Gaborone — Multitudes braved the scotching sun yesterday morning (December 14) to go and bid President Lt Gen. Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama fare well at the Moshupa kgotla as he kick-started his country-wide farewell tour before he steps down.
President Khama is expected to bid farewell to communities in all 57 constituencies before ending his 10-year reign on April 1.
In his address, President Khama assured Batswana that he would not stop serving the nation after retirement.
"It does not mean I will stop serving Batswana. I started serving Batswana in the police service, then I served in the army, as well as Cabinet, and as Vice President and President," he said.
Various areas in which he said he would continue serving the nation post-retirement include patronising arts, football as well as serving as champion of Vision 2036.
President Khama further promised to continue assisting needy people with shelter through the housing appeal initiative, which he established after ascending power in 2008.
Further, he pointed that he would continue serving as Chancellor of Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources and also assist in the Ngwato tribal leadership.
With his two terms in office coming to an end early next year, President Khama said he had no doubt that the man to succeed him, Mr Mokgweetsi Masisi was the right person to take the country forward.
He said Mr Masisi was knowledgeable and multi-skilled on governance issues.
He said Mr Masisi was a 'Jack of all trades and master of many'.
"After these years working with him I have never regretted appointing him vice president and the next President of this country," President Khama said, urging Batswana to support Mr Masisi when he ascends power in April.
The community of Moshupa-Manyana constituency showed their gratitude to President Khama by showering gifts, which included cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and money.
President Khama reciprocated the gesture by pledging a P20 000 contribution for completion of Kgotla shelter in Moshupa.
The vice president, Mr Mokgweetsi Masisi, who is also Member of Parliament for Moshupa-Manyana said they were proud as a constituency to host the commencement of President Khama's farewell tours.
Various members of the community paid glowing tribute to President Khama's leadership.
Mr Watson Keletshabile speaking on behalf of the community of Moshupa, focused on two of President Khama's milestone of four Ds; Dignity and Development.
He said President Khama brought a lot of dignity to communities even in remote parts of the country by visiting them and developing programmes to assist them.
Such programmes, he said, include Ipelegeng, the Presidential Housing Appeal, which provided shelter for destitute people.
Mr Ketshabile further said President Khama helped to develop talent among young people through the presidential arts competitions.
He said under President Khama, Batswana were encouraged to be self-reliant.
Manyana representative, Mr Lotlamoreng Macha praised President Khama for promoting cultural tourism through activities such as Khawa Dune Challenge and others.
A youth representative, Ms Katlego Baleseng thanked President Khama for having been a champion of youth empowerment during his reign.
Ms Baleseng said the constituency tournaments, which were introduced early in
President Khama's reign, promoted sport development and unearthed a lot of talent.
She also said under President Khama's reign youth received better assistance under the Youth Development Fund.
Ms Esaleone Kgopana, speaking on behalf of public officers in the Moshupa Sub-district, applauded President Khama for addressing challenges in the ministry of education by introducing levels of operation, and dividing the ministry into two, one for Basic Education, and another for Tertiary Education and Skills Development.
She also praised him for introducing the Self Help Housing Agency (SHHA) assistance for civil servants on D4 salary band and below.
She also said President Khama was committed to fighting corruption.