The recruitment of Special Wildlife Scouts this week caused a major uproar at the North West District full council in Maun.
The debate over the issue led to a councillor from the ruling party leaving the house after he was that told he had nothing meaningful to say.
Councillor for Kubung ward Pelokgale Monyamme of Botswana Movement for Democracy dismissed the whole concept as a joke and waste of resources. “How can government supplement trained officers with none trained? The anti Poaching Unit is equipped with well trained officers who need to be supplemented by trained officers.
He said that it could have been better if the special scouts were to be used in relocating wild animals to Game Reserves and National Parks instead of helping in the fight against poaching.
However, an angry councillor for Shakawe east, Kaveto Kangombe took swipe at Monyamme saying that he could have been confused by the language used. “Some of you do not know English and that could be the reason why you are against establishment of special scouts.”
He said that some members of the house have never been outside the country and could be having a problem with the Queen’s language.
The Deputy Council Chairman Duncan Enga called the councillor to order and told him to sit down as he had nothing to discuss. Kangombe then took his files and left the council chamber. Speaking to The Voice, he said that it is very painful to see a councillor criticizing government‘s efforts in creating jobs.
“I have been called to order but they should have left me to finish my presentation because I do have valid points,” he said. He mentioned that government is going to train those scouts to be effective like special constables.
He however explained his sudden marching out saying he has an appointment with a doctor. “People will think that I marched out in protest but that is not the case because I have an appointment with a doctor. But the way I was stopped is not fair,” he said.
Another councillor who asked not to be named said that though his area is not affected by enrolment of scouts, Botswana Defence Force, Wildlife and Police Officers should be the ones used to help the Anti Poaching Unit instead.
Council Chairperson Lathang Molonda had told the house that the Department of Wildlife and National Parks has been given a go ahead to engage Special Scouts to assist in Law enforcement and problem animal control activities in the District.
“This initiative comes at a time when the Ngamiland District is faced with challenges of poaching incidents which are attributed to shortage of manpower on the ground.”
Areas to have the said scouts are, Danega, Etsha6 and 13, Gudigwa, Khwai, Maun, Mababe, Nokaneng, Sankoyo, Shakawe, Shorobe, Tubu, Xangwa, Xaxa, Toteng, Legotlhwane, Sehitlwa and Bodibeng.