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Published: April 8, 2013
By Mmegi, Botswana|
MMANDUNYANE: The Bazezuru have accused government officers of discrimination, saying whenever they seek services from the officers, they are treated badly.
The Bazezuru made their feelings known to the Minister of Labour and Home Affairs Edwin Batshu, when he addressed them at a Kgotla meeting held at the village’s Maseka ward on Thursday. Ward chairman Samuel Motoriti said officers usually drag their feet when assisting Bazezuru because they despise them as inferior people.
“We are not treated with respect. They call us names. This happens mostly in government offices and it hurts because it seems like we are not Batswana,” he said.Another speaker added: “Gare tshele sentle, re morafe o nyaditsweng gongwe le gongwe fa re tsenang teng. We need help. This has to stop.”
Motoriti said since 2001, they have had problems acquiring passports, Identity Cards (Omang) and birth certificates.He said their parents came to Botswana before independence from Zimbabwe to settle after they were sent by the Holy Spirit to preach the word of God.
“We are born and bred in Botswana. We do not know anything about Zimbabwe. We only know that our forefathers originated from there. We do not know where to go if some Batswana treat us that way. Re ya go nna Batswana leng tota? A now seriously worked up Motoriti challenged.Motoriti said their parents were granted citizenship after Botswana gained its independence in 1966 and they are surprised that they need to apply for citizenship to obtain an Omang.
“The laws of today are so complicated and convoluted, that we no longer know what is good and wrong. Each time we visit government offices, officers explain issues differently from the other. We are being discriminated and abused verbally in government offices and it hurts, ” he lamented.
Batshu responded saying no Motswana is allowed to discriminate against another Motswana. He said Botswana is a democratic country and discrimination is a threat to democracy. “Your area Member of Parliament Pono Moathodi has been pleading with me for a while to come and listen to your complaints.
I know of your problems and want you to be patient as I will send a team from concerned departments to address your issues in June this year, ” said Batshu.