9 June 2019

Botswana: Masisi Appeals for Patriotism

Gaborone — President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi has urged Batswana not to forget their nationality, but rather reflect on their patriotic principles.

He made this call in a short stop-over meeting with some Batswana who had travelled to the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport VIP lounge to welcome him back home from the United States of America, where he had gone on a week-long working visit.

He was welcomed to Botswana by Vice President Slumber Tsogwane, some Cabinet Ministers and other senior government officials.

President Masisi said it was disheartening to note that some Batswana had joined forces with those who opposed government's policies abroad and were now threatening to boycott Botswana's key commodities and exports.

President Masisi said he had explained to the international community that elephants in Botswana had become unmanageably large in some areas and the citizen's livelihood were being affected.

He said the reinstatement of the wildlife hunt was done in an orderly and consultative manner.

However, President Masisi said there was a need to admit that a mistake was made by introducing the ban without any consultation.

A prohibition on elephant hunting was introduced in Botswana in 2014.

"What we did and decided to do was done wholeheartedly without any fear or favour.

Those who think we are doing wrong outnumber us because we are relatively a small nation. Let's all agree with those who differ with us that we made mistakes in the past. But those who differ with our stance must be told that when our people go out to eke a livelihood they are exposed to threats to their lives," he said.

President Masisi said it was now becoming clear that the ban, which was imposed on hunting had hidden ill-intentions, which also threatened livestock farming.

"Ke a le roma kwa go ba bangwe Batswana gore ba ikgakologelwe gore ke Batswana, a ba ingape ba ikgakologelwe. Ha ba ka rotloetsa batho bale gore ba dire matshosetsi a ba reng ba tlaa a dira. A ba tlaa re ke Batswana ha bare itsholelo e phutlhame? Ha ditlou di senya ke mang yo o senyegelwang? Batho ba megopolo eo le simolleng go ba ela tlhoko."

In appreciation, former minister, Ms Tebelelo Seretse expressed gratefulness towards President Masisi for hoisting Botswana flag high. She said Batswana were impressed by President Masisi's eloquence when dealing with questions posed to him at all the platforms in the US. She said social media posts were indicative of how some people from the international community were appreciating the Masisi administration.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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