The Monitor :: Rre Masisi Do Like Mogae
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Last Updated
Tuesday 18 December 2018, 15:43 pm.
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Rre Masisi Do Like Mogae

Back in the 1990s, when Botswana was on the verge of being “wiped out” by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, the then president Festus Mogae took bold steps; appealed to the developed world for for funds and anti-retroviral drugs.
By Monitor Editor Mon 06 Aug 2018, 11:21 am (GMT +2)
The Monitor :: Rre Masisi Do Like Mogae








Even bolder was getting the nation to face the pandemic head-on, to speak about it and break the silence, thus addressing the stigma. He got leaders, at all levels – Cabinet, Parliament, Dikgosi and all other leaders – to ensure that their speeches did not go without the words HIV and AIDS. The ostrich head in the sand syndrome was broken, and the nation was educated to know about the life-threatening condition and its implications if not attended to, urgently. 

Out of denial Batswana came, and more and more tested, and those infected starting taking life-saving therapy and the death toll dropped. Stigma, though still there especially in small circles, was broken, and today IDCC clinics across the country are visited and Botswana’s story has changed for the better. But not completely. With development, the good comes with the bad.

And the bad, or the worst in Botswana society today, as with many communities around the world, amongs the societal ills is the monster called Gender Based Violence (GBV). Domestic violence has become the norm so much that femicide has taken root. From the early 2000s, Botswana started experiencing a social ill called “passion killings”. Passion killing because Batswana reasoned that men violently taking lives were doing it in the heat of passion.

Along violent killings was another monster called rape. Women and children

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were, and continue to be violated, on the streets, in the offices and worse in their homes. The perpetrators are not only thugs roaming the streets, day and night, but also people victims know – fathers, uncles, cousins, boyfriends, friends, colleagues, bosses, teachers and even leaders.  The killings have become so violence that on Saturday in Gaborone, a family had to bury their headless daughter, who was allegedly killed and her head dislodged by a boyfriend.

The month of August, which in neighbouring South Africa is declared a Women’s month, started off on a violent blood soaked period for Batswana women, and it may seem, women the world over.  These  acts of violence against women and children, finally jerked gender activists to rise and demand answers.

The small team of social media activists of the IshallNotForget movement, born in 2016 to fight child abuse, rose and hit the social media space this past week, demanding to hear voices of political leadership against these hideous crimes. The group targeted the President, Cabinet, MPs and political leaders across the political divide. 

Our appeal to President Masisi is to take leaf from Mogae, and get all leaders to speak out – in Cabinet, in Parliament, at Council chambers, at Dikgotla, at others Maybe, just maybe, rape and murder of women and children will end.

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Mon 06 Aug 2018, 11:21 am
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