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Botswana to establish elephant meat canning

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Among the suite of recommendations emerging from the Cabinet Sub Committee on Hunting Ban Social Dialogue, is that there be introduced regular but limited elephant culling.

Additionally the country will also establish elephant meat canning, including production of pet food and processing into other by-products. Speaking to the media last Friday after he had handed the sub-committee’s report to President Dr. Mokgweetsi Masisi – Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Frans Van Der Westhuizen, explained that elephant culling is in fact not an alien concept.

He said that Botswana is allowed a quota of elephant culling- although he did not say how much – under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) but that this was stopped as a result of the ban on wildlife hunting that was imposed in 2014 by the administration of former president, Lt. Gen Ian Khama. CITES is a global agreement between governments that regulates and monitors international trade in species under threat and acts as a cornerstone of international conservation. Botswana is home to many of the world’s largest living animals such as elephants; hippopotami, rhinos, including the cat family – lions, cheetahs and leopards.

Minister Westhuizen’s sub-committee has also recommended that the ban on hunting, which was across all wildlife species, be lifted. However, no timeframe was given as to when the ban will be lifted because the report still has to be scrutinised by the president, his cabinet, Parliament and shared with members of Ntlo Ya Dikgosi.

Other recommendations include developing a legal framework that will create an enabling environment for growth of safari hunting industry. Minister Westhuizen explained that once lifted, the ban will be implemented through wildlife laws. He indicated that a new framework would have to be involved that caters for the needs of communities in areas demarcated as communal hunting areas and wildlife management areas.

It is also proposed that the management of Botswana elephant population be carried out within its historic ranges as well as engage the department of wildlife and national parks to undertake an effective community outreach programme within the elephant range for human-elephant conflict mitigation.

Such mitigation could include construction of strategically placed human wildlife conflict fences in key hotspot areas; compensation for damage and destruction caused by wildlife; as well as the review of ex gratia amounts and the list of species that attract compensation. It is further proposed that all wildlife migratory routes that are not beneficial to the country’s conservation efforts be closed in order to avoid losing our wildlife to other countries through migration.

The sub-committee recommends that the Kgalagadi southwesterly antelope migratory route into South Africa should be closed by demarcating game ranches between the communal areas and Kgalagadi Wildlife Management Areas. President Dr. Masisi expressed gratitude to the sub-committee and promised to read the report.

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BDP to crack whip on dissidents

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Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) is poised to crack the whip on members that attended last month’s “illegal” Serowe meeting that was allegedly called by the Central Region party elders.

The meeting was to discuss what transpired during the regional congress where President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi was endorsed as the preferred candidate to lead the party against the recommended name of Dr Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi.

The party has since scheduled disciplinary hearings for the affected members following a complaint letter from Steady Sethaba – Chairman of Serowe West Branch dated March 1st 2019.
About 28 people have been listed in the complaint letter as some of the attendants. Dr Khama and Dr Venson-Moitoi have not been listed in the complaint letter, although they were present as well as Member of Parliament for Tati East Samson Moyo Guma who is also vying for the party’s Secretary General position.

BDP National Disciplinary Committee Vice Chairman Yame Tshepo Kebabonye has since written to the affected BDP members that the hearings are scheduled for the 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19 of April 2019 in the morning at party head office. Through the letter dated 6th March 2019 Kebabonye has called on those appearing to have availed their statements of defence within 14 days of receipt of the summons. In the complaint letter Sethaba had indicated that the meeting was in violation of the party constitution because it was not called by an established organ of the party.

“The speakers also deliberately misled and incited the meeting attendants by speaking in a way that was aimed at leaving them believing that the regional congress led the delegates to do what was unconstitutional. “Of late there has been an emergence of unruly behaviour by some members of Serowe constituencies which necessitate for appropriate remedial action before it gets out of control,” Sethaba said in the complaint letter.

The Serowe “illegal”meeting was held on the 24th of February 2019 and was attended by among others former President Dr Ian Khama, Dr Venson-Moitoi, Member of Parliament for Tati East Samson Moyo Guma and Roseline Panzirah-Matshome who is vying for Deputy Secretary General post ahead of the party’s elective congress in July this year. Also, in attendance were most of Central District BDP councillors. Following this meeting party Secretary General Mpho Balopi revealed that disciplinary action would be taken against those members who attended the ‘illegal meeting.’

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I BUY NO POWERS

Yvonne Mooka

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Many will remember Apostle Joel Keitumele as Ntsoro the comedian who would leave people in stitches with his rib-cracking jokes.

Now an apostle who leads Heavenly International Soul church with his wife Amo Keitumele, he confided in The Midweek Sun that he has never bought powers to make himself and his church powerful as it is often alleged by members of the public.

Two years ago, there were allegations that he had lost his mind after he failed to honour an agreement with a seller of powers in Ghana. “They were saying I was mentally disturbed and that I was being tormented by a snake because I dishonoured an agreement from a seller of powers in Ghana. I have never been to Ghana and the rumours were baseless,” he said, adding that someone even lied that his aunt works at Sbrana Psychiatric Hospital and had seen Keitumele at the hospital.

He also recalled the time he was invited at Btv with now born again Shumba Ratshega. He was wearing two rings. “One was my wedding ring and the other on my right hand was a Versace. A caller asked why I was wearing the other one and there were talks that it’s for powers.” He said he took it off and gave it to the presenter to wear and that nothing happened to him.

Lately, there are allegations that he wears an eagle belt, known in street lingo as ‘Prophetic belt’and purpoted to have powers to increase miracles in church and to attract more people. It is won by several other pastors and prophets among them, Shepherd Bushiri, Alph Lukau, Passion Java and Eubert Angel. He confirmed that he has it. He however said there is nothing like a prophetic belt or prophetic shoes.

“Of recent, God released a cloud of young prophets and these like their older mentors or spiritual fathers are stylish and they like fashion. “We have tapped into that. So most of us have Versace shoes, Eagle belts because we like looking good. People refer to them as ‘Prophetic this and that’ but there is nothing prophetic about them.

It’s just that we like them but we don’t need them for powers,” he said. Keitumele confirmed that he sells the trending shoes and belts at his store in Gaborone. “We just like our belts. Nothing more. The power is in the price. Monna ke monna ka setlhako le lebante,” he said.

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