By Patience Nyangove
THE Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) has commissioned an investigation into alleged ill-treatment of the San community residing in the Nyae Nyae Conservancy (NNC) in Tsumkwe by a safari operator.
The investigation comes after Confidente last year re¬ported that community members of NNC were up in arms with SMJ Safaris over alleged ill-treatment that includes unfair labour practices, unprocedural game hunting and degrading insults. Confidente also reported that the con¬cerned community members came up with a petition calling for the removal of SMJ Safaris from the conservancy.
The community members also accused the owner of SMJ Safaris of hunting buffalo as well as allowing his underage son to hunt and insult staff.
The community says it decided to take its plight to the Ministry of Environment and Tourism because it was sick and tired of the many problems it was facing at the hunting camp.
The ministry’s chief public relations officer, Romeo Muyunda told Confidente that the ministry had appointed a committee made up of its employees to look into the allegations.
“We have commissioned an investigation into the matter. We have appointed a small committee to look into the matter,” Muyunda said.
Confidente also reported that at least 11 people from the San community have since been suspended as members of the Nyae Nyae conservancy and will not receive the average N$1 500 members of the conservancy get from SMJ Safaris as financial proceeds realised from hunting activities when tourists pay money to kill game in the conservancy.
According to a suspension letter given to the aggrieved community members they had been barred from being members of the conservancy for five years.
“Please note that the conservancy and traditional authority formally met with you on October 13 2016 to notify you of the possible consequences should your actions continue and have made sev-eral requests that you refrain from your activities. As you chose to ignore these requests the board felt there was no other course of action available to them,” the letter written by Xoa//an/ Ai!ae the chairperson of the Nyae Nyae conservancy reads.
When contacted then the manager of the conservancy, Cwi Charlie N!aici refused to comment on the matter saying it was not appropriate to discuss the issue over the phone.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015