Entering the main hall of the museum in Mafikeng the provincial capital of the North West in South Africa, you would be ushered in by the largest elephant tusks one can ever wish to see. These were donated as a gift by Khama III of the Bangwato, an influential tribal grouping in Botswana.
Once upon a time, a German town was invaded by infectious rats that caused panic and anxiety within the community. In the ensuing panic, a Good Samaritan in colourful attire or clown costume [pied in ancient lingo] offered to rid the town of these rats for a reasonable fee that was not specified.
On the 21st October 1949, Robert Sobukwe delivered a powerful and riveting speech at the Fort Hare University completers’ social which was spoken about for a long time in and outside the university in which he addressed topical issues of the day. Sobukwe made that speech seven decades ago but it is still as relevant today as it was when he delivered it.
Issues surrounding the lifting of game hunting and particularly that of elephants have an international effect on us. It seems elephants are top on the list of the hunted game. But the lifting of the ban affects all other large game such as buffalo, zebra and giraffe.
The political spectacle that started with Donald Trump’s unexpected attainment of the presidency of the United States two and half years ago continues to steamroll the country, breaking hearts and careers and, at the same time, writing and introducing new bare-knuckle politicking never seen or practised in America.
Since last year – 2018, Botswana has witnessed rising impunity and lawlessness within the political arena which led to social media going into overdrive. Clearly what is happening in Botswana is very unfortunate, so many mind-boggling and bizarre things are happening within the country which demand a pause and reflection as the nation traverses the crossroads.
The Government of Botswana has taken an active and controversial decision to lift the ban on elephant hunting. The ban was put in place about five years ago by the Minister of Tourism with the blessing of the then President Ian Khama.
Over the years, Batswana have been left flustered and bewildered by the train of newspaper reports about high levels of corruption in the economy. Surprisingly, incidences of corruption run parallel to government efforts to combat the same implying that corruption threatens to destroy the Botswana economy, sooner than later.