Namibia: Minister Warns Conservancy Members Against Poaching

Katima Mulilo — The Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, has called on members of conservancies to refrain from poaching and misuse of funds.

Furthermore, he stated the ministry has unearthed a possible syndicate of poaching, involving conservancy members.

“Here, in this region (Zambezi), people were arrested. Chairperson, managers and members of committee arrested for poaching. You are given to look after the natural resources, and you are stealing them. It is like putting a wolf in a kraal of sheep. It is kind of a syndicate established already in that particular conservancy,” said Shifeta.

He made these remarks during the meeting of Conservancies and Community Forests Chairpersons’ Forum for North East regions, held at Katima Mulilo yesterday.

He, thus, called on community members to always elect people who have the interest of the community at heart.

“When we groom people who are not honest, we are creating a condition of self-destruction,” he cautioned.

Additionally, Shifeta also stated that he has been receiving numerous allegations of mismanagement of conservancy funds. “We have received numerous complaints about these allegations of theft and misappropriations of fund, and this should come to an end,” warned the minister.

The forum brought together conservancies and community forest chairpersons from Zambezi and the two Kavango regions to assess and review achievements, challenges and opportunities they face.