While the coronavirus death toll continues to rise globally, claiming over 83, 000 lives by Wednesday, 20 elephants in the Mababe area get to live a little longer thanks to Covid-19.
Trophy hunting in the area – 20 jumbos have been marked for death – was meant to commence imminently.
However, like all large gatherings in Botswana, a kgotla meeting scheduled for April 1 to smooth out the finer details was postponed indefinitely.
Speaking to The Voice, Mababe Kgois, Kemontle Kebuelemang explained the meeting had been organised to give locals a chance to debate the ‘controversial’ hunting quota.
“The board [Mababe Zokotsha Community Trust (MZCT)] had written a letter in which they planned to hold a consultative meeting with morafe at the kgotla on April 1st. But the District Commissioner advised that such a meeting cannot take place because at the time only a limited number of people were allowed to convene in one place.”
The chief revealed the findings of a ministerial task force appointed by Vice President Slumber Tsogwane to investigate alleged maladministration regarding the handling of the hunting quota, were also to be discussed at the meeting.
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“Unfortunately due to the lockdown, we do not know when the meeting will be held. But as concerning the hunting, morafe is to be consulted first,” he stressed.
Nonetheless the government has since allowed MZCT to continue with the transaction between themselves and Africa Field Sport, entered into before government had even confirmed Mababe’s quota.
The trust and the community was expected to gain Millions of Pula from the hunting deal, which was the biggest quota in the country. The killing was to be the first since the hunting ban was lifted late last year following a five-year ban.