Sunday, April 18, 2021

“Survival International is no threat” – Government

Survival International poses no threat to Botswana’s diamonds and tourism, parliament has been told.
Government has stated that Survival International is nothing but an organisation that is wooing attention to cash in on donor funds.

This was said by Assistant minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Mokgweetsi Masisi, on Friday while responding to a question raised by Maun West legislator, Tawana Moremi.
Moremi had sought to know whether the ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation had briefed parliament on the position of Survival International, regarding the boycott campaign of Botswana’s diamonds and Tourism.

He had also requested to know the reasons for the boycott and government’s counter strategy on the issue.

Survival International has roped in Hollywood personalities to launch a boycott of Botswana’s diamonds and tourism.

Speaking on behalf of the minister of Foreign Affairs, Masisi said that parliament has not been briefed about Survival International’s latest boycott campaign against Botswana.

“The motive behind the campaign by Survival is well known in that they are simply motivated by the funds they raise from unsuspecting donors. It is clear to us, and others who have followed this issue, that no amount of reasoning and, or fact, will move Survival International on this matter for as long as they stand to benefit monetarily from the donations they get from unsuspecting donors,” Masisi told parliament.

He said that Survival International was pressing for Basarwa to be given water. He said that government’s view is that the issues between government and Basarwa over the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) can be resolved through dialogue.

“Government is currently consulting with residents of the CKGR, with a view towards addressing the wider issue of the future of CKGR,” he said.

He said that Botswana had a good track record for respect of democracy, good governance and respect for human rights, adding that the country also has a good tourism strategy.
“To date, we have not seen any adverse effects to Botswana’s tourism industry due to Survival International,” he added.

“I believe that my colleague, Kitso Mokaila, has been addressing the CKGR issue from his ministry’s point of view but also as the chair of the Government consultation team,” said Masisi.

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