Home » Ask Gase » ASK GASE 08.02.13

FIGHTING TO GET MY DAUGHTER BACK

DEAR GASE

Hi. I wrote to you last year seeking help to get my daughter back.

brought her up since she was a baby but when she was 22 months old my ex-girlfriend came to my home when I was at work and took the baby away.

She gave the child to her mother to raise and I have been trying to get my daughter back ever since, without success.

The situation got a little bit better during December holidays as I enjoyed the festive season with my angel; the mother and grandmother allowed me to spend Christmas and new year with her at my home village.

I am still fighting for them to give her back to me so that I can enrol her in school.

My ex has agreed but the problem is that her mother will have none of it.

I’m still waiting for my ex to give me feedback but it looks like she’s reluctant or afraid to discuss and conclude the matter with her mother.

GASE SAYS

ANSWER

 At least you got to spend the holidays with your daughter.

Last year the social workers were going to contact your ex about this issue; what was the outcome and did you ever get any help from the men’s organization I had recommended?

DEAR GASE

Unfortunately, I never got help from the organization.

The contact person kept me waiting and asking me to re-email the report; Whenever  I phoned, he said he was busy and promised to come back to me but up to now I’m still waiting.

I have not met with the social workers again, since last year, but I went to see molaodi (District Commissioner) yesterday and he said they resolve marriage issues only.

He referred me to Sebina headman (kgosi/chief) to handle the issue since I’ve paid damages for the child.

He said the chief will call my daughter’s grandmother and my family to a meeting.

For record purposes, he (chief) will provide me with written proof that indeed I paid damages.

There was also an incident where I was turned back with groceries and toiletry for the child; I had to go and ask the police to accompany me to my ex’s home so that they can be my witnesses but my ex’s mother still refused to accept the child’s food and toiletry, even in the presence of the police, saying that I am not welcome in her home.

If I’m not welcome in her home and she totally refuses to give me back my daughter, yet sometimes she won’t accept what I buy for the child, am I expected to just neglect my daughter?

Why should an innocent child be punished because her grandmother has issues with the father of the child? Like I said last year, I will fight for my angel with all weapons I have, so I’m willing to knock on every office where I can get help.

My ex sent me a ‘call back’ today; when I called she gave the phone to my daughter to talk to me.

Apparently she has been asking where her daddy is, saying she wants to come and see me; it gives me hope that my angel will come back to me one day.

I’m her best friend…when we’re together she is very happy. Tell me what to do Gase; which office will resolve my issue for good?

GASE SAYS

ANSWER

Let’s hope the men’s organization will attend to your case soon and assist you as best as they can.

In the meantime, I suggest you heed molaodi’s advice to take the matter up with the headman at Sebina village as you’ve paid damages to your ex’s parents; proof of the ‘damages’ payment should help your case somewhat in the future.

When the social workers mediated between you and your ex and her mother last year, what was the conclusion?

Perhaps this year they (social workers) could liaise with the relevant authorities (they would know which office to work with) to find an amicable way out of this situation for all parties involved.

What about the expert input and advice I arranged for you from a respected community elder last year…did it not help?

Also, I know that at some point you were going to contact the UB legal clinic for assistance…did you? If yes, what advice did you get from them?

At this point you probably need legal advice on   the best course of action to take if as you say your ultimate goal is to get your daughter back.

You shouldn’t just go to the nearest lawyer as some may not be able to help you…which is where I believe the UB legal clinic can be of great help as they will be able to point you in the right direction.

As for which office will resolve your issue for good, I honestly don’t have the answer to that right now, but will continue to help you in your quest to find answers; hopefully, your going back to the social workers, the headman and the UB legal clinic will yield the desired results this time around.

INJURED BY MY EX HUSBAND

DEAR GASE

Hi; could you please help? I was injured by my former husband in 2010 and I sustained a fracture on my ring finger.

The doctor told me that the finger would never heal. Now I want to sue the man but I don’t have funds to engage a lawyer. Please advise me.

GASE SAYS

ANSWER

You can try the following organizations for their input/advice regarding your problem:

Gender Links 3188250, coordbotswana@genderlinks.org.za

Emang Basadi 3909335, ebasadi@global.bw
Women & Law in Southern Africa 3923346, wlsa@info.bw

Since you wish to sue your ex-husband but cannot afford a lawyer, the legal aid project that has been introduced by Government would be your best bet; it was set up to aid Batswana who are not financially able to pay for legal fees.

Please seek assistance through the office of the district commissioner or write a letter to the Registrar of the High Court (Mr Nthomiwa) requesting legal aid; state your predicament and why you need to be assisted with a pro bono lawyer.

You can call his office on 533 0585 so that they can further explain the procedure to you.


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