The fight between Botswana government and Batawana is far from over regarding the Moremi Game Reserve, the Maun Tourism Park and the Maun Educational Park as evidenced by Member of Parliament for Maun West Tawana Moremi in his response to the State of the Nation Address (SONA).
Tawana dedicated a better part of his response lambasting government on what he called a deep hatred for the Batawana by fraudulently taking their tourism land. The livid MP who is also the Paramount Chief of Batawana said that they have accepted that the current government is very cruel and want to see Batawana wallowing in poverty.
In a direct attack to President Ian Khama who is also his cousin, Tawana said that Batawana don’t have any interests in Khama Rhino Sanctuary or Boiteko Mall in Serowe which are owned by trust in Serowe.
He accused Tawana Land Board of stealing their land and giving it to Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) without their consent and warned that they will meet in court. “Just like Member of Parliament for Tati West Samson Guma said last week that you can keep his money but at the end will return to him, even us our land will return to us in one way or the other,” said Tawana throwing the house into laughter. Both Maun Educational Park and Moremi Game Reserve used to be under Ngamiland Fauna Conservation Society which was established in 1963 which they were managing on behalf of Morafe.
President Khama announced in SONA that citizen ownership as well as management participation in the tourism and hospitality sector is still growing. Responding to that Maun West MP who is fond of speaking slowly with cracking voice said that under the current system Blacks are not worthy of owning tourism land but only reserved for Whites.
Last month Batawana summoned Tawana to go and ask Minister of Wildlife, Environment and Tourism Tshekedi Khama to come and address them regarding the ownership of Maun Tourism Park, Moremi game Reserve and Maun Educational Park which they believe it has been stolen from them.
Another tourism site which has put government in collision with Batawana is the Xhwihaba caves which President Khama is said to have locked. In the past when giving answer about the caves, MWET said that the reason they are locked is that there is a big snake which is very dangerous and can only be accessed by specialized personnel. Regarding the fish banning at Lake Ngami Tawana said that the most bizarre thing about is that it does not have time frame.
“I acknowledge that some activities compromised the environment around the lake but there must a time frame because people are suffering especially those who depend on fishing for their livelihood,” he said. Tawana said that he is not surprised that North West District is not included in the economic zones especially the tourism sector which were mentioned by President Khama in his state of the nation address as it is clear there is a personal vendetta against his people.
In his state of the nation address President Khama said that as part of Economic Stimulus Program government will focus on the Kasane-Kazungula Redeployment Project, which will upgrade Kasane as a premier tourist centre. Regarding the Economic Stimulus Program whose aim is to boost the economy, Tawana said that he cannot waste his energy on it as it is just a joke. He said that there is confusion regarding ESP as it was initially announced that it will commence in November but now the nation has to wait for brochure.
“Last year during the budget speech, Minister of Finance and Development Planning Kenneth Matambo said that government project will be under Strategic Office and President Khama in his SONA said it will be under the office of the Vice President and this total confusion,” he said adding that the current government is fond of easily forgetting what they said earlier.