Former Member of Parliament and also leader of Botswana Congress Party Gilson Saleshando has lashed at government for failing to sufficiently address the issue of Foot and Mouth in Ngamiland district. He said rumours that the government through the Department of Veterinary Services now wants to exterminate the more than 7000 FMD affected cattle in Haina Veldt West farms will be another big blow, adding however that Batswana will now get to realise that their government is incompetent. He said this at a meeting called by a group of concerned farmers who had wanted to seek clarity on the fate of their cattle.
Farmers are worried at lack of communication coming from the government side.
However Dr Comfort Nkgowe of Department of Veterinary services said at the meeting that although no final decision has been taken yet, the destruction of affected cattle has so far been seen as the best option as it will go a long way in resolving the recurring Foot and Mouth Disease.
He said once a decision is taken, farmers will be notified.
Saleshando was nevertheless not convinced and was doubtful of the so called “option”.
“We know this is final because we have long heard of related options which are never communicated to anyone. Destruction of cattle will never be an option because even affected farmers will never be fairly compensated. We are talking here of people who own thousands of cattle in their kraals, so you people need to re-think your decision”, he said.
Meanwhile Ngamiland Deputy District Commissioner Angelinah Leano advised farmer associations to work even closer than they ever did because currently they are not doing enough. She stated that it is also important that they work as a group so that their concerns may be heard and addressed as a collective.
“We are well aware that Ngamiland people are angry, that is why I have even advised officials dealing with this sensitive matter to be patient with you. We appreciate your anger and it is understandable. So let us be in this together and stop this finger-pointing”.