Environment ministry defends meat incident in Etosha National Park
By Clifton Movirongo.
The Ministry of Environment, Forestry, and Tourism on Friday provided clarity on the allegations regarding the meat loaded in a bakkie by ministry staff in Etosha National Park last week, saying there is nothing “illegal or sinister” about the meat transported in the park.
The ministry’s Chief Public Relations Officer, Romeo Muyunda, issued a statement explaining the allegations that had been viewed by many on social media.
“We want to state it, on record, that there is nothing illegal or sinister about the meat transported in the park. We also want to clarify that the consignment of meat referred to is from cattle procured through funding from the Game Product Trust fund to be supplied to the anti-poaching units inside Etosha National Park,” he said.
This comes as the allegations gained traction and have been seen by many on social media. Furthermore, it was brought to the ministry’s attention that a bakkie filled with meat was spotted exiting Anderson Gate, driving to Outjo.
The ministry cannot overemphasize the significance of ensuring the wellness of the members to enable them to do their jobs without fail, Muyunda added.
According to the ministry spokesperson, the allegations making rounds on social media are “unfortunately portraying and blowing” the situation out of proportion, making it appear as if the meat was stolen and transported out of the park for personal reasons.
Muyunda further said that the driver of the bakkie went inside the park to pick members of the Namibian police to accompany him to process the meat at a nearby farm. “It was at this time that pictures and videos were taken by those who witnessed the incident,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Muyunda also revealed that the ministry was displeased with the ”unacceptable manner” in which the meat was openly transported and in full view of tourists or visitors.
The statement continued, “This has been addressed with the management of Etosha National Park.”