The spokesperson of the First people of The Kalahari (FPK), Jumanda Gakelebone, said that the Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Kitso Mokaila, is misleading Batswana by telling them that there is a Ministerial Committee that is currently negotiating with them to find an amicable solution to their problems.
Gakelebone said this after a Court session in Lobatse on Monday.
He said there has been no discussion between them and anyone from the government on the problems they have in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR).
”It is my first time to hear about the said talks with us. It is simply not true. Mokaila is simply not telling the truth when he says that we are currently engaged in negotiations with him or any other government employee,” he stressed.
Gakelebone further said that all they are demanding is to be served with water like is the case with the rest of Batswana in this country.
”We do not want anybody’s money or cars but water and water only,” he said.
He said that they are currently suffering as they have to draw water 60 kilometers away from their homes in the CKGR. This, he said, is hardship on their side as they at times go for days without water.
On condemnation by some people in the country that they are being used by international organisations such as Survival International, Gakelebone said that they had no choice but to approach SI as they were thirsty and SI was prepared to help them.
”We had no choice but to approach SI for help and I am grateful that they are helping us as nobody else was willing to help us, including our own government, which is denying us water,” he said, adding that they have not been given hunting permits as promised some years ago.
On whether Roy Sesana, who was absent at the Court, was still their member, he said that he was and could not make it to the Court as the Court dates were changed at the last minute.
On the number of residents in the Reserve, he said that they stood at around 600.