Gantsi District Commissioner Utlwanang Kerekang says that, as of Friday afternoon, she had not heard any reports of residents of the Central Kgalagadi Game Reserve refusing to take part in the ongoing population census.
This follows after CKGR activist Jamandu Gakelebone had vowed that they would not take part in the ongoing exercise because the government had declined to provide them with services that she provides to other Batswana in the country.
Kerekang said that they sent a team to the CKGR to conduct population census as is the case around the country and that they expect the team to carry out its mandate.
“As of now, my only hope is that they are conducting population census as expected of them and I have not heard anything to the contrary,” she said.
Besides that she said that they have been working quite well with the representatives of the CKGR, including Gakelebone, to prepare for the census and that she does not understand why he is saying that they would not be counted in the CKGR.
On the other hand, Gakelebone said that they still stand by their word that they will not be counted because the government is denying them services, saying they were in a game reserve.
On whether he knew whether or not people in the CKGR were being counted as we were speaking on Friday, he said, “I cannot say that at the moment as I am in Gantsi and not CKGR but I can bet that they are not being counted as we agreed. Even me here in Gantsi I have not been counted because I do not see the reason for that,” he stressed.
In a related issue, residents of Seleka, in the Central District, have also refused to be counted on grounds that the issue surrounding the correct name of their village has not been resolved.