Travelling in a bus from Selebi-Phikwe to Gaborone on Monday Voice reporter, Phillimon Mmeso listened to a conversation centered on the recent murder of a 11 year old boy by his mother and step-father who have since appeared in court facing the charges. An old woman and a bald man sitting together spoke about how they were shocked by the cruelty of the two accused at the same wondering if the crime had anything to do with muti. The conversation was later joined by a middle aged woman.
FAT LADY: I’m afraid of muti! If it can make someone tell her boyfriend to kill an innocent child.
BALD MAN: Why do you think there is muti involved?
FAT LADY: That man gave the woman a love portion that is why she let her kill the child. A normal person can’t do that.
BALD MAN: But what kind of love is that letting a man kill your own son.
FAT LADY: You know, when these love portions expire such things are bound to happen.
Middle aged woman joins the conversation
MIDDLE AGED WOMAN: Those people are not normal didn’t you see the handwriting which looked like they were just scribbling. They must be sent to a mental hospital
FAT LADY: Hey! (Raising her voice) They are normal, I am adamant the man used muti to boost the woman’s love if not blind her so that she can allow such things to happen.
MIDDLE AGED WOMAN: I don’t think that’s the case, there was no muti involved, that was just pure madness.
BALD MAN: We have never had this kind of cruelty in Botswana they must be hanged period or sentenced to life in prison. We cannot have such people back in society.
FAT LADY: But I think the police and the family are also to blame, why didn’t they take the child away?
MIDDLE AGED WOMAN: Maybe they didn’t know that he was being abused
FAT LADY: Ah, you are disappointing me (pointing at the middle aged woman) for trying to defend the family, they must have known because when a child is being abused you can tell.
BALD MAN: I think he does not have a child that is why she is saying this.
FAT LADY: Ah! But that was the most painful and sad story I have ever read in my life and I pray we will never get to hear of such things again.
MIDDLE AGED WOMAN: But seriously, those two either need medical attention or spiritual healing. They must have been possessed by evil spirits!
BALD MAN: My child you read too much of the bible! Ian (President Khama) is going to hang them! They are cruel than Ghadaffi and Mugabe because they can’t kill their own children.
MIDDLE AGED WOMAN: Ijoo! I am sorry I thought we were just discussing the issue of the killed boy, if you are now bringing Mugabe and Ghadaffi then I am shutting my mouth.
FAT LADY: We are not discussing but mourning the brutal killing of a child my dear! The nation is still angry and you come with your sophisticated theories.
(The bald man shakes his head and murmurs and someone at the back whispers ‘maybe he is crying’).
BALD MAN: Can we drop this issue please. It is painful.
FAT LADY: Yeah let’s do that before things get out of hand.
The journey continues in silence until the bus reaches Gaborone bus rank where passengers disembark and head for their various final destinations.