Arm wildlife officers or else more soldiers will die- Tshekedi

Daniel Chida

Former Minster of Environment, Conservation, Natural Resources and Tourism, Tshekedi Khama has warned that if Wildlife Officers are not equipped with guns and lead the anti poaching unit, more soldiers are going to lose their lives.

In an interview with The Voice at the end of the 1st Session of the 12th Parliament sitting, the Member of Parliament for Serowe West explained that no anti-poaching officer lost their lives to poachers when Wildlife officers were armed.

“Botswana Defence Force members are not trained in the same way as Wildlife Officers were trained, the way we are losing our soldiers to poachers shows that they do not have the same skills set.”

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He said that the purchasing and carrying of guns by wildlife officers is legal and that government should give them back their guns to fight poachers. “Disarming wildlife officers is political,” he added.

A week ago a BDF soldier in the line of duty was gunned down by poachers in a shootout incident at Chiefs Island in the Okavango Delta.

“Despite the positive achievements recorded over the years, poaching activities have certainly not stopped as poachers continue to target rhinos, elephants and other endangered species in our national parks,” read part of a statement released by BDF after the tragedy.

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