Molao’s failure to report Councillor Amon, his drinking buddy
• We, at BOFEPUSU, are deeply disheartened and perturbed by the ordeal that befell a student at Nata Senior Secondary School and resident of Sebina village. Sebina village falls under the Shashe West Constituency represented by Assistant Minister of Education, Honourable Fedelis Mmilili Molao in Parliament. Coincidentally, the Assistant Minister, Mr Molao has loco parentis (acting like a parent) status over students covered by his Ministry.
• We have read that a minor girl had sexual intercourse with a councilor in Sebina Village, a certain Kemmonye Amon and she is five months pregnant. To date, Councilor, Kemmonye Amon has not denied having sexual intercourse with the said girl child who was doing Form 4 at Nata Secondary School. We also gather that this young girl resides behind Kemmonye Amon family businesses and has been known to the Councillor from her infancy social and physical development stage.
• When the story broke out through social media early last week, the Honourable Assistant Minister denied knowledge of pregnancy of the victim as well as denying ever communicating with Councillor Kemmonye Amon as alleged in the messages that had been circulating in social media. This week, the Honourable Minister, issued a press release, stating amongst others, that his cellphone was hacked, reported the incident at Broadhurst Police Station on the 2nd May 2016 and that Councillor Kemmonye Aron communicated with him about his troubles. The Minister is dead silent as to what action did he take after Councillor Amon, poured all his “troubles” to him as a senior member to the Councillor in the ruling party, constituency, drinking social mates and above all, as an Assistant Minister of Education, overseeing that girls and boys in schools are emotionally, physically, socially and educationally protected from all types of harm.
• Section 2(b) & (c ) of the Children’s Act defines “harm” in relation to a child to include, i) sexually abusing a child or allowing a child to be sexually abused; and ii) work that interferes with the child’s education, health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development.
• Honourable Assistant Minister of Education should come out clean and tell Batswana at large what exactly did Councillor Amon told him as his “troubles”. The Assistant Minister must further tell Batswana whether he commanded the Councillor to report himself to the police and if he did not, whether he informed the Councillor that if he did not do so, he would do it as the Minister in charge of students in public schools.
The Law On Defilement
• For the past week people who are sympathetic to the Councilor’s sexual escapades gave all sorts of defences, amongst others, that the victim has omang, the victim consented to be ravished sexually and that the alleged communication between Assistant Minister and the suspect is tainted by illegality.
• All the above defences are not a factor for court to convict a suspect on defilement of a girl under the age of sixteen. Section 147 (1) of the Penal code is clear and reads that; “Any person who unlawfully and carnally knows any person under the age of 16 years is guilty of an offence and upon conviction the accused shall be sentenced to a minimum of 10 years”.
• The statutory provision cited above has been interpreted by courts of law in Botswana. The elements of offence of defilement are that the girl child is a person below the age of sixteen at the time sexual intercourse first took place. The question of when the girl child fell pregnant is not an issue when it comes to prove defilement. The State needs to prove that when the suspect first had sexual intercourse with the victim; the victim was under the age of sixteen years.
• In the case of Sebina saga, it has been reported that the girl child attained the age of sixteen late December 2015. We presume that sexual intercourse with the victim occurred when she was under the age of sixteen, because according to the words attributed to councilor Amon, abortion could not be carried out since the girl was five months pregnant. Molao in his press statement said he reported to the police on the 2nd of May 2016.
• It is also alleged that Teachers alerted parents by inviting them to Nata Secondary School. Thereafter parents engaged the girl child who was influenced to frame a non-existent driver of Bx vehicle. When the story of a driver could not stick, Councillor Amon, informed his handlers and they advised him to make the child disappear.
• It is only logical to deduce that the Councillor and his social drinking mates knew that the victim was five months pregnant in early April 2016. That is why we believe that there is prima facie evidence of convicting Councillor Amon for defilement.
Molao’s Possible Criminal Offences
• We also believe that councilor Amon is not the only one to face the full wrath of the law. As indicated above, Assistant Minister, Honourable Molao, was told by the Councillor, that he impregnated a school going child. Mr Molao did not take any action to protect the girl child. Mr Molao did not only fail to protect the child by exposing the evil deeds of his drinking mate, but committed a number of criminal offences in the process.
• The first possible offence committed by Minister Molao accessories after the fact. When the Councillor told Molao of Defilement, Molao did not immediately report to the police thereby concealing the offence of defilement contrary to section 394(1) as read with section 395 of the Penal code. Section 394 says that a person who receives or according to his knowledge enables another who is guilty of an offence to escape punishment is said to become an accessory after the fact to the offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years.
• The second possible offence committed by Molao is Conspiracy to defeat justice contrary to section 120(a) of the Penal code which provides that any person who conspires with any other person to obstruct, prevent, pervert or defeat the course of justice is guilty of an offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.
• The third possible offence for Mr Molao is failure to report child abuse to the police after being told by Amon the ‘troubles’ that Amon had, which troubles is now common knowledge that relate to sexual molestation of a girl under the age of sixteen years.
• Section 25(1) of the Children’s Act provides that any other person who, without reasonable excuse, fails to report a case of child abuse of which he is aware shall be guilty of offence and liable to a fine not less than P10, 000.00 or imprisonment for a term of not less than two years or both.
• Section 25(2) of the Children’s Act provides that any person who connives with another person who sexually abuses or exploits a child shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of not less than P30, 000.00 or for term of imprisonment not less than five years or both.
• If the investigation can be conducted professionally without fear or favour or political interference from the ruling class, the facts are staring the nation in the eyes. That is, Councillor Amon defiled a girl under the age of sixteen years and that Mr Molao was told by Amon and failed to report Amon to the police, hence he aided, abated and counselled Amon to conceal a criminal act, thereby becoming an accomplice for all possible offences outlined above.
• It is on the basis of the above that Bofepusu calls upon Assistant Minister of Education, Mr Molao to resign from his ministerial post and clear his name. In the unfortunate event, the Minister does not resign, Bofepusu, will consider all options available to its disposal, to ensure that justice is done, even if it means aiding private prosecutions of the Assistant Minister once the Director of Public Prosecutions fails to carry out his mandate.
• We have had quite a number of commentators in the radio stations complaining that time and again they report sexually abuses of the girl child and are told that they should reconcile with suspected molesters. If the police are at the forefront, then they are a disgrace to the nation. We are, however not shocked, because prior to 2014, a bogus petition was accepted by the Office of President to cancel a bye-election in Francistown West and to date no action has been taken against those who forged signatures of dead people. The DIS Director General’s file is gathering dust despite his admission that he got close to P1million from a person who was facing criminal charges. Justice in Botswana has colour and the poor shall continue to be prosecuted whilst the rich continue to plunder and lot the economy of the country with impunity.
• That notwithstanding, we urge Batswana to stand up and fight for their rights. They must say no to coercion from those in echelons of power by reporting any types of abuse meted out to boys and girls in our communities.
• We believe our statement is informative so that Batswana should and must know their rights when their minor children are molested or ravished by culprits such as Amon. However, we regret that His Excellency the President of Botswana who has the appetite to condemn misdeeds committed by foreign states is dead silent on the conduct of a Councilor of his political party. His silence is construed to mean that President Khama chooses to protect child molesters over the poor and vulnerable children.
• We call upon Minister Dow to show leadership and request President Khama to relieve her Assistant Minister his duties, because her Ministry has in the past fired Teachers who had sexually intercourse with students and Teachers Trade Unions supported the Ministry’s action. Why should Mr Molao be an exception after failing to protect the sexually abused girl child? He concealed a criminal act by failing to report to the police.
• We call upon our members to participate in the envisaged petition to be submitted to the office of the President on the 14th May 2016 by a social movement going by the name #IShallneverforget or any other civic movement that may in future embark on similar action.
Ketlhalefile M.N Motshegwa
Deputy Secretary General