The Khwe and the Bakgalagadi

The Hon F. G. Mogae,
Vice-President,
Private Bag 008,
Gaborone
Botswana

3 April 1998

I have heard that the government of Botswana has begun a policy of evicting the Khwe and
the Bakgalagadi 'Bushmen' people from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.

I understand among the reasons for doing this are the preservation of the wildlife and the
integration of these people into the rest of the society of Botswana.

I cannot agree however that it is right to forcefully remove any peoples from a place where
their ancestors have lived for many generations. Perhaps these people have not had their
lands recorded and accepted in the ways that the modern world prefers. This gives no right
to evict them - instead I believe the government of Botswana would be best advised to
recognise and uphold Khwe and Bakgalagadi right of ownership of their land and resources.
Those who have already been removed must be given the freedom to return.

I am sure some mutually acceptable way forward can be found. An approach where the
wildlife may continue its natural lifecycle. A way whereby societies more primitive than our
own can progress at their own speed without clashing with our societies and indeed
vice-versa.

The first step must be to deal directly with the representatives of these people, and to reach
agreement with them on what to do.

Yours faithfully,

Owen Lydiard, Director, Have IT Now Limited