Dispute Halts Elephant Sales In Mmadinare (Botswana)
Onalenna Modikwa, Mmegi Online
September 28, 2009
MMADINARE: Mmadinare Development Trust has not sold elephants in this year's hunting season due to misunderstandings with their counterparts in Lepokole. The hunting season ends in January.
Speaking during a Kgotla meeting that was addressed by the outgoing area MP, Ponatshego Kedikilwe and cabinet minister last week, the trust's chairman indicated that they had hoped to make a killing out of this year's sales as they expected to be given a licence for 30 elephants.
However, they were told that they are supposed to share the quota with another development trust in Lepokole hence they were left with only 15. The Mmadinare community had asked the trust to sell the animals at P30,000 each but there were delays because their counterparts in Lepokole were ignorant of what the transaction involves.
Hence, the Mmadinare trust was asked to sell all the 30 elephants and share the money equally with Lepokole trust. But this created serious misunderstandings between Mmadinare and Lepokole that took a long time to resolve until the customers dropped their buying prices to as low as P15,000 per elephant. Lepokole trust felt that Mmadinare wanted to cheat on them and that is part of the reason for the delay.
The selling of animals by the trust in Mmadinare area has paid huge dividends to the village. The trust recently earned P200,000 from the proceeds of elephant sales. The trust's subordinate economic empowerment organisations will each be given 10 percent of the amount.
The subordinate organisations are engaged in activities like fodder production to alleviate poverty. The fodder production project has received a P673,100 grant from African Development Fund.
Other organisations under Mmadinare Development Trust are engaged in poultry farming by local women, livestock production by the youth and horticultural farming. The trust has been allocated a plot and tendering for the construction of office building has been completed. Debswana mine has donated four computers to the trust.