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Sanyedi men of honour

Okavango Voice Matamo men society launched to fight crime

Men in Sanyedi ward in Maun have formed an independent organisation to strengthen families and promote safer homes in their locality.

Dubbed Matamo men society group, the organisation which boasts a strong membership of 60 men has set out to prove that men can still drink alcohol and remain responsible and caring.

Speaking in Maun this week, Fredrick Jackson who is a member of Matamo explained that they formed the society on a realisation that their ward was the most hit by crime, alcohol and drug abuse.

“Around 2018, it was difficult to get a taxi to bring you to Sanyedi because they would be afraid they were likely not to return alive from here,” explained Jackson.

Matamo was formed in 2018 but it took members until March this year to complete the civil society registration process.

“We are saying, we drink but let us still head our homes, be the men we ought to be and give our families respect, let’s not be part of gender based violence,” Jackson spoke again on Wednesday this week where together with ACHAP and Ngami Health Management Team (DHMT) they held an alcohol and drug abuse sensitisation in Boyei ward that forms part of Sanyedi.

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Jackson further called on other men to stop abusing women by snatching their bags and encouraged them to rather look for employment so that they can sustain their needs and wants.

“Try your luck at Ipelegeng and stop snatching people’s mobile phones and handbags. Stop raping, ask, you may be given, but if you are not given, Harare is there though I do not support the latter,” he added.

Harare is the equivalent of a red light district within Sanyedi where commercial sex workers openly market their services.

The area councillor,Ntlogelang Kebonyekgotla noted in a separate interview that Harare is where many men in Maun get a quick sexual fix.

“Even married men do go there to buy sex, sometimes it is because wives deny husbands conjugal rights and they prefer to go to Harare. In other cases men have just decided to do away with commitments but prefer to buy sex when they want it without having to tie themselves to anyone,” said Kebonyekgotla.

He further expressed his wish for sex work to be made legal so as to protect purveyors of the trade. “As a politician I feel there is need to legalise this trade. Harare is there because there is business. So the concern is that some of these buyers abuse these ladies in many ways, sometimes they take them to the bush and dump them there and refuse to pay them after they have been rendered service, some are assaulted and risk being trafficked for evil purposes, so if it is legalised, then they will operate in secure places.”

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Meanwhile detective sergeant Thulaganyo Lebaka had explained that Sanyedi is notorious for Maun illegal drugs, most common being dagga and cat.

“Some of these concoctions are very dangerous as they mix in pesticides. We once confiscated pesticide which was being sold as cat, now imagine a child being given such to sell in school, people would collapse and die after consuming these things,”said Thulaganyo

Lebaka was teaching residents of Sanyedi and Boyei ward on the dangers of illegal drug use and abuse on Wednesday during the Matamo men’s society event.