FRANCISTOWN: Government’s failure to lift the recent dried fish export ban has attracted the ire of Lake Ngami fishermen who have now resolved to petition the Tourism ministry.
Just last month, the Lake Ngami Ngami Community Trust summoned minister Tshekedi Khama to a meeting querying the ban instituted through the statutory instrument No. 17 of 2017, saying they were not consulted.
The notice stated that “No person shall export or cause to be exported any dried fish produced from fish originating in Botswana” for 12 months.
After promising to return to the fishermen in two weeks after meeting them, they say Khama has not given them a response, hence prompting this demonstration which is expected to deliver a petition to the ministry through the Maun District Commissioner. “We thought by this time the minister could have long heeded our request of suspending the ban pending consultation but to date no communication has come forth. This ban has adversely affected our business because we relied much on external markets for dried fish. If consultation was made before the decision the minister could have considered the negative effects of the ban. So, we feel that the minster has given our request a deaf ear hence,” said a fisherman commenting on condition of anonymity.
The chairman of the Lake Ngami Fisherman’s Association, Loago Mokunki, confirmed the planned march. “We plan to petition the Minister this week in protest of the recent ban of dried fish export that has left the market paralyzed. Preparations of the demonstration are at an advanced stage,” he said.