An online petition to President Mokgweetsi Masisi that came as result of what was later discovered to be ‘false report’ relating to 100 elephants that were suspected to have been poached in Botswana is no longer a threat to tourism as the petition is likely to collapse on its infancy.
A petition titled ‘Elephant Massacre in Botswana; Restore Anti-Poaching Units Now” to Masisi hosted by an American petition website company Change.org continues to garner support as it attracts more than 100 000 since its inception last month.
Pundits argue that the lifespan of the petition is short lived as the world now begins to question the validity of a story that was spearheaded by Elephant Without Borders (EWB).
As the false report ensured last week the international community started voicing their concerns about the elephants that were suspected to have been poached that some believed could have been attributed to disarming of the Anti Poaching Unit under the Environment, Wildlife and Tourism Ministry.
United Kingdom prime minister also joined the bandwagon in the past two weeks where she voiced out her concern about the latest incident which could have been exacerbated by the disarming of a anti-poaching under the Department of Wildlife.
University of Botswana Okavango Research Centre, Director Joseph Mbaiwa indicated that such petitions should not be ignored looking at the negative impacts that it could bring to the country.
Mbaiwa indicated that the bad publicity has a potential to affect tourists arrival though now people are starting to question the reports. Mbaiwa indicated that the world has debated and Masisi was now speaking to the world a move has seen people doubting the reports about the poaching incident.
“The petition is not genuine enough unless if they prove that indeed the deaths of elephants were a result of disarming the anti poaching unit under the Department of wildlife. We should actually condemn the petition that came as result of fake news, ‘added Mbaiwa.
Mbaiwa indicated that the petition lifespan is short lived given that even the international media who sold the fake news are starting to question the motive behind the reports. According to him the petition is not likely to achieve its desired result since it was born out of lies.
According to Mbaiwa the petition was as a result of pathological lies. Mbaiwa indicated that he was surprised to learn that poaching could have take place where there is a heavy presence of Botswana Defence Force and state security organs.
Mbaiwa indicated that the official version has disputed reports about close to 100 elephants that were suspected to have been poached in Botswana.
Mbaiwa indicated that Masisi’s role in spearheading a campaign on dismissing the reports was paramount as it had a potential to affect tourism arrival.
“So now the world knows the truth and this will not have an impact on tourism arrivals”, added Mbaiwa.
Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Minister Unity Dow that the EWB director – Mike Chase ‘s wayward campaign was only meant to get the attention of international community as the country debates on whether to lift the ban on trophy hunting. Dow indicated that Chase latest move was an attention seeking excise meant to gain support from the international community about the possibly of bring back trophy hunting. However, Dow pointed out that they will not be allowed to be bullied by the international community on issue of conservation since the country has done well in the past.