The Monitor :: Chase In Hot Soup
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Last Updated
Friday 21 September 2018, 15:09 pm.
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Chase In Hot Soup

Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism, Thato Raphaka has hinted that his ministry would take action against Elephants Without Borders (EWB) director Dr Mike Chase.
By Innocent Selatlhwa Mon 10 Sep 2018, 14:20 pm (GMT +2)
The Monitor :: Chase In Hot Soup








Raphaka was appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) whereupon Lerala-Maunatlala legislator Prince Maele asked how the information got to the media and how they were remedying the situation.Chase made comments on international media where he accused the government of disarming the Ministry’s anti-poaching unit; pointing out that since military weapons and equipment were withdrawn from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks in April, nearly 90 elephants and five white rhinoceroses have been killed by poachers.

“We have sent out a team to investigate why the person we contracted to do a survey could dish out such misleading information.  He has to report to us and not share the information elsewhere,” he said.

“We have sent a team to investigate what he said. So far the team told us they have only seen seven carcasses in the area he referred to,” he added. Raphaka further said they have since made contact with the Attorney General to make a determination whether Chase has breached the contract they have with EWB. Even thought the wife of minister Tshekedi Khama, Thea echoed the same on her Facebook page the accounting officer in her husband’s ministry rubbished the

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claims that their officers were disarmed.

“It is not true that they have been disarmed, we have only taken automatic rifles and pistols from them, which they are not supposed to carry as per the law. 

They are still armed.  Also, the areas in question are protected by the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) who are well armed to tackle poaching,” he said.

Still on elephants, committee members Samson Moyo Guma and Polson Majaga bemoaned that their people were not safe around elephants.

“Our people live in fear around Matsiloje area, elephants are all over and only those with guns like me can go around. Besides posing risks to their lives, they impoverish our people as they destroy fences leading to their livestock crossing over to Zimbabwe.  And we know that when they cross into Zimbabwe, they are killed,” Guma said.

The fuming Guma said he was disappointed that even though they have made numerous complaints for years, the Ministry’s leadership never set foot in their area to hear the people out.  Raphaka promised that they would heed their call. He also told the committee that they are working on developing means to solve human-wildlife conflict.

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