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Miss Botswana finale headed for Phikwe



STRUTTING THEIR STUFF: Contestants on the ramp

In their bid to revive the Miss Botswana pageant, the organizers have announced that this year’s finale scheduled for September 12th will be hosted in Selebi Phikwe.

This was announced yesterday by the pageant organizer, Benjamin Raletsatsi, when officially opening the Miss Botswana fashion show held at Cresta Lodge.

Raletsatsi said “I would like to welcome the SPEDU team to the Miss Botswana Fashion Show. Our five year dream still stands as set out in our five year strategy to re-build the Miss Botswana brand from scratch with a big goal of attempting to bid for the Miss world in about 4 years as our plan”.

“To implement our dream, we had- as per tradition, gone on a national search to produce today’s top 30 ladies. We have engaged Botswana upcoming and established designers of clothing and jewellery to dress the girls this night and showcase Botswana fashion  power. We have also engaged Batswana local designers to re-design the Miss Botswana crown using local products including our diamonds,” he added. 

For the past 25 days the top 30 ladies underwent a boot camp in preparation for the eliminatory fashion show.

The boot camp included among others, seminars on day to day issues affecting the youth. The ladies also had the opportunity to interact with professionals who shared health and beauty tips, personal development and emotional intelligence among others. 

Yesterday about twelve fashion designers and three accessory designers showcased at the fashion show which gave judges an opportunity to select the top twelve among the competing ladies.

The judges were looking for poise, beauty, stage presence and personality as well as presentation.

At the end of the night the judges chose Michele Letsoalo, Orefile Mokgoaja, Truth Pule, Uua Murangi, Winfred Mocha, Wendy Maduma, Britney Maje, Joy Kopanang, Oratile Baleti, Maatla Diphuti, Olerato Rantuana and Oweditse Phirinyane.

The beauties will strut their stuff at the finale and give the judges the opportunity to select the fairest of them all who will be crowned by the reigning queen, Moitsheoi Ellias.


Condemned to death



Man to be hanged for butchering lover

The Francistown High Court was a scene of heart wrenching grief and sorrow on Thursday after Judge Bengbame Sechele handed down a death sentence to a convited murderer.

The devastated family of Wedu Mosalagage (32) who murdered a then 24- year old Barobi Rampape in Letlhakanein 2012 wept bitterly at the end of the court session.

Mosalagae from Mmatshumu village was found guilty of brutally murdering Rampape by slitting her throat with a knife seven years ago in Letlhakane village where she was employed as a nurse at Letlhakane Primary Hospital.

Her decomposed body was found two days after she was slain with blood in the house and her head almost decapitated.

Defence attorney, Gontse Simon tried to convince the court that there were extenuating circumstances in the case, which could reduce the sentence.

His efforts however proved futile as Francistown High Court Judge, Bengbame Sechele ruled that there were no extenuating circumstances.

Simon submitted that the accused was a first offender and he committed the offence out of jealousy and youthful exuberance, as he was aged 25 at the time of committing the horrendous crime.

“It was Simon’s submission that the accused has since incorporated a company that has been engaged by government to execute certain works. He further submitted that the accused could contribute meaningfully to the development of this country if afforded an opportunity to do so.

Lastly Simon stated that the accused has a five -year old child who is wholly dependent on him and has since adopted an orphan in his home village Mmatshumo.”

However Sechele when delivering the sentence noted that the young woman was killed for a simple short txt message she received that said, “I am in Letlhakane and I will be going back tomorrow.”

‘This message did not say much, save to inform the deceased that the sender was in Letlhakane and will be departing the next day. The accused viewed the message differently and picked up a fight with the deceased over it and he inflicted the injuries from which the deceased demised,” said the judge.

He further observed that in his view, at the age of 25 the accused was a mature adult and that he was no longer prone to any youthful enthusiasm.

“I take the view that the accused’s jealousy and youthful exuberance were not sufficiently appreciable to abate the moral blameworthiness of the accused in strangulating and cutting deceased’s throat with the knife.

IN HAPPIER TIMES: Wedu and Barobi

My findings in this regard will in consequences tie me to the penalty provided for under section 203 of the penal code. I will in the circumstances sentence the accused to death in terms of section 203 (1) of the penal code of laws of Botswana,” Judge Sechele concluded as he sent Mosalagae to the gallows.

Deceased family speaks

The deceased’s 34-year-old brother, Peter Rampape said he was pleased with the sentence meted out to the accused and he will finally find closure. “There was no reason for him to have brutally killed my sister,” he said.

“She was the breadwinner and now life has changed tragically for the whole family. The sentence will also act as a deterrent to would be perpetrators of such barbaric crimes,” the softspoken Rampape noted.

The deceased’s elder sister, Malebogo Molibi Rampape told The Voice that she acted as her late sister’s guardian when she was a schoolgirl. “I was a street vendor, selling sweets to ensure that my siblings do not sleep on an empty stomach.

Barobi grew up to become our breadwinner but unfortunately we lost her at a tender age,” Rampape said.

Another relative, Latelang Pheto said Barobi was brutally killed.

“He had cut the throat and it looked like he had tried to cut off the head and failed. She was killed on a Friday and we only heard of the incident on Sunday. If you were not a relative you could not stand the stinking smell and it was very hot in summer.” said the elderly woman.

“That man really disappointed the Rampape family as we expected a lot from Barobi,” the visibly heartbroken Pheto said.

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Sex starved man granted bail



After spending two years behind bars awaiting trial, a man who allegedly strangled his wife to death for denying him sex, breathed freely this week after he was granted bail by a Molepolole Magistrates court.

Lady luck smiled on the 61-year-old Gomotsegang Kgeresi as Chief Magistrate Goabaone Rammapudi, granted him bail with lighter conditions after he failed to meet the initial conditions following his incarceration two years ago.

The initial conditions required Kgeresi to provide two sureties binding themselves with the sum of P3000.00 each, but no one came forth to assist him.

Magistrate Rammapudi who was concerned that the matter had taken too long to go to trial due to delay by the prosecution, this week considered Kgeresi’s circumstances and granted him a P3000.00 conditional bail.

He was also ordered to report to Molepolole police fortnightly on Mondays effective August 19th, 2019.

Kgeresi is accused of murdering his wife, 43-year-old Khutsafalo Kegopotswe, by strangling her with a red scarf and shoving his underwear down her throat.

The deceased was discovered by her 17-year-old son in the wee hours of Thursday morning of September 14th, 2017 lying motionless in the one-roomed tin house she shared with her husband, covered with a blanket on the floor near her bed.

The neighbours also found the deceased wearing a t-shirt and her underwear at the ankles with her legs wide open.

Kgeresi had confessed to the police that he murdered his wife because she refused to have sex with him for two months.

The couple were married under customary law earlier in 2017.

The case continues and Kgeresi will appear for mention on September 17th, 2019.

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Dry times ahead



As Ministry abandons controversial Masama water pipeline project

The construction of a 100 kilometre water pipeline from Masama wellfields to Mmamashia water treatment plant whose funding was recently rejected by parliament is now water under the bridge.

The Minister of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services, Kefentse Mzwinila, told local media that they have totally abandoned the project which was expected to address water shortfall in the southern part of the country.

Recently, before it closed, parliament rejected supplementary budget requests by finance minister, Kenneth Matambo, for the approval of P900 million which was supposed to go towards the design and construction of the pipeline.

The project was expected to augment water shortage in the Greater Gaborone area which has daily demand of 145 million litres of water against the 80 million litres currently pumped to the southern part of the country through the North South Carrier I (NSC I) pipeline.

“We have serious water stress in the country, and as the ministry, we had proposed a project that is known as the Masama pipeline, we presented this to parliament and was declined. So, as the ministry, that project is closed,” said Mzwinila.

He said they had proposed the project due to water supply deficit in the Greater Gaborone area which currently stands at 65 million litres per day.

According to Mzwinila, the demand for water in the Greater Gaborone has an annual increase of five percent and it is expected to reach 215 million litres per day by 2024.

Since the project has now been abandoned, Mzwinila said the remaining options are the costly ones which run into billions of Pula.

These alternatives include drawing water from the Lesotho water highlands, drawing water from the ocean through Namibia as well as from the Chobe River in the northern part of the country.

But as it stands, the minister said he is not sure which option will be considered with the Masama pipeline having failed as parliament has refused to approve the funds.

Before parliament rejected a request by Matambo, the procuring entity, Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) had already selected its preferred bidder, Khato Civils to carry out the design and the construction of the 100km pipeline.

Although a contract was yet to be signed as WUC was waiting for the approval of the funds, the bidder was however notified and according to WUC Acting CEO, Gaselemogwe Senai, the corporation will invoke the clause of the agreement which stated that the works will not begin until funds are approved.

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The transformer



Promises to deliver a new Government Ward

With her huge and imposing physique as well as an impressive social media engagement, it is hard to ignore the political figure in Tunah Thakayapelo Moalosi Kgokong.

Having worked behind the scenes under the mentorship of the President of Alliance for Progressives, Ndaba Gaolatlhe, and other leaders such as Phenyo Butale and Margaret Nasha, she has decided to come out and be counted among women who will be contesting in the 2019 general elections.

The Voice Staffer, DANIEL CHIDA had an interview with AP’s council candidate for Government Ward who spoke highly of her party’s envisioned ‘New Botswana’ and engaging experts to run climate change and green economy programmes for the nation.

Kindly Take us through your journey in politics

I was raised by parents who were both active in politics but under different parties, but growing up I was never interested in politics until in 2010 when BMD was formed.

Like most people of my generation, I was inspired by the late Gomolemo Motswaledi to join active politics and fight injustice perpetuated by the then Khama regime.

You played a major role in branding AP on social media and made sure that it’s visible, where do you get the motivation and inspiration?

I believe so much in AP and what it stands for. I was inspired by our leader, Ndaba Gaolathe, who has the best interest of Batswana at heart.

Just like my MP Dr Phenyo Butale, our president had a choice to follow his career but he chose us as a nation because he has a clear vision of how the new Botswana would be like and what it takes to reach it after working together collectively ‘Rele Batswana’

Why did you choose to contest for Government ward?

I decided to seek this office because I realize Government ward has come to a critical crossroad and once elected, I will make sure the street lights are functional.

The city has grown considerably over the years, and we have now reached a point where it is time for us to decide as a community what we want to become, where we want to go and how we want to get there.

Never has it been more important to elect to the City Council a person who can represent your voice; someone who will act only in the best interest of Government ward and its bright future.

I believe I am capable of meeting that challenge and I look forward to the work ahead

Politicians can talk convincingly but fail to deliver, how different are you?

I have made it a goal of my campaign and when elected, to let the public know through direct mail or any other communication platform convenient, what is going on after each Council meeting in a non-partisan but accessible manner.

Back to your earlier question I want to add that as a former sales and marketing Person, I want our city to stand on solid financial ground and to receive its fair share of state and local aid in order to update the services this city council provides its residents.

Since our seniors form the backbone of our community, I intend to see that they get both the additional parking space clearly marked “for the elderly” and services they both need and deserve from the city council.

For students, I will make it a priority to make IHS (Institute of Health Sciences) environment more conducive for learning by providing facilities for “edutainment”.

People need a representative who will listen to all constituents and spend less time focused on their political career.

Why is there low participation of women in politics?

Women were culturally disadvantaged and overburdened with more responsibilities that hinder their competitiveness in politics.

Historically women have also been economically disadvantaged, so most struggle with resources that are key to any political contest.

I am contesting not only to increase the voice of women in politics at council but also to demonstrate that as women we are equally capable and can serve our people diligently.

Like you said, funds are always a challenge, so who is sponsoring your campaign?

I have supportive family members, elders and friends who sponsor my campaign because they believe in me and my vision for a New Government Ward.

Above all I thank God almighty for providing and giving me strength to keep me going.

When I look at people like MmaTshireletso who started from humble beginnings as a councillor until she became a Minister, I feel motivated and work hard to emulate her.

How do you think your party will perform in the coming elections?

AP is the government in waiting and we are going to perform very well because voters from across all political parties know we are the only party which can take this country far.

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BDP postpone Moswaane’s launch



NO SHOW: Moswaane’s launch postponed

The planned launch for Fracistown Member of Parliament Ignitius Moswaane has been postponed indefinitely.

The Voice has been informed that the party intended to suspend the outspoken MP, but somehow news of his suspension was leaked before the letter could be given to him.

News of his suspension was not received well by his supporters who could be heard vowing to stick with their MP.

In a brief interview with The Voice Moswaane said he was not aware of his suspension.

He however confirmed that his launch has indeed been postponed. “I was told about the postponement of my launch and I understand my crime was the recent motion in Parliament,” he said.

The Francistown West MP was one of the few BDP members who openly spoke against the P900 million tender awarded to Khato Civils for the north/south water  project.
Moswaane said what was supposed to be a launch will now be a star rally.

The maverick politician was supposed to be launched by Sefhare/Ramokgonami MP Dorcas Makgato and some of the speakers included Nata/Gweta MP Polson Majaga.

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