Batawana have declared that the Minister of Environment and Natural Resourses, Conservation and Tourism, Tshekedi Khama received a vicious backlash from Maun residents for failing to address scorching issues relating to tourism in the area.
The badly tampered residents went to extent of declaring Tshekedi unfit for office, urging him to resign his ministerial post since he decisions are clouded by his business interests in tourism. The calls were made when Tshekedi finally addressed his first long-waited Kgotla meeting in Maun. Speaking, at the meeting, Khwai/ Mababe area councillor, Kebareeditse Ntshogotho stated that Khama is unfit for office and has failed the ministry.
Ntshogotho cited among other things the decision to freeze allocation of tourism licences in Mababe and Khwai, and the introduction of the tourism land bank as chief indication of Khama’s failures. Ntshogotho stated that the two issues have respectively impoverished the Khwai community which is solely dependent on tourism and forced other communities to lose acess and control of tourism lands.
Another villager, Gaegatwe Sekeletu stated that under Khama leadership the ministry has failed to manage elephant numbers in Botswana. He said this is not surprising because Khama has business interests in the tourism sector. Sekeletu stated: “You are both the referee and the player at the same time. We hear that even the parliament is afraid of you. Your interests are biased towards wildlife and white tourism operators. You are full of descrimination.”
Another speaker, Lesiela Xhanikwe, a Mosarwa tribesman of the Okavango Delta, suggested that government must remove all foregners from the Okavango Delta and give the land to locals. “All those people have built lodges on my fathers’ ancenstral land while I am poor. I want my land back. ” Speaking in a follow up interview, Khama said he will not resign. “The councillor who was calling me to resign is bitter bacause I refused to aprove his tourism licence in Khwai,” Tshekedi fought back.
Tshekedi blamed some of the ministry officers for poor perfomance saying this has now created poor relations for him with the community. “Some of the officers we even aganst me coming to adress this meeting. I almost made that public today as I took the criticism,” he said. Tshematshe Monwela of the Batawana Advisory Committee expressed misgivings regarding the ownership of Moremi Game Reserve and the Maun Educational Park.
He stated that the two properties are tribal properties whose administration was given to government. “We have renewed the Fauna Consevation Society and have already written the Tawana Land Board informing them of our plans to resume operation and ownership of the two sites under the trust. Earlier when speaking Tshekedi had informed the gathering that back in history, the Bangwato territory had included the Boteti area.
He said it would be improper for Bangwato to demand that the diamonds in Boteti are theirs. Khama however, spoke against suggestions that whites should be removed from the Okavango Delta, warning that doing so will be suicidal and will tarnish the good name of Botswana as well as the tourism sector. On the Moremi Game Reserve issue, Tshekedi said the ministry of Land management; Water and Sanitation Sevices will solve the Moremi Game Reserve issue. He also revealed that the ministry has sourced funding to pay outstanding debts to communities as compensation for damage by wild animals.
TAWANA WANTS SHOOT TO KILL POLICY FOR CORRUPT INDIIVIDUALS
Meanwhile Batawana paramount chief, Kgosi Tawana Moremi suggested that government must introduce a death penality law for all those convicted of corruption in Botswana. He said those who are found to be commitng corruption must be ‘shot in the head’ like they do in China. Kgosi Tawana further stated that President Mokgweetsi Masisi must benchmark on how the Chinese deals with corrption during his current trip to China. Kgosi Tawana said that Ngamiland has for a long time suffred from tourism related corruption saying such people deserve to be shot in the head.
While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.
Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.
Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.
Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.
Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”
“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.
He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.
He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.
According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.
There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.
Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.
“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication. The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.