The government has been accused of hushing up a case in which a 10-year-old boy was allegedly raped by older students at government funded institution, Bana Ba Metsi.
The all-boys school, of which former President Ian Khama is patron, is located near Ngarange village in the Okavango Delta and was set-up in March 2000 with the aim of rehabilitating youth at risk.
According to a concerned source, the incident dates back to May 2018 and was kept under wraps until recently when somebody raised concern about the alleged abuse.
“The young boy was subjected to sexual torture and emotional trauma. You see now they have only taken the matter up because of questions from the media. People involved in this case have been transferred out; even the boys who molested this child were removed from the institution,” claimed the source.
The child at the centre of the saga was separated from his single mother when he was just four months old. Social services handed him over to his uncle when his young, ‘delinquent’ mother was sent to prison.
The uncle, an unemployed youth who survived through auto mechanic piece jobs, shared a single-rented room in Francistown with his nephew and struggled to make ends meet.
When the boy turned ten, his uncle is said to have approached social services to seek extra support.
“He asked if it was possible to be provided with better accommodation as he now had a girlfriend and the boy was growing.
He wanted at least a two-roomed house so that he did not have to share a single room with the boy and the girlfriend.”
According to the source, the uncle’s request had a devastating effect.
“The social worker accused him of exposing the child to bad social behaviour and took him away. They went to the Magistrate Court and requested to forcefully remove the boy from the uncle’s house!”
He was then sent to Bana Ba Metsi where it seems he endured a nightmare stay.
Instead of being saved from ‘bad social behaviour’, the lad was allegedly subjected to rounds of sexual molestation at the hands of older pupils.
“Sometimes when having meals, they would wrap him in a blanket and sodomise him. He was the youngest boy among teenagers,” maintained the source.
The abuse reportedly reached a climax on 3 May 2018.
During shower time he was allegedly raped several times by a 13-year-old student.
He then reported the incident to the school authorities who in turn handed the matter over to the police.
Confirming this, Seronga Police Station Commander told The Voice, “The matter was reported by the school management. It involves minors. It is a case that involved social workers, but I can confirm to you that investigations are complete and the file has since been forwarded to the Directorate of Public Prosecution for finalisation. Both boys, accused and victim, have been removed from the school.”
The victim has since been returned to his uncle by the very same social services department that removed him.
“He was removed from the institution through a Magistrate Court order. The belief is that the social worker fed court wrong information about the boy and his uncle – that is why it allowed him to be removed from home in the first instance!”
claimed the source.