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Hands off Botswana - media union warns Joubert, Chase & crew

SHARE   |   Thursday, 28 February 2019   |   By Ricardo Kanono
Mmeso Mmeso

The Botswana Media and Allied Workers Union (BOMAWU) notes with concern recent reports by local and international media, as well as remarks made by members of the international community, with regards to the proposed hunting ban and the elephant situation in Botswana.

We have also noted a BBC media report by Alastair Leithead featuring Dr Mike Chase, which questioned the commitment of the Government of Botswana to conservation and anti-poaching. Another newspaper article features one Dereck Joubert making alarmist and ill-advised statements regarding the recommendations of the Cabinet sub-Committee on the Hunting Ban. In the report, Joubert talks about “Botswana’s Blood Law” and threatens to do whatever he can to subvert what is by all intents and purposes just a recommendation.

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Our Government is world renowned for conducting its business in a transparent and consultative manner. It is disheartening that this Joubert would run to the media to tarnish our good reputation with careless alarmist phrases like “Botswana’s Blood Law” when he knows for a fact that the Government of Botswana is open for consultation. Why didn’t he seek audience with relevant Government officials to express his misgivings about the recommendations of the sub-Committee? It has also not escaped our attention that Joubert’s theatrics and the BBC featuring Dr. Chase charade all appeared at around the same time.

The Government of Botswana has made it clear that it has not made a decision on the recommendations of the Cabinet sub-Committee on the Hunting Ban. It is also clear that when it was introduced in 2014, the moratorium on hunting was not meant to be a permanent decision. We will fully support our Government when it decides to revoke the hunting ban.

Joubert will do well to remember that in the true spirit of consultation, the sub-Committee reached its conclusions after a nationwide consultative process that covered kgotla meetings, consulting with individuals, local authorities, researchers and other key stakeholders. Therefore his wishes and those of his friends will never come second to those of the majority of Batswana; who have to contend daily with destruction of their crops, devastation of their land and vegetation as well as loss of their loved ones to marauding elephants. More than anything, this Government puts Batswana first.

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Lastly, the BBC report attributes Botswana’s poaching problem to a purported feud between His Excellency the President of the Republic of Botswana Dr. Mokgweetsi E.K. Masisi and the former President. The report further insinuates that under President Masisi Botswana’s commitment to conservation and anti-poaching has waned. This is a shameful attempt by the BBC to trivialise this very important issue and reduce it to petty political squabbles. His Excellency the President of the Republic of Botswana Dr. Mokgweetsi E.K. Masisi is our Head of State. When he speaks he speaks on behalf of all Batswana. Therefore it is very disrespectful to reduce what is threatening to be a national crisis, being played out on international media, to a petty political squabble. 

At this juncture, BOMAWU wishes to alert its general membership and Batswana at large that there are concerted and deliberate efforts to undermine our sovereignty, disregard the wishes of our people and attack our tourism industry, which is the second highest contributor to our economy. We rally all Batswana to stand up in arms and fight for the sovereignty, dignity and security of our country. Forces of evil are threatening our very existence, and we must complement the efforts of our Government to thwart them. This is a call to arms.

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#BatswanaFirst   #HumanWildlifeConflictISReal #OurCountryOurPresident

Thank you

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Phillimon Mmeso

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President - BOMAWU



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