[Note: The culture in Botswana is different than what we may be used to
and for whatever historical reason, cattle are a virtual, if not actual,
rate of exchange among rural people and peasants, outnumbering the human
population and responsible for ecological damage. There is also a huge
diamond industry (which, like cattle, is highly water-dependent). Much of
the country is extremely arid (and includes the Kalahari desert) with great
wetlands at the northern end, attractive to vast numbers of wildlife. BKM]
The Daily News, Botswana
October 29th 2012
MAUN - No one will be allowed to hunt wildlife in
Botswana, come 2014, President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama has
He said wildlife numbers were decreasing at an alarming
rate, hence the decision.
"Next year will be the last time anyone is
allowed to hunt in Botswana and we have realised that if we do not take care
of our animals, we will have a huge problem in terms of tourism," President
Khama told Sankoyo and Mababe residents last week.
also decried the rate at which poachers were killing elephants.
have increased the number of soldiers and police officers that patrol our
game parks. Yesterday our officers apprehended five people with 12 elephant
tusks in the Chobe area. Two of them are Batswana and three are
Zimbabweans," said President Khama.
He said government was aware of
people's complaint about damages caused by the elephants in their villages,
especially in the farms.
"There is someone who will come to this
district next week, starting with Khwai village. That person will help you
chase away elephants from your villages by using certain methods that he has
been taught," he said.
He indicated that elephants were the main
attraction of tourists to Botswana hence he could never allow for them to be
killed. He also informed residents that compensation for damage done to
farms by elephants would be 100 per cent instead of the current 35 per cent.
"As for those who lose cattle because of lions and other predators,
compensation will be cattle," he said.
President Khama indicated
that compensation would be done after extensive investigations.
also appealed to residents to help law enforcement officers in fighting
In South Africa, he said, poachers killed 440 rhinos last
year and this year they had so far killed 450.
Earlier on, residents
of Sankoyo had complained to President Khama about elephants that were
damaging their crop fields and lions which killed their livestock.
They also pleaded with the President to extend the hunting season since
elephants were too many in their village.
While in Mababe, President
Khama told residents that if it was their wish to change the constituency,
then the delimitation exercise had to be done accordingly.
Mababe was administered from North West District while politically it fell
under the Chobe District.
He was answering a question from villagers
who wanted to know whether Mababe fell under the North West or Chobe
Residents also wanted to know why Tawana Land Board had
stopped allocating plots in Mababe.
For her part, the land board
secretary, Ms Tlotlego Rampha informed residents that allocation of plots
was still suspended because they were still awaiting a decision from
government to convert some of its state land to tribal land.
realised later that the land that we were giving to Batswana was state land
hence we suspended it and still waiting for authorisation to convert some of
the state land into tribal land," she said.
Ms Rampha assured
residents that the land board would not confiscate the land that they had