London: Far from it, President Mokgweetsi Masisi is not crawling, kneeling and making a curtsy to the mighty West for financial assistance when he talks “…stakeholders to come up with concrete solutions that will help governments eliminate the illegal trade in wildlife species…,” he elaborated to the Botswana media team during a press briefing.
Instead, Masisi is making a call-to-action to those same constituents who scream the loudest whenever they hear of destruction of animals to put their dollars where their mouths are because as it is, by preserving, conserving and nurturing the species, Botswana is shouldering her responsibility and duty to manage the wildlife in the way that it is sustainable for future generations to enjoy.
“I am calling these nations to action. I am not bowing down before anyone for aid. I am simply asking them to shoulder a responsibility. The eco-system must balance out between human and wildlife and that is where the international community as a stakeholder needs to hold their end of the bargain. The rhetoric must be matched with responsibility,” Masisi explained.
He said while the United Kingdom government has made a public pledge of £15 million to help nations to address the worldwide phenomenon of poaching, especially in Africa, his government will readily accept the financial aid and technical assistance to the department of wildlife and national parks, provided there are no strings attached.
“Such aid will be received on our terms, make no mistake. As a government, we will go back to assess the conditions of such assistance and see if it aligns with our national prioritisation of ending human-animal conflict. Sustainable tourism for me can only mean the communities where such activities take place benefit from the management of the resource,” Masisi emphasised.
Hours before flying out to London, the President had made a promise that his participation at the illegal wildlife trade conference would be “the beginning of a lasting campaign” by which he meant that the individuals who were mobilising members to sign up to an online petition would be met with a robust truth-telling crusade made up of the best thinkers around media-crisis managers in his delegation.
“Their content was fallacious. It was not based on any science or research but pretence and fiction. It was so much further away from the truth and we were armed with the truth, had it come to us being petitioned as we anticipated. They reported that there was a spike in poaching and linked that imagined perception with the disarmament of the anti-poaching unit.
They portrayed me and my administration as failing the voiceless animals, and giving credit to the previous administration in the conservation of our wildlife. I will be the first to admit that we are two distinct persons and that in my administration, people will come first and the animals second. This, I am not apologetic about.
The truth is that the elephant population had increased exponentially and phenomenally, something ought to be done to make sure our children go to school, parents go about their businesses without risking death from these animals in communities where they live,” Masisi stated.
Slumber Tsogwane, the chairman of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), has effectively ursurped Mpho Balopi’s functions of secretary general. He has also taken over the preparations for the party’s national congress, which is scheduled to be held in August.
The role of the secretary general is to oversee the activities of the party, and according to its constitution, he or she is the accounting officer. Throughout his career, Balopi has been the link between the various structures of the party, including the central committee and sub committees. However, since he has been replaced by Tsogwane, Balopi has become an onlooker.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) Tymon Katholo has revealed why he took a decision to engage private lawyers against the State. The DCEC boss engaged Monthe and Marumo Attorneys in his application to interdict the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) from accessing files and dockets in the custody of the corruption busting agency.
In his affidavit, Katholo says that by virtue of my appointment as the Director General of the DCEC, he is obliged to defend the administration and operational activities of the DCEC. He added that, “I have however been advised about a provision in the State Proceedings Act which grants the authority of public institution to undertake legal proceedings to the Attorney General.” Katholo contends that the provision is not absolute and the High Court may in the exercise of its original jurisdiction permit such, like in this circumstance authorise such proceedings to be instituted by the DCEC or its Director General.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has gone through transformation over the years, with new faces coming and going, but some figures have become part and parcel of the furniture at Tsholetsa House. From founding in 1962, BDP has seen five leaders changing the baton during the party’s 60 years of existence. The party has successfully contested 12 general elections, albeit the outcome of the last polls were disputed in court.
While party splits were not synonymous with the BDP for the better part of its existence, the party suffered two splits in the last 12 years; the first in 2010 when a Barataphathi faction broke ranks to found the now defunct Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD). The Barataphathi faction was in the main protesting the ill-treatment of then recently elected party secretary general, Gomolemo Motswaledi, who had been suspended ostensibly for challenging the authority of then president, Ian Khama.