Friday, September 14, 2012

Suspected Namibian poachers kill 19 elephants in Botswana

At least 19 carcasses of elephants have been found in the Kasane area since the shooting of two alleged Namibian poachers by the BDF anti-poaching unit on July 17, Mmegi has established. "Ever since the July shooting of two Namibian poachers, our anti-poaching officers have found 15 carcasses of elephants with tusks removed," the Commander of the Botswana Defence Force (BDF), Lieuetenant General Gaolathe Galebotswe, said at his inaugural press briefing at Sir Seretse Khama Barracks yesterday. "Just this morning, I received another report that four carcasses were found over the past few days with tusks missing." Galebotswe stated that poachers are on the prowl along the country's borders with Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa. He said that the poachers use sophisticated methods that should be met with a response of the same magnitude. "The problem is that unlike in the past,there is money involved in modern poaching," he said."Our grandparents used to poach to put food on the table; not for commercial purposes. But all that has changed." GeneralG
alebotswe said the BDF has a good relationship with its Namibian counterpart and have carried out joint operations and exercises since the beginning of this year. Meanwhile, the new army chief commander has vowed to fight for improved working conditions for his men and women. Addressing journalists yesterday, he said soldiers should view the army as "the best place to be" and that that can only be achieved if the soldiers have better remuneration and accommodation. He said that the army continues to lose non-commissioned officers and professionals such as doctors, nurses and engineers to other competitors who offer better working conditions than the army. The problem, he said, is that salaries are often linked to rank irrespective of qualifications, hence the need to pay in accordance with the market offers. 'We are losing a lot of non-commissioned officers at the rank of Lance Corporal who are still young and eager to explore other opportunities or pursue other interests," he said. "So we intend to de-link the remuneration from one's rank and pay the equivalent of what others in the industry are paying. "But it will still be a challenge because our officers are on duty 24/7 but their counterparts in other institutions work normal hours and are free to travel outside their workstations any time. In the army, one can only travel outside one's workstation if one is on leave or off-duty." Source: Mmegi

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