The President of Botswana Democratic Party’s (BDP) Women’s Wing Dorcas Makgato has said her committee applauds local commentators, pressure groups and members of the community who are freely discussing issues of child sexual abuse; a topic that has for a long time been seemingly a taboo. This she said at a press briefing yesterday at BDP head office.
She however said the spotlight should not only shine on the much discussed issue where Councillor for Sebina Kemmonye Amon and Assistant Minister of Education and Skills Development Fedelis Molao are alleged to have discussed through their Facebook accounts details of an alleged impregnation of a young school girl in Sebina by Amon.
“There are 400 plus other similar cases and for that reason I wish to steer away from Amon and Molao and open dialogue regarding the situation as a pandemic that has been in our backyard since time immemorial. Failure to do so will turn the matter into a political one,” she said.
Makgato said to suspend the two men in question from office pending investigations will be a very hasty decision and an ill informed one.
She referred to the situation as a dark cloud whose silver lining will soon be appreciated.
“Our nation is currently facing a dark cloud of rape, incest, defilement and abortion to mention but a few. Let us not turn the Sebina saga into a political issue by focusing our attention only on one incident because the incident is by far not at the core of our issues,” she continued.
She is of the view that Batswana need to instead revisit their social fibre as a nation and see their situation for what it really is and therein they will find the solution. Makgato called on Batswana to have faith on their legal system and trust that the police will do their job diligently.
“By the same token the BDP Women’s Wing should at this point not be expected to prescribe outcomes to BDP. We can only urge the party to hurry investigations so that it becomes clear as soon as possible what the way forward should be, but I still can assure members of the public that sacking people is not going to make the problem go away,” she insisted.
She said going forward there is a need for broad-based multi-sectoral dialogue that will provide information on the magnitude of the problem, its causes and ultimately develop broad-based strategic interventions for the different stakeholders.
“Specific stakeholders should include Education, Health, Local Government, Civil Societies, NGO’s, Religious Bodies and most importantly communities,” she said. Makgato said all these stakeholders should then develop an implementation plan to implement the proposed interventions that have been agreed upon. “Let us also recognise that there are much deeper implications than the pregnancy itself. The dialogue will need to interrogate the consequences thereafter and not just that of the pregnancy itself,” said Makgato. She said the consequences include the maintenance of the child; stigma attached to teenage pregnancies as well as diminished future prospects of the young girl among other things.