By Dan Henk (auth.)
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Extra info for [(The Botswana Defense Force in the Struggle for an African Environment )] [Author: Dan Henk] [Feb-2010]
Politicians find it relatively easy to draw a contrast between the cattle owner as the “little guy” or “native” whose interests are endangered by rich, white expatriates infatuated with wildlife. Regardless of whether they maintain livestock or not, there still is a strong aspiration on the part of many citizens to own cattle, and there is also a surprising tendency of settled townsfolk to accumulate livestock tended by relatives or low-paid rural employees in their rural home areas. 46) For those citizens that maintain domestic livestock in the vicinity of the game reserves, wild animals can be a considerable annoyance.
Critics have suggested that Khama lacks the tolerance and flexibility for political life, failing to relinquish the authoritarian inclinations of the senior military command he once enjoyed. 50 Ian Khama has consistently been a dedicated conservationist, unwaveringly backing a variety of environmental causes and using his position both in the military and in politics to support a conservationist agenda. The commitment of the Defence Force to antipoaching operations in 1987 was almost certainly his initiative, and he subsequently reinforced that decision with the full weight of his authority, continuing to do so even after leaving the military for national political office.
Following his family’s return to the protectorate in 1956, he spent some of his early years in the traditional family home at Serowe and also attended schools elsewhere in southern Africa, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. As a youth, he was described as athletically inclined, serious, and somewhat driven. He probably did not enjoy a close relationship with his father, who was heavily involved in business and politics throughout Ian’s youth. However, he seems to have been strongly influenced by his mother, a woman of strong personality.