselves to the public, world at large to be the owners and original creators of the event.

“It is worth noting that the fields mall was actually the second venue center to be approached by the Applicants to host the event, with the first being Fairgrounds Holdings. The fact that the event can be hosted by other venues is a clear indication that the applicant is the owner of the event.”

Tamali pled with court to treat the application with urgency because by the time the action proceedings are heard in the ordinary course, the respondents would have finished planning his event and sharing his ideas even with other parties.

“On the basis of the conduct of the respondent, the matter is so urgent it cannot proceed in accordance with the normal Court processes given the times, as to so do will defeat the very purpose which is to preserve the status quo and to ensure that my rights are protected through a judicial process.”


According to Tamali, the issue began after Davies had received the quotation costing from Fairgrounds Mall, which in essence he thought were beyond his pricing budget.

“This led to a request for quotation phone call on or about 7 May 2023 between the Tamali and Ayanda an employee of the fields who works under the supervision of the Nazly Dawood.”

Davies advised Ayanda that he was looking for a suitable venue to host a technology expo to be called “Tech Expo Botswana” which led to Ayanda asking what the expo was about. Following which Ayanda then advised that she would speak to her boss, Nazly about the event.

Tamali reveals that on the 8th May 2023, he followed up with Ayanda and she advised that she had not yet managed to speak to her boss.

He says that on the 15th of May 2023, he made another follow up and he was advised that Nazly wanted more details about the event so that she would be better placed to make a determination and final decision thereafter.

According to court papers, on the 17th of May 2023, Tamali followed up again and Ayanda advised that she had not yet managed to speak to her boss since last update, however she asked Tamali to call her later and when he called she advised that Nazly had asked for a detailed proposal so they can determine how to assist.

“It is common cause that on 17 May 2023 following the phone call with Ayanda, Tamali  submitted a written proposal via email to the following email addresses; and using a link to Ayanda and Nazly requesting a quotation to use the Fields Mall as a venue for Tech Expo Botswana”

It is further revealed that on the 19th of May 2023, Tamali followed up with Ayanda and the Nazly.  He was told that they were still discussing the issue hence they would get back to him.

“On 23 May 2023, Tamali sent a copy of the information pack to Ayanda on whatsapp. He then followed up with a phone call, upon which he was dismayed to hear Ayanda stated that they were also hosting a similar event called “Gaborone Consumer Electronics & Technology Show 2023” so they could not host his event.”

According to Ayanda, the started organizing the same event in May during the Gaborone Motor show.

“On or about 22 or 23 May 2023, I received a call from an individual who identified himself as Christian (The first respondent), who I now know to be the forefront of the current impeding GCET. He called me under the false pretense of being under the employ of fairgrounds holdings requesting information of how much I had paid for the fairgrounds venue”. Wrote Tamali.

He says that he advised him that the venue has not being paid yet, Christian then proceeded to ask why he advertised for an event that he has not yet paid for.

“I then explained to Christian that I had mentioned to his colleague Kesego that I would be advertising the event so that I get a general feel of how receptive the community was to such an event. I then asked Christian if he had spoken to Kesego, I must note that his demenour changed as he showed that he did not know Kesego at all. At that point I realised that Christian was not under the employ of Fairgrounds holding.”

Tamali reveals that after the phone call, he google searched and found that there was a show titled GCET Show 2023, and discovered that it was advertised on facebook using the date and his venue.



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