The recent hunting ban of January 2014 by the Ministry of Environment Wildlife and Tourism (MEWT) has left community trusts in the Ngamiland district bankrupt.
According to officials Trusts have already lost money amounting to P7 million in the last twelve months because of the hunting ban. They also explain that close to 200 jobs have been lost as a result of the ban, and there are fears that more retrenchments could come.
A report prepared by the Ngamiland trusts indicate that the Mababe Zokotsama Community Development Trust had an income drop from P3.5 million to P500 000 – and shedding around 30 jobs; Sankoyo Tshwaragano Management Trust’s income dropped from P3.5 million to P1.8 million, experiencing 35 job losses; Okavango Kopano Mokoro Community Trust’s income fell from P4.8 million to P2.5 million and about 40 people lost their jobs. The report also indicates that trusts in other regions of Seronga/Gudigwa, Phuduhudu and Xaixai experienced job losses totaling to about 80 jobs.
Ngamiland CBNRM forum through its steering committee on May 2013 submitted their concerns to the Ministry of Environment Wildlife and Tourism. They shared on different matters affecting the district’s CBNRM but top of the list was the issue of “hunting ban”.
Late last year, MEWT issued a ban on hunting of wildlife in all controlled hunting areas in Botswana which was effective from early January this year. The Ministry’s decision came after a detailed research on aerial surveys which were conducted by Mike Chase of Elephants without Borders, whose findings indicated that the country is experiencing a decline in wild animal species.
MEWT explained that the cause of the decline was likely due to a combination of factors such as anthropogenic impacts, including illegal offtake and habitat fragmentation or loss.
However Ngamiland CBNRM submitted to the Ministry that the forum appreciates that some wildlife species are indeed declining as per the report, however they pointed out that the same report concluded that wildlife species like elephants & buffalo are increasing.
The forum members complained that the two species are a threat to the agriculture sector in the Northern part of Botswana (as Elephants destroy crops while Buffalos transmit Foot and Mouth Disease to cattle). The forum recommended that the hunting ban should exempt Elephants and Buffalos.
The Ngamiland district is reported to have still remained the cornerstone of CBNRM in the country with more than twenty (20) legally registered Community Based organizations (CBOs) or Trusts.
Eight of these CBOs have been leased Wildlife Management Areas and derive benefits from the use of natural resources within their areas of licensing. CBNRM is a development approach that supports natural resources conservation and management while ensuring that the rural communities do benefit from the natural resources.
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.